Football Trip to Manchester – Full Guide

A football trip to Old Trafford in Manchester
Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

Football tourism continues to grow and visitors continue to explore the stadiums of the world’s biggest clubs. You cannot get much bigger than the two Manchester clubs, Manchester City and Manchester United. Not only are they two of the richest clubs in the world, but they are some of the most successful. 

A trip to the English city would not be complete without a Manchester United football tour or Manchester City tour. You can explore Old Trafford, one of the world’s most famous stadiums, and discover Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and museum on a tour. There is so much to see and do on a visit to the stadiums that you will need plenty of time in your day to see it all.

Before you start looking into your football trip, make sure you have a nice place to stay in Manchester. We have recommended some great areas and hotels here.

Manchester United football tour

The Manchester United football tour and museum will reopen on Monday, May 17th. The tour will have new measures put in place following the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, fans of the Red Devils will get a unique experience. 

Upon reopening, the Manchester United football tour will be limited to 15 people at one time with social distancing rules in place. The tour will expand the number people allowed from July 15th. Fans can snap Instagram-worthy photos on the tour as they follow a route through the players’ tunnel, walk down the sidelines of the world-famous pitch, and sit in the dugouts, before standing on the Ability Platform for amazing views. 

Fans interested in attending games received positive news in February with the announcement that sporting events will reopen to the public on May 17th. It may be until the 2021-22 Premier League season that fans are truly allowed back into the grounds with no caps on capacity. 

Old Trafford tickets

You can purchase Old Trafford tickets for the Manchester United football tour straight from the club’s official website. This allows you to get the best price available. Buying tickets for the tour on the day is more expensive than booking online. 

Old Trafford tickets cost:

  • Adult – from £25 prebooked online
  • Junior/Concession – from £18
  • Education Groups – from £5

Old Trafford Stadium tour

Manchester United moved to Old Trafford in 1910 and has played in the stadium ever since. Known as “The Theatre of Dreams”, Old Trafford has a capacity of more than 74,000. The stadium is the largest club football venue in the entire United Kingdom.

The Old Trafford Stadium tour takes you through the iconic ground as you visit the team’s changing rooms, the manager’s press conference rooms, and the tunnel where the players line-up before coming out onto the pitch. There is even the chance to sit in the chairs that greats like Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson, and David Beckham sat in during games. 

You will also explore the club museum on the Old Trafford Stadium tour. The museum showcases the trophies the Red Devils have won over the years along with various memorabilia from the past.

How to get to Old Trafford from Manchester city-centre

Most individuals arrive in Manchester via the rail network and it is easy to get from the city centre to Old Trafford. Ubers can be booked from anywhere in the city. You will find a black taxi cab rank at Piccadilly Gardens and every driver in town knows the route to Old Trafford. 

The cheapest way to get to “The Theatre of Dreams” is to take the Metrolink tram. It operates from Piccadilly to Trafford Bar and runs every 15 minutes. Tickets cost £2 to £3 and the journey takes 14 min. You can take the Arriva North West bus from Manchester city centre outside of India House to Old Trafford, Warwick Road. This also runs every 15 minutes and tickets cost £1 to £3. The journey takes about 20 minutes but will depend on traffic.

Manchester City football tour

Take a football trip to Etihad Stadium
Photo by Qian Xie on Pixabay 

While Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium does not have the history that Old Trafford possesses, a visit to the stadium shouldn’t be missed. Manchester City are the Premier League’s team of the 2010s and their stadium is quickly becoming an iconic venue. 

Built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games as the City of Manchester Stadium, the ground has undergone renovations over the last 15 years allowing it to be Manchester City’s home. Manchester City tours take you around the ground to see exclusive behind the scenes areas that are typically reserved for players and coaches.  

Etihad Stadium tour

Manchester City tickets are affordable and allow travellers to visit the stadium on a day out without breaking the bank. Tours of the stadium can currently be booked by emailing the club’s offices. Tours are postponed at the moment, but football fans can buy vouchers for future visits to the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium tour is considered one of the most technologically advanced. Fans will get to answer questions with a virtual Pep Guardiola in the Press Conference, watch the City Story in an immersive 360-degree cinema suite, walk down the tunnel, go pitch-side, and much more.

  • Adult – £25
  • Educational Manchester City tickets – £18
  • Groups Manchester City tickets – £10

Manchester City tickets

Football fans will be allowed back into matches from May 17th as the United Kingdom slowly opens back up from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unlikely that stadiums will be at full capacity until the 2021-22 season. Currently, tickets are not on sale for matches. 

How to get to the Etihad Stadium from Manchester city-centre

While Old Trafford can be found in the Trafford portion of Greater Manchester, the Etihad Stadium is located in the city and is within walking distance of Picadilly Gardens in the city centre. It is just 1.7 miles from the city centre to the stadium on foot.

The easiest way to reach the Etihad, however, is by Metrolink tram. The Metrolink tram operates from the city centre and runs to the Etihad Campus stop towards Ashton. The journey from Piccadilly is less than 10 minutes. On matchdays, trams run to and from the stadium every six minutes.

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