Visiting Spain to enjoy football can be about even more than just attending a LaLiga match. Here’s a round-up of some of the best football-related trips which can keep you entertained long after the final whistle.
Gijón: Take part in an escape room at a stadium
El Molinón, the home of R. Sporting, is the oldest stadium in all of LaLiga. It is also home to one of the most unique experiences in all of Spanish football, as the LaLiga SmartBank team have created an escape room in their ground called ‘Real Sporting Gijón and the Lost Relics’. If visiting the coastal city, this is a footballing experience that is well worth checking out, although it’s worth booking in advance since the Sporting Gijón escape room is often sold out.
Valencia: See the statues on Fallas weekend
Fallas is the world-famous festival of the city of Valencia, held annually every March. As part of the festivities, each neighbourhood builds giant statues which are then set on fire. Often, given the passion for football that exists in the city of Valencia, the statues have a footballing theme. If you visit Valencia on the weekend of Fallas, you’ll see giant sculptures depicting the likes of David Villa and Mario Kempes, legends of Valencia CF.
Bilbao: Enjoy a football film festival
Bilbao is a city that lives and breathes football. Even on a non-matchday, it’s worth visiting the Licenciado Poza street that runs from the centre to the stadium of San Mamés as it’s packed with football-themed bars with walls covered with football memorabilia. Also, make sure you check out the Thinking Football Film Festival, held each year since 2013. It screens some of the best football movies. In the past, for example, they have shown documentaries about the New York Cosmos, Queens Park Rangers and Chapecoense.
Barcelona: Visit a unique football stadium for free
One of the best activities when on holiday in a Spanish city is to visit the local football stadium; LaLiga clubs boast some of the best stadium tours in the world. In the Catalan capital of Barcelona, it’s even possible to visit a historic stadium without paying a penny. The Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, which hosted the main events of the 1992 Olympics and which was home to Espanyol between 1997 and 2009, is located in the parks of Montjuïc and visitors can enter for free during certain hours. It also overlooks the city, providing some beautiful views of one of Spain’s most unique and iconic cities.
Buñol: Combine Levante with La Tomatina
La Tomatina – the annual free-for-all tomato fight – is one of the most famous festivalsin all of Spain, and is held every August in the town of Buñol, just outside Valencia. Buñol is also the home to LaLiga Santander side Levante’s training complex, meaning a visit to Buñol for La Tomatina can be combined with a Levante experience.
Canary Islands: Visit David Silva’s beach club
David Silva is one of the all-time greats of Spanish football and he is very proud of his hometown Canary Islands. He has long been an investor in Amadores Beach Club on Gran Canaria and it’s possible to stay there, or to visit for a drink, meal or spa day during a trip to the popular holiday destination.
Madrid: Visit a unique bookshop
There are many footballing experiences to enjoy in Spain’s capital – which is perhaps the world’s footballing capital – from the stadium tours of the Santiago Bernabéu and the Wanda Metropolitano to a visit to the fountains of Neptuno and Cibeles, where Atlético and Real Madrid fans respectively celebrate their titles. One unique experience, though, is to pay a visit to the Librería Deportiva Esteban Sanz. This is a half-a-century-old bookshop located in the centre of the capital that is solely dedicated to sports books, something unique in all of Spain.
Ibiza: See DJs and football at the same time
UD Ibiza will play in Spain’s second tier for the first time ever in 2021/22 following a historic promotion. Given that the island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the fact that there is now LaLiga SmartBank football there too means that a visit to the island just got even more attractive. With Ibiza also known for its music, UD Ibiza have embraced this and there will often be DJs performing inside and around the stadium on a matchday.
Málaga: Get a haircut from the footballers’ barber
Not only does the popular tourist city of Málaga have its own LaLiga SmartBank football team, but the city also welcomes various European clubs to its coast for training camps. There to work with the various footballers who pass through is Kasawi the barber. He has cut the hair of players such as Erling Haaland, Achraf Hakimi and Youssef En-Nesyri over the years and football fans in town can visit too for a trim like their favourite players.
Huelva: Visit Spain’s oldest football club
Founded in 1889, Real Club Recreativo de Huelva is the oldest football club in Spain. With Huelva situated on Spain’s southern coast, the city is a popular tourist destination and this makes a visit to the country’s oldest football club the perfect way to spend a day during a vacation there.