With upwards of 10,000,000 tourists expected to visit Barcelona this year, you’d hope the city has a variety of attractions to cater for everyone right? Right!
If you’re a sports fan, don’t worry Barcelona has got you covered. Check out these things to do in Barcelona.
1. Visit Camp Nou – The Home Of Futbol Club Barcelona
If you’re somewhat interested in football, definitely take the tour. If you’re interested in sports, you’ll love it here. Heck, even if you couldn’t care less about sports (why are you reading this?), you should probably go. Why?
- The story telling is great
- Make football friends jealous
- As the Barca slogan goes ‘It’s more than a club’
Read my full Camp Nou tour review here.
2. Watch A FC Barcelona Match Live
This will depend on when you visit Barcelona of course, but during the season they’re playing at Camp Nou frequently. If you really want to watch a game, you’re best to buy your tickets online in advance.
I visited during the off season but was lucky enough to see the Barcelona Legends played Manchester United Legends.
The stadium was ‘only half full’, yet was an awesome football viewing experience.
You could also watch a game of basketball, futsal, handball or roller hockey and pretend to know what’s going on. Check out the schedules here.
3. Explore The Olympic Areas Of Montjuïc
This place caught me off guard (in a good way). I was heading to the Olympic Museum, but it turns out you can explore a lot of the grounds where the Olympic Games were staged in 1992.
The Olympic Stadium can be accessed for free, with a couple of restaurants overlooking the field. If you want to go on to the track and field and play around, you can buy tickets online or in person. While it’s mainly targetted at kids, it’d be a laugh with a few friends. There are lots of things you learn about being a tourist in Barcelona after visiting, so plan on returning in the future.
You can get a glimpse at a few of the other stadiums from the outside scattered around the Olympic torch (maybe you could enter a few?). I totally underestimated how big a torch can be. It’s massive!
4. Visit The NBA Cafe
Barcelona does nightlife pretty well and its sports bars are solid. There are a few but the stand out is by far and away the NBA Cafe. While it is a basketball cafe, you could just go in for a drink. Inside the cafe are large screen TV’s, comfortable cheers, basketball memorabilia and a couple of interactive games.
Other bars I checked out briefly were Grizzly 72, Belushi’s and of course you’ve got the bars at Camp Nou but I don’t think they’re much good for viewing live sports. Otherwise, these tapas bar are a good choice to watch games too.
Quick tip: If you want to watch a game somewhere, it’s always best to send the bar a message on Facebook 24 hours in advance to see if they’ll be showing the game you want.
5. Join In With The Locals To Play Some Sport
This is the ultimate way to meet the locals they (I) say. I only played a little bit of basketball with a couple lads one evening at a park but it seemed like most games around the city were welcoming. My lack of Spanish/Catalonian put me off approaching more (it’s weird that doesn’t effect me in Asia so much).
Another option is to join Meetup.com and head along to one of the many sports meetings hosted every week. A slightly more formal way to play with locals and expats!
6. Visit The Sports Museums In Barcelona
There are three museums that I’d consider sports museums in Barcelona:
- Camp Nou Museum
- The Olympic and Sports Museum
- Barcelona Motorcycyle Museum
Camp Nou Museum: A must visit if you appreciate football. It is part of the Camp Nou tour above (my review).
The Olympic and Sports Museum: An interesting place with some awesome memorabilia from . They tell the story from the start of Olympic history and there are some cool interactive activities (my jump height was a measly 32 centimetres).
BUT I wouldn’t trust any of the information on the cards. I started to get suspicious when they said something along the lines of the All Blacks never losing. But then I came across two big errors:
- Jack Nicklaus. They say he won 20 majors when he definitely won just the 17. Not sure how you get this wrong?
- Michael Phelps. They said he retired at 27. Um, while he did retire after the 2012 games, he came back and dominated at the 2016 games in Rio at 31. As an Olympic Museum, this really should be updated.
From there on, I just appreciated all of the displays which were pretty cool on their own. If you like watching the Olympics every four years, you’ll smile walking through here.
You’ll take 90 minutes at most to finish exploring the museum. Remember, take the information with a grain of salt. Buy your tickets on arrival.
Barcelona Motorcycle Museum: Hidden away in the Gothic Quarter, you’ll miss the place if you aren’t purposely looking for it. I didn’t realise Motorsports had been such a big part of Catalonia’s history. The museum displays a variety of bikes and gives you some information in five different sections.
Give yourself 60 minutes or so to complete this tour. Again, just rock up to buy tickets.
7. Watch The Human Towers
Humans towers, a.k.a castells, are awesome. While you could debate as to whether it is a sport or art, I’m going to say they’re a sport. The towers of humans are something you tend to see on a viral video that pops up on Facebook from time to time, so learning about them while on the free walking tour was perfect!
For some reason I thought they’d be hard to see, with training behind hidden doors and performances only on major occasions. That’s far from the case.
On a Sunday morning, not too far from the Sagrada Familia I got to see a few teams have a go at forming their human towers. Check out this video from my Instagram:
8. Hiking & Rock Climbing at Montserrat
There are a bunch of hiking trails in and around Barcelona but the one place that stands out is moonish like Montserrat. You can spend a full day hiking around here with the large rocks towering out of the ground. They definitely reminded me of hiking in Siberia’s, Stolby National Park!
The main hike is to Sant Jeroni which is a reasonably comfortable track that takes 90 – 120 minutes each way. Download Maps.me and explore the labyrinth of trails, that’s the best.
While you’re hiking, you can’t help but notice the rock climbers going straight up the massive rocks. I’m not sure how you get amongst that action, but it looks like an epic adrenaline rush.
Check this page out for best instructions on getting to Montserrat from Barcelona.
Read my full post on hiking Montserrat.
Related Post: Awesome day hikes in Europe.
9. Give Some Water Sports A Go
The city beach, Barceloneta is the classic can of sardines during summer. She is packed. Yet like so many beaches, not many people are hanging out in the water. With a little bit of effort, you can find kayaks, jet skis and stand up paddle boards for hire.
I’m a bit annoyed I didn’t take advantage of this now that I’m more confident in the water.
What an epic city to visit for a sports fan! If you want to do all these activities in Barcelona, you’d need to give it around four days I’d say. That’d be a pretty intense few day.
Barcelona holds a number of big international sporting events every year too. This is a great calendar to see upcoming sports events in Barcelona.
Pin this for you trip to Barcelona & keep everyone happy.