The FIFA Women's World Cup might be taking place half a world away — in Australia and New Zealand, from 20 July — but football-mad families can get a fix of the beautiful game far closer to home. The UK and mainland Europe have great options if you want to include live matches or stadium tours into a city-break.
Various ex-Premier League stars — including England midfielder Georgia Stanway — are currently on Bayern Munich’s books, and the club has long been a titanic sporting presence. Six times champions of Europe, Germany’s most successful team regularly sells out the ultra-modern 75,000-capacity Allianz Arena. The stadium is a real spectacle — it’s wrapped entirely in colour-changing panels; if you can’t get there for a match, the behind-the-scenes tour is a suitably slick alternative. Tours include access to the FC Bayern Museum, where countless trophies are on display.
Stadium tour from €11 (£9.50) for children / €25 (£22) for adults.
Family tip: Travelling by rail? Munich has excellent connections to other German cities and its main station is home to the Kindermuseum (Children’s Museum).
Club side Paris St Germain, who play their home games at Parc des Princes, might boast big-name players, but it’s another Paris stadium that takes top honours. The 80,000-capacity Stade de France has hosted three Champions League finals, a World Cup final and a Euros final, with the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo winning trophies here. For sports mad kids, however, the appeal doesn’t end there — the same stadium will be staging the Rugby World Cup final this autumn, and the athletics events at next year’s Olympic Games. The guided tour takes around 90 minutes.
Stadium tour from €11 (£9.50) for children / €16 (£14) for adults.
Family tip: Next year’s Olympic opening ceremony will see athletes float along the Seine, rather than march around the stadium, so be sure to show kids the river, too.
Lionesses Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh are among the star players in Barcelona’s table-topping women’s team, who play most of their home games at the Estadi Johan Cruyff, on the western outskirts of the Catalan city. If you can’t bag match tickets, the Barça Immersive Tour at the iconic Camp Nou stadium is a decent alternative.
Although the main stadium — Lionel Messi’s spiritual home — is in the process of being demolished and rebuilt, the museum remains open in another part of the Camp Nou complex. Visitors can learn about historic football moments with audiovisual elements and meet the women’s squad through interactive stations. Ticket upgrades include a virtual-reality headset experience and a ‘Robokeeper’ option for kids who want to practice their skills in the stadium.
Museum entry from €21 (£18) for children / €28 (£24) for adults.
Family tip: Barcelona is a fun city to explore with kids, with plenty of diversions — beaches, ice-cream joints, the storybook towers of the Sagrada Familia, the family-friendly CosmoCaixa science museum — to keep young travellers busy. Runner Bean Tours offers dedicated family tours of the Gothic Quarter, complete with the obligatory stop for churros.
Regardless of whether England captain Harry Kane stays or goes this summer, his boyhood club can claim to have one of the most impressive grounds in the country. The 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was opened in 2019, and unlike some modern arenas, it creates an atmosphere to equal its size. On non-matchdays, the stadium tour is an eye-opener — kids can sit in the same dressing room seats as their heroes, but just as appealing for families is the Dare Skywalk, an ascent up the stadium exterior to reach a dizzying viewpoint high above the pitch (suitable for ages eight and above).
Stadium tour from £16 for children / £27 for adults, Dare Skywalk from £31 for children / £39 for adults.
Family tip: This autumn, the club is partnering with Formula 1 to create the first in-stadium electric karting facility, with separate tracks for adults and juniors.
In the past couple of decades, Wales, Scotland and England have all been soundly beaten by the Italian men’s national team at the footballing fortress that is the San Siro. As the home stadium of both AC Milan and Inter Milan, and a regular venue for internationals, it’s a ground with bags of history. Having two resident clubs means double the matches, and a higher likelihood of getting tickets for a game — where the atmosphere can be intense — but there are also regular stadium tours, with baby-changing rooms along the tour route.
Stadium tours from €23 (£20) for children / €30 (£26) for adults.
Family tip: The Indro Montanelli Gardens is a public park complete with playgrounds, picnic areas and a natural history museum.
As the home of Liverpool FC since the club’s formation in 1892, Anfield is one of the best-known football stadiums on the planet. Young fans of the club — and even those with other allegiances — will find plenty to enjoy on the stadium tour, with photo opportunities aplenty, dressing room access and great views across the city from the top of the Main Stand. The museum, The Liverpool FC Story, includes the Boom Room exhibition, dedicated to the club’s 2019/2020 Premier League win, while new this year is the Anfield Abseil, the chance to abseil down the side of the stadium (suitable for ages 10 and above).
Stadium tours from £14 for children / £23 for adults, Anfield Abseil from £38 for children / £45 for adults.
Family tip: The city’s wide-reaching World Museum is a great bet for kids, with a planetarium and aquarium among the attractions — and it’s free, too.
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