Real Madrid Club de Futbol
UEFA Champions League round of 16
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Wednesday February 13, 19:45 UK time, 20:45 local time
United have got 3,800 tickets at £62.50 in the upper section of the away end, £70.50 in the lower section of the away end and £157 in a separate ‘VIP’ area.
These are all sold.
By now, anyone who got a ticket through United should have filled in a travel report on United’s website.
United will post vouchers to everyone with tickets and a letter explaining where the ticket collection point will be in Madrid.
In Madrid, you must take the voucher and your passport to the collection point during the stated opening hours to collect your ticket.
Thomas Cook Sport vouchers do not have to do this.
They will get their tickets in transit.
Hundreds of others bought tickets in the Real Madrid end at various points around the stadium.
In the last fortnight, Real Madrid ticket office staff have been attempting to make contact with anyone who bought tickets from an English IP address.
They have been obliging these people to move seats to a different block (around blocks 607) close to the United away end and offering the appropriate refunds.
These blocks will essentially be an extension of the away end.
We advise anyone who has been contacted by Madrid to follow their instructions for ticket collection and for those who believe they are to be contacted to be patient as Madrid have to contact many people.
Note – we conducted a poll to see where people were flying into and the vast majority of people are flying into Madrid Airport.
If you require any particular information about getting from any airport, email us at redsaway:@hotmail.co.uk
The airport is eight miles north east of Madrid city centre.
We recommend the easiest way of travelling anywhere into town is by Metro.
From any terminal, it is about a 10-minute walk through indoor corridors to the airport’s Metro Station.
Here is the map,
The easiest thing is to buy a 10-day ticket.
You can buy single-trip tickets for e2 (or e3 if your journey is to and from the airport) or a ten-trip ticket for e13.
The airport is at the top of the pink line (line and the line runs south as far as Nuevos Ministerios, where you can change for two other lines, which will help you get towards your hotel.
The Metro is the best way to get around Madrid and it is generally very safe, though be wary of pickpockets and beggars (no moreso than you would be in any other major city though).
It’s almost like the Piccadilly Gardens of Madrid, where protests are held and people gather to put the world to rights.
A couple of Irish pubs and clubs are nearby and there’s a cake shop on the corner of the square near the Metro entrance selling the best cakes ever.
Ticket collection point
Read here for more.
To the stadium
Again, by far the easiest way to reach the stadium is by Metro, as the stadium has its own Metro stop, called Santiago Bernabeu, which is on the blue line (line 10).
If you’re travelling from Sol – near the ticket-collection point, take the light-blue line (line 1) north to Plaza de Castilla and then take the blue line (line 10) one stop south.
The stadium is right by the Metro exit and there are usual stalls selling scarves, burgers and drinks.
On the day of the match
You will need to have picked up your ticket by 19:00 to ensure you reach get to the stadium and get in in time for the 20:45 kick off – don’t leave it late.
If you aim to get to your seat 45 minutes before kick off, you should definitely get there by kick off.
The Foreign Office estimates reds will be kept in the stadium for up to 30 minutes after the game.
Inside the ground, we recommend that you stick to the tier block that your ticket states to avoid congestion in the lower tier.
If you’re into your history, check out Casa Labra in Calle de Tetuan near Sol Metro station.
This is the bar where, in 1879, a secret meeting took place which founded the Spanish Socialist Party.
Piro Baroja wrote about it in his novel La Busca
Near the ground, our recommended option is The Irish Rover, which is a 10-minute walk to the stadium.
It has big screens, a food menu and there are discounts at the bar for reds showing their season tickets and membership cards.
This is an ideal meeting point for before and after the match.
In town, there are some decent Irish bars near the ticket-collection point where you can meet friends.
Just round the corner from Sol Station in Calle de Espoz y Mina is O’Connell’s, which shows all the live football and is open daily from 11:00 to 03:00.
There’s a food menu and a wide range of beers and spirits. A bucket of beer costs 312, shots cost e1.50, and nachos and a bucket of beer costs e14.50.
Plus, it’s happy hour all day on Wednesdays.
If you’re single Monday and Tuesday nights are for you as there’s a chance to talk to fellow customers speaking different languages from 23:00.
Right next door is The Dubliners Pub, which offers more or less the same things as O’Connells.
Another recommendation is The James Joyce pub in Calle de Alcala – halfway between Sol and the Prado Art Gallery.
Again, it shows all the football and has a decent food menu. We would recommend it if you want a meeting place that isn’t as central (and therefore likely to be as crowded) as the two pubs in Sol.
Other things to see and do
Today it houses the Tourist Information Office, Sunday morning tabletop sales and cafes with street entertainers.
One bonus is that there’s a decent Irish pub at the entrance to the square, called Moore’s, which has a pub quiz on Monday nights and shows all the football on TV. It also serves food.
The square is a five-minute walk from Sol.
You can’t visit Madrid without seeing the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) which is right by Opera Metro station.
The palace itself is as grand as you expect but there’s also a maze and the Royal gardens too.
This part of town is largely pedestrianised and tends to be quiet, which is great if you’re nursing a hangover or want a quiet pint away from the hustle and bustle.
Atletico Madrid stadium tour
For e10, you can pay to tour the Estadio Vincente Calderon, a 55,000-capacity beast of a stadium to the south of the city.
For the ticket price, you also get access to Athletico’s museum, which contains replicas of all their trophies, memorabilia from the club’s 110 years of history.
The guided stadium tours start at 13:00 and 17:30 daily and you get to go pitchside, into the changing rooms, press room and the director’s seat. It’s well worth it.
To get there, go to the Piramides Metro station and walk down Paseo de las Acacias.
Turn right at the roundabout and you’ll see the stadium ahead.
Prado Art Gallery
If you’re into art, you can’t come to this amazing city and pass up the Prada, which showcases some of the best art ever made, by the likes of de Goya, Rubens and Titian.
Even if you’re not that into art, you’ll still enjoy the massive murals on the walls.
Champions League magazine
For the first time this season, the magazine comes out before each round of fixtures so it is up to date and acts as a programme for all games.
Quite appropriately, the next edition features an interview with Cristiana Ronaldo. Let’s hope he has a quiet round…
It’s on sale now in all good newsagents at £2.99.
Vodafone allows you to pay £3 a day to stay on your UK price plan, including data – so if you have unlimited internet data at home, you would get it abroad.
In an emergency which requires consular assistance, call The British Consulate on 00 34 902 109 356.
The consulate is at Torre Espacio, Paseo de la Castellana 239D, 28046 Madrid and is open on weekdays from 08:30 to 13:30.
In an emergency call police, fire or ambulance on 112.
The main police station is at Luna 29 near the Calla Metro Station.
The main hospital is at Plaza Condre del Valle de Duchil 16
The main tourist information centre is at Plaza Mayor (see above) and it’s open from 09:30 to 20:30 daily.