Champions League Final in Istanbul: Your Go-To Guide for Top Activities and Accommodation

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The location of the 2023 Champions League final is none other than Istanbul. Get ready for an epic showdown as the top teams from around the world battle it out for the ultimate prize in club football.

With a rich history of hosting major sporting events, Istanbul is the perfect destination to experience the thrill and excitement of the Champions League final. Start planning your trip now and get ready to witness football history in the making.

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Background

On 10 June 2023, football fans can look forward to the highly anticipated 2023 UEFA Champions League final, which will mark the end of the 68th season of Europe’s premier club football tournament organized by UEFA.

The match between Inter Milan and Manchester City will take place at the Atat├╝rk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul. Initially slated to be held at Wembley Stadium in London, England, the final was moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the postponement and relocation of the 2020 final in Istanbul.

As a result, the scheduled hosts for subsequent finals were pushed back a year, and the Allianz Arena in Munich was given the 2023 final. However, when the 2021 final, which was originally planned for Istanbul, was also relocated due to the pandemic, the 2023 final was awarded to Istanbul instead. The 2025 final will now be hosted by Munich. So after the final was relocated 2 times (2020 and 2021) the Turkish Football fans are hoping that the third time is a Charm!

Venue (Atat├╝rk Olympic Stadium)

The Atat├╝rk Olympic Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in the ─░kitelli district of Istanbul, Turkey. The stadium was completed in 2002 and has a seating capacity of 76,761 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Turkey. It was built to host the 2005 UEFA Champions League final, which was won by Liverpool F.C.

Apart from football matches, the Atat├╝rk Olympic Stadium has also hosted major sporting and cultural events, including athletics competitions, concerts, and political rallies. The stadium is named after Mustafa Kemal Atat├╝rk, the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey.

Result of 2005 Champions League Final

The 2005 Final is also known as “The Miracle Of Istanbul”

The Atat├╝rk Olympic Stadium is also known for its unique architecture, which features an elliptical-shaped roof and a distinctive lighting system that can display a variety of colors and patterns.

The stadium has undergone several renovations and upgrades over the years to meet modern standards and has been used as a training ground for the Turkish national football team.

You can watch the miracle of Istanbul to get hyped for the Champions League Final before the game:

The Stadium is located away from the main attractions of Istanbul, and the public transportation options available for reaching it are not very efficient. However, I am pretty sure there will be Stadium Busses for the Champions League Final so Transportation shouldn’t be a big issue.

We can discuss your Istanbul itinerary when you’re in town for the Champions League final. There are two potential approaches, as I see it.

One option is to stay in close proximity to the Stadium, which is conveniently located near the Istanbul Airport, if your sole purpose is to attend the game and you don’t mind spending additional time traveling to visit attractions or dine at the best restaurants.

Alternatively, you could opt for the second approach by spending 3-4 days in Istanbul and enjoying both the final match and the city itself. In this case, I would suggest you stay at one of the best hotels or Airbnb accommodations in Istanbul to fully immerse yourself in the unique experience.

First of all, I would recommend the Blog Post: how many days in Istanbul? You can make a plan about what you want to see and what you want to experience before you arrive in Istanbul to make the most out of it.

I highly recommend extending your stay in Istanbul by at least one day. Since you have made the effort to travel all the way here, it would be worthwhile to dedicate an additional 1-2 days to fully appreciate and enjoy this magnificent city. So another Blog Post you should check out is: How to Spend 24 Hours in Istanbul?

Tickets

Champions League Final Manchester City vs Inter Milan

The tickets for the Champions League final have already been sold out, but you can still purchase them through the secondary market on websites like Viagogo. However, please note that the prices on the secondary market are higher than the original prices.

Where to stay in Istanbul for the Champions League Final?

If your sole purpose for visiting Istanbul is to attend the final and your travel plans entail a one-night stay before and a departure the day after the event, I recommend staying in Ikitelli, Basaksehir or Esenyurt areas.

These locations are relatively close to the Stadium, allowing for a quick taxi ride to the venue. While there aren’t many tourist attractions in these districts, you could still enjoy some quality time by visiting popular shopping malls such as the Mall of Istanbul to purchase souvenirs.

You can also stay at the Airport Hotel if you just want to see the Game. Read More about The Airport Hotel Istanbul Airport (IST) here.

There are also numerous hotels nearby, which are cheaper than Airport Hotel. You can search for Hotels nearby with the widget down below!

Booking.com

Hotel Recommendations for the Champions League Final

There are lots of Hotel options in Istanbul. If you want to watch the game and head back home the next day, I recommend the hotels close to the Venue (The Venue is also close to the Istanbul Airport).

If you want to spend a couple of days in Istanbul then you can choose one of the hotels which are located near the city center.

Close Hotels to the Venue

If you’re searching for a hotel near the Istanbul airport and a venue, you’re in luck! There are some excellent options in the area to choose from. Below, you can find my recommendations.

