With the 2019/2020 Premier League taking place, the UK is expecting some one million visitors to flood in for this world famous event. As one of the most significant soccer events, it counts fans from every corner of the globe.
Of all the venues, Manchester United’s Old Trafford and Arsenal’s Emirates stadium are the most popular, drawing in 109,000 international fans each last season. Here’s our guide to each of these stadiums.
Manchester United’s Old Trafford
Located in Greater Manchester, Old Trafford stadium is the largest club soccer stadium in the UK. It had first broken ground in 1909, opening a year later, but has since been upgraded multiple times over the century. Now, the stadium has modern facilities, food & beverage outlets, and even a museum.
Do: Manchester United Museum and Stadium Tour
Not satisfied with just watching a game? Want to get to know more about the stadium and the team? The Manchester United Museum and Stadium Tour would be a perfect way to achieve all that, and then some! With an English speaking guide, you’ll be shown around the historic stadium, and even get access to off-limit areas. The tour also includes access to the Old Trafford Museum, where you can get up close and personal with the history and memorabilia of Manchester United.
Eat: Cafe Football
Situated in Hotel Football, Cafe Football is a soccer themed restaurant that offers a somewhat more stylish pre-match experience. With hearty, well-crafted food, you can get your fill of burgers, pizzas, and snacks that are a little fancier than what you probably get at the stands. They also screen live sport every day and night, with an array of plasma screens available to ensure you get the best possible view of the action from wherever you sit in the restaurant or bar.
Stay: Hotel Football, Old Trafford, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
Located literally steps from Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, this plush themed hotel, part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio Hotel brand, offers soccer fans a comfortable and fun atmosphere during their stay. Keeping in line with its namesake, the hotel boasts a rooftop soccer pitch, allowing guests to play a friendly match with amazing panoramic views of the city.
Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium
Having outgrown their old home of Highbury Stadium, which had been converted to an apartment complex, Arsenal had partnered with various investors, most notably Emirates who purchased the naming rights, to build this brand new, state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium. It’s also served by two dedicated Tube stations that connect it to central London.
Do: Arsenal Stadium Tours
Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium offers two types of tours, one of which is a self-guided tour, which allows you to roam the premises at your own speed with an audio guide. The other tour would be with a group, and led by an Arsenal legend. Both types of tours would let you see some special sites, such as the changing rooms and the players’ tunnel. They both also include access to the Arsenal Museum.
Eat: Piebury Corner
Located just a short distance from Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Piebury Corner is a well-known institution serving some quintessentially British food. Its original location is at Highbury where Arsenal was previously located, and now a branch in Holloway where Arsenal’s current home now stands. They serve up some quirky pies named after legends, such as the “Dennis Bergkamp” (a chicken, ham, and leek pie) and the “Tony Adams” (a steak and ale pie).
Stay: Hilton London Angel Islington
Unlike Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium does not have any hotels in its immediate vicinity. The stadium is close by to Islington, however, and the Hilton London Angel Islington is a perfect choice for some respite after a raucous match. Boasting plush beds, contemporary decor, and marbled bathrooms, the hotel is also located in a very bustling locale. There are plenty of bars and restaurants just steps away.
All images courtesy of Visit Britain