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Tips for visiting Spanish grounds

There's always been something fascinating and appealing about Spanish football, and given the cheap flights available to a wide variety of destinations in the Iberian Peninsula, groundhopping in Spain is becoming increasingly popular amongst football fans from the UK.

Match ticket prices are often much cheaper in La Liga, than they are in comparison to leading clubs in the Premier League, as is the food and drink; meaning that adventurous fans can sometimes enjoy a weekend football break in Spain, for far much outlay than a day out at a top-flight game in England.

In this short guide, we offer some useful tips for football fans heading to Spain, which should hopefully help you save money, and enjoy the experience much more.

Buying Tickets

The easiest way to get match tickets is to book online, and these days, all La Liga clubs offer ticket pages via their own official websites, meaning you can buy direct and avoid paying over the odds through the third-party ticketing agencies. What's more, many of the official club websites are also available in English; due to the huge international growth of La Liga popularity around the world.

It's always worth planning ahead, if you want to guarantee tickets for matches. Although you can still get tickets on matchdays at many stadiums, some games are sold out very quickly, especially if a smaller club is hosting one of the bigger teams.

For example, if 1/33 runaway football betting favourites FC Barcelona are playing away at Malaga CF, then all tickets at the 30,044 capacity La Rosaleda stadium will usually sell rapidly. The same if Real Madrid are playing away, or for popular derbies such as Sevilla FC versus Real Betis.

The Rain in Spain...

Contrary to popular belief, it's not always clear blue skies and sunshine in Spain. In some regions, it can actually be colder and wetter than in the UK, particularly in the north. If you're heading to games during the winter months, then getting tickets in the 'Tribuna' (grandstand) area of stadiums is a good idea, because they're always under cover.

At classic venues such as the enormous Camp Nou in Barcelona, the recently renovated Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville, or the majestic but ageing Mestalla in Valencia, three-quarters of the stands are open to the elements. Glorious when the sun is shining, but not so much when there's a downpour of rain!

Image Source: @SomosSevillaFC via Twitter
Image Source: @SomosSevillaFC via Twitter

Obviously at some of the most modern venues, such as the shiny new Wanda Metropolitano home of Atletico Madrid, or the beautiful San Mames stadium of Athletic Club Bilbao; stands are entirely covered. Nevertheless, pitch-side areas can still be prone to exposure, so look carefully at ticket locations.

Lower League Adventures

Of course, there's much more Spanish football has to offer than giants like Barcelona or Real Madrid in LaLiga. Whilst some of the bigger second-tier clubs offer advance ticket sales online, and with information available in English, there's rarely any difficulty getting in if you turn up on matchdays.

Venturing into the lower leagues, such as the Segunda B or Tercera Division, can also be a rewarding experience. Not only is the technical quality of football highly impressive, the welcome you'll receive from the locals will be too. At a lot of the small grounds dotted around there are great cafe-bars inside, meaning you can enjoy a beer or two with the local cuisine, as you watch the game.

Image Source: @CDHuetorTajar via Twitter
Image Source: @CDHuetorTajar via Twitter

Make it known you're visiting from overseas, and sometimes you'll be given VIP treatment at smaller clubs in the lower echelons of Spanish football, simply because they're not used to having foreign fans and visitors; away from the bright lights and wealth of La Liga.

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