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REVEALED: Top 10 best European cities for football fans

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With the new season well under way and the return of European competitions, many football fans will be thinking about the option of travelling to different places to watch matches in some of the world’s most iconic stadiums. But a lot of factors play a part in this decision – such as how are the city’s hotels or how accessible its stadiums are. 

Top 10 best European cities for football fans

RankCityNumber of first division teamsAverage hotel value rating (/10)Average travel time rating (/10)Average stadium review rating (/5)Overall score (/10)
1Rotterdam36.88.64.49.9
2Liverpool29.58.24.58.3
3London76.31.84.48.2
4Piraeus21074.48.1
5Manchester297.24.57.9
6Madrid34.23.74.57.6
=7Athens32.65.14.47.5
=7Glasgow27.47.54.57.5
9Edinburgh25.39.34.47.3
10Istanbul83.70.24.47.1

*An ‘=’ represents a joint ranking

Rotterdam is the best European city for football fans. The Dutch port city is home to 3 teams in the Eredivisie (first division) – Feyenoord, Sparta Rotterdam, and Excelsior. The stadiums for these clubs boast an average review rating of 4.4 out of 5.

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With an average travel time from city centre to stadium of 10 minutes by car, 18 minutes by public transport, and just under an hour on foot, Rotterdam finishes with an average travel time rating of 8.6 out of 10.

This, combined with the city’s above-average hotel value rating of 6.8 out of 10, leaves Rotterdam in first on our table, with a near-perfect overall score of 9.9 out of 10.

Liverpool ranks second on our list, with an overall score of 8.3 out of 10.

The iconic home of the Reds and the Toffees excels particularly in the field of hotel value, with an average rating of 9.5 out of 10

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London follows in third, with an overall score of 8.2 out of 10. The English capital is one of football’s most iconic hubs, housing the stadium of a whopping 7 Premier League teams. Many London matchday commuters won’t be surprised, however, to see the English capital finish with a poor average travel time rating of 1.8 out of 10.

Another three UK cities make it onto the top 10: Manchester in fifth, Glasgow in seventh, and Edinburgh in ninth.

Finishing at the bottom of the ranking is Berlin, home to the Bundesliga’s Hertha BSC and Union Berlin. Though its stadium reviews on average are good, the German city is weighed down by a low average travel time rating of 2.5 out of 10, and an abysmal average hotel value rating of 0 out of 10, owed to its pricey accommodation options. 

Read: Premier League records: The only 6 players who have scored more than 100 goals without a penalty

Methodology

  1. To find out which European city is best for football fans, Voetbal Travel first made a seed list of the top 10 European football leagues using transfermarkt, based on total value. From this top 10, it excluded Russia.
  2. We then looked at all the current teams throughout these leagues and where they are based. Cities which are home to 2 or more 1st division teams were noted down. Since the French and Belgian leagues had no city with more than 1 team, they were replaced with the next adequate leagues on the transfermarkt ranking – the Austrian and Scottish leagues.
  3. We then made a note of all the cities in these 10 leagues with 2 or more teams (17 total), as well as what these teams are and their stadiums.
  4. We then searched for hotels in these 17 cities on TripAdvisor, using the search format ‘[city] hotels]’. It made a note of the top 10 hotel results under ‘Best Value’ – noting their name, price per night, review rating, and total number of reviews.
  5. We then calculated the average price per night of hotels in each city by taking each of the 10 hotels’ results and adding them together, before dividing by 10.
  6. We then calculated the (Bayesian) average review rating out of 5 for hotels in each city, taking into account the number of reviews for each.
  7. Using the average price per night and average review rating, Voetbal Travel determined the total value for hotels in each city as a whole.
  8. We then used Google Maps to search the directions from the city centre of these cities (simply by searching ‘[name of city]’) to the stadiums, seeing how long it would take to reach by foot, car, and public transport.
  9. After collecting all these results, Voetbal Travel found the average time taken for walking, driving, and public transport for each city.
  10. We then searched the stadiums of each of these teams on TripAdvisor, making a note of their review rating and number of reviews to find a Bayesian average and determine a ranking.
  11. Tables were created to rank each city (or team) by these categories.
  12. A final ranking of the cities was made with a score out of 10, using a percent rank of the number of first division teams, a hotel value rating, and a travel time rating (using an average of the percent rank of walking, driving, and public transport times). An adjustment factor of x1.25 was utilised to bring the higher rank values closer to 10.
  13. Incomplete data has been noted on the spreadsheet (e.g. some public transport information and stadium reviews). 
  14. All data was collected on 06-09-2022 and is accurate as of then.
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Rahul Roy
Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.

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