Families visiting Barcelona’s Camp Nou will learn about the history of FC Barcelona and take a stadium tour. // © 2016 Kenneth Shapiro
Feature image (above): During the Camp Nou Experience, clients will see luxury suites, VIP areas, the visitors’ locker room, the press box and the players’ tunnel. // © 2016 FCBEscola Soccer Camp
Visitors to Barcelona will undoubtedly want to take in the city’s great religious sights, most notably La Sagrada Familia and Cathedral Basilica of Barcelona. But there’s one attraction that, while not technically a holy sight, is certainly sacred ground to Barcelona’s notoriously fanatical soccer fans — Camp Nou, home stadium for FC Barcelona (FCB). This cathedral of soccer is also a great tourist attraction for families.
FCB is one of the most successful and popular soccer teams in the world, and fans from every country make the pilgrimage to see its home field. The Camp Nou Experience is the official name for the visitor attractions at the stadium.
The tourist experience begins with a museum that covers the history of the football club from its beginnings in 1899. The many trophies the club has won over the years are on display, along with other memorabilia. There are multimedia exhibits and even a special display on Lionel Messi, the FCB star who many believe to be the best player in the world.
After the museum, visitors begin the self-guided stadium tour in the grandstand, taking in the bird’s-eye view from the upper decks. The tour continues working its way through the stadium, visiting the luxury suites and VIP areas, the visitors’ locker room, the press conference room, the press box, the players’ tunnel and the restaurant. Finally, visitors reach the field, where they can get an up-close look at one of the most famous soccer pitches in the sport.
At the end of the experience, visitors exit through an impressive, state-of-the-art Nike megastore. It’s a gleaming paradise for anyone looking to purchase FCB souvenirs.
The entire experience takes approximately 90 minutes.
My 14-year-old son and I visited the stadium this summer and, even though we are not huge soccer fans, we had a great time. We were impressed with how much behind-the-scenes access we were granted and felt it was well worth the 23 euros (about $25) for adults. The price for students and kids ages 6 to 13 is 18 euros (approximately $19), and children under 6 are free.
The stadium is open every day except Christmas and New Year’s Day. Hours and tour availability varies depending on whether there are league matches taking place. Check the website for details.
Camp Nou is located in the Les Corts neighborhood, east of Barcelona’s main tourist area. It’s about a 20-minute metro ride from the city center.
Whether you’re traveling with future soccer stars or total novices, the Camp Nou Experience deserves to be on every family’s Barcelona itinerary.