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Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

  - 2 opinions

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

Translated by flag- fiona jasmine sengel — 6 years ago

Original text by flag- Paola Villegas

Without a doubt one of the main attractions in Madrid is the famous Santiago Bernabéu stadium, opened in 1947. And, really, it's not just for football lovers or fans of Real Madrid F. C. - personally, I'm not a football fan myself, but even so I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, and it's plain to see in my face in every one of the photographs I'll be showing you!

Going to the stadium to watch a match is very different from getting to know the history of the famous team, as well as its buildings. I'm sure that, like me, as soon as you finish the tour you'll want to buy tickets for the next match!

Among the things you'll discover are the stadium itself, Real Madrid's team history, the evolution of the team's kit as well as the footballs themselves, you can also have your picture taken with the trophies won by the club, enjoy the advanced technology available in every one of the rooms; you'll end up getting to know the press room, taking a photo with "Ronaldo, " and you'll definitely want to buy a memento of your visit from the official store. Photography is permitted, so get ready to start snapping anything that takes your fancy!

How do I get there?

I lived in Madrid for six months and I have to say that the stadium is not in the centre of the city, it's actually slightly to the north. It's easy enough to get there by public transport, it's impossible to get lost! If you use the metro, you can take line 10 (which is dark blue, not light blue, there are two blue lines in the Madrid metro system) and go north and get off at the "Santiago Bernabéu" stop (foolproof! ). The metro ticket costs between 1. 5 and 3 euros, so it's very cheap to get there, and if you go with a big group of friends you can buy the 10 journeys ticket for 12 euros and share the cost between the group, which is what I did with my friends and it was honestly very cheap for us.

If you want to go by bus, there are many routes which will take you to the stadium, such as lines 14, 27, 40, 43, 120, 126, 147, and 150.

Where can I buy my ticket? How much does it cost?

You can buy your tickets online or at the ticket office which you can find beneath the stadium. Sometimes they are cheaper online, and sometimes buying them online guarantees you a place. They're usually 19 euros, which is about 23 dollars.

If you're a Real Madrid super fan, I'd recommend you become a member of the club, as this gives you special discounts for the tour and for matches, although this would only really be useful for those who live in Madrid and who can make the most of it every month, that is, for "true fans".

When should I go?

You can go to the stadium almost every day - it's open every day of the year except Christmas Day (December 25) and January 1.

The opening times when there's no match are from 10:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Saturday and from 10:30am to 6:30pm on Sundays and public holidays.

When there is a match, the opening times change and usually you can't go in if there are less than 5 hours to the start of the match.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

Let's start the tour!

Once you buy your ticket you go into the stadium from the top floor, since the tour starts at the top and ends at the bottom of the stadium. The first thing you'll see is the stadium from the seats looking up, it looks like a monstrous giant! You can also see the city of Madrid and some of the buildings which can be found there.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(In this photo you can see the streets of Madrid in Autumn from the highest part of the stadium - as you can see, the area looks a little corporate because of the buildings there)

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(I couldn't look happier and, though it seems impossible, my smile gets wider as the tour goes on! Here you can see the seats, the stadium, and how clean everything looks when there's no match. Of course you have to take a photo here! )

If we continue on, we're officially welcomed to the "Bernabéu Tour" before entering a kind of museum, where you can find pictures from the 30s and 40s of Real Madrid fans who gathered in the streets around the stadium.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(Welcome to the Bernabéu Tour)

If you didn't know, the club hasn't always had the same logo, it's changed as the years have gone by until it eventually took on the form we now recognise. Which version do you prefer?

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(I think it's changed for the better, my favourite is the current version)

Another thing which has changed (and what a relief that it has! ) is the footballers' kit, which has gone from boring designs in the same brown colour to much more eye-catching and technical shirts. I never imagined how players dressed years ago, and after seeing this you can see how things have improved with lighter and more aerodynamic sports technology. The evolution of the trophies is also impressive - they used to look like old decorative dinner plates.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

As you go along the corridor you'll be truly amazed by the amount of money invested in technology for the tour. There are screens everywhere, each one very dynamic, in which you can see old photographs of players, interesting facts, etc. On the walls there are also screens of all shapes and sizes, and they are all perfectly coordinated to help you get to know the best players the team has had, plus the data sheet of each one and the ways in which they contributed to the team's victories. You'll probably know many of them, as some of them have no doubt done more than make history in football.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

