Barcelona – Camp Nou, who says girls don’t like football?

Camp Nou, big on the outside

Camp Nou, big on the outside

Who says girls don’t like football? – FC Camp Nou Stadium Barcelona

By Monday morning the rain was gone and we looked out onto a clear blue sky once more. The Camp Nou stadium was our first objective of the day. Commando and I both love football and regularly go to watch our local team, Southampton, play so we thought we’d take the opportunity to have a look at the largest stadium in Europe and see how it compared to our own humble St Mary’s. We took the train to Sants Estacio and then hopped on the metro to Les Corts, which, according to our map was the closest to Camp Nou.

Even bigger inside

Even bigger inside

I think the pitch at St Mary's is greener

I think the pitch at St Mary’s is greener

We didn’t need the map for long because, after walking a short distance, the stadium was easily visible and we just walked towards it. It really was an impressive sight. With a capacity of 98,787 it is the eleventh largest stadium in the world and dwarfs even the impressive Cardiff Millennium Stadium and the new Wembley Stadium (being a Southampton supporter I have seen both). Apparently there are plans afoot to increase the seating by another 13,000 to make it the largest in the world. I can’t imagine how they fill it, especially with such high ticket prices, but it must be a stirring sight, not to mention deafening.

The chapel looks beautiful

The chapel looks beautiful

Although it was free to go inside and have a look around away from the pitch, tours of the stadium cost €17 (a great deal more than the £6 we had paid to tour St Mary’s a few years ago). I was content to stop for a drink in the café and let Commando take the tour, after all €34 is a bit steep and it’s not as if I haven’t seen a football stadium before. The pictures he took were enough for me. Although he found the sheer size staggering (especially when viewed from the press box right at the top) and liked the interactive glasses that gave a presentation about the stadium, the tour itself was unguided, a kind of follow the arrows affair, so not as informative as our St Mary’s tour with no chance to see the police cells or the hospitality suites. Having said that, the facilities are second to none, with a museum, trophy room and chapel. Personally I found the prices in the café a bit high and the staff quite off hand and unfriendly. I suppose with a club as big as Barcelona the personal touch is a bit much to expect though.

View from the press box

View from the press box