RECENT UPDATE on May 30th, 2021: Two weeks prior to the game, UEFA announced that it would be relocated to Porto, Portugal to allow a limited number of fans to attend the match. The 2020-21 UEFA Champions League final game has been played at the Estádio do Dragão in Portugal, between two English clubs, Manchester City and Chelsea. And the Chelsea F.C. have been crowned European champions for the second time.
Here are a few tips for UEFA Champions League Final 2021:
1. When should you travel to Istanbul?
If you are only coming to Istanbul for the final match, you should come at least two days before the match day. While you are relieving your travel fatigue, you will also have the opportunity to view the many great attractions of Istanbul. It is important that you arrive at least two or three days before the match to get used to traveling around the city. If you want to visit the historic sites of Istanbul before the match, you should arrive at least a week in advance. During this time, you can see and experience the magic of Istanbul.
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2. How busy are Istanbul hotels?
Early booking is essential if you want to find hotels near the Ataturk Olympic Stadium. If you do not want to stay in the hotel, there are also houses you can rent daily. Some people come to Istanbul to watch football matches not in the stadium but in the city. On 14th August 2019, nearly 50,000 English fans came to Istanbul to watch the UEFA Super Cup match. As a result of the final match, Istanbul was ranked 7th among the top 35 European destinations and 87.7% of hotels in the city were full. When the legendary football match between Liverpool and AC Milan took place in Istanbul in May 2005, close to 60,000 fans came to Istanbul. A total of 3,155 aircraft landed at Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen Airports for four days. In light of this, we recommend making your reservation early. If you wait until the last minute, you might miss out.
3. Where to stay in Istanbul?
The distance between Istanbul Airport and Ataturk Olympic Stadium is approximately 17 kilometers. There are many hotels within this distance. From these hotels, you can also easily reach the city’s Old Town and its surroundings. This is the most convenient location for avoiding traffic.
There are also apartments available within 2 km of Atatürk Olympic Stadium. This area of the city is emptier than the old city. It is suggested if you’d like to stay close to the stadium. You can pay for these apartments per night. If you enjoy doing sports on a daily basis, these apartments mostly have large sports complexes. You can also find many 5-star hotels within 4 km of the Olympic Stadium. Among the most popular hotels are:
Hampton by Istanbul Hilton Kayasehir
Located approximately 3.5 km from Ataturk Istanbul Olympic Stadium. You will have all the facilities you would expect of Hilton hotels.
Ramada Encore by Wyndham Basin Express
4.3 km from the stadium. Istanbul Expo Centre, Sultan Ahmet Mosque and Galata Tower are also within easy reach.
Westside Arjaan by Rotana
It is one of the most popular hotels for Arab tourists. The interior decoration and architecture are dominated by Arabic culture. The transport links are not good but the quality of service is very good. The hotel’s transport shortage can be turned into an advantage: Maybe hotel staff will arrange a shuttle service to the Olympic Stadium. Don’t forget to ask.
4. How to get around in Istanbul?
When you land in Istanbul buy an Istanbulkart and top it up. You can travel on most public transport by using Istanbulkart. You can use Havaist shuttles from Istanbul Airport to Istanbul. They are located at the incoming passenger exits. You can pay for Havaist using either Istanbulkart or credit card. If you book a hotel close to Atatürk Istanbul Olympic Stadium, you should take the IST-17, Halkalı Station, Basaksehir shuttle service.
Since Sabiha Gökçen Airport is on the Asian side, it will take longer to reach the hotels close to the stadium. You can see HavaBus services at the exit of the passenger floor from Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Cash payment is also accepted. HavaBus services go to Taksim and Kadıköy. From here, you can get to your hotel by public transport.
There is a nice app that you can use to find the right public transport for your hotel: moovit. Your hotel may have airport transfer services, so make sure to ask if there is a service that can pick you up. Also, some hotels have shuttles to Ataturk Olympic Stadium on matchday.
5. How will the weather be?
In May you can expect normal spring conditions. Sometimes it is sunny and sometimes it is rainy but it’s unlikely to be very cold. According to meteorological data, the highest recorded temperature was 39 ° C and the lowest recorded temperature was 19 ° C. In May 2021, the maximum expected average temperature is 31 ° C during the day and 19 ° C at night. So you can wear t-shirts, trousers or shorts, don’t forget to wear a thin cardigan or raincoat. We do not recommend that you bring other items such as umbrellas as you won’t be able to take them into the stadium.
Related Post: 10 Things to Know Before You Arrive in Istanbul
6. It’s my first time in Istanbul. What should I see?
If your accommodation is close to Ataturk Olympic Stadium, you can easily get to Old City. You can visit the Old City before or after the Istanbul 2021 Champions League final. For first-timers in Istanbul, we recommend the Old City. All the historical buildings in the region are very close to each other, so it is easy to visit. We strongly recommend that you buy a museum pass card. Recommended places to visit:
- Blue Mosque
- Hagia Sophia
- Topkapi Palace
- Hagia Eirene Museum
- Basilica Cistern
- Sultanahmet Square (Hippodrome)
- Istanbul Archaeological Museum
- Grand Bazaar
- Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar
Related Post: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Istanbul
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7. What to eat in Istanbul?
