Dave and I both love football and regularly go to watch our local team, Southampton, play. So we thought we’d take the opportunity to have a look at the largest stadium in Europe and see how it compared to our own humble St Mary’s. We took the train to Sants Estacio and then hopped on the metro to Les Corts, which, according to our map was the closest to Camp Nou. We didn’t need the map for long because the stadium was quickly visible to walk to.
It really was an impressive sight. With a capacity of 98,787 it is the eleventh largest stadium in the world and dwarfs even Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and the new Wembley Stadium.
Although it was free to go inside and have a look around away from the pitch, tours of the stadium cost €17 (a great deal more than the £6 we had paid to tour St Mary’s a few years ago). I was content to stop for a drink in the cafe and let Dave take the tour. The tour itself was unguided, a kind of follow the arrows affair, so no chance to see the cells or the hospitality suites. Having said that, the facilities are second to none, with a museum, trophy room and chapel.
Personally I found the prices in the cafe a bit high and the staff quite off hand and unfriendly. I suppose with a club as big as Barcelona the personal touch is a bit much to expect.
Because it is the craziest football game of the year- the two biggest rivals in BA square off for bragging rights- every fan is angry and intense- afterwards is always a good party with whichever team wins!
Even for non-football fans, a trip to one or other of Lisbon’s two sporting cathedrals is a must. The Estadio da Luz is a legendary arena that has hosted great Benfica teams through the years and was once lit up by a youthful George Best. The Estadio Alvalade is altogether different. Built for the Euro 2004 tournament and home to Sporting Club de Portugal (aka Sporting Lisbon), it is a colourful modern, art-deco delight. However the venues have plenty in common - above all a passionate, warm atmosphere that draws you in. Buy your scarf outside and enter for a slice of Lisbon life.
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at the stadia, at kiosks outside, or in advance at the ABEP kiosk on Praca Restauradores.
Getting there: For the Estadio da Luz, take the metro to either Alto dos Moinhos or Colegio Militar/Luz; for the Estadio Alvalade, take the metro to Campo Grande.
Website: www.portugoal.net has fixtures and other information.
For the key games it is better to book in advance as Barcelona v Real Madrid or v Espanol can get sold out. For other games you can usually buy on the day. The Barcelona v Madrid game though is too popular and buying through a website is worth doing if you are desperate to see the game.
Edgar Street, home of Hereford United, is a great day out. OK, so it's certainly not Old Trafford or the Emirates, but it shows true history as the team has grown and excelled in recent years as well as being the location of their famous FA Cup giant-killing of Newcastle United in 1972.
A day out watching Hereford United is great fun for the whole family and certainly doesn't cost as much as Premiership teams.
Edgar Street, Hereford
In Italy, the blackmarket football merchandise is the more frequently available - even outside stadiums! The handiest store is at Piazza Colonna on the left as you walk north on Via del Corso. It is also a ticket office for games in the Stadio Olimpico but make sure to bring your passport for ID.
Google Map: tinyurl.com/5dvzf8
As the security restrictions have made it almost impossible to buy tickets online in advance of your trip to Milan - try this! You can purchase the tickets through Tonino who meets you in person at the no.67 ticket office on the north of the stadium. The service charge is around ten euro per ticket but in fairness it's better than getting one from a tout as the tickets are legitimately purchased through the club with your name on them. Made my recent trip over for the Milan derby possible.
A museum of everything red! See stuff from the start of Liverpool Football Club's history, funny old kit, a HUGE trophy room, a model of the first ground and pictures of the original Kop. See the Shankly Gates and be photographed by his statue, respect the Hillsborough memorial and see the ground (the tour guides are great). The ground won't be there much longer. Sit where Owen sat or kneel by Gerrard's seat in the changing rooms. Respect!
A true Red doesn't need to ask! Get a taxi or walk (about 40 minutess) from the city centre. Alternately, shout out "Anfield" and God will part the clouds and point to it for you!
Belgrade has everything to offer on a night out, from hardcore clubbing to intimate bars to chill out and relax in.
The Club of World Travellers is the coolest little place I've ever been. A 'secret' bar, it took us a while to find but it was worth it. Extensive cocktail list, good prices and weird decor all make it a place worth visiting.
For those into their history, how can anyone look past Tito's grave and museum? A definite must and, if you're into football as well, a mere 5-10 minute walk from both Red Star and Partisan Belgrade's ground (and the kindly staff even let you have a look around).
In summer 2006, 10 of us took a villa in the tiny village of Vizinada in the central hills of Croatia's Istrian peninsula. This is a beautiful spot looking across to the medieval hill town of Motovun and within easy travelling distance of great coastal locations such as Venetian-styled Rovinj to the south.
