Espanyol v Real Madrid




So, as we all guessed, England's visit to Andorra is not going to be to Andorra at all, but to Barcelona.  And while many thought the venue might be the 'little Nou Camp', it will in fact be the Estadi Olimpic, home to RCD Espanyol.  As the photo below show, this is a large open bowl of a stadium, with a capacity of just under 56,000.

The Estadia Olimpic - If the weather's good at the end of March, take the sun cream!


The stadium sits on Montjuic, a hill about 2 miles to the southwest of the city centre and to the northeast of the airport.  You can find more information on the stadium on the official RCD Espanyol website (in English), on Wikipedia and on
www.stadiumguide.com.  And I've put more Estadi Olimpic photos on a separate Barcelona stadium pics page.

City centre to the stadium
From the city centre's popular Las Ramblas area (pictured below) to the stadium is a 10-minute drive, or around 30 minutes on foot (if you are able to walk in a straight line!). 

This Google Map shows the route from Las Ramblas to the stadium.
 


 

 

 

Good binoculars needed behind the goal!

 

From the airport
Barcelona has ONE airport (don't let any airline tell you different!).  It's called El Prat and has the code BCN.  It's located to the southwest of the city centre and, depending on where you want to go and the mode of transport you choose, is about 20-30 minutes from the middle of town.

If you are going straight from the airport to the stadium, you will want to take the no. 46 bus to Placa Espanya (this takes about 27 mins), and then the no. 50 to the stadium
(10 mins).  Alternatively, you can take the Aerobus to Placa Espanya (see also Barcelona public transport).

If you are going from the airport straight into town, take the train (line 10) to Franca Station (or Sants Station).  Trains run every 30 minutes and the journey takes 32 mins to Franca Station, 17 
to Sants.  Cost: 2.50.


  

 

The popular Las Ramblas boulevard


The 'other' airports
Ryanair and a few other airlines serve Barcelona via Girona and Reus, both around 60-70 miles away.  Buses run from both airports to Barcelona.  The bus link from Girona is run by Barcelonabus.com
and takes c. 70 minutes.  The service from Reus is run by Hispano Igualadina and takes c. 80 mins



Things to see and do
Barcelona's sights include the still unfinished Roman Catholic basiliica, the Sagrada Familia.  Designed by Gaudi, the building began to be constructed in the 1880s ... and the work still goes on!  You'll find more examples of Gaudi's 'molten' style of architecture and other Barcelona sights at Wikitravel and on the Barcelona Tourism website.

Footy sights
Of course if architecture is not your thing, you could stick with football and take the Nou Camp tour.


 

 

 

 

The Sagrada Familia - Cranes still there!


Is anyone staying at...?
Looking for a hotel that other England fans are staying at?  Then check out the list below.  You should find kindred spirits in every one of these, as they have all been recommended by fellow fans on the official englandfans forum:

 

Hotel 1898
Hotel Colon
Hotel Regencia Colon
Hotel Rialto
Hotel Glories
Hotel Bonanova Park
Hotel Barbara
  Hotel Front Maritim
Rivoli Ramblas
Hotel Mare Nostrum
Hotel Century Park
Abba Rambla Hotel
Pere IV Hotel




More useful links:


Hotel.de: Barcelona 
Expedia: Barcelona
Hostel Bookers
Venere.com: Barcelona
Barcelona tourism
RCD Espanyol

Nou Camp Tour
Barcelona at Wikitravel
Barcelona public transport
Barcelona airport
Buses from Girona
Buses from Reus



Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.com - For fans, by fans