Soccer Tour: Barcelona, Madrid & Lisbon

A 10 day trip to Portugal & Spain 
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Iberia’s legendary cities are home to the world’s most iconic soccer teams. Feel the atmosphere, embrace the passion, celebrate the skill, and savor the tension that only European soccer can create. This handcrafted tour includes three live fixtures and a chance to play against the locals, as you journey through Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon. Soccer isn’t just a game. It’s a way of life here, as well as a platform for exploring more of these stunning destinations. Are you planning your dream family vacation to Spain? Consider browsing our Spain family vacations page to add other essential experiences and activities.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Barcelona, Camp Nou, Barrio Gothic, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Plaza Espana, Lisbon, Estadio Jose Alvalade, Estadio da Luz, Alfama, Baixa, Belem, Bairro Alto, Madrid, Bernabeu, Wanda Metropolitano, Plaza Mayor

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Barcelona – An Introduction to a Lively City

When you land in Barcelona, you’ll immediately sense the local pride. Catalan flags flutter from balconies, a unique language perforates the air, and the architecture is distinctly local. After you are escorted from the airport to your hotel, a guide will take you on a walking tour, first through the vintage relics of Barrio Gothic and then out into the district of Eixample, where the early works of Gaudi dominate the boulevards. This is a lively city and this introductory tour is a celebration of highlights, which lead you to the spire of La Sagrada Familia and onwards through boutiques and beautiful pedestrianized quarters. As the sun fades there’s a vibrancy to the streets, people milling on the plazas, and drinks being shared at the terraces. The football will start tomorrow but you’ll see the colors of FC Barcelona everywhere, including at the bars and cafes you visit.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 2: Barcelona – Messi and Co: Watching Barcelona at the Camp Nou

On your first full day in Spain, excitement builds as you approach the stadium. Stalls line the streets with food and memorabilia spilling onto the asphalt. The crowds are immense when you stand still, as thousands upon thousands of people stream past toward Europe’s largest sporting theater. From two to three hours before kick off there’s a great atmosphere outside the Camp Nou, on the streets but also in the many bars and cafes nearby. Embrace it all then walk closer, until the stadium looms high above your head. Nowhere in Europe has a higher seating capacity and Barcelona fixtures are always sold out, regardless of whom they are playing. You’ll be here on the weekend to watch Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga.

The roar consumes to create a mountain of noise as the players take to the pitch. FC Barcelona is a members club and the passion is intense with every passionate fan pouring their heart and soul into their support. It’s beautiful to watch, and Barcelona is the pioneer of a style of soccer that has transformed the modern game through intricate one-touch passing and control. They are expected to win and you can feel that in the atmosphere, especially if the score remains tied at halftime. When Barcelona plays well there are no entertainers who can compare as they rack up the goals before the showboating comes out. Enjoy the game and consider hanging around outside afterward, before you return to the hotel and dream about the match.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, breakfast

Day 3: Barcelona – Intimate Camp Nou Stadium Tour and Playing With the Locals

Return to the Camp Nou this morning to go behind the scenes. You’ll follow the corridors to the pressrooms and admire the photos of legends. Then, descend into the changing rooms that are freshly cleaned after yesterday’s match. Walk out through the players’ tunnel and the empty stadium looks surreal, its scale just as incomprehensible when the seats aren’t taken. Then ascend to the trophy room, where the scale of the achievements is unfathomable. This tour of the stadium is followed by a leisurely afternoon in Barcelona, which will be a chance to visit attractions that suit your interests.

As the day’s heat slips away you join the locals on the pitch, traveling out to a suburb for an informal friendly match. These meet-ups happen regularly all over Barcelona and are a great chance for locals and foreigners to play on the same team. The standard can be high – this is a football-mad city after all – but the focus is on participating rather than winning. If you haven’t been playing regularly then it can be hard to stick with the speed of the game, which is why both teams use rolling substitutes. You can end up having just as much fun with new friends off the pitch as on it.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Lisbon – Discovering the Portuguese Capital

Today, you’ll fly direct to Lisbon and spend the afternoon exploring the contrasts of the city. With a local guide, you start in Baixa, the glorious heart of the city, a throwback to the decadence of the 18th century. Then twist into the medieval lanes of Alfama, full of atmosphere and echoes of the past. Take a tram along the river to Belem, where Portugal’s proudest buildings and monuments glisten in the late-afternoon sun. Then wind back onto the hills and an evening around Bairro Alta. While you tour the city you’ll notice two colors – the royal green and white of Sporting CP, and the vivacious red of Benfica – signifying fierce rivals from different sides of the city.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Lisbon – A Raucous Atmosphere: Watching Benfica in the Champions League

