Nou Camp - Barcelona F.C., Barcelona
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Review of "Nou Camp - Barcelona F.C., Barcelona"
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Well for the second of my Barcelona ops, it has to be the first thing we did on the Friday, a visit to the Nou Camp. The main reason for our trip was to see Barcelona play someone, however this wasn’t possible as they were away that weekend. So instead we did the next best thing, The Nou Camp Stadium tour and visit to the Barcelona FC Museum. Of course I’m sure it comes as no surprise that on our first full day, having got drunk the night before, we went to do something related to Football.Having decided that it wasn’t that far from our hotel to the ground we set of walking and half an hour later we were still walking. Thinking we were getting no where near despite having seen the ground 15 minutes previously, we turned down a road that looked quite posh and there right in front of us was the largest Football stadium in Europe.
Barcelona FC moved to the Nou Camp in 1957 and since then have built a complex surrounding it that plays host to a number of the clubs different teams. As Barcelona aren’t just a football team, they also have teams for Basketball, American Football, Wrestling and many, many more. Along side the 98,000 seater Nou camp there are the smaller stadium where Barcelona reserves play, which holds around about 15,000 people and various other sports halls, including an ice rink.So onto the tour, there are two options you can either just visit the museum, which cost €5 for adults or €3 for Kids and International Students. Or you could do the full tour and museum visit, which gets you right into the inner parts of the stadium. This cost us €9 and would have cost about €7 for Kids and International students, which is pretty good value. The tour is available in three different languages, however it wasn’t quite as we had expected.
Instead of being a guided tour in the normal sense where you follow a guide around you actually are free to walk around the designated areas at your own pace. The actual guided part is the fact that there is a person in almost every room, should you have any questions although we never actually spoke to them as everything was answered by the multilingual card positioned within each of the rooms.During the tour you get to see the Away team dressing room, which apparently looks just like the home one only with a couple of features less. Then it’s onto the tunnel, where after visiting the small chapel, was the biggest rush of the whole tour, making that walk down the tunnel, where so many famous players have gone before and stepping out into the area around the dugout. When you look up at the empty stands it’s just an amazing feeling for any football fan, but then the thought of looking up at a 98,000 capacity crowd would just be something mind blowing.
You basically get to stand within the technical boxes of both the home and away team as the rest of the pitch is out of bounds. We spent quite a bit of time here looking around at the pitch, getting our photo taken with the score board behind us and the like before heading back inside to the press room. Within here you have the press conference area, a small interview room and the waiting area, which is covered in pictures of players who represented Spain whilst playing for Barcelona.This is quite an amazing list of players and covers almost three entire walls of the room, and this is just the Spanish Internationals never mind any of the other nationalities. We even got a picture of Lee with his feet up on the desk in the interview room. From there you move onto the Reception area for the guests and directors of the club. A full list of sponsors is on view, which includes people like Nike and Sony. Then up another flight of stairs you come to the Presidents box.
Within here is a replica of the European Cup from the last time they won it, although you aren’t actually allowed to pick it up. Then out into the actual seating area of the box, which has actually got a marble floor rather than the concrete the rest of the stadium has. The view from here is quite possibly the best in the ground, with the club president having his own seat right at the front.This is where the tour ends but it actually took us about an hour and a half just to wander round and take everything in. Of course after the tour you then have the museum to look round and another chance to savour the view of the Nou camp from the middle tear and the seats you could end up in if you actually came to see a game, so we did this before the museum.
Again the views from here are superb and it would seem that almost every seat in the ground has a fantastic view of the pitch. Of course it’s nothing like being up here looking down on the pitch as it was down there looking up but it’s still an amazing feeling. The thought of how the stadium would feel full is just one of those things that will have to be tried out, so another trip back to Barcelona looks on the cards.The actual museum itself contains three main sections. With the first as you come in from the stands being the History of the club, dating back through the Cruyff era, both as a player and manager. There’s a huge replica of the Nou Camp, which must have taken a great deal of time and effort to make up. Also within this section are the remaining players of non Spanish nationality who made international appearances whilst there, including almost the entire Dutch national squad and both Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes.
The next part of the museum we went into was a history of all their other teams and to be honest wasn’t really something that appealed to us, as we’d hardly even realised they had all these different teams. Instead we headed on up to the top floor where there is a massive art gallery containing paintings, sculptures and lots of posters from throughout the time the club have been going.This probably provided one of the funniest moments of the tour. If you look at every picture of the Barcelona team during the time Terry Venables was in charge you will notice one theme in all of them. He’s never actually looking at the camera in any of them. Finally having done all that, which took the best part of 4 and a half hours for the tour and museum visit you leave via the Barcelona club shop as the way out drops you right into the middle of it.
From here you can of course by any old Barcelona merchandising tat. From Shirts with names and numbers on them costing not far off £80 down to packets of crisps and toy cars for a couple of Euros. There’s also a service where they take you picture and plant it next to a player from the past or present of Barcelona.Well that’s pretty much the tour, well worth the price of the entrance fee. The exhibits are all full of information for anyone with a love of Football, and the Trophy cabinet in the director’s box really is a sight to behold. The change to stand on the pitch, even though it was just the edge is something that will stay with me forever and is really an experience I can’t recommend highly enough. So the final word, if you’re in Barcelona then head to the Nou Camp and enjoy, we certainly did.
Product Information : Nou Camp - Barcelona F.C., Barcelona
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Listed on Ciao since: 07/12/2000