Istanbul football stadiums combine world-class facilities with some of the most vocal and passionate fans in all of Europe. The quality of the football in the Süper Lig is also the envy of most leagues, with several massive clubs that regularly compete in UEFA European competition for the highest honours.

    If proof is needed of Turkey’s standing in world football, the UEFA Champions League 2020-21 Final – sponsored by – will be held in Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium.

    If you are visiting Istanbul and want to take in a football match, you can rest assured that on pretty much every weekend between August and May, there will be plenty of games to choose from. Let help you to find the right accommodation for your next football trip.


    Atatürk Olympic Stadium

    Host of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League Final

    Atatürk Olympic Stadium is Turkey’s largest sporting arena, with a capacity of over 76,000. Built as part of a failed Olympic games bid in the 1990s, the stadium is named after the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It’s easy to find in the far west of Istanbul, in the Ikitelli district, around 30 minutes from the tourist centre of the city. Take the subway to Olympiyat station and Atatürk Olympic Stadium is directly outside.

    As this is a multipurpose stadium with space for an athletics track, the seats are quite far from the pitch, but this does mean great views from all stands. For atmosphere, it’s hard to beat the West Stand, which has additional tiers and is under cover, which helps if the weather is less than ideal. The North and South stands are not covered so do bear this in mind when booking tickets. As Atatürk Olympic Stadium is outside the city, you won’t find many atmospheric bars or restaurants nearby. It’s better to warm up for the game in central Istanbul then head straight to the stadium.

    Location: Ziya Gökalp, 34490 Başakşehir/İstanbul, Turkey

    Phone: +90 212 413 30 00


    photo by CeeGee (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Türk Telekom Arena

    Home of Galatasaray SK

    Türk Telekom Stadium is in the Sariyer district, on the western side of the Bosporus. As Galatasaray SK is Turkey’s most successful club, taking a guided stadium tour is a popular activity. Sessions are available from Tuesdays to Sundays, with different times available throughout the day. You can visit the changing rooms, VIP boxes and the trophy room, which houses the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup, as well as every domestic honour. 

    The best place to sit during a game at the 52,000-capacity Türk Telekom Arena is behind the goalmouth. Galatasaray fans are extremely passionate, so families should choose a ticket along the halfway line, which is less intimidating. If you arrive in Istanbul hoping to get a last-minute ticket, make sure you apply for a Passolig card on the team website.

    To reach the ground, take the subway to Seyrantepe station on the M2 line. You can then walk to the ground in less than 10 minutes. You can find bars and restaurants at Forum Istanbul Alisveris Merkezi shopping mall, which has a well-maintained outdoor section with terraces.

    Location: Huzur, Harp Akademileri Girişi-K5, 34396 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey


    photo by 1886kusagi (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium

    Home of Fenerbahçe

    Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium is the famed home of Fenerbahçe, Istanbul’s most popular club on the Asian side of the Bosporus. The 50,000-capacity stadium is renowned for its vociferous support from their passionate fans, especially during matches with local rivals Galatasaray or when competing in the UEFA Champions League.

    The North Stand is usually reserved for away supporters, while the most vocal Fenerbahçe supporters usually occupy the West Stand. The latter the largest section of the stadium, right above the dugout and changing rooms. You can reach Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium by taking the subway to Sogutlucesme station.

    Location: Zühtüpaşa, Bağdat Cad, Recep Peker Cd. No.2, 34724 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Turkey


    photo by Sakhalinio (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium

    Home of İstanbul Başakşehir FK

    Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium is a modern stadium in the far west of Istanbul, close to the Atatürk Olympic Stadium. It’s home to İstanbul Başakşehir FK, who have had recent success in the UEFA Champions League, famously defeating Manchester United in 2020. The 17,000-capacity stadium was built in 2014 and is named in honour of legendary Turkish football player and manager Fatih Terim who managed in Turkey and Italy, including the Turkisj national team. The 2 tiers of seating are unique for a stadium in Istanbul, with the most passionate fans often occupying in the upper tier.

    Getting to Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium is more difficult than most grounds in Istanbul, as it is 25 km outside the city centre. You can take the subway to Basaksehir Metrokent – from there, it's a 30-minute walk or 15-minute bus ride to reach the stadium.

    Location: Başak, 4.Etap Fatih Teri̇m Stadı Başakşehir, Yunus Emre Cd., 34480 Başakşehir/İstanbul, Turkey


    photo by Sakhalinio (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Vodafone Arena

    Home of Beşiktaş JK

    Vodafone Arena, located on the western bank of the Bosporus, is the home ground of Beşiktaş JK. This 41,000-capacity stadium is renowned for its fantastic atmosphere during match days. It’s certainly one of the most exciting football stadiums in Istanbul. The bowl-shaped design has 2 tiers of seats, with the best atmosphere found behind the goals in the upper tiers.

    As Vodafone Arena is close to the tourist centre of Istanbul, you can combine a football match with sightseeing during a short trip to the city, which makes this ground popular with visiting fans. To reach the stadium, take the subway to Taksim. This tourist-friendly square, just a 10-minute walk of Vodafone Arena, offers plenty of restaurants and cafés.  

    Location: Vişnezade Mah., Dolmabahçe Cad., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey


    photo by Maurice Flesier (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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