Travel with Sports Events like UEFA Champions League

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We have all been watching the wonderful performances of our sporting heroes in the Commonwealth Games. I was thrilled to see Manika Batra win a gold in Table Tennis, as this was a game I once played. And I remember training at the community center in Panchkula with the dream of winning a medal and Manika just lived my dream. I had tears in my eyes.

With some pride and satisfaction, I started working on my travel blog. My thoughts were still inside the stadium and I wondered why are we not traveling with the sports events? As it happens on the internet, one thing leads to another and I ended up looking at the upcoming sports events. The search got refined to see what is happening in the cities that I would like to visit.

Travel with Sports
Travel with Sports, Image – Shutterstock

So, I landed on the UEFA Champions League page. This popular and prestigious continental club football league has its semi-finals and finals coming up in April and May. Surfing around the UEFA website, my eyes stopped at the destination where the last 5 matches are to be played. I also stumbled upon this the Axis Bank Mastercard UEFA Champions League Offer that would give two winners a free trip to the finals of the Champions League. The idea is more you spend the more are your chances of winning a trip for two to the finals at Kyiv. Others can win autographed merchandise from UEFA.

Now, you can surf and find these destinations or come with me on a virtual dream journey across these 5 cities in 5 different countries.

Liverpool – United Kingdom

Remember when I spoke about 8 English Cities you must explore, Liverpool was one of them. I mentioned how this city of Beatles is a football crazy city. It is home to two football teams Everton FC and Liverpool FC. What makes this city very interesting for me is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City.

Liverpool Beatles - Liverpool
Liverpool Beatles – Liverpool

Now this UNESCO tag has not one but six different locations in the Liverpool city. All of these are somehow related to the maritime history of the city. These are the Pier Head, The Albert Dock, The Stanley Sock Conservation Area, Duke Street Conservation Area, the Castle Street conservation area or the commercial quarter and William Brown Street Conservation Area or the cultural quarter. You guessed it, it is the last area that I would be spending time at – as it promises art galleries and museums.

Besides this, Liverpool is the pop capital of the world, so it must be a good place to introduce yourself to some pop music.

Liverpool is the venue for the first leg of the first semi-final of UEFA Champions League 2018 between Liverpool FC and AS Roma on April 24th.

Munich – Germany

Do you know the city of Munich is named after monks who once ran a monastery here in the area that is now known as old town? Munich is best known for Oktoberfest – but that happens in September-October and we are talking about April-May.

I would like to see the old town that pretty much dominates the skyline of Munich followed by a visit to the residential palace of Munich. And I am told it houses one of the best museums in Europe. I am keeping one morning for a walk around the English Garden. It is fun to compare English gardens around the world. Remember, we have already taken you to English Gardens in Kandy, Singapore, Victoria BC.

Since my mind is still stuck in sports, I would love to take a guided tour of the Olympic stadium of Munich. Built for summer Olympics of 1972, it was a futuristic design aping the Alps.

Munich is the venue for the first leg of the second semi-final of UEFA Champions League 2018 between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid on 25th April.

Madrid – Spain

Apart from being the capital of Spain, I have always known Madrid for being the headquarters of World Tourism Organization. What excites me about Madrid is the fact that its streets are full of sculptures.

Plazas of Puerta Del Sol stand for the ceremony of the eating of 12 grapes to bring in the new year here next to the clock tower. Who would not want to visit Plaza Mayor for the world-famous bullfights of Spain and Madrid? A guided tour of the Royal Palace that is still the official residence of Spain’s royal family is a must-see for any history enthusiast like me. Then, there is museum triangle the various parks to stroll around.

“No one goes to bed in Madrid until they have killed the night,” said Hemingway about this city. So, you have to explore its nightlife and find it out for yourself what is it that keeps the city awake through the night. For the football fans, there is a mandatory tour to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium or the Real Madrid headquarters.

Madrid is the venue for the second leg of the first semi-final of UEFA Champions League 2018 happening on 2nd May.

Rome – Italy

If you are a regular reader of IndiTales, you know that I love ancient cities. Rome remains on top of the ancient world cities that I want to visit. I can only imagine myself walking around in the streets of Rome bumping into sculptures, ancient buildings, talking to them, observing the modern Rome peacefully co-existing with the ancient one.

Rome Skyline
Colosseum – Rome

While I have to see the popular tourist haunts like the Colosseum, the Forum Romanum, the Pantheon, throw coins at Trevi Fountain and pay my respects to its museum, I am keener looking at the life as it has changed in the same living quarters overages. In between all these, I have to taste the Italian Expresso Coffee and some wood baked Pizza.

Olympic Stadium at Rome is the venue for the second leg of the first semi-final of UEFA Champions League on 3rd May 2018.

Kyiv – Ukraine

Navigating the cities of Semi-finals, I reach the city of finals – Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Now, this is a city I do not know much about. So, Google came to rescue once again and as I started reading, I discovered yet another ancient city living on either bank of the River Dnipro.

Kyiv Stadium at Night
Kyiv Stadium at Night, Image – Shutterstock

The moment I read about the Chernobyl Museum, I was able to connect it to the dominating news of the 1980 – the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, one of the worst tragedies in human history. Then I discovered that Kyiv is home to St Sophia’s Cathedral – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Instagram shows me lovely images of gardens and piano players in the streets of Kyiv. I am sure there is a lot to explore and discover.

My reading tells me that I am going to have fun with tongue twister names of the places in Kyiv. Kyiv or Kiev itself is an interesting controversy.

