Category Archives: Europe

World schooling mum shares 5 must-visit attractions for families in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Wow. An guest writer on Familytrippers? Of course I said yes! And on one of my favourite cities to boot- Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

My family and I relocated for a year to Newcastle because my husband wanted to complete his last year of subspecialty training there. Being the home/worldschoolers that we aspire to be, following him was a no brainer.

We saved up for a year, researched places to stay, applied for our visa (which is another story altogether, I tell you), and we arrived there in January 2016. I was pregnant with my 4th by then, so a lot of the activities I’m going to talk about are relatively slow paced and to accommodate my then 2 year old, my 5 year old and my 7 year old, and my pregnant self/tiny baby.

So first things first, accommodation.
Since we had a home base in Heaton, accommodation was not an issue for us. But travelling around UK in general was centred around Travelodge (https://www.travelodge.co.uk). If you book early, you will get discounts, and it is a minimalistic, no frills hotel. Due to our family size, we always opted for a family room where you get one queen size bed and two single beds. In Newcastle there are 10(!) Travelodges. If you are renting a car, opt for those which have free parking (which is usually a bit out of the city) but if not, then being in the city would be convenient but it is usually more pricey.

Which then brings us to the next topic- transportation. As with anywhere else in the UK, there is not much issue to be had with public transport, and even more so in Newcastle where things are generally slower and people generally more helpful. So i was able to get around alone with 3 and then 4 kids on public transport with not much issues. There is the main Metro (https://www.nexus.org.uk/metro) that goes to most places in the city and the surrounding countryside, and if that is not possible, then the buses are very accessible friendly and the driver will go out of their way to ensure that either you get a space or help you fold up your stroller or advise you to wait for the next bus (which doesn’t take very long). The buses and trains accept cash as payment so you don’t have to go out of the way to buy a cashcard or anything like that. If you are taking public transport and bringing a stroller I would advise a lightweight easy to fold one, but if you are renting a car, then big bulky strollers are fine on most attractions. We used Hertz (https://www.hertz.co.uk/p/car-hire/uk/newcastle)for car rental.

So now on to the attractions (rubs hands in glee). I roped in my children for this to vote on which places they found most memorable. Needless to say, they voted ALL the playgrounds with ziplines (priorities!), but then I pressed them to choose attractions and this was what they came up with:
Beamish museum
Discovery museum
Great north museum, Hancock
Newscastle castle
Alnwick castle
Exhibition park
South Shields
Segedunum
Angel of the north
Jesmond Dene park

Which was too long for this article. So I further narrowed it down to 5, in the city itself because some of the things on the list, while very noteworthy, are out of the city centre.

1. Jesmond Dene park

After a long flight and then sleep, those with littles would want them to run around and play. Jesmond Dene is great because there’s a walking track, bicycle track, lots of open places to run around, soft grass to fall on, a petting zoo, a miniature train ride. It’s a good introduction to the UK for kids. There’s also ice cream vans in the summer, and cafes provide great snacks and coffee for the parents. To get there from the city (which is usually Haymarket bus station) take the bus 38A or 38 (depending on the time).

2. Newcastle Castle

No trip to the UK is complete without a visit to a castle, am I right? So right in the middle of the city there is an ancient castle which is was built in the 12th century. Tip though, this place is not stroller friendly unless you are just planning to walk the grounds. Better to use a carrier and be able to climb castle steps to enjoy breathtaking views of Newcastle city and the Quayside.
Speaking of which, a stones’ throw away is the Newcastle Quayside and the famed Millennium bridge. Apart from walking, there’s not that much to do per se, but worth a visit to soak up the feel of Newcastle especially at night when the bridge lights up. Plus on Sunday mornings there’s the Quayside Sunday Market which has a truck selling hot melt in your mouth churros. Yum.

