Over the weekend, Ha and I took a trip to visit the home of Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo, Santiago Bernabeu! (Book a tour online here, but you can also just buy tickets at the stadium)
It is mostly as a stadium tour should be, lots of great access to special areas around the stadium and football pitch (field), but Real Madrid also has a great museum with tons of old jerseys, trophies, and other relics from team history. There is a tremendous amount to see, such as old match billings, game shoes from legends such as David Beckham, jerseys, and even Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ballon D’or trophy from last year. You can sit in the VIP seats near the field, the seats the reserves and coaches sit in on the field, and take a photo in the post-match press room. As you might expect, there is also huge official team store in which you can likely get anything you want or imagine with a Real Madrid logo on it, including your own personalized jersey to take home.
There were a couple of negatives from our trip, however. The first is that the tour costs 19 Euros ($27), and it’s not really a tour. It’s self-guided, so it’s more of an “open house”. For reference, the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners tours that I have been to cost $22 and $10 respectively, and are actual guided tours. Then again, the Real Madrid tour is packed! I am guessing at least a couple of thousand people go through each day, an amazing number. The stadium itself is not ugly by any means, but it doesn’t look like a super new modern stadium either, which it isn’t.
The other negative is that we were not allowed to view the locker rooms and entrance tunnel. I think this may have been because we went on a game day, but this wasn’t mentioned clearly on the website. We were at the stadium 12 hours before game time, and the website mentions things may be closed 5 hours before game time. If we had known this, we definitely would have gone on another day.
More photos below, and all photos can be seen here: http://ispithotfire.smugmug.com/2014/Estadio-Santiago-Bernab%C3%A9u/i-MTWZ8NM