Barcelona has one of the best football teams in the world, FC Barcelona, and a visit to the city is not complete without seeing the team’s famous stadium – Camp Nou (certainly for football fans).
Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe, the 2nd largest football (soccer) stadium in the world, with 98.787 seats (105,053 after the planed renovation that will begin in 2017 and be finished in 2021). A tour of the stadium is available and, together with the FC Barcelona museum is a must for every Fan, so don't miss the Camp Nou Experience Tour & Museum, but the best and most exciting experience is attending a match, something that even non-football fans will enjoy.
For more information about the Camp Nou Experience Tour & Museum read the "Camp Nou Tour and Museum" article.

The “Free Seats” system

Before you buy a ticket it is important to understand how the ticket distribution system works.
In camp Nou all the seats are held by season ticket holders so, in theory, no seats are available for the general public, but not all season ticket holders attend all matches and that’s where the free seats system (Seient lliure) kicks in. Every home game the season ticket holders can free his/her seat if he/she decides not to attend the match and once it’s freed the seat goes out on sale to the general public.  Seat holders who’s seats are sold receive 50% of the purchase price, which motivates the them to release their seats if they do not attend. Most seat holders start releasing their seats 10-14 days before the match, most do it in the last few days, up to 72 hours before the match (if they release the tickets less than 72 hours before the match the money for the sale can only be used to cover their annual membership fee. An earlier relice ensures that the payment is transfer to their bank account).

Buying match tickets

The best option for most is to buy the tickets online, but be watch out for unofficial websites that offer tickets for sale even before they are officially released as you might find yourself without the money and the tickets (see more belo).

The best place to buy the tickets is the official FC Barcelona website, it is user friendly and the tickets can be printed at home.
Ticketmaster is also a good option and it is an official FC Barcelona partner.
The maximum number of tickets allowed per purchase is 6.

It is, also, possible to buy the tickets once in Barcelona but, usually, it is not a good idea as the match can be sold out by then, all the good seats might be taken or the only available seats might be in separate locations in the stadium.
That said, in less important matches the risk is minimal so it can be an option if the plan to watch the match is not final.
The official tickets sale points in Barcelona are:

  • ·         FC Barcelona ticket office at Camp Nou stadium
  • ·         Tourist information office at Pl. Catalunya
  • ·         Fnac stores
  • ·         Official FC Barcelona shops

Unofficial tickets websites
As mentioned, there are plenty of websites today that offer match tickets before the tickets are released and for matches that do not offer tickets for the general public (like  El Clásico against Real Madrid). Those websites do so with the help of 3rd party seat holder vendors, an action which the legality of it is not clear (the law in Spain forbids reselling tickets in the vicinity of the stadium, as when it was passed, before the 1982 World Cup in Spain, there was no Internet, but according to some of the sections of the law it can be easily interpreted to prohibit Internet sales as well) which can cause problems when entering the stadium. In addition, as the website is only a mediator and the vendors are private citizens or agencies you might find yourself without tickets (it has happened before when sellers and agents disappeared without delivering the tickets) or running across town to get them. Apart from that you will pay more than the actual ticket value in commissions to the vendor and the website.
The only time that this option should be considered is when there are no regular tickets on sale (like with El Clásico) and only after taking into account the risks.

Date and time of the match.
There are 38 rounds in “La Liga”, most rounds are played during the weekend but some (especially toward the end of the season) might be in the middle of the week.
Most matches are played on Saturdays and Sundays (or Tuesdays and Wednesdays if the round is in the middle of the week) but there are expressions. In weekend rounds matches can take place on Fridays or Mondays and on weekday rounds on Thursdays.
The exact match day and the exact time (that can vary from noon, early or late afternoon to evening) are set about 10 days before the match (they try now to set the exact date and time earlier when possible). The reason for this is the broadcasting rights as TV stations want to broadcast the most interesting crowd drawing match and this depend on the standings of each team and the success of the teams at a specific moment.
This means that you might not be able to attend the match, so if you cannot be in Barcelona during the optional dates buy the tickets only after the official date is published.
Be aware that until the official dates are set matches are displayed, as a default, on a Sunday (or a Wednesday, if it’s a weekday round).

Match calendar.
The “La Liga” calendar is set each year around the middle of July and matches usually start in August. Before the league starts there is the Joan Gamper Trophy, where FC Barcelona plays a friendly match against another team (the caliber of this team varies) and the Supercopa de España (only if FC Barcelona won the league championship or the Copa del Rey).
The first round of “La Liga” starts at the end of August and ends at the end of May, with a winter break in December (usually the last round before the break is in the weekend before Christmas and the next round is in the first weekend of the new year).
Most matches are played around the weekends and during the week there are matches of the Copa del Rey and the Champions League (Tuesdays and Wednesdays).

Free entry for kids
Some places mention the option of free entry for kids, as long as they seat on your lap, but this is no longer true.
Today the “Children in the Camp Nou” option is only available if the child is a club member and is younger than 8 and the process itself makes it inaccessible for non-residents and open only for club members (and even then it’s not guaranteed).  

Servicaixa
Many websites still mention the option of buying tickets through the Servicaixa website or ATMs but this is no longer true as the La Caixa bank closed down this service and sold the activity to Ticketmaster.

Getting the tickets

The best option to obtain the ticket is to print it at home. If you cannot do that, or if you’ve bought the ticket while in Barcelona and do not have a printer you can save the PDF archive on a portable storage device and ask your hotel to print it for you or go to an Internet shop (called Locutorio) or a copy shop and print it there for a small fee.

