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During my time in Barcelona, I realized that FC Barcelona, one of the greatest soccer/football teams in the world, would be playing a match at their Camp Nou home on the final night of my trip. Despite my flight leaving early in the morning, and the match not even starting until 9:15pm, I had to see if I could check it out. Who knows when I’d get another chance to attend a Barcelona match at Camp Nou?
As it turns out, it’s very easy to get tickets to see Barcelona play at Camp Nou. The match I attended was a Copa del Rey Round of 16 match against Athletic Bilbao, so there was less demand than there would have been for a La Liga match. There were still thousands of tickets available the night before the match. However, I looked at availability for Barcelona’s next La Liga match, and there was still availability for that as well.
Unlike some clubs, you don’t need to be a member in order to get Barcelona tickets. There are discounts available, but I didn’t have to sign up for anything ahead of time, not even an online account. The site was in English as well, so there was no translation needed.
The ordering process was simple. In fact, I was able to do it through my phone while sitting in one of Barcelona’s craft beer bars. First, I selected the match I wanted to attend.
Then, I could select my price range, or select a section I wanted to sit in.
Prices were more than reasonable. The cheapest tickets were just 18 Euros, with most of the ends of the stadium being no more than 25 euros or so. Even the most expensive tickets were cheaper than what I have paid to attend Arsenal or Bayern Munich matches. Once you click into a section, you can select your exact seat. Then you give your information and pay for the ticket. It’s as simple as that, and you’re off to Camp Nou to see FC Barcelona.
Getting to the stadium is easy from central Barcelona. I was staying near Paral-lel, so the Metro ride to Les Corts station was just 10 minutes, with the walk to Camp Nou taking just 10 minutes more. Along the street leading to the stadium, there are several bars where people have prematch drinks & bocadillos.
Before entering Camp Nou, I bought a scarf outside. It was a chilly night, and I was going to be sitting on the upper level, so it would be a practical addition to my collection. At €19.90, it was more expensive than my Arsenal scarf.
There wasn’t a lot going on right outside, so I then headed inside the massive Camp Nou. There aren’t a ton of kiosks or other things to see inside either, so don’t expect to kill much time walking around if you’re there early before a match. The stadium is bare-bones, which is why FC Barcelona has plans to renovate it in the coming years. This makes a lot of sense, as a team of Barcelona’s stature should be playing somewhere nicer. This video shows the scale of the upcoming Camp Nou renovations.
Food & drink options inside Camp Nou are on the limited side, but they’ll do in a pinch. Freshly-grilled sausages were the main specialty, but local cheese & ham sandwiches were also available. I opted for a sausage.
Alcohol is not available inside Camp Nou, but there is non-alcoholic beer if you’re really thirsty. This helps explain why the bars outside the ground are packed beforehand, and most Barcelona fans arrive just as the match is about to kick off.
My seat was in section 420, high above the end line at the south end. I had chosen a seat here since it would be closest to Les Corts Metro station. From this vantage point in the upper level, you realize just how massive Camp Nou is. It seats over 99,000 people, making it one of the largest stadiums in the world.
There’s no cover over the seats, which isn’t a huge issue given the decent weather Barcelona usually has. The renovation plans do include one, however. There were lots of other non-locals around me, which makes sense given that it’s easy for anyone to get tickets. I had also seen cool video ads promoting the match on the Metro earlier that day, which probably informed some tourists that they could go.
The match was the 2nd leg of the Copa del Rey tie, and Barcelona actually started out down 2-1 on aggregate. As a result, the match was sure to have a lot of action. Barcelona started out by attacking to the south. The loudest fan groups sit in the north end, starting the songs & chants that then fill all of Camp Nou. Considering the match wasn’t a sellout, the place was still surprisingly loud. The total attendance was 71,455. There were a lot of empty seats since it’s such a massive place, but that’s still a ton of people.
Despite Barcelona’s clear mission, It took a little bit for the match to get going. In the 26th minute, a Barcelona goal was disallowed for offside. Athletic Bilbao were content to waste as much as possible.
Finally, Luis Suarez scored in the 36th minute to make things interesting, giving Barca the 2 leg lead, which then opened things up. It was his 100th goal for the club.
Just 3 minutes into the second half, Barcelona earned a penalty, which was slotted away by Neymar.
However, just a few minutes after that, Bilbao scored a shocker to make it 2-1, thus leveling the tie on aggregate & away goals. Barcelona had dominated, but suddenly we had a match. Could this head to extra time & penalties?
Lionel Messi wouldn’t let that happen. In the 78th minute, he scored a fantastic free kick to seal the win for Barcelona, who would eventually go on to win the 2017 Copa del Rey final.
Neymar has since moved on from Barcelona, but it was cool to see their famous 3 all score in the same match. It really is a treat to get to see some of the best players in the world all playing together.
Here are the full video highlights of the match:
I left quickly as the match was winding down, and was able to be back at my hotel, the excellent Hotel Barcelona Universal, in about 30 minutes.
If you’re a football fan and you find yourself in Barcelona, attending a Barcelona match at Camp Nou should be at the top of your list of things to do. It’s cheap & easy to get tickets, easy to get to-and-from the stadium, and most importantly, it’s a chance to see some of the best players in the world in action.
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Traveler. Writer. Photographer. Terrible dancer. 40+ countries & major territories so far, slowly working my way through the rest. Related interests: craft beer, street food, sporting events, value travel, credit card bonuses, hiking, visiting non-touristy places. Join me for the journey!