If you are a massive sports fan and also have a passion for travel, how about combining the two on your next vacation? If you have already exhausted much of your list of places to visit, then sometimes bringing a theme to your travels can help to freshen things up a bit. If you are a follower of a sports team, the chances are that you have already visited their home stadium more than once. So, why not indulge your love of sports a little further and pay a visit to some of the world’s top destinations for sports fans?
There is something so special about watching a game at a famous sports ground, and taking a tour of an iconic sporting venue is an exciting experience for any sports fan. Perhaps you have followed the team for years and watched their games on the TV. When you visit in person, it can feel like a magical experience, and is a perfect opportunity to try something new on your travels or even to fulfill an item on your bucket list.
Many of the towns and cities that are home to the best sporting stadiums and grounds are fascinating places to visit in their own right. Many countries have their most impressive sports venues located in their capital cities. Their central location allows you to explore the cultural hub of the country without traveling too far. This enables you to add a sporting flavor to your travels and visit some spectacular destinations along the way.
Preparing to Travel to a Sports Ground
Most stadiums and grounds offer you the chance to take a guided tour of the stadium, and usually, there are stores where you can pick up a piece of sporting memorabilia as a memento of your visit.
When planning to visit a sporting ground, it is best to decide before you set off on your travels whether or not you want to watch a game while you are there. Checking out the times of the games is vital as if you turn up expecting a tour on a match day, that is unlikely to be possible. Many large sporting venues sell out of game day tickets way in advance, so planning your trip early and buying your tickets early is a wise idea.
Another useful bit of preparation is to be aware of any rivalries between different teams. You certainly don’t want to accidentally wander around in a rival team’s football shirt on the wrong side of town, or you could find yourself in trouble. It is also important to remember to be respectful when traveling to another team’s home ground. When you see some of the craziest things fans done in some places, you will understand why!
If a visit to a travel destination for sports fans sounds like your idea of a dream vacation, why not start planning your trip right away? If you need some inspiration for your next vacation, how about traveling to one of these locations:
Wembley Stadium, London, United Kingdom
The UK is home to many great sporting venues, but perhaps, one of the best known is Wembley Stadium. This iconic stadium is the home ground of the England football team, and hosts many major sporting events throughout the year. Regular NFL games are also played at Wembley Stadium. Aside from sporting events, Wembley is the venue of choice for music concerts and entertainment, with some of the world’s greatest artists taking to the stage. More than two million visitors head to Wembley Stadium each year, so why not join them and see this major sporting attraction for yourself? Wembley has some excellent facilities for you to enjoy during your visit and hosts a Wembley Tour, where you can even visit the Royal Box and see where members of the Royal Family sit when visiting the stadium.
While you are in London, you may also want to stop by the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, built for the London 2012 Olympic Games. At the Olympic Park, you will find fantastic sporting facilities. If you are an adrenalin addict, then a ride on the ArcelorMittal Orbit is a must. This exciting attraction is the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide and stands at an incredible 178m in height. As you climb to the top, you will be treated to spectacular views of the city.
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Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a travel hot-spot that draws in crowds thanks to its beautiful architecture and rich culture. Aside from aesthetic beauty, another thing that Barcelona is famous for is its football. The Spanish football league, La Liga, is a serious business for Spaniards, and they are incredibly passionate about the sport and their team. You can share their love for the beautiful game with a visit to the Camp Nou stadium. Camp Nou boasts a huge 100,000 seat capacity, which makes it the largest football stadium in Europe and one of the biggest in the world. During your visit to the stadium, you can also take a guided tour of Camp Nou and learn more about the club’s history at the FC Barcelona Museum that features their impressive display of trophies.
Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho is better known as the Maracanã, opened in 1950 and hosted the opening match of that year’s football World Cup. Soccer is the most popular sport in Brazil and the birthplace of many of the games’ most famous players. As well as hosting the 1950 World Cup, the Maracanã was also home to the 2014 World Cup, and the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games.
A visit to this impressive stadium is well worth it if you are in Rio. Tours of the stadium are available to pre-book so you can plan your visit in advance.
Panathenaic Stadium, Athens, Greece
If you want to combine sport, history, and culture; a visit to the birthplace of the Olympic Games is a must. Athens, Greece will take your breath away, especially when you consider that the Olympic Games first began around 2,700 years ago. It is hard to believe that almost 3,000 years later, the Olympic Games are considered one of the largest events in the worldwide sporting calendar. The Panathenaic Stadium is sure to fascinate any sports fan and will certainly spark your interest in sporting history.
Madison Square Garden, New York City, United States of America
Madison Square Garden is the place to visit for anyone with even a passing interest in sport or pop culture. This iconic indoor arena is located in Manhattan and is famously home to the New York Knicks and Rangers. Watching a game at Madison Square Garden is an event that you will never forget, so if you can get tickets for a game, then it is well worth it. If you are unable to get your hands on some tickets, you don’t need to miss out as you will still be able to take a tour of Madison Square Garden and learn more about the arena’s exciting history. As part of the guided tour, you will be able to see incredible exhibits that showcase the long, rich history of Madison Square Garden. During your tour, you will learn about the big names in show business that have created iconic moments here, as well as unforgettable sporting moments.
Wrigley Field, Chicago, United States of America
Another must-visit travel location for sports fans is Chicago. Chicago has a rich sporting heritage, so there is plenty here for sports enthusiasts to discover. One of Chicago’s best-known sporting venues is Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field is the home of the Chicago Cubs, and perfect for anyone hoping to enjoy a traditional baseball game.
If basketball is more your thing, then a visit to Chicago won’t be complete without seeing Michael Jordan’s former team, the Chicago Bulls in action. To get the most from your sporting vacation, why not add a visit to the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team and to see the NFL’s Chicago Bears in action?
Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco
If you are a fan of Formula One racing, then visiting Monaco is a must. The glamorous area of Monte Carlo is a playground for the rich and famous. Monte Carlo is also the venue for one of the world’s best-known race circuits. You may have seen Monte Carlo’s famous streets on television as they make up the Circuit de Monaco. If you time your visit right, you could join the crowds and watch the Formula One stars in action as they race around the roads in Monaco. Once you have taken in the spectacular sight of a race, why not head over to Monte Carlo’s Motoring Museum to find out more about the rich history of this exciting sport?
As you can see, there is an incredible array of travel destinations that are perfect for sports fans. Which one will you visit first?