Hungry for a football trip with a group of friends, but not sure which big city and team you should see? Here is the guide to the best cities in Europe when you want to combine a city break with exciting football matches.
Choice of good football cities
Of course, it’s not wrong to take a city break and football trip to cities like Munich, Paris, or Amsterdam, but the selection of top clubs is smaller. The destinations we have chosen to focus on are cities where you can potentially get several matches on one and the same trip.
There are also other criteria we have used as a basis for the selection. The cities must be relatively easy and affordable to get to, and preferably by direct flight. There must be plenty of sights there, outside of football arenas, and not least, the cities must have a good nightlife, and a good selection of restaurants.
Football trip to London
London is probably the best football city in the world, simply because of the number of clubs and stadiums that are in the top division. For us Norwegians, there are also some extra benefits to London. We can fly directly there from several places in Norway, the flight time is short, the flights are frequent, the tickets are usually affordable, and most of us have no problems coping linguistically in England.
As one of the world’s most popular destinations, London offers just about everything a tourist could wish for. It is easy to find hotels in all price ranges, even for those who want to stay centrally. Shopping is top of the world, and the same goes for the selection of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and not least sights.
Clubs in the Premier League per 2019:
- Arsenal– Arsenal were the first professional club in London, and also the first to win the league in 1931. The team plays at the Emirates Stadium, an arena with a capacity of 60,000 spectators.
- Chelsea– Chelsea have claimed the lead in the Premier League for the past two decades, winning as late as the 2016-17 season. The team plays at Stamford Bridge, which is east of the city center and on the outskirts of the borough of the same name.
- Tottenham– Spurs are usually among the best clubs in England. The team played in the final of the Champions League in 2019, but lost to Liverpool. Spurs inaugurated its new stadium in April 2019. It is located north of London and has a capacity of 62,000 spectators.
- West Ham United– This team originates from Stratford, east London, and is one of the oldest football clubs in England. West Ham’s home ground is London Stadium, an arena built in connection with the 2012 Summer Olympics. The capacity for football matches is 60,000 spectators.
- Crystal Palace– Crystal Palace is one of the regulars in the English top league, but they have never been better than a third place (1990-91). The team plays at Selhurst Park Stadium, which is located quite far south of downtown. The capacity is 25,400 spectators.
Among the clubs in London that most football fans know, and which normally play in the top divisions, we find Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Wimbledon and Millwall.
Football trip to Manchester and Liverpool
Both Manchester and Liverpool are great cities to go on a football trip to, and they are so close to each other that you can visit both on the same trip. The distance between the city centers is not more than about 5 miles. By car, the trip takes about 40 minutes, while the train takes about 1 hour.
Most people take direct flights to Manchester Airport when they go to one of these two cities. Liverpool does have its own international airport, but this airport serves far fewer current flights than Manchester Airport. U tel life, shopping opportunities and sights are not so bad in both Liverpool and Manchester, and both cities are worth the visit even for those who are not interested in football.
Clubs in the Premier League per 2019:
- Liverpool– Liverpool, along with Manchester United, are among the most successful football clubs in the world. The team won the Champions League in 2019, and has been league champions 18 times. The home ground is Anfield which is located a little northwest of the center, where the capacity is 54,000 spectators.
- Everton– Everton is one of England’s oldest football clubs, founded in 1878. The team has won the top league in England 9 times, but the last title is as far back as 1953-54. The home ground is Goodison Park which is just 800 meters north of Anfield. The capacity of Goodison is 39,000 spectators.
- Manchester United– Manchester United is considered the club in the world that currently earns the most, and the club has won the top series 20 times. Together with Liverpool, this is the English club that has the most supporters in Norway. The team plays at Old Trafford, which has a capacity of 75,000 spectators.
- Manchester City– Manchester City was founded in 1880, and has won the top series 6 times, most recently in 2018-19. The team has performed particularly well in recent years, after the sugar-rich Abu Dhabi United Group bought the club in 2008. The home ground is the City of Manchester Stadium (Etihad Stadium) with a capacity of 55,000 spectators.
Football trip to Barcelona
Barcelona is by far one of Europe’s best cities when it comes to nightlife, food traditions, shopping and sights. It is also one of the most popular among Norwegians to go on a city break to. There are daily direct flights from Oslo to El Prat, the airport in the city, and the prices of airline tickets are usually not a deterrent.
The pleasant Mediterranean climate that the city enjoys makes Barcelona a popular destination all year round. Here it is nice to combine a city break with football matches, and maybe beach and swimming life in the same sling.
Clubs in La Liga for 2019:
- Barcelona FC– Barcelona has won La Liga, the top league in Spain, 26 times per 2019, and the national cup (Copa del Rey) 30 times. This is undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest football clubs, and virtually no one has had as many big players as Barcelona. The home matches are played at the legendary Camp Nou, where the capacity is 99,000 spectators.
- RCD Espanyol– Espanyol is the little brother in Barcelona, and has never won the top series, even though they are more or less a fixture in it. Espanyol, on the other hand, have won the Copa del Rey four times, most recently in 2006. The home games are played at the RCDE Stadium, also known as the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat. The capacity there are 40,000 spectators.