Camp Nou Stadium#7 in Best Things To Do in Barcelona
Even if you're not a fútbol (soccer) fan, Camp Nou is worth a visit to experience the pride Catalans have for the FC Barcelona team. Able to hold nearly 100,000 screaming fans, which can be quite intimidating for visiting teams, Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe. The on-site museum showcases trophies and awards the team has garnered through the years. Interesting and interactive displays invite visitors to learn a little more about the fútbol culture and its impact on the city. For example, Catalans rallied behind the motto "més que un club" (more than a club) during the oppressive Francisco Franco regime, becoming a symbol of striving for independence. The slogan is even spelled out in giant gold letters among the royal and ruby stadium seats. Depending on which team they're playing, tickets to a game can be expensive (especially for El Classico). However, visitors note that seeing the dedicated fans and watching some of the best soccer players in the world in action is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Travelers who did the tour had mixed emotions. For many Barcelona fans, visiting the stadium and getting a behind-the-scenes look at the club's day-to-day was a dream come true. Others, however, lamented the high cost of touring the stadium as well as its Disney-like extras including going through gift shops and a mandatory photo op, whose cost wasn't included in the ticket price. Others were disappointed they didn't have access to parts of the stadium, including player's locker rooms and access to the field.
Tickets for the "Camp Nou Experience," which includes a visit to the stadium and entry to the museum and multimedia center, cost 25 euros or about $28. However, there are ticket discounts for kids, senior citizens, students and groups. Visiting hours vary depending on the team's game schedule, so check the website before scheduling a trip. Getting to the stadium is easy: The two closest Metro stops are Palau Reial, on the green line, and Collblanc, on the blue and orange lines. Both are within a short walking distance to the stadium.
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#1 Park Güell
Antoni Gaudí's Park Güell is as whimsical as parks can get. The park was originally supposed to be a housing community for the rich, commissioned by Eusebi Güell. Güell hired Gaudí but the project eventually folded due to the land's incompatible building conditions. Gaudí continued on, modeling the park after gardens he had seen in England (Güell means English in Catalan) and building around the natural elements of the land instead of tearing them down.
Today's park covers 42 acres of space and features everyday park props with a twist that is quintessentially Gaudí. Instead of numerous benches spread throughout, here visitors will be greeted with one long, wavy stone bench adorned with vibrant mosaics and equipped with views of the ocean. And instead of drab administrative buildings, the welcome centers here (which house park souvenirs and learning materials on Gaudí and the park) look like buildings you'd see in a Dr. Seuss book. You'll also find plenty of picturesque pathways that weave along verdant vegetation, down cascading tiled staircases and through jagged stone columns and tunnels. While you're here, don't miss the chance to see the Sala Hipóstila. Located right at the entrance, the Sala Hipóstila was originally intended to be a marketplace. Today it serves as nothing more than to dazzle visitors with its stately stone columns and beautiful mosaic works, which you'll find dotted all over the ceiling. Other popular attractions here include the Casa Museu Gaudí (Gaudí House Museum), Gaudí's former home turned museum, and Turó de les Tres Creus, a lookout point with pretty impressive views of the city situated in the southwestern point of the park.
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