The UEFA Champions League is one of the most highly-anticipated sporting events of the year. The months-long affair spans several cities, mostly in Europe. Avid football fans from all over the world often travel to these cities to watch their favourite teams live!
If you’re looking to travel to Europe to experience the magic that UEFA Champions League will undoubtedly bring about, then you better start putting together your travel itinerary ASAP and Official Travel Partner Expedia is here to help! To help you with that, we’ve put together a list of events and festivities that will be taking place alongside the final phase of the UEFA Champions League that you can’t miss out on!
Where: Milan, Italy
When: 12-20 February 2020
Credit: Luciano Consolini / CC BY-SA-4.0
Milan, home of this season’s Group Stage UEFA Champions League team A.C. Milan, is considered one of the world’s fashion capitals. At the time of the Round of 16, the prestigious Milan City Fashion Week will be taking place. Get a glimpse into the glamorous world of fashion and beauty at the event. The event will be showcasing the work of talented, well-known international designers. Fashion aside, Milan is also known for its coffee! Check out the best places to have coffee in Milan here.
Where to stay: If you want to live in luxury while visiting this beautiful city, we recommend staying at the Westin Palace Milan right in the city centre.
Where: Dortmund, Germany
When: 15-16 February 2020
Credit: Artur Kechter / Unsplash
Home of Borussia Dortmund football club, make your way to modern Dortmund in February to experience Exodus 2020. Considered the largest electronic music festival in the city, Exodus is where hardcore fans of electronic music come together and dance the night away. After being gone for two years, the event is coming back bigger, better, and louder in 2020. This year’s lineup will include big names in German electronic music such as Miss K8, Angerfist, and Dr. Peacock. However, do take note that those under the age of 16 are not allowed to participate in the event.
Where to stay: If you want to stay in a stylish, contemporary hotel near where Exodus 2020 will take place, we recommend Dorint an den Westfalenhallen Dortmund.
Where: Madrid, Spain
When: 21-26 February 2020
Credit: Marc Vandecasteele / Unsplash
The last new moon of winter marks the start of Carnival, one of Madrid‘s most vibrant and lively events. The 6-day event turns Madrid’s locals into colourful, masked entertainers. Most of the festivities during this time are concentrated in smaller, less popular neighbourhoods. You can expect live musical performances, grand parades, food, and more! However, the main highlight of this event is undoubtedly the Parade of Buffoons. Masked participants dress up in Venetian-inspired outfits and other garbs from around the world. You might even see some jesters clowning around! In your free time, make sure you get to do a little shopping while you’re there!
Where to stay: If you want to stay somewhere chic with a convenient location, we recommend The Hat Madrid.
Where: London, UK
When: 22 February 2020
Credit: Erik Mclean / Unsplash
Brixton is a little-known neighbourhood in London which is rapidly gaining popularity for its food and clubbing scene. This offbeat neighbourhood is perfect for anyone looking for alternative places to visit in London. In February, get a chance to experience Brixton’s electronic music scene at the Brixton Winter Carnival 2020. It will be a night full of bright lights, loud music, costumed dancers, and the best DJs in London! For more fun activities to do in London, check out our guide!
Where to stay: Why not stay somewhere with a music venue? Stay at Hootananny, one of Brixton’s most popular hangouts. Aside from being a music venue, it’s also a cosy dorm-style hostel! Perfect for a travelling group of friends!
Where: Paris, France
When: 11 March 2020
Credit:Mika Baumeister / Unsplash
Home of UEFA Champions League team Paris Saint-Germain is the City of Love, Paris! During this time, the La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower Vertical Race) will also be taking place. This unique vertical running race will take place in Paris’ most popular monument, the Eiffel Tower! Watch as participants race up 1665 stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower and celebrate their ascension with a spectacular night view. The winners also get a trophy in the shape of the Eiffel Tower!
Where: Leipzig, Germany
When: 12-15 March 2020
Credit: Je-str / CC BY-SA 3.0
Let’s take a break from all the music festivals and get to know a more relaxed event: the Leipzig Book Fair. Taking place in mid-March, the Leipzig Book Fair is the second biggest book fair in Germany after the Frankfurt Book Fair. Authors, readers, and publishers alike come together in this event. A popular part of the book fair is the Leipzig Manga Comic Con! Keep an eye out on anime and manga fans as well as some cosplayers dressed as their favourite anime characters.
Where to stay: Stay right in the heart of Leipzig and book a room at the luxurious Hotel Fürstenhof.
Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: 13-15 March 2020
Credit: ELEVATE / Pexels
Home to the famed FC Barcelona, Barcelona will undoubtedly host some of the most memorable UEFA Champions League moments for the rest of the 2019-20 season. During the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, the Barcelona Beer Festival will also be taking place. This festival is the biggest craft beer festival in Spain with thousands of visitors. Sample various alcoholic products including wines, spirits, sparkling wines, champagnes, and – of course – beer! See more of what Barcelona has to offer here!
Where to stay: For a relaxing stay, we recommend staying at Bruc & Bruc near the city centre. It’s a casual mid-range hotel with minimally-decorated rooms.
Where: Manchester, UK
When: 14 March 2020
Credit: Rich Smith / Unsplash
Aside from the being the home of Manchester United F.C., Manchester is going to be the first-time host of the Sausage and Cider Festival in 2020! The entire festival is a celebration of good sausages and good cider (obviously). However, sausages and cider aside, the day will be full of live music and overflowing beer, gin, and prosecco! There will be a huge variety of sausages from all over the world for you to taste. This is perfect for anyone looking to just lounge around in an open field, enjoy music and food with friends.
Where to stay: If you want to stay relatively close to the event location, we recommend staying at Premier Inn Manchester Trafford Centre North.
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Sugar Feast (Ramazan Bayramı)
Where: Istanbul, Turkey
When: 24-26 May 2020
Credit: Phillie Casablanca / CC BY 2.0
A festival that tastes as good as it sounds, the Sugar Feast is a three-day festival that marks the end of Ramadan in Istanbul. It’s a time for locals to bond with their families over sweets and other festive delicacies. Although most establishments are closed during this time, the mosques remain open and are beautifully illuminated at night. Aside from an abundance of Turkish delight and baklava, the feast also offers another seasonal delight: traditional shadow plays featuring the famous puppets Turks Karagöz and Hacivat.
Where to stay: Celebrate with the locals by treating yourself to a luxurious stay while in Istanbul. We recommend booking a majestic room at the Galata Istanbul Hotel – MGallery.
Where: Istanbul, Turkey
When: 30 May 2020
Credit: Wendy Wei / Pexels
The UEFA Champions League will culminate in Istanbul where the final will take place. On the day of the Final, one of the biggest festivals in Istanbul will also be taking place: BigFest Istanbul. The festival takes place at Life Park, the biggest outdoor concert venue in the country. Needless to say, everything about this event will be big! All the big names in Turkey’s entertainment industry will be there. There will also be food stalls and drinks aplenty! Speaking of food, we recommend you get a taste of authentic Turkish cuisine while you’re there. Check out our foodies guide to Istanbul!
Where to stay: Live like royalty when you book a room at the majestic Hotel Amira Istanbul. Located in Sultanahmet, the hotel is quite close to many attractions including the Hagia Sophia.
The UEFA Champions League is one of the most exhilarating sporting events that take place each year. If you do plan on travelling to the different host cities, then we recommend experiencing all the cool festivals and activities mentioned here. To get the best flight and hotel deals, book with Official Travel Partner, Expedia!