real madrid fans by Danny Last

Trip to Watch Real Madrid Live

For most football fans, Madrid means only one thing: Real Madrid. Many of football’s best ever players have called the Santiago Bernabeu stadium home, including Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo. The team now includes English star Jude Bellingham and they’ve just secured their 36th league title, the latest trophy for a club that has also won 20 Copa Del Reys and 21 European trophies. 

The Santiago Bernabeu is a must see for every football fan. It was originally built in 1947 and has just undergone a multi-million pound refit, which has seen a retractable roof added and the capacity increased to 85,000. 

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know before planning a trip to Real Madrid, including advice on how to secure tickets, how to enjoy match day at the Santiago Bernabéu and some sports travel tips for this magnificent city. See how the stadium looks from Danny Last‘s perspective.

santiago bernebau by Danny Last

How do I buy tickets for Real Madrid

Spain is well known for leaving things to the last minute. It is quite normal that tickets go on sale only 1 week before the match!

You can usually buy tickets for most Real Madrid games without any problem from the official Real Madrid site. As matchday gets closer more tickets often become available. My advice is to relax, keep checking the official website and avoid paying inflated prices for tickets from a secondary ticketing website.. 

Prices vary heavily depending on the opponent and competition but you can expect to pay in the region of €30 and €200 for a normal ticket. I opted for a seat in the upper tier and paid €95 for what was an exceptional view. 

On a recent trip I saw people selling tickets outside the Santiago Bernabeu station and in front of the stadium. The prices quoted were more than double the cost of a match ticket and you are given no guarantee as to whether these are fakes or not. 

Tickets do get checked on the way into the stadium to make sure the names on them match the ID provided so please beware when buying tickets. For more ticket tips when traveling for other teams or sports events, check out our tickets page.


Where should I stay near Real Madrid?

The area around the Santiago Bernabeu is part of the financial district of Madrid and not the most exciting area to stay in. 

I usually stay near the OPERA train station as it’s perfectly placed near the centre of the city with plenty of amenities around. 

Last time I was in Madrid I stayed at the Hostal Sol Los Ángeles near the Puerta del Sol. Don’t be put off by the term “hostel”, this is a nice, small hotel with good prices and a great location. It’s just around the corner from the new Legends exhibition. 

Some hotels near the Real Madrid stadium are:

H10 Tribeca  

This chain hotel offers spacious and good value rooms a very short walk from the stadium. Perfectly located if you are looking to spend more time around the stadium or if you need to get back to your hotel quickly after a late night match. 

Canopy by Hilton Madrid Castellana

This stylish hotel has a beautiful interior design and is surrounded by many well-known shops and restaurants.

The property is located in front of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, so there’s absolutely no excuse for missing kick off. 

The property is just 20 minutes by car from the airport and is directly accessible from the Nuevos Ministerios metro station.

Meliá Castilla Hotel

This four star hotel works with Real Madrid to offer a premium experience hospitality area before the start of the match. Fans can meet here before the game for a VIP experience, before receiving match tickets with a panoramic view of the entire Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

How do I travel to the Bernabeu?

The Bernabeu is easily accessible with public transport. Line 10 brings you directly from the city centre to the stadium’s very own Metro Station (handily called Santiago Bernabéu!). 

It is also possible to reach the stadium using Line 9 and walking from Concha Espina station. 

Journey time from Plaza Mayor is around 25 minutes. It is also advisable to go to the ground early to avoid overcrowding on the metro. 

Stadium Experience and Amenities Guide

Where to eat and drink near the Bernabeu ?

For the full Real Madrid experience grab a couple of cans of Mahou and head to Calle Marceliano Santa María close to the stadium. This is where fans gather hours before kick off and I can assure you it’s here that you can be assured of the best pre-match atmosphere. This is where I always go before a Real Madrid match. 

Does Real Madrid have a museum at the Santiago Bernebau?

Of course! They need somewhere to store all the trophies this illustrious club has won! The museum has some pretty cool interactive features that allow you to virtually join the team bus, experiencing the journey from the training ground to the Bernabeu. When you travel to see Real Madrid, it a must-visit place.