 

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3. Discovery Museum

It was a toss up between Discovery Museum and Centre for Life. But Discovery Museum won because it is free. I mean, I’m from Malaysia, where the exchange rate is not exactly that great (more so in the year we were there, and being mindful of the fact that my husband was technically there as a student) so I found myself googling “free things for kids to do in Newcastle” more than once.
Discovery Museum is located near the Newcastle Coach Station. It has four floors of discovery-history, science and technology and a space for exhibition of the season. But it is the second floor that is dear to my kids’ heart because there is a water play area. If you have wellies, it would be great, but they provide raincoats which provide adequate coverage too. This wet play area is £2 per child. Aimed at 3-5 year olds but i spotted my 7 year old having fun too. Do try the coffee and baked goods at the cafe upstairs. After wrestling with my 2 year old, it was a relief to be able to sit down and feed the baby while the other kids refueled.

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4. Laing Art Gallery

My kids SAID they didn’t fancy this much, but from the way they were when we were there (making videos and all to upload on youtube) I think it’s worth a visit to for both parents and children. Focusing mainly on north eastern British artists, when we were there they were having an Alice in Wonderland exhibition which really blew me away and also provided activities for the kids. There is a children’s section on the ground floor for both activities and a play area for really littles. It is also a stone’s throw away from Northumberland Street, THE shopping street in Newcastle as well as Newcastle University, which is an open university with amazing architecture so after you are done with the gallery it would be a good idea to spend the rest of the day just strolling around a grabbing a bite to eat along the streets.

aisah3
5. Leazes Park

Yes, another park. The thing about travelling with littles, well my littles at least, is that to preserve my sanity (because I’m usually alone with them while the husband does work related stuff) I need to let them loose every other day at least. They eat better, sleep better and are generally easier to deal with. It’s also a bonus that in the parks are well maintained and there’s always something for the kids to do. And a cafe tucked away somewhere for me to reward myself. So Leazes Park has 2 playgrounds, a pond full of ducks, geese and swans, and a bandstand. If you are a Newcastle United fan, you could drop by to see St James Park on the way. There is a cafe in the summer near the lake, but my friends and I prefer Les Petits Choux- a cafe with wonderful soups, sandwiches and baked goods, right in the corner of the park.

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So that’s my top 5 in Newcastle, for the family traveller. There are many more things to see and do, if you look up sites like TripAdvisor, but for my family, these places are the ones that created memories for us. Newcastle is generally sleepier than most cities in the UK, and people don’t generally come to Newcastle just to visit it. We would recommend renting a car and visiting Edinburgh (heck take a week and drive around the whole of Scotland) as well as York (full of history for a history fan like me) and stopping to see the sights along the way.

Would you like suggestions for Scotland and York as well? I’d be happy to do it. Writing this has made me all nostalgic for all the travelling we did there!

 

Article contribution by Ai’sah Rahim / Home and world schooling mother of 4, wife and personal assistant to a surgeon, aspiring writer, ex psychiatrist and unofficial medical advisor to family and friends.

 

Exclusive Scandiplanet promotion for Familytrippers… Not to be missed !

It has been a year since we were in Norway chasing the Northern Lights and since we started sharing our stories to inspire others to travel with their young children. It has been an exciting journey so far, and we look forward to continue this journey alongside our fellow family trippers.

In celebration of our 1 year trip anniversary, our friends from Scandiplanet has kindly offered a special 10% discount just for our readers and followers keen on going on an Arctic Adventure this winter.

Head over to their page and book any of the packages below using the following promo codes:

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Your very own arctic adventure awaits! Spread the love!

Keeping safe when Travelling 

How do you keep yourself, your family and your valuables safe when you’re travelling? After our London misadventure, we posed this question to our friends in Facebook, and here are some of the best replies we received. Useful tips for fellow family trippers heading to Europe this holiday!

Huda:

I keep my money everywhere. even in my shoes 😂

Tan-Ly Jennifer:

In Italy (Rome) where its famous for pickpockets, money is kept in bra, shoes. Always split the cash. And I tie my wallet to my bag. I do not bring out my wallet when paying anything. Don’t attract attention.

