Throughout Europe, there are a number of top sporting events which take place in famous Sporting Destinations each and every year and these attract hordes of tourists and sports fans from around the world. Whether you’re a football supporter, a horse racing enthusiast or prefer the thrill of a Grand Slam tennis tournament, there really is something to keep everybody satisfied.
1. Wimbledon – SW19
Wimbledon is the zenith for tennis fans. The west London venue is the third Grand Slam of the season and tickets to center court are a precious commodity. The tournament takes place at the end of June and lasts for two weeks coinciding with British summertime although soaring temperatures are not always guaranteed. Thousands of visitors flock to SW19 to enjoy the iconic tournament on an annual basis, with attendees often returning for consecutive events. Queuing is a quintessential British custom and fans will be required to form an orderly line in order to gain entry to the grounds. On the first Monday of the tournament, up to 7,000 potential spectators can be seen waiting patiently in order to get their tennis fix. There have been a number of memorable matches played at the tournament over the years, including the titanic first round battle between Nicholas Mahut and John Isner back in 2010, which is commonly referred to as the “endless match”. The final set took eight hours and eleven minutes to conclude and there is a plaque to commemorate the epic contest. Pristine white tennis gear as well as strawberries and cream are woven into the fabric of the tournament and have become a key part of the history and identity of the annual event.
2. The Bernabeu, Madrid
The Bernabeu is home to one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world, with Real Madrid competing in regular La Liga and Champions League matches inside this atmospheric sporting destinations. Whilst purchasing a ticket for one of the club’s many games is the ideal scenario, visitors can also embark upon the Santiago Bernabeu tour with access to the tunnel, press room and dressing room all included. Attendees can also enjoy a panoramic view of the UEFA-classified elite stadium and a trophy exhibition. The current capacity is set at 85,454 and there is an unrivalled wall of noise on matchdays, with iconic players such as Cristiano Ronaldo revered by supporters in the stands. Real Madrid was selected as the best club of the 20th century and visiting the Bernabeu is an absolute must for any sports fan. There are a top-class restaurant and club shop attached and the stadium has plenty of bars and eateries located within a short walk.
3. Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool
There are plenty of racetracks sporting destinations situated in the UK and Ireland, but Aintree is amongst the most iconic. The Merseyside course is only 20 minutes from the centre of Liverpool and hosts the annual historic steeplechase event, the Grand National. Staged each year at the beginning of April, the race is competed over four miles and requires stamina and fluency plus occasionally a huge slice of luck. Visitors can take in all of the action from the grandstand, with binoculars and camera amongst the advised items to carry on your person, whilst also able to take advantage of the unrivalled hospitality at the track. These sporting destinations combine the hustle and bustle of the racecourse with the tranquillity of Red Rum Garden and there is plenty of entertainment provided once the racing has concluded for the day. You don’t have to be an expert in reading the form to enjoy the action with sites such as Oddschecker providing tips for the big race courtesy of experts such as Andy Holding with detailed analysis available on all of their selections. Ladies day allows fashion to take centre stage with racegoers encouraged to dress-up and make an impression and with spring in the air, visiting Aintree is a terrific way to spend the afternoon.
4. Tour de France, France
Watching the Tour de France is completely free of charge and with the race generally held throughout July, the possibility of getting the perfect weather conditions is significantly increased. The event winds its way through a number of rural villages and sleepy French towns where the locals gather to enjoy the spectacle and tourists can happily join them in supporting the participants.
Many cycling fans opt to watch the Tour de France in Paris where the yellow jersey will be crowned. The race ends with a lap of the Champs-Elysees and whilst you may have to be prepared to fight for your position in order to secure the best view, it is almost guaranteed to be worth the wait. It’s imperative that visitors tie down their position early and wait for the drama to unfold. Whether you’re planning on following the tour throughout its entirety or simply fancy cheering on the competitors in the final leg of the event, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and shouldn’t be missed.
5. Olympiastadion, Berlin
Another of Europe’s best sporting destinations that is undoubtedly worth a visit is the Olympiastadion. Built ahead of the 1936 Olympic Games, this may not boast the history of many of its peers but it is a wonderful piece of architecture that holds over 70,000 spectators. It is used for a number of events so there are plenty of opportunities to catch some sporting action inside this arena. It’s hosted top athletics competitions, World Cup finals and regular Bundesliga matches, and more recently hosted the World Culture Festival, which saw over 70,000 people from 150 countries meditating at the same time. Music fans won’t miss out, either, with regular gigs staged at the arena with the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Coldplay have all performed here in front of adoring fans.
There are too many great sporting destinations in Europe to include on the list with Roland Garros, The Nou Camp and St Moritz all narrowly missing out. Visitors to the continent can enjoy sporting excellence at a range of venues and absorb every second of the drama in these unrivalled surroundings which simply must be added to the bucket list of any sports fan. Cricket is one of those sports which fans who come in hordes to watch a single match. More than the match, the stadium is more pleasant and just peaceful to sit and enjoy a match with friends. Check out these amazing stadium around the world to sit and enjoy a cricket match.