To truly see and understand the city of Barcelona means incorporating the soccer team, FC Barcelona aka Barça, into your trip. It really is Mes Que Un Club (more than a club); it’s part of the way of life for the people in Catalunya and millions of fans around the world. Here’s how to have the Barça experience for yourself.
Taverna de Barcelona
When getting started with The Big Trip I knew I wanted to be in Spain during El Clasico, the match between Barcelona and Real Madrid. The game was going to be in Madrid, but I would start in Barcelona.
I wanted to find a fun place in town to watch the game. I’d heard good things about La Taverna de Barcelona, so my friend and I decided to go there.
We got there a couple of hours before the game and got a prime table in front of the TVs. I have a history of waiting in sports bars to secure the perfect table, but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so we went out for a walk and were told we should be back 45 minutes before the game starts. We eventually made it back to Taverna 30 minutes before game time, and the place was full so they weren’t letting anyone in.
I was SO upset! After pleading with the bouncer I made it inside and found a seat at the bar.
Before the game started everyone was getting in the Barcelona spirit. They played Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé’s song Barcelona to the delight of the crowd.
After that I had my first experience hearing the FC Barcelona anthem, El Cant del Barça. This would be the first time of many.
The game was really good, and Barça won a close one, including Lionel Messi scoring his 500th goal.
Attending a Home Game
My godsister was going to the game with me, and we planned on taking the city bus from my hostel to Camp Nou. I met a guy in the hostel who was also attending the game, so the three of us rode the bus over together. Bus route 54 goes from the stop in front of Free Hostels Barcelona to Camp Nou.
Sebastian from the hostel is from Germany, and my godsister and I are from the US. All three of us were so excited to be there, taking pictures in front of almost every Barcelona sign as we walked up to the stadium. It was really fun to see others in the international crowd who were also about to have their first Camp Nou experience.
We got to our seats in time to catch warmups and watch the stadium fill in. To commemorate Messi’s 500th goal scored in El Clasico they unfurled a Gràcies Leo tifo before the game started.
A game can’t start at Camp Nou without the whole stadium singing along to El Cant del Barça. By this point I was familiar with the tune, but the only words I actually knew were “Barça, Barça, Baaarça!”
It wasn’t long into the game before we were treated to our first goal by Messi. It was a cold, damp evening but we had so much fun witnessing a 7-1 display of Barcelona talent.
We had such a good time that it was difficult to leave. We ever so slowly made our way out of the stadium, again stopping for photos all along the way.
When we finally made it out of the Camp Nou complex we stopped to eat at El Cargolet Picant just down the road. The place was packed with people who had just been at the game.
It was a fun environment for post-game bites and to catch some late La Liga action. The food was good too. I had some delicious roasted peppers and mussels.
Camp Nou Museum & Stadium Tour
The morning of the game I went to Camp Nou to go to the Barça museum. When I got to the box office the guy at the counter told me that since it was a game day I wouldn’t be able to do the stadium portion of the museum experience. The ticket price would still be the same, so he recommended I come back the next day when I could do everything.
Since I had to wait to go to the museum I decided to check out the Barça Megastore and look for a jersey. Megastore is right; that place is huuuuge! It’s three stories of any and every Barcelona-themed product you could want.
The next morning I made my third trip back to Camp Nou, this time to actually do the museum and stadium tour.
The first section of the museum takes you through the history of the team. You can also take a walk through their many, many trophies.
Messi the Great has his own section, Espai Messi, where you can see his Ballon d’Or trophies.
From here you move to the stadium section of the tour. You’ll go through the massive press room and then the visitors locker room.
The next section is what I think is the coolest part of the tour. You get to walk through the tunnel and out onto the field while sounds of cheers and the Barça anthem are piped in. Don’t miss the pregame chapel also in the tunnel.
After going through one of the restaurants, where you can stop for snacks, and the press level you go back into the museum.
This section of the museum is the most interactive. Here you can listen to the Barça anthem in various languages. You can also see the lyrics and translation. Once I saw the words I realized I hadn’t been able to understand the rest of the song because it’s in Catalan.
One of the last parts of the tour takes you through an exhibit that highlights players like Messi and Piqué who came up through the Barcelona youth system.
The next time you’re in Barcelona I hope you can have the full Camp Nou experience for yourself.