And if we are lost, we keep moving and do not stand at 1 place for more than a few seconds pple will know u are a tourist and is lost. I am a kiasu Singaporean traveller! Lots more precaution that I take actually. Have to publish a book probably. 😂

Lynn:

Buy travel insurance or use a credit card that offers some travel insurance coverage.

Razean:

I don’t bring all the cash with me. I will budget per day and will also bring with me the total no of $ set aside for the country, eg 3 days in London in a Ziplock bag. My lil wallet (where the daily Budget is in) will be kept in the inner pocket of the jacket or anyway I think will be safe. The rest of the money will be kept in my document file and lock in the luggage.

Most importantly, just be mindful of the surroundings. If I feel someone of a close proximity, I will be more alert. If u r using a backpack, locking the zips help too..

Nazlin:

Use a money belt and put it under your top. Put a little cash in a wallet that u can easily have access to ( but to avoid being pickpocketed, consider using a big diaper pin to pin the opening of your pocket. Got this trick from an online site. This was used by a cameraman whenever he needs to shoot in crowded places). Why you still need some money in a wallet is in case if you get robbed, you have something to surrender to them, otherwise they may get suspicious that you have no money at all. According to a restaurant owner in Paris, these pickpockets like to target those with kids as our attention seems to be more on our kids.

When taking trains from one city/country to another, bring a bicycle chain and lock and lock your luggages to the metal rail at the luggage corner. We know of someone who got her luggage stolen (since we tend to seat far from the luggages ) when the train stopped along the way. 😁

Fistri:

I try my best not to put my wallet in a backpack, it’s always in bag in front of me and yes I don’t bring all my money out. Budget per day and bring a credit card. Once I lost my wallet in HK I was still able to survive coz the rest of my money is in my suitcase’s inner pocket (yup that zipped area tt lines the bottom of the bag).

Nurfadhilah:

Don’t dump all your cash in your wallet. Keep some in your luggage, your backpack pockets (inside)… 🙂

Teguh:

Separate your cash and cards every day/stage/everywhere you go and somehow be prepared to lose; even the best countries can host the worst people.

Farah:

Welcome to our world of Scottevest! Go check if out 😉

Rasheda:

My two cents contribution. Split it with your traveling partner. We then separate it on ourselves (pocket/pouch/bag etc). Only keeping an estimate of what I think I need for the day accessible.

Another suggestion a friend made, carry a bag with multiple pockets. Place your valuable in the most inner pocket which is closest to your body. (her bag was cut open at the side without her realising till much later. It got their the first layer. Nothing valuable enough to be taken)

Louis:

When the kids were younger, I put some of the money in their bags. Pickpockets go for the adults not the kids (whom they assumed won’t be carrying cash). But things have changed. Be cautious in obvious places where lots of tourists gather for there will always be thieves amongst the crowds.

Eiffel Tower, Trevi Fountain, Westminster Bridge, Brandenburg Gate, Merlion. Easy to spot the tourists among the crowd. Harder to spot the pickpockets.

Always separate the cash and cards. A friend ‘lost’ his wallet in Europe which was returned later. Credit card doesn’t involve stolen cards but stolen information. Separate the cards and use bank cards with 2FA.

Amalina:

Need to be vigilant everywhere. Especially when a group tries to enter the metro behind u. Hafiz was pickpocketed by the gypsies in the Paris metro. He did not lock his packsafe coz we became complacent. Luckilyy we found out in time.

Lesson 1: Use the locks on our bags.

Lesson 2: Split money and keep most on our body bag.

Lesson 3: Men, don’t keep retreating when a lady pushes u. She might be trying to steal ur wallet.

Someone also stole our luggage on the train between Milan to Rome.

Lesson 4: Chain luggage to the rack.

We had to learn things the hard way.

