Even though the Champions League final marked the official close of the European football club season back on 3 June, there’s still plenty of action to be enjoyed around Europe. So why not set out to enjoy the summer sunshine and world class football action all in one go? Here are three top travel destinations for enjoying the summer months on a budget while also enjoying seeing some of football’s most iconic players in action.
Portugal is regularly recognized as offering the cheapest holiday costs in Europe, according to the Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer. The sun-kissed southern Algarve region draws in hordes of tourists thanks to its stunning beaches, fresh cuisine and exceptionally low cost of living. However, there’s much more to Portugal than the Algarve. Head up to Lisbon to enjoy one of Western Europe’s oldest cities. From the winding streets of the Alfama to the hectic nightlife of Bairro Alto to the vast swathes of stunning parkland, the city is packed with adventure.
Continue further up Portugal’s western coastline to get to Porto, home of port wine and one of Portugal’s most well-known football teams. The city is also the venue for the Portugal vs. Faroe Islands match on 31 August, as part of the European Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Why not time your visit to tie in with the match, to see Portugal’s footballing legends take to the pitch? You might even catch a glimpse of Cristiano Ronaldo, who currently holds the record for the top European Qualifiers scorer (jointly with Poland’s Robert Lewandowski), with 11 goals scored.
With a rich cultural history and plenty of scenic, windmill-dotted countryside to enjoy, the Netherlands is a fascinating destination to enjoy during the summer months. Holland’s capital city of Amsterdam is a vibrant, compact city that is the ideal base for a stay in the Netherlands. The accommodation available has something to suit every budget and preference, from city centre apartments to sleek hotels on the edge of the city’s superb parks.
To experience a less hectic and more traditional Netherlands city, head east to Enschede to enjoy classic architecture, a plethora of museums and the home of The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. If you’re there on 6 August, you can also take in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 finals, to catch the world’s leading female football players at the very top of their game. The competition is already heating up, although the home nation are an outsider at 7/1 in the football betting to be crowned champions.
As if the prospect of some of the world’s best wine and cheese weren’t enough, France also offers some of the most impressive artworks and striking fashion collections to those with an appreciation of the finer things in life. The beauty of the Dordogne countryside and the outstanding scenery of the Pyrenees offer a wealth of experiences for those who love the great outdoors.
Meanwhile, no trip to France would be complete without a trip to Paris. One of the planet’s most fashionable cities, Paris can’t help but inspire one to elegantly sip coffee on the banks of the River Seine before enjoying world-class cuisine in one of the city’s countless restaurants. Paris also offers the awe-inspiring Notre-Dame cathedral, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and plenty more to keep visitors entertained. Visit at the end of August and you can also catch France battling the Netherlands as part of the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers, hosted at Stade de France. Parfait!