5 Family-Friendly European City Breaks for Football Enthusiasts

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family city breaks

This article was originally published by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

While the FIFA Women’s World Cup captivates audiences half a world away in Australia and New Zealand, football-loving families can find their own dose of the beautiful game much closer to home. The UK and mainland Europe offer excellent options for city breaks that include live matches or stadium tours.

  1. Munich

Home to Bayern Munich, one of Germany’s most successful football clubs, Munich is a paradise for football enthusiasts. With a capacity of 75,000, the Allianz Arena is a modern marvel and a sight to behold. Even if you can’t catch a live match, the behind-the-scenes stadium tour is a sleek alternative. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the FC Bayern Museum, which showcases numerous trophies.

Stadium tour prices: Children from €11 (£9.50), adults from €25 (£22).

Family tip: Traveling by rail? Munich’s excellent rail connections make it easy to explore other German cities, and the Kindermuseum (Children’s Museum) is conveniently located at the main station.

  1. Paris

Paris boasts not only famous landmarks but also remarkable football stadiums. While Paris St Germain plays its home games at Parc des Princes, it’s the Stade de France that steals the spotlight. With a capacity of 80,000, this stadium has hosted three Champions League finals, a World Cup final, and a Euros final. The stadium tour provides an exciting experience that lasts around 90 minutes.

Stadium tour prices: Children from €11 (£9.50), adults from €16 (£14).

Family tip: Next year’s Olympic Games will showcase athletics events at the Stade de France, so take the opportunity to show your kids the nearby Seine River.

  1. Barcelona

Barcelona is not only famous for its iconic attractions but also for its remarkable football teams. The city is home to Barcelona’s table-topping women’s team, featuring star players like Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh. Catch their games at the Estadi Johan Cruyff. If you can’t secure match tickets, head to the Camp Nou stadium for the Barça Immersive Tour. Although the main stadium is currently under construction, the museum offers an intriguing glimpse into football history, complete with audiovisual elements and interactive stations to meet the women’s squad.

Museum entry prices: Children from €21 (£18), adults from €28 (£24).

Family tip: Barcelona is a vibrant city with numerous attractions suitable for kids, such as beaches, ice-cream shops, the enchanting towers of the Sagrada Familia, and the family-friendly CosmoCaixa science museum. Consider joining a family tour of the Gothic Quarter with Runner Bean Tours, and don’t forget to indulge in some churros.

(A family city guide to Barcelona.)

  1. London

London is a city with a rich football culture, and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium stands out as one of its most impressive grounds. Opened in 2019 with a capacity of 62,850, this stadium offers an incredible atmosphere. Even on non-matchdays, the stadium tour provides a fascinating experience for kids, including sitting in the same dressing room seats as their heroes. For an exhilarating adventure, dare to embark on the Dare Skywalk, ascending the stadium exterior for a breathtaking viewpoint above the pitch (suitable for ages eight and above).

Stadium tour prices: Children from £16, adults from £27. Dare Skywalk prices: Children from £31, adults from £39.

Family tip: This autumn, Tottenham Hotspur is partnering with Formula 1 to create the first in-stadium electric karting facility, featuring separate tracks for adults and juniors.

  1. Milan

The San Siro stadium in Milan has witnessed many historic victories for the Italian men’s national team. As the home stadium for both AC Milan and Inter Milan, it exudes a rich footballing heritage. With two resident clubs, you have a higher chance of securing tickets for a match and experiencing the intense atmosphere. Alternatively, take a regular stadium tour that includes baby-changing rooms along the route.

Stadium tour prices: Children from €23 (£20), adults from €30 (£26).

Family tip: Visit the Indro Montanelli Gardens, a public park with playgrounds, picnic areas, and a natural history museum.

  1. Liverpool

Anfield, the home of Liverpool FC since 1892, is renowned worldwide as an iconic football stadium. Regardless of allegiance, young fans will find delight in the stadium tour, featuring photo opportunities, access to the dressing room, and panoramic views of the city from the Main Stand. The Liverpool FC Story museum showcases the club’s Premier League triumph in the 2019/2020 season. For an unforgettable experience, the Anfield Abseil allows participants aged 10 and above to descend down the side of the stadium.

Stadium tour prices: Children from £14, adults from £23. Anfield Abseil prices: Children from £38, adults from £45.

Family tip: Explore the World Museum, which offers a range of attractions for kids, including a planetarium and an aquarium—and the best part is, it’s free!

Originally published in the Jul/Aug 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK).

To subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine, click here. (Available in select countries only).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about family city breaks

Q: What are some family-friendly European city breaks for football lovers?

