Football Features

Revealed: Squawka ranks Europe’s best football away days, breaks and city destinations

By Chris Smith

Published: 11:37, 22 August 2022

Considering an away day? Perhaps a tasty Champions League group clash or a trip to Galatasaray’s Nef Stadyumu to soak up some intense support?

Wherever you go, football abroad not only offers spectacular stadiums and sensational atmospheres, but there are also foreign delicacies, breathtaking scenery, and local history to enjoy, too. But, where’s best to travel this season?

Here, you’ll find our take on the world of football tourism, including all-important information on everything from cheap flights to matchday tickets and attractions. Let’s see which city finishes top of the table.

Top five cheapest cities

If you’re after an affordable away day, Barcelona and Copenhagen offer some of the best bang for your buck. Average flight prices typically sit between £100 – £115, and you could pay as little as £13 for a game in F.C. Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium.

But the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, takes the low-cost top spot. Sampling local cuisine costs £28 per head on average, while matchday tickets at Sporting CP’s José Alvalade Stadium start from £17. Not bad.

Elsewhere, Eindhoven and Munich also offer reasonable away days. Football tickets start from £20 at the Philips Stadion and just £13 at Bayern’s unforgettable Allianz Arena. 

Squawka's Cheapest Football Tourist Destination

Where are you likely to see the most goals? 

Leaky defences and potent attacks make games exciting. But where are you most likely to see a goal fest? Well, our research shows it’s in the Bundesliga and Eredivisie. At Dortmund’s formidable Signal Iduna Park, we saw an average of 4.7 goals per game last season and a 76.5% chance of a home win. That’s plenty to get the Yellow Wall bouncing. 

Leipzig and Bayern Munich are also likely to entertain, with a return of 3.8 and 3.7 goals, respectively. Elsewhere, an average of 4.2 goals is expected at PSV and 4.1 at Ajax, suggesting you may be in for high-scoring games in Eindhoven and Amsterdam. 

Interestingly, although the UK is home to a raft of top teams, it’s only the blue and red of Manchester that feature in the high-scoring charts with an expected return of 3.3 goals per game. The Old Trafford faithful witnessed 54 goals during the previous campaign, while fans at the Etihad Stadium were treated to a whopping 73 goals (roughly 3.8 per game). 

Squawka's Best Tourist Destinations For High Scoring Games

Our top ten best tourist cities 

An away day is a chance to get stuck into a city’s history, cuisine, and culture. But which city offers the best package? We explored TripAdvisor attractions and hotel hotspots to find our champion.

Istanbul takes the crown as our best tourist city. Home to over 15 million residents, the bustling Turkish capital has many TripAdvisor gems (such as the Unesco World Heritage site Hagia Sophia Mosque), thousands of affordable hotels, and the least rainfall of any European city. 

Of course, you may be a little pressed for time as a tourist in this city, with Istanbul home to three huge clubs: Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas. Incidentally, their stadiums witnessed an average of 2.8, 2.6 and 2.9 goals per game respectively during the 2021/22 Super Lig season but whichever you pick, you can expect to find some of the most intense atmosphere in world football.

“The spiciest atmosphere I’ve ever played in was Fenerbahçe [and] Galatasaray,” legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said in 2013, adding in a later interview: “In Istanbul, there was such commotion for the first 15-20 minutes that I had trouble concentrating.”

And according to former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: “It’s unique to Turkey, the incredible fanaticism. At Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, the fans were in the stadium at 12 o’clock. It’s amazing, but it shows the devotion they have for their football clubs.”

Barcelona clinches second place. The Catalonian capital is a sight to behold, featuring 4,000+ TripAdvisor attractions, such as Park Güell and the unforgettable Sagrada Familia. Likewise, Madrid — which takes third place — has a similarly dry climate and has many beautiful buildings, with a series of medieval mansions, royal palaces, and contemporary architecture lining the streets. There’s also a wide choice of accommodation near the centre, putting you in the heart of the action. 

Again, you’re spoiled for choice in these two cities, with Madrid housing La Liga giants Real and Atletico, while the Camp Nou is a must-see in Barcelona — not forgetting their city rivals, Espanyol, too.

But it’s London that clinches the title for top TripAdvisor attractions. Unsurprisingly, it’s also the rainiest city on our list, recording 1,220mm of yearly rainfall. We don’t need to tell you about the rich football culture here.

Squawka's Top Football Tourist Destinations

Post-match thoughts

If affordability is the name of the game, taking a trip to Copenhagen is an excellent shout. Madrid, Barcelona, and Istanbul offer a great tourist experience with distinct cultures, delicious food, and highly competitive football. Fancy staying closer to home? Watching the Premier League in the English capital rarely disappoints. Wherever you end up, an away day abroad is an absolute winner.

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