Real Madrid Ticket Purchasing Guide
Please note this article is relatively old, having been written in 2009. Some of the information contained may no longer be valid.
Travelling around Madrid is fairly pleasant as far as large cities go. The Metro is the easiest way to travel, and gets within a stones throw of most places.
The Santiago Bernabeu has its own station on line 10 located on the west side of the stadium on Paseo de La Castellana. The journey takes around 15 minutes from the centre of Madrid.
Post-match, the station at the Bernabeu gets very busy. Night matches also pose an additional problem as the Madrid metro stops running at 1:30am, so it may be useful to plan ahead with alternative travel arrangements if you can not make your train.
The Santiago Bernabeu is located in the financial district of Madrid, so hotels in this area are fairly expensive. Unless you have a strong desire to stay in this area, it is suggested to stay in the city center. There is far more in the way of nightlife and daytime activities.
The centre of Madrid is where the Metro station Sol is located, however hotels in this area may still be on the more expensive side. Other nice places to stay just out of the centre of the city include near Retiro Park, Atocha, and Principe Pio.
Food and drink
There are a number of food and drink outlets in the immediate vicinity of the stadium. Attached to the stadium is the shopping centre named La Esquina del Bernabeu. It contains a Tony Roma's, TGI Fridays, and a number of other shops.
There are also many bars dotted around the Sol area of Madrid, plus a number of great restaurants on the square at Plaza Major just down the road.
The club shop is located on the Calle Padre Damián, which is located on the east side of the stadium. The shop sells all the usual merchandise and is quite large. There is also a shirt name and number printing service in store.
The stadium tour at the Bernabeu encompasses a large walk around various parts of the stadium, which takes around an hour and a half. It includes a walk through the player tunnel and around the pitch, a view of the away dressing room, a trip through the various trophy rooms and museum before ending in the club shop.
It is recommended to tour the stadium on a non-matchday as the tour becomes restricted (for example there is no access to the away changing room) when the stadium is being prepared for a match.
The prices for the tour are as follows:
- Adults: €19
- Children under 14: €14
Alternatively, if you hold a Madridista fan club members card, the prices are:
- Adults: €13
- Children under 14: €9
Picking the match determines how difficult it may be to get tickets for. For example, getting tickets for either a Barcelona or Atletico Madrid game will be somewhere between very difficult and impossible, as the spare tickets for these are distributed to various supporters groups. Very few tickets for these games go on sale to the general public.
Champions League games can also be tricky, and again, the opposition and stakes of the game will determine availability and cost.
The LFP are also a little disorganised in some aspects with regards to fixtures, and up until a few weeks before a game, there is no guaranteed kick-off time; or day. Games in La Liga are usually played on Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday or Monday evening. There are however mid-week games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for some rounds of fixtures.
Virtually all the seats in the Bernabeu give an excellent view of the action due to the stadium being particularly vertical.
There are a number of sections which have a range of ticket prices:
The lowest seats closest to the pitch have no roof cover, so prepare and dress for the appropriate weather. Further rows back may also be affected by the weather depending on the wind direction and strength.
The tickets will be printed in Spanish so to help identify the sections of the stadium:
- Fondo - seats behind the goal area
- Lateral - seats on the east side of the stadium
- Preferencia - seats on the west side of the stadium
- Puerta - main door
- Vomitorio - door after the main door (this usually isn't required)
- Sector - sector/section
- Fila - row
- Asiento - seat
It is also useful to know the directions in Spanish are Norte (North), Sur (South), Este (East), and Oeste (West).
The Ultras group sit in the lowest section of the South Stand (Fondo Sur). If you are attending with children it may be advisable to pick another area of the stadium. Alternatively, this part of the stadium offers the best atmosphere.
For informational purposes, away fans are located at the very top of the North Stand (Fondo Norte).
When purchasing tickets, there also may be other references:
- Socios abonados - Members with season tickets
- Socios no abonados - Members without season tickets
For those that can afford it, there are VIP seats available. Typically, these can be purchased further in advance of match-day than regular seats in the stadium.
Some areas of the stadium which may be referenced with regard to VIP seating and their locations include:
- 'Asadaor de la Esquina' Restaurant - Grandstand, east stand
- Second tier trophy room - west stand
- Real Café - Grandstand, south stand
Seat numbering is slightly awkward with odd numbers (1, 3, 5, etc.) in one section and even numbers (2, 4, 6, etc) in another. This means that two seats (e.g. 57, 59) will be next to each other. It is also useful to know that 'Impares' means odd and 'Pares' is even.
The ticket office is located on the south side of the stadium on Avenida de Concha Espina. Some, if not all members of the ticket office speak English.
Tickets can be purchased online at the Real Madrid website. The club began to accept non-Spanish credit cards around 2008, so purchasing from home shouldn't cause too many problems.
Once purchased, the tickets can be printed at ATM-style ServiCaixa machines. These require you to insert the credit card which was used to pay for the tickets online, so it is important to ensure you take this with you. There are a number of these machines around the city, however the closest to the stadium are located on the top floor of La Esquina del Bernabeu shopping centre.
Scalpers / Touts
If the ticket office is sold out, the scalpers may be your next choice. Most of them appear reputable judging by online comments. There are three problems with using scalpers. First is cost; you will always pay more than what you pay via the official methods. Second is ensuring you end up with the seats you want as the scalper may tell you they are in a different part of the stadium than what they are, or they may exaggerate the view. The final problem is the possibility of getting two or more seats together.
In any case, it is useful to know which parts of the stadium are which, and what view you are likely to end up with.
- Tickets marked with 'Servios' should be avoided as they are of no use.
- If you are unsure of the authenticity of the tickets, walk with the scalper to the ticket office and have them verify whether it is genuine. Several mentions of doing this can be found on forums and websites.
- If the scalper is unwilling to verify the ticket with the office, stay away.
- The saying "If its too good to be true, it is" applies. Especially with cost.
- Avoid scalpers in other areas of the city.
The scalpers can mainly be found on the South East corner of the stadium not too far from the ticket office.
It is highly recommended not to buy tickets from an agency as the prices they charge are often vastly overpriced. In almost all cases, the scalpers will also be cheaper.
There are also no guarantees that the agency will be any more reputable than a scalper. You also have the opportunity of dealing with the scalper directly, allowing you to judge the situation yourself.
That is not to say that a ticket agency is not a valid choice for some people, however be prepared to pay more in the end.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Madrid when a trophy or the league has been won, celebrations take part at the Cibeles fountain on the Plaza de Cibeles. The area is an icon of Madrid as it also features the Cibeles Palace (City Hall).