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10 Days to Explore Europe and its Football

eu map europe 10 Days to Explore Europe and its Football
It’s almost a year to the date since I traveled to England for a 10-day EPL Talk tour taking in six matches on a grueling journey from Miami to Manchester and then through the cities of Liverpool, Blackburn, London and back to Manchester.

Along the way, I released a daily audio podcast, snapped hundreds of pictures and wrote passionately on my blog each day. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

And now I’ve got that travel bug again (as if I ever lost it)!

I’m considering taking a journey in the early part of next year to Europe for 9-10 days on a similar mission, but this time in search of the soul of European football. I’m contemplating traveling through Europe to find myself among the football crowds in places such as Prague, Berlin, San Sebastian, Amsterdam and other towns and cities.

But, just as with the first EPL Talk tour last year, I’m asking for your opinion and recommendations of what cities (and clubs) you’d recommend I visit. I’ve been to continental Europe several times but have never experienced a football match in person on that soil.

One option is to go during a Champions League week (first knockout rounds are scheduled February 19-20 and March 4-5). Of course, we won’t know who will be playing who until late December.

But looking at a trip between February 15-24, here are some of the interesting matches that will be available throughout Europe (of course, feel free to suggest any that aren’t listed here):

Saturday, February 16: Bundesliga, Eredivisie, FA Cup 5th Round, Czech league
Sunday, February 17: Serie A, La Liga, Eredivisie, Ligue 1
Monday, February 18: None
Tuesday, February 19: Champions League matches (TBD)
Wednesday, February 20: Champions League matches (TBD)
Thursday, February 21: UEFA Cup matches (TBD)
Friday, February 22: Eredivisie
Saturday, February 23: Bundesliga, Eredivisie, Ligue 1, Premier League, Czech league
Sunday, February 24: Serie A, La Liga, Eredivisie

My gameplan is to mix travel with soccer so I can explore the sights and atmosphere of towns and cities by day and watch football in person by night (or during the day for weekend matches). And of course report back to you regarding my findings.

I welcome any and all suggestions/recommendations.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

8 Responses to 10 Days to Explore Europe and its Football

  1. Anonymous says:

    Too freezing cold in Feb, unless you limit yourself to southern Spain…

  2. The Gaffer says:

    The second round of the first knockout stage of the Champions League is March 4-5. Would that be better?

    The Gaffer

  3. is this betting says:

    I can recommend an excellent ground to visit on Saturday 23rd February. Rot Weiss Essen (Germany’s sleeping giant) play Dortmund II. It’s a great little staduim – very old school and charming. You can stand on the terraces and experience a great atmosphere.

    A few days later (February 26) is the quarter-finals of the German Cup so there should be games played in the region.

    Essen and the surrounding area is a great place to visit and watch soccer. Dortmund, Bochum and Schalke are the Bundesliga clubs in the region. It is very common that they all play on different days -Friday, Saturday, Sunday – so there is always football being played and all the grounds are fairly close to each other.

  4. eplnfl says:

    All I can say is`you must have a great wife. My wife always forces me to travel to Europe only in the height of the tourists season, when football is not found.

    I would push the trip back a month for some better weather.

  5. Anonymous says:

    all i can say is i envy you greatly…i would love to travel europe and watch football, regardless of the weather…whatever you decide, live it up, gaffer, live it up…

  6. H.U. says:

    I would try to watch Lyon play. They have a new 19 year old super striker, Karim Benzema, who has 11 goals and 3 assists in only 14 games this season. Moreover, you’ll be able to see their other players that make them the best team in France and one of the best in Europe. Germany seems like an excellent place to catch a game. I would like to watch Hamburg’s Diego play live. He has been the best offensive player in Germany the past few years and is still quite young. In Holland, I would love to watch Louis van Gaal’s AZ Alkmaar. They have many good players and a challenging team along with a small 17,000 capacity stadium.
    Enjoy the trip,

  7. LemmusLemmus says:

    For the best atmosphere in the Bundesliga, I recommend Dortmund and Schalke. The places theselves are rather ugly, but nearby Cologne is worth a visit. Plus it’s close to the Dutch and French borders for traveling convenience.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I just finished a mini-tour akin to yours. Taking in sights around the football. My itinerary was as follows:

    Nov 2. Lincoln City v. Chester,

    Nov. 3 Arsenal v. ManU
    Nov. 4 West Ham v. Bolton

    Nov. 5 Manchester City v. Sunderland

    Nov. 6 Rotherham v. Bury

    Nov. 7 Slavia Prague v. Arsenal

    An exceptionally enjoyable trip. Worked out to 6 matches in 7 days.

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