Alicia:

I used to keep everything in a pouch in front of me, but I’ve been getting very careless after going with husband and having kids. Then we kinda just stuff here there and everywhere.

Raaha:

As students in London, my husband and I relied on our bank cards rather than cash – easier to cancel if anything happens. As a tourist this time around, my husband carried one of those money bags that goes around your waist under your shirt, and I carried a bag that I held close to me and that had an inner zip – anything valuable like phone and money goes in there. As a student, I once carelessly chucked my phone into my coat pocket (cos I was complacent), and got pickpocketed by a guy who “bumped” into me in Bayswater 🙁

#thesuhardisfightback #safefamilytravel

Our first Flytographer experience in Amsterdam

I chanced upon Flytographer while doing research for #thesuhardisineurope , and I was immediately attracted to what it has to offer – a photoshoot in a city of our choice by a local freelance photographer. It helps that their rates were attractive as well, starting from just USD $250 for a 30min shoot.

We have done 2 family photo shoots previously – the first was in Ubud, Bali when Ari was barely a year old and the second was in Bandung back in 2015. For both shoots, I engaged local photographers at very attractive (low) rates. We have some amazing family travel shots from both shoots.

We decided very quickly that we will take up a photoshoot package with Flytographer. We chose Amsterdam as we figured it will be least stressful given that it was the last leg of our trip. It also helped that the Amsterdam photo gallery had some amazing photos that we were eager to replicate for ourselves. We went for the 1 hour shot as we figured that we won’t be able to move fast with 2 young ones in tow. We had to also select a photographer whom we would like to engage, we selected the one whose photography style resonated most with us.

Communication with the photographer was done primarily through our Flytographer contact point. We were asked on our photoshoot concept and some of the must-have shots that we wanted during the shoot. My brief was simple, I wanted some shots of us riding our bikes, along the canals and posing in front of the pretty Dutch houses. Nearer to the shoot date, Flytographer linked us up with the photographer of our choice, Silvia and we confirmed the arrangement with her via watsapp the day before the scheduled shoot.

The day of the shoot also happened to be the day when the time shifted back by one hour to account for the daylight saving hour. We were clueless of this phenomenon and ended up at the meeting point an hour ahead of schedule. We got anxious when Silvia didn’t arrived at what we thought was the agreed meeting time and was relieved when we finally got in touch with her and learnt that we were early! On the flip side, because we arrived early, we managed to snap a few precious shots of us alone by the iamsterdam signage way before the crowd started piling in. A useful tip for Amsterdam bound travellers, make sure you arrive before 8am if you want to beat the crowd at the iamsterdam signage in front of Rjiksmuseum.

The photos taken by Silvia turned out to be much more than what we expected ! Despite the boys’ crankiness during the shoot, the photos of them still turned out well. I’ve uploaded some of our favourite shots below for your viewing pleasure!

If you’re interested to book a package with Flytographer, I have a piece of good news for you. You can get USD$25 off your first package if you click on this link with the promo code #FLYFAN . Don’t miss the opportunity to bring home lovely travel photos of you and your family this year-end holiday! Have fun!

Tips for families who want to see the Northern Lights

What we learnt from our LittleXplorers Arctic adventure…

About a year ago, I chanced upon Scandiplanet‘s poster on Facebook. I remember dropping their owner, Suriati, a message on Facebook expressing my interest to take up a package with them. Suriati had families engaging her services before, but not families with very young kids like us. We would be the first of such clients and she was keen to make our dream a reality. For the next couple of months, we were in close correspondence planning and designing for a family (and young kids) -friendly arctic tour adventure. 

I’ve listed down some useful tips for families who are thinking of going to Norway to see the Northern Lights.