The next day, when you enter Estadio Jose Alvalade, the noise will be deafening, even more than an hour before kickoff. Flares are set off while flags unfurl to cover half a stand. Spectators bounce on the chairs as the players emerge. The Champions League is the world’s premier club competition, with the best of each country facing off throughout the year. So every match isn’t just a question of local identity, but also national pride. Portugal is one of the great countries to experience this as the supporters have expectations but recognize that their team is not the favorite – the crowd becomes a twelfth man as it seeks to intimidate the opposition throughout. When the game starts it’s hard not to be covered in goose bumps.

Benfica is the most successful club in Portugal’s recent history, although a midweek in Lisbon could coincide with a Sporting CP game. While Sporting is the team of royalty, Benfica hail from a working-class suburb of the same name where supporting Benfica comes before almost everything else here. The crowd roars and the chants ring out, then the whistles and boos consume the stadium whenever the opposition has the ball. It creates an incredibly authentic insight into the passion and emotion that soccer can provide, with the lingering feeling defined by what happens at the end of 90 minutes. A local guide will accompany you to the game to help familiarize you with local customs.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Lisbon – The Most Famous Team in Portugal: A Tour of Estadio Jose Alvalade and Sporting CP

Today, you shouldn’t wear the scarf you bought yesterday on a tour of Estadio Jose Alvalade. Sporting CP is a fierce rival and even the friendliest of stadium guides wouldn’t welcome you through the door wearing red. While you may be endeared to Benfica, Lisbon is a city of two teams and a tour of this stadium provides an insight into soccer rivalry and history. The afternoon will be at your leisure and there are many potential options in the city, like taking the tram to St. George’s Castle or getting out to the beach resort town of Cascais. Also consider taking the train to Sintra, and pass the Benfica stadium to admire a fairytale landscape of palaces.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Madrid – Discovering the Spanish Capital, Including Playing in a Local Soccer Match

This morning, you’ll fly to Madrid where a royal city awaits, with a palace glistening on a hill and statues to local heroes dominating the parks. So much of the city is walkable and the guide will take you on a tour, stopping first to energize with chocolate and churros. Wander the Plaza Mayor, admire the sculpted figure of Don Quixote, and glimpse into an Egyptian temple, before you finish the tour on another of the city’s serene squares. Just like in Barcelona you spend the late afternoon playing soccer with the locals. You should have a better idea of what to expect. Since everyone has different ability levels, which is what makes these informal matches so engaging.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Madrid – Home of the Galacticos: Watching Real Madrid at the Bernabeu

When you sit in the Bernabeu, you’ll feel like you’re in the roof of the world since the stands are remarkably steep as they cater to more than 80,000 supporters. Like Barcelona it’s always a sell-out, although the club of the royals has a distinctive atmosphere. Real Madrid is Europe’s most successful ever club, a team that redefined the game through their acquisition of the world’s best ever players. Dubbed the galacticos, the team regularly gives off the air of the Harlem Globetrotters with a mishmash of outstanding individuals who seek to entertain. A 1-0 victory isn’t always enough for the expectant audience, who demand that the team win, but also play free-flowing attack-minded football.

Spend the day exploring Madrid at your leisure, perhaps visiting the Prado Museum or exploring Palacio Real. Then join the locals at the Bernabeu, where a capacity crowd cheers for their team during a La Liga fixture. Of all the teams in Europe, it is Real Madrid that non-European soccer fans want to watch most, usually due to their abundance of world-famous players – with legends like Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, and various world player of the year winners. A match rarely disappoints since the attacking football brings thrilling entertainment, unbearable tension, or both.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Madrid – Stadium Tour and Savoring the Tapas

On a Bernabeu stadium tour you can appreciate just how much Real Madrid have won, as the trophy room bursts with shimmering prizes. The European Cup has been running since 1955 and Real Madrid has won it on 12 occasions. Like at the Camp Nou you wander through the changing rooms and go behind the scenes to savor the intimate details of the players’ workplace. Historic photos line the walls and futuristic equipment fills the treatment rooms as you walk down the tunnel and onto the pitch. The afternoon will be at your leisure before a guide takes you on a tapas crawl through the capital city to hop between the taverns and bars that specialize in one or two little dishes.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Madrid – Departure

After nine days of soccer, you’ll depart from Madrid and take home treasured memories of watching three of Europe’s pre-eminent teams.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$2,195
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.