8 legendary football stadiums in Europe
Though Europe knows many sports, it’s football that has earned and maintained the most fanatic of followings across the continent. Even if you’re not a big fan of the beautiful game, there’s something quite magical about attending a match in person. This is particularly true if it’s at one of these legendary football stadiums in Europe.
Football stadiums in Europe to visit
Camp Nou (Barcelona, Spain)
There are some football venues so famous that even non-sporting travelers feel the urge to make pilgrimages there. Camp Nou is one of them. Made famous by Barcelona’s skilled team and refined by the city’s effervescent charm, Camp Nou is worth a visit regardless of whether there’s a match on or not. It also happens to be the largest European stadium in terms of capacity by some margin, seating an alarming 99,000 crazed fans.
Home team: FC Barcelona
More information: www.fcbarcelona.com
How to get there: The stadium is easy to reach by Barcelona’s metro line 3. There are three stations within walking distance of the stadium: Les Corts, Maria Cristina, and Palau Reial.
Signal Iduna Park (Dortmund, Germany)
Dortmund’s home stadium may not be as glamorous as rival team Bayern’s, but the fans more than make up for it. The atmosphere during games is like few others in Europe. Fans are famous for their “yellow wall” and impressive vocals, making this a must-visit stadium if there’s a home game.
Home team: Borussia Dortmund
More information: www.bvb.de
How to get there: It’s easy to reach Signal Iduna Park by train from Dortmund’s main station. Rides from the city center to Dortmund Signal Iduna Park station depart regularly and take a few minutes.
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid, Spain)
Madrid’s famous Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, smack bang in the middle of the city, may not be as large as Camp Nou. But with space for 85,000 fans, it’s hardly small. As impressive as the stadium may be from a design perspective, it’s the legendary skills and performances of the home team that make this a must-visit destination.
Home team: Real Madrid
More information: www.realmadrid.com
How to get there: The stadium is in the center of Madrid and is best reached by metro line 10.
San Siro (Milan, Italy)
San Siro (Stadio Giuseppe Meazza) may be one of the most famous, and unique, football stadiums in Europe. It’s also home to two of the continent’s giant teams, A.C. and Inter, which doesn’t hurt its reputation either. Both home teams have threatened to look elsewhere for a new stadium, but nothing has yet to materialize. As a result, there have been several projects to expand its capacity over the years, and these days it seats a sizeable 80,000 loyal fans.
Home team: AC Milan and FC Internazionale
More information: www.sansiro.net
How to get there: The best way to get to San Siro is via the city’s new M5 metro line.
Stade de France (Paris, France)
The Stade de France in Paris is one of the largest stadiums in Europe. It’s the home of French football and rugby. When fans are in full song, the atmosphere is truly electric. The city’s other football stadium, Parc des Princes, is the destination for more dedicated football fans thanks to home team Paris Saint-Germain. But there’s something particularly grand and stately about Stade de France that makes it worthy of a visit regardless of the game.
Home team: None
More information: www.stadefrance.com
How to get there: There are several metro and RER options to reach Stade de France. Metro line 13 connects the stadium with Montparnasse, Invalides, and Saint-Lazare stations.
Allianz Arena (Munich, Germany)
One of Europe’s best clubs also happens to play in one of the continent’s most dramatic stadiums. The Allianz Arena has seen some exciting action over the years, including World Cup matches and Champions League finals. Recent expansion projects have added capacity, making this one of the largest and most atmospheric stadiums in Germany and Europe.
Home team: C Bayern München and TSV 1860 München
More information: allianz-arena.com
How to get there: Take the S-Bahn (covered with a Eurail Pass) from the Munich center to Marienplatz. Then take the U6 underground line to Fröttmaning (16 minutes).
Mestalla (Valencia, Spain)
Valencia’s Mestalla stadium may not be the largest in Europe, but it’s close to being one of the most electric. Mestalla boasts some of the steepest stands of any of the football stadiums in Europe, which adds to the intimidation factor for visiting teams. Throw in some of the legendary cheering and jeering, and you can almost be guaranteed a memorable experience.
Home team: Valencia CF
More information: en.valenciacf.com
How to get there: Most people choose to walk from Valencia’s historic center – it takes just 30 minutes on foot.
Türk Telekom Arena (Istanbul, Turkey)
Football mad fans in Istanbul are not limited when it comes to epic stadiums. Though the legendary and intimidating Ali Sami Yen stadium is no longer around, the new Türk Telekom Arena is a modern masterpiece that’s a treat to visit. And with an increased capacity from 22,000 to 52,000, this venue is definitely not short of a good football vibe on big match days.
Home team: Galatasaray SK
More information: www.turktelekomarena.com.tr (in Turkish only)
How to get there: The stadium is on the northern edge of Istanbul, and is best reached by metro. The Seyrantepe stop off line two is a short walk away.
Football fan or not, there’s something quite infectious about taking in a game at one of these legendary football stadiums in Europe. And in many cases, the stadiums alone are worth a visit for their architectural, historic, and symbolic value as well. So if you’re planning a Eurail trip across the continent, don’t forget to check out the famous venues in your destinations.