Another thing which will give you goosebumps is seeing the actual kit worn by the players, such as the gloves of Iker Casillas, who was the team's goalkeeper for a long time, for example. If you're Mexican, you'll recognise Hugo Sánchez's Golden Ball in one of the many glass display cabinets where the awards won by players who changed history are displayed. All of these are protected by a special glass which uses technology to change colour and show eye-catching displays which any visitor will enjoy.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(Amazing trophy won by Cristiano Ronaldo)

If you couldn't be there for Real Madrid's biggest victories, no need to worry! These impressive horns have recordings of some of the commentaries, you just have to put your ear to whichever you choose and relive the biggest moments just as if you had been there in person.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(Reliving a victory from the 80s, even though I hadn't even been born then! )

The trophies won recently are also on show, and the way they're displayed will make you wish you were a Real Madrid fan, if you weren't already. With triumphant music and golden confetti which falls behind the cups, you'll feel part of the victory.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(Can you see the golden confetti at the back? )

If we go down one more floor, we find ourselves in a dark room with walls like those of a cinema, where there's a 10 to 15 minute documentary, first in English and then in Spanish, which shows the opinions of the players themselves on the training efforts, the sacrifice, the practice and the heart required to be part of the team. You'll hear it straight from the mouth of none other than Cristiano Ronaldo!

If you don't have enough money to buy gifts for everyone, you'll find the machines which appear as the tour goes on very useful. They're coin pressing machines, where you insert one euro and choose the Real Madrid commemorative coin design you prefer. You turn the handle (you'll need a strong hand! ) and out pops a gift coin such as the one you can see in the photo. At only one euro each, you could even buy one for your friend's cousin!

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(With these coins, everyone can have a gift! A lovely touch which anyone will appreciate)

After this comes the photo section, where you can choose which of the players you want to take a photograph with. Through an incredible editing process, your photo is ready! You can trick your friends and make them believe you actually met Cristiano. You pay for the photograph, and collect it in the shop at the end of the tour. If you don't want to pay for it, you can take your own photo like the one below where you appear with the whole team.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(Be quick, you won't be the only one queuing for a photo like this! )

Now, we're almost there! We're in the VIP zone and you can see the difference, because the seats here aren't made of hard plastic but of super comfortable leather worthy of the true fans who can afford to pay for them. Here I am, pretending to be one of those fans!

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(They were SO confortable! )

What comes next will make you feel even "closer" to the players, because you can go into the massage and resting rooms and even the changing rooms. From what it seems, the boys don't have it too bad at all, in fact they live in luxury! They have masseuses, their own named lockers, a jacuzzi which looks very relaxing... Well, now we understand how it is that they seem so relaxed before the match!

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(The players' lockers)

You can even get as close as the team's manager does on the sidelines, where the sponsor "Audi" leaves its mark on the super comfortable seats in which so many emotions are felt every match.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(Pretending to be a frustrated manager)

Even if you're not a member of the team and you come to the stadium as a "guest", we can see that guests don't have a bad time, either. Although their changing rooms aren't nearly as luxurious and for obvious reason aren't as personalised as the others, they are equal to those of the official players. I don't support a specific team, but I've been told that on the Camp Nou stadium tour you can't even go into the changing rooms, whereas here you can. One point to Real Madrid!

To finish the tour, we head to the press room where you can sit on the seats and - why not? - pretend you're the manager giving a technical explanation. At the very least, it's an experience you won't forget.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(My friend Rubi, pretending to give an interview)

Unfortunately, this brings us to the end of the incredible Bernabéu Tour, which is rounded off with a visit to the official Real Madrid store. Here you'll find the photos you took during the tour, and if you want to take a copy with you you'll pay for that here. You can get any kind of gift here for your friends or family, whether it's a shirt, shorts, a ball, a hat, a magnet, or a keyring. They even had a Real Madrid version of the board game Monopoly, they really do have everything! There are gifts for everyone, you can even find pink caps and water bottles with a feminine touch. They're thinking of their female fans, too! One of the most common gifts bought here by tourists is the typical number plate, but in a smaller size and with the club's logo and the name or surname of the family member or friend you buy it for, they're a really personal gift and they're always well-received, from what I've seen.

The tour that'll make a true football fan out of anybody!

(Those water bottles are on the right, did you spot them? )

I'm hungry, where can I grab a tasty bite to eat?

