It’s been a difficult three months. With no live football, there was practically nothing to look forward to over the weekends. That is about to change with the world’s most popular league making it’s return next week. This made us reminisce the times we visited some of the most iconic football stadiums in England & mainland Europe.
1. Old Trafford, Manchester
Capacity : 75000; Team : Manchester United
The Theater of Dreams. This iconic football stadium is home to some of the most memorable moments in the Premier League. We visited this stadium on a cold February afternoon in 2017 but the atmosphere before and during the match was just electric. The stadium is definitely not the most modern stadiums we have been to but the passionate support of the world’s most popular football team makes up for it. The museum is a must visit for any United fan which houses the trophy cabinet that fans of other clubs can only envy.
2. Anfield, Liverpool
Capacity : 54,000 ; Team : Liverpool FC
“It’s there to remind our lads who they’re playing for, and to remind the opposition who they’re playing against” – Bill Shankly said about the famous This is Anfield sign. While we did not watch a match, we visited (or rather passed by) this iconic stadium last year. Anfield is a mecca for passionate Liverpool supporters who have witnessed some magical nights and also has some of the best football atmosphere you could ever witness.
3. Stamford Bridge, London
Capacity : 42,000 ; Team : Chelsea FC
The posh West London area is home to not only the Beatles (Liverpool fans may argue) & Rolling Stones, but also to one of the most supported clubs in England. We went to Stamford Bridge in 2018 and to be honest were very surprised that one of the most powerful clubs in the world has such a small stadium. Walking through “The Shed Wall” brought back memories of some of the great moments this stadium has witnessed.
4. The Emirates Stadium, London
Capacity : 60,000 ; Team : Arsenal FC
In 2006, Arsenal FC decided to move from the cosy setup that Highbury offered to move to a modern spectacle that is the Emirates. We visited the stadium on a summer evening in 2018 and were really impressed by how imposing the stadium was. The facilities inside the stadium are top notch and is something “The Gunners” are really proud of. Tickets can get quite expensive for a match but it is easy to get tickets to the stadium tour on the official website of the club.
5. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
Capacity : 62,000, Team : Tottenham Hotspur FC
The newest stadium of the lot and an architect’s dream! As impressive as the Emirates is, it comes nowhere as close to Spurs’ new hunting ground. This is one of the most expensive stadiums ever built and it shows! We passed by this stadium and took a snap, while on a trip to London in 2018 and would love to go watch a match involving the “Lilywhites”
6. Selhust Park, London
Capacity : 25,000 ; Team : Crystal Palace
The smallest stadium in this list. We visited this stadium with a co-worker who is a passionate Palace fan. It is conveniently located in South London and can be easily accessed via the tube. Due to the size of the stadium and a faithful fanbase it can be very tricky to get a ticket to a match. We didn’t go for the stadium tour but did get a glimpse of the stadium from outside.
7. Goodison Park, Liverpool
Capacity : 40,000 ; Team : Everton
Liverpool is divided into 2 parts – the red & the blue half. “The Toffees” are not as well known as their famous neighbours globally but can be a handful on their day. We visited this stadium along with Anfield in a trip to Liverpool (in itself a great city to travel to). While not as successful, Everton has a rich history of it’s own.
8. King Power Stadium, Leicester
Capacity : 32,000 ; Team : Leicester City
Ok this was a totally unplanned visit as we happened to be close by. In 2016, Leicester City did something football fans would never forget. The stadium tour does justice to this magical journey Leicester embarked upon when they won the league.
9. The Etihad, Manchester
Capacity : 55,000 ; Team : Manchester City
Like Liverpool, Manchester is home to 2 major football clubs. The Etihad may not have the capacity of Old Trafford (or have the same atmosphere on match days), but it is certainly a very well designed stadium with modern facilities. Manchester isn’t a big city so it’s easy to visit both stadiums in a day. The stadium tour is quite intuitive and uses some great tech to keep you immersed. City have seen recent successes and the tour is a good way to learn more about their history as a club.
10. Wembley, London
Capacity : 90,000 ; Team : England National Team
The largest stadium in the UK. This name is so famous there are songs about it. The old Wembley was reconstructed and we now have one of the world’s most beautiful stadiums. The loop that connects from one side of the stadium to another is an iconic sign that dots the London skyline. There is no way we could have not visited Wembley after being to London so many times. The Wembley stadium tour gives an insight about the history of the FA and the most memorable football moments this famous stadium has seen. The stadium is just as impressive from inside as it is from outside and is definitely one of the go to places in London if you are a football fan.
Non – English Stadiums
11) Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam
Capacity : 55,000 ; Team : Ajax
Home to some of the most beautiful football plays ever seen. This is where Total Football was invented. The Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam is a relatively new stadium and has a great stadium tour where we taken through the golden age of European & domestic success that Ajax had witnessed. This is also the stadium the Dutch National team play their home games in and has seen some historical footballing events.
12) Camp Nou, Barcelona
Capacity : 99,000; Team : FC Barcelona
Barcelona – the city lives and breathes Football. This stadium has seen some of football’s greatest players and has seen successes that other teams can only dream of. We witnessed a match on a wet and cold night in Catalunya in 2016. The passionate support of the fans & the quality of the football made us come back again for a stadium tour which was really good. The fan shop is quite impressive and has many accessories for FC Barcelona fans.
13) Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
Capacity : 82,000 ; Team : BVB Dortmund
Signal Iduna Park is home to arguably the world’s most passionate fans who stick through their team in their thick & thin. We consider ourselves lucky to watch a live match here. The pre-game and match experience was something that we would never forget. The fans (especially the ones is “The Yellow Wall” section sing non stop for 90 minutes and the flags, the scarves and the chants create an atmosphere like no other.
With football back on the tele, this is the first step of things going back to normal. Of course, it won’t be the same without fans cheering their team on or sticking it back to the team when things are not going per plan and yes it will be weird to see empty seats all around, but the return of the premier league will lift spirits of fans across the world (in the case of Liverpool fans, probably (and unfortunately) a bit more!)