With thousands of football-crazed fans all over Europe last week, I thought I’d take the chance to share my only experience visiting a football (that’s soccer) stadium. On my trip to Catalunya I visited the Camp Nou Barcelona football stadium and its museum: the Camp Nou Experience.
I have to admit that stepping into the stadium there was a small tingling of excitement in my belly. I’m not much of a sports fan (as I’ve said before) but I can certainly appreciate the immense popularity of a truly international sport. If kicking a ball around on a field can ignite such massive amounts of excitement and energy in people…well, it’s just hard to not feel a little bit of excitement yourself.
Inside Camp Nou (FC Barcelona’s official stadium), the passion so prevalent in football fans seems to exude out of every wall. The museum visit allows visitors to step inside the shoes of the Barcelona team and feel the energy that ignites 100,000 fans every game. (Camp Nou is Europe’s largest capacity stadium with room for 98,772 spectators.)
The Camp Nou Experience tour takes you inside the guest team locker room (though it’ll be empty of hunky soccer players during your visit), down the very same steps the players enter the field, and then down on the green within inches of the hallowed ground. You also get to see the Press Box overlooking the stadium and through the same halls that the players provide post-game interviews.
One of the more interesting parts of the FC Barcelona tour is through the museum where you can learn just about everything you ever wanted to know about the club’s history. If you’re desperate to get your hands on a real-live football player, you can get pretty close with a Photoshopped digital photo souvenir.
There’s also a documentary movie highlighting FC Barcelona’s success and a multimedia exhibit with even more information on the team. Another part of the museum highlights the team’s volunteering and nonprofit work—which was a nice touch.
If FC Barcelona isn’t your team I suspect you’d feel a bit out of place inside as everything inside the Camp Nou Experience screams Barcelona. But like I said, football is full of passion…and inside the Camp Nou stadium and museum, that passion is palpable.
View the museum’s website for full details on admission price and hours.
My visit to Catalunya was in partnership with Travel Dudes and the Catalunya tourism board.