You can't eat in the shop, it's forbidden. I had an apple in my hand when I went in, and I had to go outside to finish it, so it's best if you remember not to get your food out while you're there! If you're hungry, what better than eating in one of the stadium's four restaurants (or maybe even all of them? ). Truly, they all seem pretty cool, whether you just have a coffee in the "Real Café" or sit down for a delicious meal at "Restaurante Asador", "Puerta 57", or in the "Zen Market".

Final recommendations

-At the start you're given a leaflet with a brief history of Real Madrid, but on the back there's a section with questions which you can find the answers to as the tour progresses, and many of us didn't notice this section of the leaflet. At the end of the tour we saw a number of children tear out this page and put it in a box - if you add your contact details and answer everything correctly you're entered into a competition (although I've forgotten what the prize is). So now you know, as soon as they give you the leaflet, get your pen ready and answer everything correctly!

-Make sure you have ample time, as the tour lasts about one and a half to two hours, depending on how big a fan you are and how many photos you want to take.

-Before you buy your ticket make sure you know which days there are matches on because the tour closes a few hours before the start of the match, even if this is outside of the official closing times. I would say that the best way to do it would be to take your time on the tour and wait until it closes, eat somewhere outside the stadium (there are many good restaurants for a variety of budgets), and then go back to watch a match. If you choose not to do it this way, it would be best to just go on the tour, but choose a day when there's no match scheduled.

-There are many restaurants close to the stadium, I would suggest you go there to eat if you get hungry and you don't have the money to eat in one of the restaurants inside the stadium.

-The staff are very nice and photography is permitted, so don't hesitate to take as many pictures as you like!

-The thing that makes this tour so special is that you can go at your own pace, so don't feel rushed!

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A good day for football

Translated by flag-us John Lindhorst — 6 years ago

Original text by flag-co Ricardo Ruiz Granados

Football is the official house of emotions, for football one suffers, one celebrates, one cries, one learns, in the end, it is a sport that fills the soul.

Taking advantage of my trip through Madrid, I couldn't miss out on visiting the stadium of SANTIAGO BERNABÉU, an iconic place for the citizens of Madrid and the general fans of REAL MADRID. It's a place that has seen its team crowned champion many times and has given much happiness to those who follow the team.

With two of my friends, we left our hostel early and took the metro line that stopped very close to the stadium. From there, we left the metro station and upon arrival, although we got there at a good time, there was already a long line of people waiting to enter. So, we took our place in line, and waited for our moment to buy tickets from the office.

A good day for soccer

Finally, after spending a few minutes in the line, we bought our tickets for what they call "the Bernabéu tour" (the tickets aren't very expensive, so that's not a concern). I admit that I felt a lot of emotion in that moment, being able to be in this place made me feel the adrenaline that one experiences in a stadium, although there was no match that day.

The tour started with the privileged view of the field and its stands, it was 360 degrees of pure passion for football.

A good day for soccer

For me, I couldn't help but focus on the stadium's architecture. Its organization, magnitude, structure, was simply that which I hoped, greatness in one place.

After that, we walked to a room labelled with the word VENCER (Victory). In this room you can see all the trophies, titles, and emblems of Real Madrid, it is very impressive.

At the entrance, there are a series of screens on the walls with images and videos of moments of glory and celebration for the team, the best goals, star players that have made history, amongst others. It is a very emotional moment.

A good day for soccer

A good day for soccer

Some of the trophies.

A good day for soccer

The evolution of the insignia

And at the end of walk around this room, you find the biggest trophies:

A good day for soccer

For this photo I had to be patient, as everyone wants a picture taken in this spot.

Continuing our tour to the next level where we again arrive at the field for photos in the stands and in the player boxes.

A good day for soccer

An emotional moment for all ages.

And to finish up the tour, we went into the private area for players, the changing room, where each player has a locker labelled with his respective name and number. Definitely a bucket-list goal for many.

A good day for soccer

Now to exit, you must go through the press conference room, where the footballers, coaches and others do the interviews. There, you can also take photos, but personally I didn't want to. However many people did want a photo and the waiting queue was never-ending. It was also close to lunchtime and my stomach was rumbling.

I had a really great time on the Bernabéu tour. To get the chance to see it firsthand, a place where dreams are made and real goals are scored, is a great experience for any person. It is a space that dedicates itself to enhancing the grandeur of the sport in general, helping build the history of a passion that feeds the hearts of millions of fans around the world, and is a stage of mixed emotions.

Without doubt, the Bernabéu tour was a unique experience, and you don't need to be a fan to really feel the energy in this stadium. If you have plans to go to Madrid include this tour in your itinerary, I promise you won't regret it.

Go Madrid!

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