There are many options for eating in Istanbul. What do you want to eat?
Kebabs are one of the most popular flavours in Turkey. In our opinion, if you only have a little time, you should get a mixed kebab so you taste all of them. Restaurants have their own mixed kebab specialties. Generally, Urfa, Adana and shish kebab are included. There are also dishes that are not in mixed kebabs such as İskender Kebab, Eggplant Kebab, Tas Kebab, and Beyti.
You might prefer to try Ottoman dishes and eat like sultans. You can taste Hünkarbeğendi (Sultan’s delight), Acem pilaf, cherry leaf wrap, and many other wonderful flavours.
If you’d like to drink alcohol, you need to go to a tavern. Istanbul is famous for its raki-fish nights. You can go to the grill restaurant and eat kebabs over the fire. If you want to have a lively and entertaining evening in Istanbul, you should definitely go to Çiçek Pasajı or Nevizade taverns. If you prefer a quieter environment you might prefer other taverns. If you want to be in a calmer environment, there are also quiet taverns. Places such as Karaköy Restaurant, Cumhuriyet Meyhanesi are just for you. You can go to these places after or before the UEFA Champions League final in Istanbul.
Related Post: Traditional Turkish Tastes You Must Try in Istanbul
8. Football Culture and Considerations of the Country
Turkish people recognised football in the early 19th century. In the early days, it was played by minority groups in Thessaloniki and Izmir. According to Muslim belief, playing football was forbidden.
After the founding of the Republic, Turkey began to value football. The Turkish Football Federation was established and became a member of FIFA. The first football championship was held in the country in 1924. UEFA was founded in 1954 and in 1962, Turkey became a member. The Turkish peoples’ love for football and loyalty to their favourite teams saw its popularity rise rapidly. In the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Turkey finished third. In the third-place play-off against South Korea, Hakan Şükür scored 10.8 seconds after the match started. This is the fastest goal in the history of the World Cup. Following the tournament, Rüştü Reçber, Alpay Özalan, and Hasan Şaş were selected for the tournament’s all-star team.
Watching football matches in Turkey is a lot of fun and it will be especially exciting when the 2021 UEFA Champions League final comes to town. However, as in every country, there are fanatics in Turkey. A detailed upper search is done at the entrance gates and there are intensive security measures around the stadium. For this reason, you should not take items such as lighters or the plug part of the charger. Unfortunately, such products are not allowed to enter the stadiums. Wide security measures are in place around the stadium to prevent tourist scams. But stay vigilant.
9. UCL Final Match Day
You might think there will be long queues to get into the stadium because of the searches and identity checks at the entrances for the UEFA Champions League final but the system runs quickly and efficiently. Keep your ticket, passport and ID with you. It’s important that you put all this in your inner pockets or in a secure bag which you keep on you at all times. If you are going with a tour company, you can ask your tour advisor for information on safety precautions. The path to the stadium on match day is always crowded and traffic will be heavy on the day of the final so it’s important to plan your journey in advance.
79K, MK11, and MK14 will take you to the Olympic Stadium. To get to these buses, you need to use other vehicles depending on where you are. You can use vehicles such as buses and metro to reach these lines from central locations.
- Buses you have to take in order to get to the stadium from Eminönü:
92, 79T, MK11. The journey takes about 94 minutes.
- Buses from Kadıköy to the stadium:
You will need to use 15BK, 34AS (Metrobus), 79K lines. The journey takes a total of 160 min.
- Buses you need to take in order to reach the stadium from Beşiktaş Square:
28T, 142E, 79K lines. The journey takes 96 min.
If you are staying in a hotel in Başakşehir, you can reach Güvercintepe Park and get on the MK14 bus to the stadium in 12 minutes.
You can reach the CL final 2021 Olympic stadium by subway. You need to find the M3 line. Get off at the last station called Olympic. The walk to the stadium from here is about 20 minutes. But this journey will be a lot of fun as there will be many fans going to the match.
To get to the stadium from Eminönü you need to use the following lines
M2, M1B, M3, the journey takes a total of 76 minutes.
The lines you will use to go to the stadium from Beşiktaş Square are the same, the journey takes a total of 96 minutes. Since there is no metro in Beşiktaş, you can walk to Taksim (33 min walking distance) or take a minibus.
10. Atatürk Olympic Stadium Contact Information
If you lose your passport or identity card during the match go to stadium security. If it is found it should be handed in to security. The contact details of the stadium are as follows:
11. How to get champions league final tickets?
Information about the ticket sales for the 2021 decider at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium (availability of tickets, application deadline, ticket prices, etc.) will be published around end of April 2021, on the UEFA’s website.
A frequently asked questions section is available for fans on UEFA.com.
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