The FC Barcelona - More Than A Club Tour is not only aimed at committed Barça fans but is also perfect for football and fun-loving tourists.
If you want an enjoyable and informative day out in Barcelona and would also like to understand the social and cultural significance of Futbol Club Barcelona a little more deeply then the More Than A Club Tour is perfect for you.
This is a full day tour and as quite a lot of walking and history is involved is not recommended for children.
However, a mature child or teenager with a real passion for the club will probably get a lot out of it.
As on all my Guided Tours the maximum number of participants on the More Than A Club Tour is 10 and included in the €80 price are:
More Than A Club Tour participants meet at 10.30 sharp at:
If you are coming from Barcelona City Centre (Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia or Diagonal) you need to give yourself at least half an hour.
It is important to be punctual because Camp Nou is about 10 minutes walk from Palau Reial so if you are late it will be difficult to catch up with us.
The walk down to Camp Nou is a chance to cover some of the basic club history, its importance to the city of Barcelona throughout the early years and other clubs that were founded around the same time, including Recreativo de Huelva, Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid and RCD Espanyol.
On arrival at the ground, we take a quick look at the Ice Hockey Stadium and the Palau Blaugrana, which allows us reflect on the multi-sport philosophy of the club that goes back to founder Joan Gamper himself.
Now is a good time to pay a quick visit to the FCBotiga souvenir shop as
there a relatively few people around at this time in the morning but
don't feel that you need to buy any Barça merchandise now as there is
another Botiga del Barça in the city centre, which you can visit in the
afternoon if you wish.
The More Than A Club Tour then moves on to the sculpture area, where my two favourites are the magnificent Kubala figure and another work called Gol de Wembley but there can't be many football clubs that have a whole area of their stadium dedicated to sculpture.
The next stop is a walk round the perimeters of Camp Nou, where the all club's Official Futbol Club Barcelona Penya crests are displayed.
The photos show the crests of my friends at UK Penyas:
If you know that your
city has an Official FC Barcelona Penya, I'm sure can help you find it.
By this time, everyone's ready for a break at La Cerveceria Estrella Damm on the Camp Nou premises.
I will write a separate article describing the Camp Nou Experience And Museum Tour because its a stand alone part of the day, which you can enjoy on your own without much intervention.
Obviously, apart from providing the tickets, which allows us to skip the often long lines at the ticket offices, I am on hand to answer any questions and point out elements that you may miss.
However, FC Barcelona have designed the Camp Nou Experience extremely well and most people prefer to take in the stadium and museum at their own pace.
The Camp Nou Experience includes:
The FC Barcelona Museum where you'll see Cups and Trophies, Old Posters and Programmes, Classic Kits and Boots and I particularly like the section with the early 20th century football Bric-A-Brac and Memorabilia.
The Visitors' Dressing Rooms give a great idea of the pre-match atmosphere and the walk down the Players' Tunnel is one of the most exhilarating moments.
Most people tend to take photos and videos once they're out on the pitch with the 'Mes Que Un Club' wording being particularly popular.
You also get a fantastic perspective of the pitch from the Press Boxes and the Camp Nou Experience finishes with the Multimedia area.
The whole tour takes between an hour and a half and two hours so early finishers should wait in La Cerveceria Estrella Damm.
From here, we make our way back to the metro taking in FC Barcelona's former youth academy La Masia Can Planes in on the way.
It's important to have had a decent breakfast because following Spanish eating times, we won't be sitting down to lunch until at least 2 o'clock.
If you've travelled widely in Spain, you'll know about the Menu del Dia but if you haven't having lunch will be a useful lesson that will save you
money and help you have a better Barcelona experience throughout the rest of your stay.
The Menu del Dia consists of three courses;
Lunch has to be a relaxed affair and generally takes a couple of hours.
The food is simple and tasty, certainly not haute cuisine, but lunch is a fantastic opportunity to get to know each other better.
You are also completely free to pick my brains and ask for specific Barcelona holiday and travel advice.
It is during the afternoon that the FC Barcelona - More Than A Club Tour becomes something really special.
We begin at the top of The Ramblas at the Font de Canaletes, where FC Barcelona supporters still celebrate major victories because this
was where ex-FC Barcelona President Josep Suñol, who was murdered by Franco's troops during the Spanish Civil War, had the offices of La Rambla sports paper.
The sites of the old Café Baviera, where Josep Samitier ran discussion groups, Café Solera, home of one the early FCB penyas, and Gimnàs Solé, where the club was founded by Joan Gamper are all very close by.
Plaça Sant Jaume, where the players celebrate major titles, and the Basílica de la Mercè, where thanks are given to the patron saint of Barcelona, are the next Ciutat Vella stops.
The penultimate stop on More Than A Club Tour is the magnificent 13th
century Santa Maria del Mar, which is not only the city's most beautiful
and beloved church but also where FC Barcelona has its own stained glass
The day closes around 6 pm at El Xampanyet for a glass of Catalan cava in one of El Born's most famous bars.