However, please note that they may get booked quickly. If that’s the case, you can use the search widget below to explore other options in the area. I recommend staying in Ikitelli, Basaksehir or Esenyurt areas.

Hilton Mall of Istanbul

Location: Ba┼čak┼čehir Website: Hilton.com

Hilton Mall of Istanbul

Hilton Mall of Istanbul is one of the best choices to stay

Being in close proximity to the venue and situated within the Mall of Istanbul, this Hilton hotel offers the convenience of accessing shopping facilities and hotel amenities all day long. With the exceptional quality that comes with the Hilton brand, it stands as one of the top choices.

Check Availability & Prices For Hilton

Hampton by Hilton Location: Kayasehir Website: Hilton.com

Hampton by Hilton Kayasehir

Hampton by Hilton is only 6 km away from the Venue

Another Hilton hotel is located in close proximity to the Atat├╝rk Olympic Stadium, and it offers a range of reasonably priced accommodations.

While the Hamptons may not offer the same level of quality as typical Hilton hotels, they still provide a satisfactory experience.

Check Availability & Prices for Hampton

Centro Westside By Rotana Location: Ba─čc─▒lar Website: rotana.com

Centro Westside by Rotana in Istanbul

Rotana and Mall of Istanbul are close to each other

Centro WestSide by Rotana is another excellent choice for accommodation, as it’s located in close proximity to both the Mall of Istanbul, a great place to shop and hang out, and the event venue.

Check Availability & Prices for Centro

Staying in a Vacation Rental with VRBO

Although hotels can be a good option, the city is likely to experience a surge in visitors during the Champions League final, causing recommended hotels and many others to fill up fast.

As an alternative, you could consider checking out vacation rentals on VRBO, which provide excellent options for accommodation. If you’re unable to find a suitable hotel room, vacation rentals could be a great alternative to consider. If you are looking for somewhere near the Venue you should search for “ikitelli”, “Basaksehir” and “Esenyurt”.

Best Hotels near City Center

If you’re planning to visit Istanbul not only to watch the Champions League final but also to explore the city, we recommend checking out our two blog posts below to help you make the most informed decisions.

Below, you will find my recommendations for the finest luxury hotels and charming boutique hotels.

Additionally, you can utilize the search widget below to discover alternative options that align with your preferences.

Booking.com

Best Luxury Hotels in Istanbul

Rooftop Four Seasons Sultanahmet

Rooftop of Four Seasons Sultanahmet

Istanbul has a thriving luxury hotel scene, offering a wide range of high-end accommodations to cater to the needs of discerning travelers. The city boasts numerous luxury hotels that combine modern amenities with traditional Turkish hospitality and stunning views.

There is a wide range of luxury hotels available in Istanbul, and you can find a comprehensive article detailing them here.

Best Luxury Hotels in Istanbul

I recently had the opportunity to stay at the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel, and I must say it was a fantastic experience. If you’re considering booking a stay here, I would be happy to share my review with you:

Review: Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus

Best Boutique Hotels in Istanbul

Barnathan Istanbul

Barnathan Istanbul

Istanbul has a thriving boutique hotel scene, with many unique and stylish options to choose from. These hotels offer a more intimate and personalized experience than larger chain hotels and often feature stylish decor and upscale amenities.

Overall, the boutique hotel scene in Istanbul is thriving and offers a range of options to suit different tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a trendy, design-focused hotel or a more traditional, luxurious experience, there is sure to be a boutique hotel in Istanbul that fits the bill.

You can find a detailed article here:

Best Boutique Hotels in Istanbul

Where to watch the 2023 Champions League Final?

Champions League Final 2023 Fanzone in Istanbul

Fanzone in Yenikapi

If you’re one of the fortunate individuals who have secured a ticket for the final, you’ll be watching the game at the Atat├╝rk Olympic Stadium.

Start your day off with fellow fans, celebrate, and enjoy the atmosphere before heading to the stadium in the evening to witness one of the most important sporting events of the year!

If you weren’t able to secure a ticket for the game, don’t worry – there are plenty of sports bars and cafes in town where you can catch the action.

Additionally, large screens are likely to be set up in some of the important squares around the city for people to watch the game. One Option is watching the game in K├╝c├╝kciftlik Park on a big screen. (Tickets will be sold out pretty quickly).

Yenikap─▒ Event Area, Taksim Square, Sultanahmet Square, and Ma├žka Democracy Park will be allocated as venues for promotion, transportation centers, and festival areas for the organization.

The Yenikap─▒ Event Area will host the UEFA Champions Festival. The festival will run from Thursday 8 June to Sunday 11 June at Yenikap─▒, Etkinlik Alan─▒. Festival admission is free and open to all, even to those without a match ticket. Festival goers will experience a full program of UEFA and sponsor activations over the four-day event beginning with the opening ceremony on Thursday 8 June at 11:00 where the UEFA Champions League Trophy will arrive on site presented by UEFA Champions League Ambassadors. Two giant stages will provide an extensive line-up of live music from Turkish and international music artists including Friday nightÔÇÖs headliner, award-winning DJ, Lost Frequencies.

