Barcelona for football fans: Antoni Gaudí’s striking modernist architecture may be the face of Barcelona, which dominates some of its most famous buildings, but soccer is the beating heart of the city, worn proudly on its sleeve (usually attached to a team kit). Is).
This early Spanish city is home to two teams in Spain’s first division, La Liga—the globally renowned FC Barcelona and the lesser-known (but passionately backed) second team, RCD Espanyol. Whether you’re an avid fan of one of the clubs or just love soccer, it’s hard to beat Barcelona as a city break destination.
From a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s largest and most bustling football stadium to pre-game tapas and post-game celebrations, there are things to see and do inside and outside the arena in the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region Find the best stuff.
Meet the teams: FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol
Five-time UEFA Champions League winners, FC Barcelona (nicknamed “Barca”) are true giants on the field, feared by rivals and beloved by fans. With 25 La Liga titles to its name, the club’s dominance would be almost boring if it were not for Real Madrid CF, perhaps its main rival.
As you’d expect for a club of this pedigree, the roll call of famous former players is prolific – Pep Guardiola, Xavi, Ronaldinho, Neymar, Rivaldo, Diego Maradona, and Romario da Souza are among household names who have worn blue. And the red kit.
The club was formed in 1899 after an advertisement was posted for players to join the city’s first soccer club.
This may be overshadowed by its domestic rivals, but Barcelona’s other team, RCD Espanyol, competes in La Liga and is known for its particularly passionate, loyal fans. Top names to have previously worn the blue and white kit include Riccardo Zamora, László Kubala, N’Conno, and Alfredo Di Stefano – often regarded as one of the best players in the world.
Located in the suburb of Cornella de Llobregat, the RCDE Stadium has 40,500 seats, mostly filled by local and generally vigorous supporters. Some argue that the atmosphere is similar to that of FC Barcelona’s home games. True or not, tickets are usually easy to buy that day, so it’s a great option if you’ve missed a big game, or want to immerse yourself further in Barcelona’s soccer culture.
FC Barcelona may have better stock in its coffers, but RCD Espanyol was historically the football club of the wealthy, and politically conservative, elite.
Visiting Barcelona’s soccer stadium: Camp Nou
Camp Nou: Les Corts district
Even those who live and don’t breathe will be impressed by the Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona since 1957. With a seating capacity of just under 100,000, it is the largest stadium in Europe and the third-largest in the world.
The most anticipated games sell out fast, and fixtures may change up to two weeks in advance due to TV scheduling. If you do manage to get a seat, get there early – not just because in a stadium like this, it can take a while to fight the crowds. The air is alive with pre-game enthusiasm, forming a crescent as the players jog on the field. You will want to be there for the duration.
If you can, choose a seat behind the target area. This is where hardcore local fans sit, and while the views may not be quite as picturesque as those in the high-rise stands, the atmosphere is arguably a lot more thrilling.
It’s a big attraction even when there are no games, with popular guided tours through the huge roofless structure. You can walk through the players’ dressing room and tunnel and sit on the team bench before checking out the silverware in the museum. The tour also includes the Virtual Experience, where while sitting in the stands you can relive some of the club’s greatest and most exciting goals (and near misses) through virtual reality glasses.
Getting There: If you want to rent a car in Barcelona, it’s a 20-minute drive from the airport and half an hour from the center. Or take the Metro Blue Line to Colblanc, which is about a 10-minute walk from the stadium.
Where to eat and what to do in Les Corts
Les Corts is a financial center, but when there is a sport, the most serious business takes place on the field. Barcelona’s hotels and restaurants that are usually packed with people having lunch meetings come alive with hangouts before and after the game. For a pre-game bite on the go, head to the shopping complex L’illa Diagonal, which has a few take-out locations and cafes. Or just walk around and take your pick from the small, cozy tapas bars – many of which will be showing games if you haven’t managed to get tickets to the stadium.
- L’illa Diagonal, Avinguda Diagonal, 557, 08029 Barcelona
Partying in Barcelona after the game
Celebrating after the game: La Rambla’s fountain
One of the most enduring and beloved traditions among FC Barcelona fans is a small, ornate fountain on La Rambla. Fans have been gathering around the Font de Canalettes to celebrate their team’s victories since the 1930s, which is topped by a lamppost – the results of the games were posted outside the local newspaper office located here.
- Going out in Barcelona
When FC Barcelona is playing, you will have a hard time finding a bar that is not showing the game. Just listen to the cheers and follow your ears. And many times, especially along with Camp Nou or Plaça de Espanya, a 15-minute walk away, are just as buzzing as the stadium, if not more so.
The historic Example, home to some of Gaudí’s most famous buildings, including Casa Mil, is a half-hour walk away and has plenty of tucked-away cellar bars. Barrie’s Gothic, the Gothic Quarter in the heart of downtown, is equally charming, with cavernous cocktail bars and jazz clubs.
Fancy getting all dressed up and going out? The plush nightclub Razzmataaz is the place to be (and, if you’re lucky, to see some Barca players).
Razzmatazz, Carrer dels Almogàvers, 122, 08018 Barcelona
You are some US One can fly directly to Barcelona from the cities—it’s about eight hours from Philadelphia or nine hours from Miami—or fly from European airports such as Lisbon or London. Explore rooms overlooking the city’s luxurious rooftop hotels. Barcelona for football fans.
Similar Articles to Barcelona for football fans