Stefan and Anna had it on their bucket list to watch some of the best La Liga players and wanted to see defending champions Atlético Madrid take on bitter rivals Barcelona at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
They were unable to purchase the tickets directly from the club, so they reached out to Groundhopper Guides for assistance. Through our ticket and hospitality services, they purchased two shortside middle/low seats, which were upgraded on the day of the game to longside middle/low, in this case Section 125, Row 7.
We asked them to share their experience as part of our Reader Reports series. Here is what they wrote to us after the game (which was an exciting 2-0 Atlético victory).
This Reader Report was written by Stefan Smith. It has been edited for clarity. All photos and videos are courtesy of Mr. Smith.
Game Day Tips for Wanda Metropolitano Stadium
We used the metro to arrive at the Wanda Stadium. This was straightforward and fun. We stayed in Plaza España and took one transfer to the orange (7) line. Roughly a 20 minute ride. Previously living in New York, we found the Madrid Metro to be much cleaner and nicer.
There is no eating or drinking in the stadium (only water). When they give you the bottle, they keep the cap as well. They don’t want people throwing stuff at the players.
Eating beforehand would be a good idea. All around the perimeter of the stadium are vendors selling food, beer and souvenirs. A big mahou (a Spanish beer) was about €7. You can also easily grab a calamari sandwich or croquettes. Outside walking around trying to find your gate everyone’s drinking and eating … almost like a tailgate.
Note: Another groundhopper went to the Champions League game at Wanda Metropolitano on October 19 and all food venues inside the stadium were open at that time.
Atlético Madrid vs Barcelona
What an incredible experience the match was. Atlético defeated Barcelona 2-0 in a packed house. The energy of the crowd and beauty of watching the best La Liga players checked a huge bucket list item. We are grateful for the amazing seats Groundhopper Soccer Guides was able to obtain for us.
When Luis Suarez scored before halftime, the stadium erupted, and you could feel Barca’s defeat. We still can’t believe we were practically on the pitch.
Sightseeing in Madrid
The beauty of Madrid is very captivating. There is a nice energy in the city and the people are very friendly. We started the day off with churros and chocolate at Chocolatería San Ginés, an absolute must. Best churro of my life.
Afterwards, we went to a Turkish Bathhouse called Hammam Al Ándalus. We sat in these hot thermal pools, got a body scrub and massage. It was such a unique experience that I had never had. Honestly, it was amazing after our 9.5 hour flight. It was nice to have a little down time before the match, because I knew it would get wild.
Summary: A Groundhopping Birthday Trip to Remember
So fantastic that Atlético won. On the Metro back everyone was so happy and talkative. We walked around Plaza España afterwards and people were yelling Atlético from their balconies at us and giving us high fives because we were wearing jerseys.
We felt very safe, there were police with riot shields on standby and police on horseback. We did see a few drunks step in horse poop, so keep an eye out.
It was the best birthday experience I have ever had. We definitely made a few friends jealous back in the States.
Thanks to Stefan and Anna for sharing their experience!
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