Taksim Square and Sultanahmet Square will be designated as gathering points for fans by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Along with these areas, various promotional events will also be organized at different locations throughout the city.

The city is expected to have fan zones, and UEFA typically organizes locations where fans can visit the “Trophy Experience”. You can watch the 2017 version of the “Trophy Experience” in Cardiff down below:

How to navigate in Istanbul?

To navigate around the city, here are some transportation options available:

Public Transportation: Istanbul has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, metros, and ferries. You can purchase an Istanbulkart, a reloadable card, to easily access all modes of public transport.

Taxis: Taxis are widely available in Istanbul. Make sure the taxi meter is running, or negotiate the fare beforehand. It’s helpful to have your destination written down or use a navigation app to communicate with the driver. Please read the Blog Post Istanbul Taxi Guide

Walking: Exploring Istanbul on foot is a great way to soak in the city’s atmosphere and discover hidden gems. Many neighborhoods and attractions are within walking distance of each other. In my opinion, Walking is the best way to discover Istanbul especially if you are staying in the city center.

I would recommend you buy Istanbul Welcome Card if you are going to stay in the city for a couple of days. The Welcome Card includes the following features:

  • 10 transportation tickets
  • Free hotel delivery
  • Skip-the-ticket-line entry to several museums and attractions
  • Guided tours of the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, and Topkapi Palace
  • Discounts at top sights, attractions, and activities
  • Bosphorus cruise
  • Audio guide app in 8 languages
  • City map

Remember to plan your routes in advance, especially during peak hours, to avoid traffic and crowds. Istanbul’s transportation network is well-connected, allowing you to conveniently travel and explore the diverse wonders of the city.

Conclusion

Istanbul has a lot to offer for fans who will be visiting the city to watch the Champions League final, either in person or on a screen. With excellent weather in June, there will be plenty of events and attractions for fans to enjoy.

I highly recommend that you come to Istanbul for at least 3-4 days to experience the city while also catching your team’s most important game of the season.


Other Travel Opportunities in Turkey

Ballons in Cappadocia

Ballons in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Turkey. It is a unique and breathtaking destination known for its surreal landscapes, cave dwellings, and hot air balloon rides. The region is famous for its fairy-tale-like rock formations, known as “fairy chimneys,” and its underground cities carved into the soft volcanic rock.

Cappadocia offers a range of activities and attractions to explore, such as hiking through the picturesque valleys, visiting ancient churches adorned with beautiful frescoes, and experiencing the stunning sunrise from a hot air balloon. The region’s rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty make it a must-see destination in Turkey.

Additionally, Cappadocia is known for its warm hospitality, charming boutique hotels, and delicious local cuisine. Whether you’re interested in history, adventure, or simply immersing yourself in stunning landscapes, Cappadocia has something to offer everyone. It’s an experience that should not be missed when you’re in Turkey.

Read More here:

Istanbul to Cappadocia

Pamukkale

Pamukkale

Pamukkale, which means “Cotton Castle” in Turkish, is a unique natural wonder that attracts visitors from all around the world. It is renowned for its striking white terraces of mineral-rich hot springs, which create a visually stunning landscape.

The terraces of Pamukkale are formed by the flow of thermal waters containing calcium carbonate, creating cascading pools that resemble frozen waterfalls or cotton-covered cliffs. The mineral-rich waters are believed to have healing properties, and there are opportunities to bathe in the thermal pools for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

In addition to the dazzling terraces, Pamukkale is home to the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis, an archaeological site that dates back to the 2nd century BC. Visitors can explore well-preserved ruins, including a theater, necropolis, and Roman baths. The Hierapolis Archaeology Museum also provides insights into the region’s rich history.

Pamukkale offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and therapeutic experiences. It’s an excellent destination to immerse yourself in Turkey’s cultural and natural wonders.

Read more about it here:

Istanbul to Pamukkale

FAQs

Where is the Champions League Final taking place in Istanbul?

The final will be played at the Atat├╝rk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul

How can I get tickets for the Champions League Final in Istanbul?

Tickets for the final are sold through UEFA’s official ticket portal. Keep in mind that demand for tickets is usually very high, so it’s important to act quickly when tickets become available.

Is it safe to travel to Istanbul for the Champions League Final?

As with any international travel, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest safety information. However, Istanbul is generally considered a safe city for tourists. You can read more about it here: Is Istanbul safe for tourists?

Where can I watch the Champions League Final in Istanbul if I can’t get tickets to the stadium?

Istanbul has many sports bars and pubs where you can watch the game. Some popular options include James Joyce Irish Pub, The North Shield Pub, and The Game Sports Pub.

What time will the Champions League Final be broadcasted in Istanbul?

The exact broadcast time will depend on your location and the TV channel broadcasting the game.

What should I wear to the Champions League Final in Istanbul?

If you’re attending the game, be sure to check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. If you’re watching the game in a sports bar, casual dress is usually appropriate.

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