With EURO 2016 and the Olympics, it may feel like it never went away – but the football season is back, and there’s so much to look forward to in the coming months. The world can feel very back-to-school come September, so why not plan a football-focused escape for the autumn?
Competition across European football is set to be as fierce as ever, with both competitions set to offer some tantalising ties across the continent. If you’re excited to see your team challenging for silverware at the highest level, why not support them on the road?
Check out Expedia’s in-depth guide to the best European Away Days – top tips and tricks for away fans at the stadium, as well as advice from local bloggers about where to eat, drink and explore nearby.
So, whether you’re following Leicester, Arsenal, Tottenham or Manchester City, find out everything you need to know about your opponents, their home city, and how to make the most of an away day visit.
To inspire you, here are some fab facts, fables and figures about footballing travel in Europe – and beyond.
These days, we’re used to football as a global sport. But the story of the Islington Corinthians demonstrates the uniqueness of playing abroad – and the inspirational impact of travel. In 1936, a club set up to help raise money for local charities, the Corinthians played the Chinese Olympic team in a friendly – which sparked a global tour of epic proportions. They played 95 games across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, from Hollywood to Honolulu. The Second World War saw the club fold, but the memory of their adventure lives on.
The final this year will be hosted in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Home to Welsh rugby and the resurgent national football team, away day traditionalists will remember the stadium as the former temporary home of the FA Cup during Wembley’s reconstruction. During that time, Cardiff developed a deserved reputation as an energetic and exciting away day destination.
The French Cup, or Coupe de France, is renowned for famously long-distance fixtures. Teams from overseas French territories – across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific – enter the competition at the seventh round, commonly making trips of 10,000 miles or more to compete against teams from the French mainland.
Benfica fans and followers of CSKA Moscow will be hoping to avoid facing each other – as the longest distance away day in the competition. By road, the journey from Lisbon to the Russian capital would cover the best part of 2,800 miles!
FC Copenhagen may not be expected to go very far beyond the group stages, but this beautiful city is certainly worth a visit if you’re in need of a boost. The Danish capital is the second happiest city in Europe, and by far the happiest away destination in the 2016-17 football season.
From Munich to Madrid, discover Europe’s finest cities and enjoy world class football on the road. Explore the guide to find out more.