You’ve landed in sunny Spain, there’s sunscreen splashed over your pale shoulders, the Bermuda shorts are on, your sunglasses are out, and, after taking a taxi from Barcelona airport to your hotel, you’re ready to explore one of the world’s most exciting and interesting cities. But where do you start? Being one Europe’s most vibrant destinations, Barcelona boasts a wealth of places to visit and many things to see and do. What’s more, if you like a bit of sport – especially from a spectator’s perspective – then you’re especially spoilt for choice. So, here is a brief guide to some of the city’s unique, grandest and most entertaining sporting venues.
Barcelona Olympic Stadium
The Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, or Barcelona Olympic Stadium, is situated in the south west of the city in Montjuïc, where it is nestled in a hill overlooking the beautiful harbour. As such, it is only a short journey by taxi from Barcelona airport. The historic stadium was erected in 1927 as part of the city’s bid for the 1936 Olympic Games – which it eventually lost to Berlin. However, half a century later, after a successful bid for the 1992 Olympics, the stadium, in 1989, was renovated, and hosted one of the most esteemed Olympics of the modern era.
The New Field Stadium, or Camp Nou as the locals call it, is home to FC Barcelona and was built in 1957. Situated in the west of the city, it is the largest stadium in Europe and one of the largest in the world. As well as hosting many international sporting events over the years, it has seen some of the world’s biggest music stars grace its stage; from hosting Michael Jackson’s record-breaking Bad tour, to the rock super-heavyweights like Bruce Springsteen and U2, Camp Nou has seen it all. And the best part? You can get there in no time at all by simply hailing a taxi from Barcelona airport.
Circuit de Catalunya
Also known as Circuit de Barcelona, this venue is the city’s motorsport race track. It is situated in Montmeló, in the north of the city, but again, if you get a taxi from Barcelona airport, it’s a short trip. The circuit was built in 1991 and it plays host to driving events such as Moto GP and Formula 1. The annual Spanish Grand Prix, which takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona, is one of the city’s most exciting spectator sports. Over the last 20 years, the Spanish Grand Prix has witnessed some moments of true racing magic from the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher.
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