Can you do a stadium tour at Real Madrid?

A stadium tour of the Bernabeu is a must. Seriously! There are 3 different tours available and each include highlights like visiting the changing rooms, getting a photo with the Champions League trophy and an awesome panoramic view of the stadium. Prices start at €25. 

Does Real Madrid have a shop at the Bernabeu?

With 4 locations across the city, you are never too far from a chance to buy official club merchandise. The biggest of these is located at the stadium and with over 700 sqm of shirts, scarves and hats to be purchased, you won’t leave disappointed. It is also possible to personalise almost anything you buy in this store meaning it’s great for buying gifts.

What food and drinks are available inside the Santiago Bernabeu?

Inside the stadium, options are relatively limited and no alcohol is served. It is however possible to get sandwiches and soft drinks from vendors on all levels of the stadium. In my experience, and Real Madrid was no different, Spanish fans also love to eat sunflower seeds (pipas in Spanish) during the games, so expect the floor to be covered with empty shells by the end of the game! 

Other Sports Teams in Madrid

Attend a Basketball match

Whilst you might not associate Spain with basketball, it is in fact the country’s second love. Real Madrid have their own team and, like their footballing brothers, they are the most successful side in the leagues history. Matches take place in the 17,000 capacity Wizink Centre in the Salamanca district. Ticket prices start at €20 and are available from the club website.

Watch more Football

With more than 30 clubs playing in the top 4 tiers of Spanish Football, Madrid’s reputation as a football mecca is very justified. Trips to Atletico Madrid, Rayo Vallecano, Getafe and Alcorcon are all highly recommended. 

Where else should sports fans visit in Madrid?

LEGENDS – The Home of Football

I’ve not been to LEGENDS yet, as it only opened in 2023, but it sounds brilliant. It’s a museum in the heart of Madrid that showcases selected football memorabilia across seven floors. The LEGENDS experience features match-worn objects and other relics from major tournaments and leagues in football history. The experience is completed by a football store, a rooftop restaurant, a 4D cinema, robotic virtual reality games and immersive temporary exhibitions. It does sound brilliant. 

The FIFA Museum

The FIFA Museum has partnered with LEGENDS to launch its first permanent exhibition outside Switzerland in Madrid, focusing on the history of the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup. This exhibition features memorabilia from every World Cup since 1930 for men and 1991 for women. Visitors traveling for sports can enjoy an immersive experience with interactive technology and including virtual reality games.

El Rastro Flea Market

I love visiting flea markets to hunt for old sports memorabilia and El Rastro is one of the best in the world for this. 

The market is held every Sunday and centres around the Plaza de Cascorro

If you’re hunting for old football items then check out the Plaza Mayor for Spanish football badges. There’s a retro football shirt stall in the heart of the flea market when you head south is where the magic happens. There are less official looking stalls where locals pitch up and, if you look hard enough, you’ll find loads of sports memorabilia. 

Toñin El Torero Local C. Hernández Mas, 20, 28053 Madrid, Spain

A little away from the tourist centre but an absolute gem for football fans. With the walls, ceilings, windows and just about every imaginable surface covered with Real Madrid merchandise, El Torero could stake claim as an unofficial club museum. They have a fresh food counter as part of the bar and you are able to order bar food and tapas to accompany your beer. 

Without these, you cannot be a Real Madrid fan

Real Madrid are famous for their beautiful all white shirts. Be sure to pick up one before you go to fit in with the Madridistas. Or, if white isn’t your colour then this 2023/24 away shirt is pretty cool! 

Get the most of your Real Madrid Trip

A trip to the Santiago Bernabeu is a must for every sports traveler. This guide has given you all the tips you need to know, from being patient when trying to buy tickets to how to eat like a local! 

Whether you’re a die-hard Real Madrid fan or a curious sports traveler, a trip to the see the stars of world football in the great city on Madrid should definitely be on your to-do list!