Barcelona - the world's best football city is written by Jens Skovgaard Andersen.
The football and holiday city of Barcelona
It may well be discussed what makes a city the best in the world, but it is not up for discussion that Barcelona in the north-east Spain is an absolutely perfect city for you who want to combine city life, ball, shopping, sun and beach.
And when the city is even home to the stars of world-famous FC Barcelona - or just Barça - then it's hard to get around the fact that the city is a mecca for anyone with a penchant for 'the beautiful game'.
Barcelona is on The Mediterranean coast, and the light blue water and the soft sand lie right at your feet when you visit the city. Some of the best beaches are right in the center and you can walk to and from the other famous areas of the city in minutes.
The Rambla is a world-famous pedestrian street that ends at the water at one end and mine in the vibrant city at the other end. The Rambla also shares two of the city's most popular neighborhoods: the old Barri Gòtic on the north side and the hip El Raval on the south.
Barri Gòtic is home to countless restaurants, bars, shops and cultural offerings, and there is a large concentration of tourists almost around the clock. El Raval, on the other hand, is more influenced by the many locals who live in the area, and you will find exciting alternative shops, cafés and eateries in the narrow streets and alleys.
The city's sporting pride FC Barcelona is located in the Les Corts district west of the city center, and this is where the impressive historic Camp Nou stadium is located.
The stadium offers cafes, tours, museums and of course merchandise mega-shops, where you can get everything - truly everything! With the club's famous logo on. It abounds with football-loving children and adults in red-blue jerseys with Messi, Suarez and Iniesta on their backs, and life revolves primarily around Barça.
Next to the large Camp Nou is a slightly smaller stadium aptly named Mini Estadi, and this is where FC Barcelona's reserves play their matches. It's somewhat cheaper and easier to get a ticket to these matches, and it's a cozy and differently relaxed football experience to watch ball here.
Tickets for FC Barcelona's big matches can be difficult to get hold of, so it's a good idea to check the various ticket providers who have tickets for the matches if you're planning a trip to Barcelona. It is a pity to go in vain.
It is not only FC Barcelona that represents the city at the highest football level. Also the club RCD Espanyol plays in the top row and they play at their own new modern stadium in the western suburb of Cornellá-El Prat.
There is no same run on the tickets for Espanyol's matches, so it's easier to buy a ticket through the club's website if you want to travel to Barcelona to watch football. The easiest way to get to the stadium from the city center is by train from Plaça Espanya, which is a bit of a hub in Barcelona's traffic network.
The legacy of the '92 Olympics
If you can't get enough of looking at stadiums on your trip to Barcelona, head up Mount Montjuïc, where the 1992 Olympic Stadium sits. The stadium is open to curious souls and it was here that Espanyol played its home games while the new stadium was being built.
You can take the metro up there from Plaça Espanya if you do not feel like climbing the mountain on foot (PS: There are escalators some of the way).
Montjuïc also has a number of other Olympic facilities; including a swimming stadium with possibly the best views of the city, and there is generally good reason to take the trip up and enjoy the view - and possibly the sunset - of the city and the surrounding mountains.
Barcelona on foot
On your trip to Barcelona, you will find art and culture both outdoors and indoors, and whether you are looking for unique architecture, classical art, beach life or modern cultural offerings, you will find it here.
Just take a walk around and look for. The special unfinished church La Sagrada Familia, the triumphal arch Arc de Triomf from the World's Fair in 1888 and Joan Miró's whimsical sculptures are among the favorites on a city walk.
If you want more football and at the same time see a little more of Catalonia, then you can conveniently take a trip up to the northern city of Girona. In addition to being known for its galleries and cozy streets, which attract lots of locals from Barcelona, the city also has a football team, which is sometimes in the top Spanish range.
The red and whites from Girona FC did well in their first season in La Liga, and the atmosphere in the city is high when they play - especially against the big clubs. Girona is an obvious destination for a day trip from Barcelona, and you can catch the train from Barcelona Sants Station, which is close to Plaça Espanya. The train ride takes about an hour.
Spanish football is some of the best in the world, and in Barcelona you will find the cream of the crop. The experiences are waiting for you in the world's best football city.
Have a good trip to Barcelona!
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