I was never much into sports except for Cricket. In childhood and the growing years, I would play it with my cousins. During my college days, I tried my hand at badminton and still pick up the racket whenever I get a chance.
After getting married, things started to change. As my husband is into every possible sport from hockey to cricket to football to tennis and the list goes on. This was one of the traits of ours that didn’t match. To balance it out, I would make him watch romantic movies at times and he took his turn to make me watch the sports channel. To my surprise, I developed a penchant for the green field. I enjoyed watching football matches. We used to wait for FIFA Tournament and support our favorite teams as well.
On my last birthday, we planned a 3 day trip to Barcelona, Spain. After exploring the happening city on the first day and witnessing many modernists landmarks and archaeological sites, we started for Camp Nou the next morning for a fun packed day. It was drizzling but we had booked our tickets online in advance to rule out any possibility of missing it. It was the highlight of our trip after all.
As I stepped out of the taxi, I was in awe of the place already. I actually pinched myself to check if I was not dreaming. And I was right there!!! At The FC Barcelona, Camp Nou. Yayyy!!!
After validating the tickets, we joined the queue. As it was off-season, the crowd was relatively less. At the entrance, there was a photo booth with footballers backdrop. We posed and got many pictures clicked by their team squad.
FC Barcelona Museum
Next, we entered the FC Barcelona Museum to discover the secrets of Camp Nou. I am not a fan of museums and hardly I get into any, but this was different. It was not just a visit to the museum but also an experience of a lifetime as we got a few steps closer to the player’s life, stadium, tunnel, playing ground and the dugout which we had seen on the TV only so far. We bought a multimedia audio guided tour which was available in 12 languages.
It was an interactive tour with exclusive images of the matches and players. Throughout the route, we were thrilled to see the details of historical goals, videos, exclusive games. There were a few quizzes for the visitors to brainstorm too. The walls of the museum were packed with multimedia installations where the pictures and videos were being played. The display, the flashes, the huge screen everything was just mind-blowing. It was truly an amazing experience. The most fascinating part of this museum was the trophies of all these years and clothes and accessories of the players.
There was another Tour Photography Point where we could actually felt a part of the football team by striking poses with the Champion League and our favorite footballer’s picture. There were a few props available too. The skilled and friendly staff was there at every step to help us with everything. Now the funny part – We assumed these photo shoots were a part of the ticket we had bought but to our shock, it wasn’t. We had to pay for the picture album near the exit. But no regrets as we created our personalized souvenir.
AND I ENTERED THE MESSI SPACE
(I always wondered why such a hunk was named Meesy (i))
There was a dedicated area for the Legendary player and zillions of girl’s heartthrob, Lionel Messi. Yes, I got to see “Messy’s” shoes, a T-Shirt, and other accessories. I was stunned to see that space which showcased all the club trophies with the mention of the year. Such elite and classy trophies I had never seen in my life. There was an interactive room also where we were reminded of all the milestones in Barcelona history. Not only this, we got a panoramic view and access to the iconic parts of the stadium too. Not to forget, I got many pictures clicked with the icon and treasured those moments.
CAMP NOU TOUR
After discovering every nook and corner of the museum, we headed towards the stadium. The most awaited part of the trip. The entire route of reaching from the museum to the ground was thrilling. We passed through the press room where the press conferences with the players and the Football Committee take place. It seemed absolute royal. Then came the green room of the players where they change before the game starts and relax after it ends. There was a refrigerator loaded with energy and soft drinks, water bottles, juices for the players. Experiencing those minutest details from such a close distance was awesome. And, finally, we got the first sight of the field. Green beauty it was.
We passed through the mixed zone, stands, the tunnel, the stairs towards the ground to reach till the dugout. Yes! We were there, right at the dugout where the players sit. We experienced the VIP area as well which was covered by the glass frame but I was more enchanted by the public one as I could experience it at the pitch level. There was just a railing between us and the ground. The entire stadium looked mesmerizing. Gigantic it was. We sat in the stadium and the first team dugout area to feel it more closely. The experience was super magical.
It was indeed like a dream come true. Witnessing the stadium and everything that we saw on the TV only so far, felt stupendous.
A FEW CLICKS OF THE PHOTO ALBUM (SOUVENIR)
Important points to note:
- Camp Nou is open every day, except for 1st January and 25th December.
- It is advisable to buy the tickets online as the prices are cheaper and tickets get sold off in no time on the counter so you might have to return disappointed. Moreover, you need not wait in the queue by booking online.
- There is an exclusive guide service also available but there should be a minimum of 30 people in a group to avail it.
- If you have a disabled person with you, you get a discount on the ticket price by showing the supporting document.
- Camp Nou is moderately wheel friendly, as there are numerous stairs. There are a few places which are not accessible to the disabled. To name a few – Playing field, benches, green rooms, player’s tunnel, mixed zone, and pressrooms. The places which are accessible by wheelchair are Audiovisual area and multimedia facilities, Trophy and European Cups gallery, Commentary boxes, Panoramic view of the stadium, Messi space.
- There are different tour packages available – Book as per your requirement and budget, details are available on their Official Website.
It was a memorable experience to discover the stadium and museum at leisure. After visiting, I understood why this is one of the most emblematic stadiums of the world, the most visited one in Europe. Millions of fans from across the globe visit it every year to celebrate the history of the Club. It was a visit that I am going to cherish throughout my life.