With the Premier League back on our screens, it’s hard to deny the instant hype and buzz it brings to so many people, all around the world. Whether you love it or loathe it, the passion that comes from true football fans is as undeniable as it is unbeatable. You see, whether you planned to or not, no trip to the UK is complete, and no sports travel bucket list is truly complete without catching an EPL (that’s English Premier League) game in the UK. You see, the Premier League explains more than football – it explains a nation.
On The Map
Sadly, when many people think of the UK, they only really know of London, but there’s just so much more to see. Football teams put places on the map, and Premier League games are a great excuse to hop on a train, plane or bus to explore a new part of the UK and expand your appreciation for the country, or perhaps just the wide variety of British accents. Manchester is fast becoming one of the trendiest destinations in Europe, and if you haven’t already heard, they have a couple football teams up there which are worth a visit in themselves. Next time you’re in London or the UK, why not plan a fun side trip to watch Liverpool up at Anfield, after doing the Beatles tour or watch Brighton & Hove Albion, followed by a day at the seaside. Almost each and every team is easy to visit by train, and can be done as a day trip, depending on game time.
The songs, the chants, the emotion – it’s not for the light hearted, but it’s an atmosphere you won’t soon forget, and that’s not just because your ears will be ringing for hours. You really don’t understand loyalty until you’ve see the fans of a down and out team sound as if they’ve won the league. One of the greatest things about the Premier League is that no matter which team you see (even one you haven’t heard of) the crowd will be buzzing in ways no U.S. sports fan could ever comprehend (sorry, it’s true) and the fans will be singing – every single one of them. And it doesn’t stop when the whistle blows! Especially if you happen to be in the home town of the winning team, the celebrations may continue in pubs all through the night, which is a rite of passage in itself.
Unlike many famous sporting events around the world, most Premier League games are extremely reasonable. You’re not looking at $100’s just to get in the door. Each team offers VIP hospitality packages with food, beverage and swanky seats, but also plenty of really affordable tickets for away fans or local supporters. Each team controls their ticket sales directly, so do your best not to get ripped off with second hand tickets from major scalpers, by registering for your chosen teams ticket list. Many teams charge roughly £35 per ticket for a standard adult admission, with discounts for children often £10 less and if purchased in advance, you can almost always snag a ticket.
Using sport as a reason to travel the world and explore new destinations is arguably one of the coolest things to do. There’s nothing like bonding with friends new or old over the excitement of a game which cannot be imitated or discovering places you never thought you’d see, just because your favorite team happens to be playing there. Though you’d better make sure you wear correct team colors, catching an English Premier League game is a wonderful way to meet like minded people, while seeing for yourself that the world is smaller than you think. In fact, it’s a must.
Have you been to a Premier League game?
Featured image copyright: Tim Ireland / AP Photo
I wouldn’t stop at the Premier League… Going to a game in the lower leagues can be a great experience too as you are in with ‘real’ fans, and not so many tourists. Games in the second tier (Championship) or even lower down are a pure football fan experience. OK so you won’t know any of the players, but this is supporting a team as it was meant to be: players fighting for their team, the club, the fans and their own livelihood – no millionaire divers here… Pints and banter before the game in the local pub and pies at half time… In London you have a few teams in lower leagues: Brentford, Millwall, QPR, Charlton and further afield you have big teams all over the country, with big stadiums, big fan bases and big history (some ex EPL or European Champions!) like Aston Villa (Birmingham), Middlesborough, Leeds, Nottingham Forest, West Brom, Wigan, Derby County, Blackburn etc etc. Also these games will be more affordable and tickets will be easier to come by – usually you can get a ticket on the door on match day. And don’t forget Scotland either!
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