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Many football fans dream of watching their favourite team under the lights, and what better way to do it than by packing your shirt, and jetting off to a fantastic destination abroad. With the UEFA Champions League in full swing, now is the perfect time to explore an exciting European city whilst supporting your favourite team.
Here at Asda Money, we’ve taken a look at the destinations where some of the best Premier League teams will be visiting for the next round of the Champions League. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets, we’ve also found a range of other fantastic attractions and activities that you can enjoy whilst you’re there.
If you’re a Liverpool fan, a trip to Porto is a must this February. As the second largest city in Portugal, there’s so much to see and do on a visit - when you’re not watching football that is! On the 14th February, LFC will be jetting off to Porto for the first leg of the tie, and it’s not a game to be missed.
Held at the Estádio do Dragão, which holds 50,000 spectators, the match is bound to be action-packed, with the second leg being held at Liverpool’s stadium, Anfield, on the 6th March. When you’re not watching the game, you can get out and about to explore the fascinating and vibrant city of Porto. From colourful houses and narrow, cobbled streets, to fantastic tourist attractions and a lively nightlife, there’s something for everyone here. If you’re into history, your first trip should be to Clérigos Church and Tower. At more than 75 meters high, the tower can be seen from pretty much anywhere in the city. Completed in 1763, there’s a brilliant museum where you can learn all about it’s interesting history and past.
With it being half term in many places around the UK, you could even take the little ones with you on your trip to watch the game, as there are plenty of family-friendly attractions in Porto to keep them occupied. A great place to visit is Sea Life, where you can learn all about a range of fish, including sharks, sea turtles, jellyfish and so much more. You can save money by booking online too, where you can get tickets for just €7.95 (£6.98)* for children and €10.95 (£9.62) for adults.
Flights from Manchester Airport cost as little as £45.00 each way on days surrounding the match, with a three-star city centre hotel costing from £60.00 per night.
Barcelona is a fantastic city to visit at any time of year, but for some, it’s even better during football season. Home to the largest football stadium in Europe, Camp Nou, which holds nearly 100,000 people, the atmosphere in this vibrant city is incredible when Barcelona are playing at home. If you’re a Chelsea fan then you’re in luck, as you can head to Barcelona to watch your team on the 14th March, for the second leg of round 16 this season.
The stadium itself is an amazing attraction in Barcelona, so before the match, why not try the full Camp Nou Experience, which consists of a stadium tour and a visit to the museum. For just €25.00 (£21.89), you’ll get to experience what it’s like being Messi, Suarez or any other Barcelona player, as you enter the field from the tunnel. You’ll also learn all about the stadium’s history on the tour, as well as getting a chance to admire the many cups and trophies FC Barcelona have won over the years.
An incredible piece of architecture in Barcelona is The Sagrada Familia, the largest unfurnished Roman Catholic church in the world. From spiral staircases and beautiful stained-glass windows, to wonderful chapels and gothic architecture, both the interior and exterior of the church are incredible. For just €15.00 (£13.06), you’ll get the chance to explore this incredible church. Or, for an extra €14.00 (£12.19), you’ll receive added audio commentary, as well as being able to take a trip to the top of one of the towers, providing you with spectacular views over Barcelona.
Flights in March cost as little as £18.00 each way from London Airports, with a three-star hotel close to the stadium costing from about €57.42 (£50.00) per night. Before you visit Barcelona, you can watch the first leg at Chelsea’s home ground, Stamford Bridge, on the 20th February.
On the 21st February, Sevilla FC take on Manchester United at their home ground, The Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, for the first leg of the tie. Holding nearly 50,000 spectators, the atmosphere in Seville is bound to be electric on the day, and there’s so much more to see once the match has finished too.
Known for flamenco, tapas and orange trees, Seville is the perfect destination for a short city break. Not far from the football stadium is the Alcázar of Seville, an outstanding royal palace originally developed by Moorish Muslim Kings. Renowned for being one of the most beautiful places in Spain, it has transformed drastically since its time as a Roman fort. The most popular part of the palace is the Patio de las Doncellas, the main courtyard, that offers access to many halls that are worth exploring.
If you’re spending a couple of days in Seville and you want to get the most out of your holiday, you can buy a hop-on-hop-off bus tour ticket. From £18.75, you’ll get to see plenty of Seville’s spectacular sights, from enchanting gardens to historic monuments. If you’re feeling active, there are many walking tours available too, including the Fine Arts Museum Tour and the Santa Cruz Quarter Tour.
You can get a flight the day before the match for just £68.00 each way from Manchester Airport, and hotels are cheap in February too. You can stay in a fantastic three-star hotel close to the city centre for around €57.42 (£50.00) per night. When you return from the action in Seville, don’t miss the second leg of the match at Man United’s Ground, Old Trafford, on the 13th March.
On the 13th February, FC Basel will be welcoming Manchester City to St. Jakob-Park. With nearly 39,000 seats, it’s the largest football venue in Switzerland, so if you’re a Man City fan you won’t be left disappointed on a visit to the stadium. The second leg will be held on the 7th March at Man City’s ground, the Etihad Stadium, so this game in Basel is bound to be a fast and competitive match.
Even if you’re not a football fan, Basel is well worth a visit. Packed with over 40 museums, botanical gardens, charming countryside and a buzzing city centre, there’s something for everyone here. A great place to visit is Basel Zoo, which is home to a variety of incredible animals, including lions, gorillas, giraffes and so much more.
For something a little different, head to the Music Museum, where you can immerse yourself in the musical history of Basel, from the 16th century to today. Spread over three floors, you’ll see over 650 instruments, as well as a range of interesting exhibitions.
Flights before the match cost from £57.00 each way from Manchester Airport, with a three-star hotel costing around €114.84 (£100) per night.
If you’re heading to Europe to support your favourite football team in the Champions League this season, there’s a lot to prepare beforehand. Football stadiums are always extremely busy, so you need to make sure you’ve got comprehensive travel insurance covering you for loss of belongings and theft, just in case the worst does happen. Asda Money have a wide range of cover types available, including Value, Premium and Superior. Also, don’t forget to take out enough travel money before you go, so you can buy yourself a pint and a hotdog at the match!
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