E-ticket is available through Passbook for Iphone and Passwallet for Android phones (details here).

Tickets bought from the FC Barcelona website can be picked up at the ticket office in Camp Nou. In theory you can pick it up before the game but it is recommended to do this, at least, a day before the match or get to the stadium, at least, 3 hours before the game.
If the purchaser picks up the tickets he will need a copy of the reference e-mail and a photo ID (ID card, passport or driver’s license).
If another person comes to collect the tickets he must bring a copy of the reference e-mail, his ID (ID card, passport or Driver’s license), a copy of the purchaser’s ID/passport/license and an authorization latter signed by the purchaser authorizing him to collect the tickets. This letter must include the full name and ID/passport number of the purchaser, the full details of all the tickets and the full name and ID/passport/license number of the person collecting the tickets.
Click here for a PDF of such a statement, just print it and fill the details.
The card used for the purchase is not on the official list but it is recommended to bring it with you or, in case the person collecting the tickets is not the purchaser, a photo copy of the card.

Tickets bought from Ticketmaster can be picked up at Fnac stores, Carrefour supermarkets and Halcón travel agencies that are on this list.
The purchaser must bring an ID (ID card or passport), the purchase reference and the card used for the purchase.
If another person comes to collect the tickets he must bring his ID (ID card or passport), the purchase reference, a copy of the purchaser ID, a copy of the card used for the purchase (both sides) and a letter of authorization signed by the purchaser indicating his full name and ID/passport number and the full name and ID/passport number of the person collecting the tickets.
The tickets must be collected more than 3 working days before the match.

Servicaixa
As mentioned above, the Servicaixa service was discontinued and tickets cannot be collected at the Servicaixa ATMs.

Best seats

Camp Nou is strictly a football stadium (it also hosted very few concerts in the past) and it was built to ensure good viewing angle from every seat but some seats are better than others.
The main stand (tribuna) and the lateral stand (lateral) offer the same view obviously, but price difference is due to the main stands services being better. Lower and more central tiers will also have better atmosphere, as many times the upper and cheaper tiers are half empty and occupied mainly by tourists. For atmosphere, the hardcore supporters gather behind the southern goal and the away team fans are behind the southern goal, in the top tier.
Click here for the stadium sections map.

Getting to/from Camp Nou

Metro
L3 – Green line
The line circles around the north/west side of the stadium so the best stop depends on the access gate printed on the ticket.
Les Corts: for access gates 16-21 (also OK for access gates 14- 15).
Maria Cristina: for access gates 1-6 (also OK for access gates 7-9).
Palau Reial: for access gates 7-15 (also OK for access gates 4-6).

L5 – Bule line
The line passes along the eastern side of the stadium. The best stop depends on the access gate printed on the ticket.
Badal: for access gates 16-21.
Collblanc: for access gates 1-15 (the lower the number of the access gate,  the longer the walk).

Bus

Line 59: From Barcelona through the Ramblas, Pl. Catalunya, Casanova/Villarroel. Stops near the Les Corts metro station so best for access gates 16-21.
Line H8: One of the horizontal fast lines that stops near the east/south ends of the stadium..
Best for access gates 10-21
Line 54: From Estació Nord through Pl. Tetuan, Gran Via (up to Pl. Universitat), Muntaner/Aribau. Passes close to the east/south side. Best for access gates 1-21
Line D20: From Barceloneta through Paral.lel, Pl. Espanya, Carrer de la Creu Coberta/Carrer de Sants/Carretera de Collblanc (all names of parts of the same stretch or road). It passes along the east side, parallel to the L5 metro so, depending on the stop, best for access gates 10-21.

Click here to see the access gates layout

*you can go in the stadium area by any access, not just the one printed in your ticket, but it is recommended use the one printed there as it is the one closer to your stadium gate access (called Porta in your ticket). 

Night bus/Special metro/Special Bus

As some of end late it is possible that regular public transport will not work but there are alternatives.

Metro
Usually if a game ends after midnight on workdays or Sundays (when the metro closes at 12am) TMB prolongs the operating metro time from the nearby stations. This is a special service and the flow of people in the stations is, efficiently, regulated by the police.

Special bus
A special bus to Pl. Catalunya operates after the match. The stop is near access gate 1 and the fare is 2.90€.

Night bus
Just like every night the night buses (calle NitBus) operate throughout the city and the metropolitan area.
Remember, all lines will stop at Pl. Catalunya (apart from the N0, which is a circular line), just make sure that you are taking the bus in the right direction.
N12: From Av. Diagonal through Comte d’Urgell, Villarroel, Gran Via, Pl. Unoversitat, Pl. Catalunya, Las Ramblas, Pg. Colom.
N2: From Carretera de Collblanc/Carrer de Sants through Pl. Espanya, Gran Via, Pl. Universitat, Pl. Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia, Gran Via, Pl. Glories and out of the city to Badalona stop location .
N3: From Carretera de Collblanc/Carrer de Sants through Av. Madrid/Berlin/Paris, Muntaner, Gran Via/Pl. Universitat, Pl. Catalunya than continues north (Grav Via, Concell de cent) and up to Av. Meridiana stop locaiton.

N7: From Pedralbes through Via Augusta, Villarroel, Pl. Catalunya, Pl. les Glories and to the Forum area stop location .

N14: From Carretera de Collblanc/Carrer de Sants  through Pl. Espanya, Gran Via, Pl. Universitat, Pl. Catalunya/Rda. Universitat (last stop) stop location.