Barcelona and Real Madrid are the world’s two biggest soccer teams and matches between them attract global TV audiences of more than 500 million people.
These games are known as “El Clasico” and they typically serve up a dazzling blend of entertainment, drama and intrigue. You can seriously ramp up the excitement by visiting the Nou Camp in Barcelona or the Bernebeu in Madrid and watching the action unfold live. Combine it with a city break in either of these beautiful places and the result is the ultimate European adventure for any soccer fan.
The odds on offer at top online sportsbooks like Bovada show you that Barcelona are the favorites to win La Liga for the third time in a row this season. However, Real Madrid have also made a strong start to the 2019/20 campaign, and these fierce rivals are gearing up for another almighty battle for glory. It could ultimately be decided by the results between the teams, so El Clasico will be eagerly anticipated by fans across the world this season.
These teams were due to lock horns at Camp Nou on October 26, but the match was postponed due to civil unrest in Barcelona. Thousands of Catalans rioted in protest at harsh sentences handed out to nine independence leaders for sedition against mainland Spain, and the city came to a standstill. The Royal Spanish Football Federation decided it would be unwise to host such a big game amid the protests, and agreed to defer the match. Yet the protests have now ended and millions of tourists continue to flood into Barcelona to enjoy its world-class architecture, stunning gastronomy scene and unique culture.
Barcelona is the fourth most popular city in Europe among tourists, with more than 12 million annual visitors. That leaves it behind only London, Paris and Istanbul, and it is easily the main tourist destination in Spain. It is an enchanting seaside city, which allows visitors to combine a relaxing beach break with the buzz of exploring a fast-paced city. Tourists marvel at the ingenious creations of Gaudi and take in the works of artists Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró at major museums. The masters of molecular gastronomy hail from the city, and visitors can revel in a moveable feast, with a host of leading bars and clubs to enjoy too.
Madrid is the Spanish capital and it is the second most popular destination among international tourists. This sprawling golden metropolis is also packed full of artistic treasures, architectural wonders and superb bars and restaurants. The city’s nightlife is the stuff of legend, and it is by far and away the most popular destination for Spanish visitors. The Bernebeu is a major tourist destination in itself, as is the Nou Camp in Barcelona. Many visitors simply head to these stadiums for a tour, but it is much more exciting to watch a game take place, and there is no bigger game than El Clasico.
The match at Camp Nou has been rescheduled for December, and the teams will then clash once more at the Bernebeu on March 1, 2020.
You can watch the majesty of Lionel Messi running rings around the Real defence in the flesh, and be wowed by the speed at which Los Blancos counter-attack, with new Galactico Eden Hazard and Welsh wizard Gareth Bale soaring down the flanks. Both cities have major international airports, and it is easy to take a taxi to the Nou Camp or the Bernebeu.
Securing tickets for such a big game is not always easy, so it is generally advisable to use a reputed operator and book a package vacation including flights, transfers, a hotel stay and El Clasico tickets all in one bundle. You can alternatively use a service like StubHub, owned by eBay, which allows you to buy tickets in confidence and provides a 100% guarantee that they will arrive on time. Otherwise you have to check the clubs’ official websites for ticket release dates and hope to secure one, or head to the stadiums on match day and take your chances by negotiating with a tout.