Football trips in Europe and South America: readers’ travel tips

Our tipsters find football makes a great focal point for a city break, whether it’s watching an elite European club or one where the hotel waiter moonlights as the centre-forward

Ipurua stadium (capacity 7,000), in the Basque town of Eibar, is the smallest top-flight stadium in Europe and also one of the most atmospheric. Often shrouded by mist rolling in off the green hills that surround it, this place has a mesmerising quality that is matched by the team on the pitch, who punch well above their weight in Spain’s La Liga [the team is currently in ninth place]. The chance to see superstars like Messi or Ronaldo up-close in what essentially feels like a non-league ground is a unique experience. Backed by a raucous home crowd, including supporters club Eskozia La Brava (Scotland the Brave), the pre- and post-match festivities are as lively as the game itself. Beer and the potent liquor orujo (a pomace brandy) flow freely, along with jokes from the hugely welcoming locals. You could see most of this tiny town in about 90 minutes, so stay in Bilbao or San Sebastián, both about an hour away by bus or train.
Tickets from around €25
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