Kyiv is the venue for the finals of UEFA Champions League 2018 happening on 27th May.

Planning to Travel with Sports

Travel with SportsAs I was mentally planning this trip in my head, yes, this comes naturally to travel bloggers. I wondered how I would be jumping 5 countries, not counting the ones I would pass by. There are 3 different currencies that work in these 5 countries. How do you plan your day to day expenses? A potential answer lies in the Forex Card instead of carrying cash in any currency. Visas are another story though – that would take another day and another post probably.

Would you like to Travel with Sports events? Which sport and which event would be your choice?

36 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big football fan, though my partner loves it. Madrid is one of my favourite cities, and I never miss an opportunity to go back. Rome is wonderful, and with plenty of ancient treasures as you said. Munich is somewhere I plan to see this year, and I can’t wait!

  2. I love playing football and I used to play football in girl team till I was 18 years old. But I don’t follow the champion league. However, I wish to participate in a Football World cup event once! Like in Brazil or something! And I know many people who are addicted to their favorite football team that they go watch the games abroad as often as they can even when they have no money to pay the rent!😂 So crazy!

  3. I never thought about sports tourism before but it’s actually a great way to travel! I, like you, am really more of a book hoarder! I would love to visit Liverpool, though, and walk in the Beatles’ footsteps and take a photo with their statue!

  4. Haha I’m afraid to confess that I’ve never travelled with sports in my mind, but I love most of the citis you included in this list. Although I can say that, although is not here, I did go to Barcelona’s football stadium and it was indeed a very cool experience. Maybe I’ll take a sporty tour next time I visit Madrid or Munich =)

  5. Uff, I think these are amazing destinations better visited without football in mind. Not that I don’t like football, but when you visit a city that it’s crowded with hooligans… you kind of miss the whole point of it. Moreover, the price of the plane tickets and hotels easily rockets during these days!

  6. I love football and I watch it all the time. I must confess I never travel for sporting events, but we gave me a great idea. I am delighted that, up until now, I have visited all the cities you presented in your post 😛 loved all of them! Anyway, it was a great read and, as I said, you gave me a great idea 😛

  7. Such a great list of places to visit with sports events. I love the idea of it, but only make a trip to Colosseum haha. I would love to visit Liverpool and watch football matches there!

  8. While I’m hardly a huge sports fan, I certainly get the idea. I know of football fans, especially Europeans doing this, but perhaps some of the more affluent among us Indians also can do this for cricket. I think it would be very interesting to copy this format to plan a trip with friends, perhaps during the Cricket world cup.

  9. I’m not a huge football fan, but I loved this post! What a fun way of exploring new places – visiting a sporting tour. I went to the Belgian Grand Prix a few years ago, and I’ve always thought how amazing it would be to follow the races around the world. Similar concept! Liverpool is such a fun city, but I haven’t really explored any of the others. I love that quote from Hemingway about Madrid nightlife 🙂

  10. It’s so fun to go to sports events in other countries! I visited Arsenal’s Emirates stadium when I was in London and loved going behind the scenes! I was also in Munich when the team came home after winning a big game and it was so fun to see the locals go crazy.

    • Marissa – I have been a player as a junior in school, and there is no big adrenaline rush I have felt in life than being in the stadium playing with crowds all around you.

  11. Wow.. Those are amazing cities to visit and at the same time watch a sport! Though admittedly, I’m not a UEFA Champions league fan, I think a trip to tag along the game and explore these cities will be worth it. Is the finals of the UEFA Champions League happening at the Kyiv Stadium? The stadium looks pretty impressive. The Forex Cards sounds pretty convenient for traveling to cities with different currencies. Definitely checking that out!

  12. I am not a football fan at all but I would still love to visit all these lovely cities that you’ve listed here! Especially Kyiv, I am not sure how easy or difficult it is to get a Ukrainian visa but I really wish to travel there sometime. And I have been long considering getting a FOREX card for myself. Most of the credit cards I have, have begun to charge a foreign transaction fee and that is not helpful at all!

  13. I regularly travel for sports events and LOVE IT! Watched the Women’s World Cup when it was in my home City of Vancouver and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics I had tickets for something almost every day! In October 2016 I was able to visit Jordan to watch the U17 FIFA Womens World Cup! It was an amazing way to get to visit a new country and also catch some great soccer!!!! I am hoping that I can visit an upcoming World Cup or Olympics, but the venue’s are not the top of my list right now!

  14. It looks like not all of the pictures are loading. Could be the Safari Browser though.

    I did Madrid and Kiev before and it is absolutely crazy! To be honest, I prefer when there is a World Cup or Europe Cup as the fans are much more family focused compared to the diehard fans that visit when the clubs play. Just seems like a much more relaxed atmosphere for the casual fan like me. 🙂

  15. Great tour Anu! I used to play football in school and haven’t hit a ball for ages now…it is indeed time to hit the field once again. Having followed UEFA league so far, I know this is a perfect opportunity for football lovers who also want to explore Europe 🙂

    • Same here Sid, when I was writing this, I was missing my Table Tennis days. How I used to love playing for hours together and what an adrenaline rush to play for your city/state/university.

  16. I am a huge Sports fan and I often plan my travel with sporting events. Champions League is a fantastic league and the cities you mentioned have great teams too. Except for UK, I’ll most probably be visiting all the cities again this year. Hoping to catch one or two matches too.

  17. I think I will just tag along with some football fan. They can watch the game while I tour the city. And a fine mix of places these are. Kiev in specific appeals for the others I have done in one way or the other.

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