We went there principally however to watch the World Cup amongst another passionate footballing people and the local Croatians did not disappoint. What made the holiday memorable however was the wonderful warmth and hospitality extended to us everywhere we went, not least when watching games in the tiny local bar on a beat-up TV in an alien language, and where £16 stood a round for most of the village on a packed Saturday night.
Were I not already committed to a holiday in Turkey next June I'd be looking to return to Vizinada or somewhere nearby to watch Euro 2008. I know I could expect great value and genuine friendliness along with the excitement of following a team with a real chance of victory. Since it was Croatia who sent England packing last month it might also soften the blow more than a little were Croatia to pull it off.
Brazil Expedition is a team that provides guidance and vehicles for many different sorts of tours.
They drive you to Tijuca Forest, a completely reforested area of Rio. There you will get to see all kinds of vegetation, some wildlife, and a waterfall. You can also make a light hike up to the top of Pedra Bonita, one of Rio’s nicest views. There you will enjoy a view of Rio few people have had the privilege to see, and watch the hanggliders and paragliders jumping off the ramp. And last but not least, the Brazil Expedition staff take you to great soccer games in Maracana, the bigger soccer stadium in the world.
They are very professional and language skilled.
Expats and tourists have the opportunity to play football for a team in Latvia's top amateur league!
It is possible to play against or for league team Riga United.
If you are planning to move to Latvia to live and work, then you can join a Riga United training session and, who knows, you might be turning out for the red and white of United!
Alternatively, if you are interested in playing Riga United FC while on your holiday, then you just need to contact the club through their sponsor's website.
Even if you're not a United fan, Old Trafford is still a great place for a day out. I strongly recommend The Tour of Old Trafford. You will discover the trophies, dressing room, tunnel and pitchside- to mention just a few!!
Or - if you are a Red's fan, you can of course be right in the action by booking tickets to a match!
For a fun day out- VISIT OLD TRAFFORD!!!
If you like colour, passion, noise and friendly people try to get a ticket for a game at the Millerntor.
Age, race, sex and fashion sense matters not one bit. There are families, skinheads, anarchists, hippies, punks and office workers all there having an enjoyable time, win, lose or draw.
The vast quantities of beer consumed in the local bars pre-game only serves to make people more amicable. This is not a club to come to if you think going to a football match is all about you displaying your macho aggression.
A ticket for the terrace costs about 12 euros. As the Reeperbahn is just round the corner, why not pull yourself away from the strip clubs for a couple of hours, and let St Pauli fans show you a good time.
Millerntor Stadion, Budapester Str, U-Bahn stop St Pauli (line U3).
In Paris with two boys, one our cheerful seven-year-old, the other our stroppy 15-year-old "Little Englander" who was determined to be unimpressed by anything French (it was just a phase - he is now studying international relations at Bradford University's Department of Peace Studies). The Eiffel Tower was "OK", the Pompidou Centre was "torture". Paris in the company of a teenage grump was turning out to have been the trip from hell when we saw the posters for tours of Le Stade de France. Ok, about the last place I would choose out of all the many places and sights in Paris which I may never see, but hey, this was supposed to be a treat for all of us.
We found our way to Le Stade in an uninspiring suburb. It was a comprehensive tour, taking in changing rooms, stands, pitch and presidential box and loads more. It felt like we got to look in every storeroom.
Most of it bored me silly but it was worth every minute to see the transformation in the boy. He was so appreciative that his uplifted mood lasted for the rest of the trip. That afternoon, he sat patiently watching his little brother playing for two hours and more in the childrens' playground in the Luxembourg Gardens. Later on we wandered round the local streets and found a great pizza restaurant. And so home to hotel, all of us content and well fed. It was a special day.
If Slavia are Liverpool and Sparta are Everton, Viktoria are Tranmere Rovers. This 2nd division football side play in the Prague 3 district of Žižkov. Games kick off on a Sunday morning and are friendly, intimate affairs with beer and sausages on sale at 10am.
Allegedly with the highest number of pubs per capita of any city district in Europe, Žižkov is a working-class area of Prague, a world away from the gaudy delights of Wenceslas Square. It is home to the television tower visible from all over the city, and can be reached by Metro to Florenc (line B & C) or by tram to Husinecká.
Metro to Florenc (line B & C) or by tram to Husinecká.
Watching a football match here is an utterly brilliant thing to do on an evening in Barcelona. Best to get tickets in advance from the ticket office though be careful when you buy them, as ours were not seated next to each other.
We sat together anyway, like everyone else in the stand but there was a lot of confusion as to what to do. So make sure when you get your tickets that the seats are next to each other. Otherwise it was a top night.
Avinguda Aristides Maillol www.fcbarcelona.com
Nearest Metro: Collblanc - it is about a ten minute walk from the station.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com