Istanbul ranked best city in the world for football tourism

What do Xavi, Gianluigi Buffon and Joey Barton all have in common?

All three say Istanbul was where they experienced one of the best crowd atmospheres, if not the best, of their football careers.

  • New analysis from Squawka ranks the best cities in Europe when it comes to the beautiful game with Istanbul ranking top
  • Lisbon, Portugal ranks as cheapest football weekend getaway with match ticket prices from £17
  • Borussia Dortmund most likely to entertain with a goal rush averaging 4.7 goals scored and conceded per home game
  • Leipzig and Milan offer cheapest ticket prices for top flight European clubs

The research by Squawka, experts in football news and statistics, has crowned the top cities in the world for football tourism. With rankings based on the number of hotels, tourist attractions and average rainfall, Istanbul has been found to be the best city for football tourists.

Not only does the Turkish city have more than 5,000 hotels within the city centre, it also ranks second for average rainfall, meaning you most likely won’t be subjected to a wash-out weekend.

Istanbul is also home to Turkey’s traditional ‘Big Three’ – Besiktas, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray.

After joining Fenerbahçe from Chelsea in 2019, Victor Moses said, “It’s a massive experience, playing against Galatasaray and Besiktas, you can feel the atmosphere, it feels like the stadium is going to fall down due to the fans singing and bouncing. The atmosphere is amazing, you can easily tell the passion they’ve got for football here is crazy.”

The 2022/23 UEFA Champions League season will, in fact, conclude at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium on 10 June 2023. The last time the Champions League final was played at this stadium in 2005, Liverpool beat AC Milan 3-2 on penalties after the game finished 3-3 in regular time. Are the stars aligning for the Reds to get to another UCL final at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium? “Book the hotel for Istanbul,” said Jurgen Klopp after last season’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid at Paris’ Stade de France.

Cheapest European Cities for Football Fans

Istanbul didn’t make the list of cheapest European cities, which was topped by Lisbon, Portugal. To determine the cheapest city ranking, prices of flights, hotels, tickets, and inexpensive meals were analysed and ranked from cheapest to most expensive, ranging from £386-£589.

For £386, you could have a 2-night stay at a Hilton in Lisbon, catching either a Benfica or Sporting CP match.

Barcelona, Copenhagen, Munich, and Eindhoven have taken the rest of the top 5 spots on this list. The thought of catching a Barcelona match at Camp Nou for as little as £395 for the weekend is a tempting offer.

As Barcelona also ranks as one of the top cities for football tourism, you can soak up some culture by visiting the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Las Ramblas, and even spending some time on Bogatell Beach.

Throughout the season there will be some incredible matches being played in these cities, and if your team is lucky enough to get a Champions league draw with any of these top teams, you can be certain to witness a high quality match without breaking the bank.

Where fans are most likely to see a goal rush

If you love the thrill of goals, then head to Dortmund, Germany to catch a Borussia Dortmund match. With an average of 4.7 goals per game at the Westfalenstadion and a 76.5% home win ratio, you can visit the 81,365 capacity stadium for a weekend of thrills.

Eindoven, Netherlands comes second on the list. With an average goal ratio of 4.2 per home game in 2021/22 and a win ratio of 82.4%, PSV Eindhoven would satisfy those who love a goal rush. To make this an even tastier choice of an away weekend, Eindhoven is one of the cheapest European cities to visit. For £426, you can get flights from the UK, 2 nights in a Hilton hotel, 4 cheap meals, and a ticket to a game. It will certainly end up being money well spent.

Munich and Amsterdam land on all 3 ranking tables

There are some incredibly tempting options for an away weekend in Europe to catch a top flight game and soak up a bit of culture, but Munich and Amsterdam have it all, landing on all 3 ranking tables.

Munich is 10th on the list of the top tourist cities, 5th on the list for the goal rush, and 4th on the cheapest cities.

In your free time, you can visit the Marienplatz, and watch the famous Glockenspiel clock on the front of the Neues Rathaus. With Bayern Munich offering an average of 3.7 goals scored and conceded per home game, you won’t be disappointed heading over to the 75,024 capacity Allianz Arena, where you can bag tickets for as little as £13.

Amsterdam lands in 6th place on the best tourist table, 10th on the cheapest cities table and an impressive 3rd place on the goal rush table, just after Dortmund and Eindhoven.

Although you can get a match ticket to watch Ajax for just £25, it’s the hotel prices that make it slightly expensive, costing £407 for a 2 night stay in a city centre Hilton. But with plenty to do in Amsterdam in your spare time such as the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, or exploring the Jordaan neighbourhood, the Dutch capital won’t let you down if you decide to catch an Ajax match this season.

To see the full research, including the top cities for goals scored, visit Revealed: Squawka ranks Europe’s best football away days, breaks and city destinations

About Editor 2611 Articles
Lisa Baker is the Editor of International Business News. As the Owner of Need to See IT Publishing, Lisa is an experienced business and technology journalist and publisher.