Europe is home to some of the most impressive and historied stadia anywhere in the world. While venues in the Middle East or the United States might be larger and technically more impressive, they can’t quite command the sense of prestige that we get from the European giants.
If you’ve got an interest in sport and you’re paying a visit to any of the relevant cities, then a trip to the local football stadium should be considered – even if there isn’t a game on!
Spanish football is dominated by two enormous football clubs: Barcelona, who play their home games at the Camp Nou, and Real Madrid, who kick off at the Santiago Bernabéu. The latter, named after one of the club’s most influential players and presidents, has recently undergone renovations which brought its capacity up to 85,000. The naming rights are expected to be sold in the near future, so if you’re in the capital, now is the best chance to see the stadium before the name change.
Two of the most famous clubs in Italy, AC Milan and Internazionale, are based in the same city, and share the same stadium: the legendary San Siro. This facility is synonymous with Italian Football and has witnessed some of the defining moments in the history not just of the Italian game, but of the sport more generally.
Of course, if you’re in Turin, there’s also the small matter of the Allianz Stadium, where Juventus play. It’s unique among Italian stadia, and is open throughout the year.
The Premier League is among the most popular in the world, with a growing class of elite teams and elite stadia to choose from. Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City: they’ve all got world-class stadia. And that’s before we even consider the smaller stadia that possess a unique charm of their own, like Craven Cottage.
Arguably the most culturally significant stadium in the country, Anfield stands apart from the others. It’s a ground that’s inspired Liverpool fans and players, while intimidating visiting teams, for decades. While it isn’t quite as impressive as many of the others we’ve mentioned here, it’s a cathedral for Liverpool fans. Take your time going around the historical stadium, as there are plenty of stadium tours so you’re able to see the behind-the-scenes and could even treat yourself to a kit during the visit in their shop.
The two largest teams in the Bundesliga are Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, who play their home games respectively in the Signal Iduna Stadium (or Westfalenstadion) and the Allianz Arena. The latter was constructed as part of Germany’s bid for the 2006 World Cup and remains among the most impressive on the continent.