MADRID, SPAIN. In Spain, soccer is more than just a sport. It is a language, a way of living, an ice breaker between two strangers from different continents. You walk down the street and see people reading the daily sports newspaper, listening to a soccer game or analysis on the radio, or having their TV turned on to a live game or a replay.
It is hard sometimes knowing where to find tickets for the right price, because tickets are available everywhere as long as you want to drop the cash. The beauty of Madrid having two teams is that every weekend one of them is usually home, therefore no matter when you visit Madrid, you will always have the opportunity of seeing either Real Madrid or Atletico de Madrid in action.
That being said, the clubs couldn’t be more different from one another. Real Madrid’s stadium, Santiago Bernabeu, is recently renovated with lots of amenities and luxuries that makes it a very friendly and family oriented experience, from the heaters in the stadium, to the WIFI, escalators, and the stadium itself.
On the other hand, Vicente Calderon is an older stadium, the inside walls filled with graffiti, not as well lit, and with lots of stairs to climb. But it sure makes up for it with the atmosphere that it creates. While there is some atmosphere created at Santiago Bernabeu, it is more of a show, where you go sit down, enjoy it, and go home. On the other hand, Vicente Calderon offers you a non stop euphoria of chants and songs, and words that sometimes are not PG13 even, but that is what makes it so intimate.
There are a couple ways to get tickets. The easiest and cheapest way for both teams if at the stadium box office. The costumer service is great at both stadiums and they do speak English. It is the easiest way to get the tickets because you receive them as soon as you pay and you can talk to the seller and they can show you exactly where the seats are and what other options you have.
The other option that is as cheap as the box office is through telephone. The only difference that it might be hard viewing the seats that you are being offered and unless you know the seating chart of the stadium and request specific seats.
Buying from the team’s website is another inexpensive option although the problem that most foreigners run into is that the Real Madrid website will not allow your foreign credit cards to be charged therefore it is not possible buying Real Madrid tickets. On the other hand the Atletico website has no problem accepting foreign credit card, at least in my experience.
Unless the game is sold out I wouldn’t recommend going through a third party website or even ticket scalpers because prices are often double to what you would find at the stadium even though the games are not sold out. Often times you will be able to go to the stadium on game day and still be able to find plenty of tickets remaining. If you plan on buying tickets well in advance, Real Madrid only sells tickets for the game the Monday before, so you will not be able to buy them ahead of time, unless you want VIP tickets which could cost you €200-€400. Tickets for Atletico usually go on sale three to four weeks prior to the game. Depending on who they play, tickets can range from €25-€150 for Real Madrid and €20-€90 for Atletico.
The ticket sale information for Real Madrid is http://www.realmadrid.com/entradas
The ticket sale website for Atletico de Madrid is http://clubatleticodemadrid.com/entradas