Local's guide: Barcelona

Sun, sea and splendid football make Barcelona a fitting home for the planet’s finest team – and player.

And from Gaudi’s gorgeous architecture to a buzzing nightlife, the Catalan capital is a hugely popular short break destination. Barça estimate 9,000 foreign football tourists flock to weekend games (which can be on Saturday, Sunday or Monday with timings only announced 
11 days beforehand), while Espanyol are excelling in their new ‘English-style’ stadium on the city’s outskirts.

Getting aroundBarcelona is well served by budget airlines. Buses from the airport to Plaça Catalunya run continuously and cost €5.05. Best bet is a T10 travel card costing €7.85 – 10 trips on the excellent metro. The Nou 
Camp is near many stations: Badal, Collblanc, Les Corts, Maria Cristina and Palau Reial.

Pre-match drinkA strip of bars line Diagonal, close to Maria Cristina metro, to the north of the stadium. It’s a 10-minute walk past the Princess Sofia hotel (which Terry Venables once called home) to the Nou Camp.

Place to eat the local dish Quinze Nits is a top value first-come, first-served restaurant in Plaça Reial: a three-course meal and drinks is just €20. Avoid La Rambla’s overpriced tourist tapas traps and head instead to El Born. Local tip: during the week most restaurants have a ‘menu-del-dia’ – a three-course menu of the day for €8-17.

Where to nurse a hangover Go for a walk on the beach 
by Barceloneta and get your hangover fix at Buenas Migas at the end of Passeig de Joan Borbo, or enjoy a full breakfast at one of the city’s many Irish bars. The best is Dunne’s on Via 
Laietana by the hip Born area.

Where to go with mates The Nou Camp museum and stadium tour is Catalonia’s most popular tourist attraction, with over a million visitors per year. Alternatively, take part
in one of Barcelona’s training camps. The Costa Dorada resort is about an hour away from the city, and is ideal for 
a pre-season workout. Via Nickes.com you can request 
a tailor-made training camp package to Costa Dorada, including watching a game at the Nou Camp or Espanyol.

Yeah, it's all right...

Where to go with your other halfThe hop-on, hop-off tourist buses take in most of the sights. They run on three circular routes from Plaça de Catalunya for €20 per day.

Football shrine Drink from the unassuming Canaletes fountain – it’s where all the celebrations 
for any Barça trophies start.

Best thing to do for free Walk down the glorious Passeig de Gracia – Spain’s grandest street – then La Rambla to the sea. Follow the coastline to the Olympic village: in total it’s three fantastic hours.

Player’s favourite placeDani Alves: “A lot of the lads visit an Italian called Da Greco in Gracia. I really like Botafumeiro, a fish restaurant there.” The seafront CDLC, 
a cool club/bar/restaurant once owned by Patrick Kluivert, remains popular, while several player functions have been held at the W Hotel.

Don’t make this mistake... Get blind drunk and walk around La Rambla in the early hours. You’ll be relieved of your cash by someone pretending to be your mate.

Check out FFT's Barcelona city guide.

Three top Barça deals at travelshop.fourfourtwo.com

Bicycle sightseeing toursTwo wheels good, four wheels bad. For an extra £35 we offer a guided sightseeing tour of the city, with a bike, bottle 
of water and free drink at the beach. Helmets 
and raincoats on request. Tassles on bike handles, not so much.

Take on local oppositionWe can arrange a game against an amateur side. Write your requirements in the ‘special request’ box on the booking page when ordering via travelshop.fourfourtwo.com and we’ll organise a game before or after your Nou Camp trip.

Fancy stadium toursAnyone staying for 
more than four nights in Barcelona with the FFT online Travel Shop will have a free tour of the glorious Nou Camp stadium thrown in for free. All of these great offers apply if you order before October 1, 2011.

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