A: Here are five great options for family city breaks in Europe that cater to football enthusiasts:

  1. Munich: Visit Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour.
  2. Paris: Explore the Stade de France and take a guided tour of the iconic stadium.
  3. Barcelona: Experience the Barça Immersive Tour at Camp Nou and learn about the historic football moments.
  4. London: Discover the impressive Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and take a stadium tour or dare to go on the Dare Skywalk.
  5. Milan: Explore the San Siro stadium, home to both AC Milan and Inter Milan, and enjoy a stadium tour or catch a match.

Q: How much do the stadium tours cost?

A: The prices for stadium tours vary depending on the location. Here are the approximate prices:

  • Munich: Children €11 (£9.50), adults €25 (£22).
  • Paris: Children €11 (£9.50), adults €16 (£14).
  • Barcelona: Children €21 (£18), adults €28 (£24).
  • London: Children £16, adults £27 (stadium tour); Children £31, adults £39 (Dare Skywalk).
  • Milan: Children €23 (£20), adults €30 (£26).

Q: Are there any additional attractions or activities for families in these cities?

A: Absolutely! Each city offers a range of attractions and activities for families to enjoy:

  • Munich: Visit the Kindermuseum (Children’s Museum) at the main station, which is easily accessible by rail.
  • Paris: Take the opportunity to explore the Seine River and its surroundings.
  • Barcelona: Enjoy the family-friendly attractions such as beaches, ice-cream shops, the Sagrada Familia towers, and the CosmoCaixa science museum.
  • London: Check out the Formula 1 electric karting facility at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and consider visiting other famous landmarks and attractions in the city.
  • Milan: Spend time at the Indro Montanelli Gardens, a public park with playgrounds and a natural history museum.

Q: Can I buy tickets to watch a live football match?

A: Yes, some cities offer the possibility of purchasing tickets to watch live football matches. However, availability may vary depending on the teams’ schedules and ticket availability. It’s recommended to check the respective club’s official website for ticket information and availability.

Q: Are there any age restrictions for the stadium tours or additional activities?

A: Age restrictions may apply for certain activities. Here are some examples:

  • Dare Skywalk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: Suitable for ages eight and above.
  • Anfield Abseil in Liverpool: Suitable for ages 10 and above.
    It’s advisable to check the specific age requirements for each activity before participating.

Q: Are there any other attractions or recommendations for families in these cities?

A: Certainly! In addition to the football-related experiences, here are a few suggestions for family-friendly attractions in these cities:

  • Munich: Explore the city’s excellent rail connections and consider visiting the Kindermuseum (Children’s Museum) at the main station.
  • Paris: Discover other iconic landmarks, museums, and enjoy the offerings along the Seine River.
  • Barcelona: Make sure to visit the beaches, try delicious ice cream, explore the Sagrada Familia towers, and visit the CosmoCaixa science museum.
  • London: Take advantage of the city’s diverse attractions, including museums, parks, and landmarks like the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace.
  • Milan: Spend time at the Indro Montanelli Gardens, which offers playgrounds, picnic areas, and a natural history museum.

Q: How can I subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine?

A: To subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine, please visit their website and follow the subscription process. Note that availability may vary depending on your location.

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7 comments

SoccerFan89 July 18, 2023 - 7:33 pm

wow this article is super cool! great options for family city breaks for football lovers. i wanna go to Munich and see the allianz arena!! so awesome!! but what about the other cities? i need more info!

Reply
LondonExplorer July 18, 2023 - 10:43 pm

the tottenham hotspur stadium sounds awesome! gonna go on the dare skywalk and get the best view of the pitch. and formula 1 electric karting?? that’s insane!! gonna be a racecar driver for a day. so excited!

Reply
TravelLover123 July 19, 2023 - 3:04 am

this article is amazing, so much info for family-friendly city breaks. gonna plan a trip with my kids. thanks for the tips and recommendations. gonna subscribe to national geographic traveller magazine too!

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Milanista July 19, 2023 - 11:02 am

milan is the football capital!! the san siro is legendary, gotta do the stadium tour. and the indro montanelli gardens sound nice too, gonna relax there after all the football action. forza milan!!

Reply
Barca4Life July 19, 2023 - 12:13 pm

Barcelona is the best!! gotta see the barça immersive tour at camp nou. can’t wait to wear the virtual reality headset and meet the players. barcelona is sooo much fun, the beaches, the ice cream, everything. it’s gonna be a blast!

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RedDevilFan July 19, 2023 - 1:03 pm

anfield is where the magic happens!! liverpool fc forever. gonna take the stadium tour and maybe even do the anfield abseil. can’t wait to see the liverpool fc story museum too. such a great club!

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TravelBug27 July 19, 2023 - 3:40 pm

omg i didn’t know you could do stadium tours in Paris too?! that’s like so amazing! gotta add that to my bucket list. i can’t wait to explore the rest of the city too and see all the famous landmarks. gonna be so much fun!!

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