Life is all about creating new experiences and making best of use of your short years on this planet. One should make the most of what they can, and if you are a football fan this includes visiting as many football grounds as possible. Whether it be a trip abroad or a standard away day, it should be an experience that you will remember for a long time. Obviously there are barriers in all of our lives to prevent us from achieving some things but you should at least try your best. Below I have composed a list of what I believe are some of the best football stadiums to visit in Europe.
Allianz Arena – Munich, Germany
Year Opened: 2005
Tenants: F.C. Bayern Munich, 1860 München, and the German National Team
One of world football’s great stadiums, was originally built for the 2006 World Cup held in Germany. It replaced Bayern’s legendary Olympic Stadium as the home of German football. When the stars of Bayern take to the field on a Saturday afternoon there are few better places to be!
San Mames Stadium, Bilbao, Spain
Year Opened: 2013
Tenants: Athletic Bilbao
Having replaced the “Old” San Mames in 2013, this stadium may not quite boast the same history as its predecessor but it makes up for in its sheer class and modern design. Bilbao are known for being one of Spain’s biggest and most historic clubs and this stadium is well suited to the Basque side. It has been selected as a venue for Euro 2020 and was also named Sports Building of the Year in the World Architecture Festival held in Singapore in 2015.
Estádio Municipal de Braga — Braga, Portugal
Year Opened: 2003
Tenants: S.C. Braga
This stadium has fascinated me ever since it first opened ahead of Euro 2004. Known as “The Quarry,” due to literally being carved out the side of an old quarry, the stadium is one of the most unique in the world. It is home to Portuguese side S.C. Braga and a stadium certainly worth a visit.
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza – Milan, Italy
Year Opened: 1926
Tenants: Milan, Internazionale
One of the most iconic stadiums in world football, the San Siro is home to two of the game’s most successful sides. The stadium was renovated for the 1990 World Cup finals held in Italy. Even though both Milan and Inter have declined in recent years, the Derby della Madonnina is still an almighty battle and certainly a fixture worth attending.
Stade Louis II – Monaco
Year Opened: 1985
Tenants: AS Monaco
The smallest stadium on our list but by no means less beautiful. The Stade Louis II is noted for its iconic nine arches and has hosted numerous athletic events and European Cup finals. Every August from 1998 – 2012 it hosted each instance of the annual UEFA Super Cup. Based on the Mediterranean coast, the location and beautiful architecture make it worth a visit.
Amsterdam ArenA – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Year Opened: 1996
Tenants: AFC Ajax and Dutch National Team
Home to Dutch side Ajax, the 53,000 seater Amsterdam ArenA is a beautiful stadium. Not that this comes as any real surprise given that Ajax are known for their eye catching style of play and equally as attractive kit.
Camp Nou – Barcelona, Spain
Year Opened: 1957
Tenants: FC Barcelona
This stadium needs no introduction. The biggest stadium in Europe and possibly the greatest football venue in the world and home to one of the game’s most glamorous sides, Camp Nou has got it all. The stadium has been home to some of the greatest ever players from Cryuff to Ronaldo, Ronaldinho to Messi, the history of this play is immense. The stadium tours on offer are epic but nothing can quite compete with matchday itself.
Santiago Bernabeu – Madrid, Spain
Year Opened: 1947
Tenants: Real Madrid
Another amazing Spanish stadium is Real Madrid’s Bernabeu. Despite being smaller than the Camp Nou, it’s 85,000 capacity is larger than most other stadiums. Goals are guaranteed when you go to the Bernabéu and just as Barcelona have Messi as their star attraction, the opportunity to see Cristiano Ronaldo in the flesh is reason enough to give it a visit.
Signal Iduna Park – Dortmund, Germany
Year Opened: 1974
Tenants: Borussia Dortmund
Famous for the fans within it, Dortmund’s home ground may not be as colourful as rivals Bayern’s stadium but the atmosphere the fans create is second to none. Their ‘yellow wall’ of fans is famous for the array of images they have created and the noise they make. With a maximum capacity of 80,000, you can imagine how loud it must be!
Stade Velodrome – Marseille, France
Year Opened: 1937
Tenants: Olympique de Marseille
Marseille supporters have cultivated a reputation for being amongst the nosiest and most passionate in France, and their Stade Velodrome home bears testament to that. L’OM aren’t always the most successful French team on the pitch, and indeed they are often the subject of controversy, but you can never doubt that their fans will always be around to make some noise. The stadium was recently renovated for the upcoming Euro 2016 finals to be held in France.
Mestalla – Valencia, Spain
Year Opened: 1923
Tenants: Valencia CF
The steep terracing of Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium makes the 55,000-capacity venue a stunning stadium to look at, and a brilliant one to watch a football match at too. A part of the Valencia skyline since 1923, there have been several attempts to take Los Che away from their famous old ground in the past, but the Mestalla remains standing.
By Peter Muldoon on 09/02/2016