A visit to Barcelona is not complete without visiting Camp Nou, the home stadium to FC Barcelona. However, before you make your way over to Camp Nou, to watch FC Barcelona compete in a riveting football (American soccer) match, here's what you need to know:
UEFA, The Union of European Football Associations manages the club competitions. The Champions League, Championships, and La Liga are among the associations managed by UEFA. La Liga is the top league in Europe, and is the football division of the Spanish football league with 60 teams.
The season calendar is set in July and the first round is played at the end of August. Most matches are played on Saturdays and Sundays, but the scheduling of the games is subject to change due to broadcasting rights. The exact day and time of a match is released 10 days before the game, so take this into consideration when choosing which game to attend.
Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are well-known for their fierce rivalry, and finding tickets to a game between the two is nearly impossible if you are not a season ticket holder. You can still easily obtain tickets to see FC Barcelona play other competitors, and here's how:
The “Free Seats” System
The ticket distribution system in Barcelona differs from how you buy tickets to American sporting events. Camp Nou seats are held by season ticket owners, so essentially no seats are available to the general public. However, the owners don’t attend every game, so they “free” the seats in which they open up to the general public about 10-14 days prior to the match.
The best place to buy tickets is on the official FC Barcelona website. The second best option is Ticketmaster because it is an official FC Barcelona partner. There are also unofficial websites, but tickets from here are to be purchased using great caution and discretion. The only time this is recommended is when no regular tickets are on sale, and still use caution.
If online purchases aren’t for you, tickets can also be purchased at various locations throughout Barcelona. These include the FC Barcelona ticket office at the Camp Nou stadium, tourist information office at Plaça Catalunya, and official FC Barcelona stores.
In addition to game tickets, Barcelona FC Camp Nou Experience also offers self-guided tours of the stadium. The changing room, the FC Chapel, the players’ tunnel, pressroom, and the FC Museum are all part of the experience, as they allow visitors to see Camp Nou beyond their seats.
You can get to the stadium by metro, cab, bus, or foot. Arriving via cab is difficult because of traffic, but it’s still doable. Usually, the driver will bring you as close as possible, then direct you where to go. Metro lines with stops at Camp Nou are L3 at Palau Reial or Les Corts and L5 at Collblanc or Badal. Free parking is also offered during Camp Nou Experience opening hours until four hours before kickoff on game days.
Don’t sweat the nosebleeds
Camp Nou is strictly intended for football, and no matter how high up your seats are, the stadium’s architects ensure a good view. The atmosphere is also contingent on location. The die-hard fans are usually located behind the southern goal, with the rest of the fans surrounding the stadium at lower levels. The upper tiers are the cheaper ones, and are mainly occupied by tourists. But, it’s also not as much about watching the game, but experiencing it. Camp Nou is unlike any American stadium in the sense it’s just that-a stadium. There is no announcer, instant replays, kiss cams, etc. Here, soccer is a huge part of the culture, and is a way of life.
Things to know:
- You will pass plenty of vendors on your way into Camp Nou, selling hats, scarves, tshirts, etc. You’ll want to purchase something to wear to the game and show your FC Barcelona pride.
- Also, unlike American football, tailgating does not take place in the stadium parking lot.
- Lionel Messi, #10, is considered the top football player in the world. He’s the only one to have won FIFA World Player of the Year five times.
- The team colors are red and blue.