1. More days is better than less

We decided early on that we would set aside 5 nights for our LittleXplorer trip as we wanted a higher chance of catching the Northern Lights. We have had friends who left the Arctic region disappointed that they did not manage to catch the Northern Lights. The assumption is that they would be able to see the Northern Lights during the short period that they are in the region, hence most people set aside only 1-2 days for Northern Lights. We also found out that there is a much higher chance of catching the Northern Lights in Norway than elsewhere cos Tromsø has the best location on the Aurora lattitudinal belt, so we decided to just stick with Norway.

2. Northern Lights are unpredictable

The Northern Lights occur because of the collision between particles from the Sun entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It gets pretty technical but what we gathered from Roy is that this solar activity is an important data point for him when he goes out for Northern Lights chases. There (usually) needs to be some solar activity aka the collision of particles for the lights to be seen. 

3. You need to chase! 

Even if there is solar activity, you need to find a spot where there are clear skies and little light pollution. That also means Tromso city might not be the best place to see the Northern Lights.  You need to go for a Northern Lights chase, which means getting out of the city and finding a spot or a few spots which would give you a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Don’t assume that there would be a magnificent light display right where you are or just outside your stay for the night. It might not be your lucky day.

Do your research, opt for a Northern Lights chase package for a higher success rate. One chase alone might not be sufficient. Scandiplanet recommends that you go for 3 chases, if not 2, to increase your chances of a Northern Lights sighting. 

4. Pick the right guide / package

If your base is in Tromso, I would recommend that you go with Roy from Arctic Trip. He is excellent at identifying possible Northern Light spots, he knows where the weather changing areas are, the best spots to catch the lights and he is prepared to drive beyond Norway to Finland or Sweden if necessary. He is sincere in helping his guests catch the Northern Lights and I heard that he had a perfect record last year ! Vendors with a high success rate is an important consideration too! 

Do also pick an all inclusive package as you wouldn’t want to be lugging around snow suits and boots just for 1 or 2 nights of Northern Lights chase. And if you have the chance to have a meal in the outdoors, cooked over open fire, go for it. That in itself is an experience like no other!

5. You can actually see the Northern Lights elsewhere

Technically you do not need to be in the Arctic region to see the Northern Lights. What I found interesting is that you only need a Low range of solar activity to see a good display in the Arctic region. If the solar activity is on the high side, the lights will not appear strongly in the North but will be visible in places further south like Oslo and even UK and some parts of US. Point (3) applies, look for a place with little light and clear skies.

6. Manage expectations 

It helped that Northern Lights was only one of the many highlights of Norway that we were looking forward to, like playing with reindeers, learning about the Norwegian culture, outdoor trekking and campfires. We wanted to manage our own expectations and not be overly disappointed in the event we didn’t get to see the lights. There is more to Norway (and Iceland, Finland, Sweden) than just the Northern Lights.

We had some of our best meals in Norway, cooked in the outdoors (as Low as -1degree at one point of time) cooked over huge open fire. We saw some of the most gorgeous sceneries, sunrise and sunset that we have ever seen before. 

In the end, seeing the Northern Lights was a bonus !

7. All-inclusive package might just be worth it

We don’t usually book travel packages because we’d rather do the planning ourselves. The only travel package that we have gone for so far was for our Mini Pilgrimage early this year, and that was because we needed to purchase our Visas. We also needed guidance on the religious rituals. 

The LittleXplorers package is a tie up between Scandiplanet and Arctic Trip, so you will definitely be in good hands. It is a package designed with young kids in mind. We had the flexibility to move around the activities depending on the Northern Lights condition for the day. We started our day later than most other tour groups. The boys got along well with 2 year old Markus and they had multiple play date sessions at Roy’s place. It felt more like a free & easy trip than an organised tour. 

We had 1 free & easy day in Tromso city, and that’s when we first realised that Norway is an expensive country. A standard kebab meal costed us SGD$25, a can of Coca-cola was SGD$5. Having been in UK just the week before, everything seemed overly expensive in Norway. We realised then that we probably got the better end of the bargain for our all-in 6d/5n package. We figured that if we were on our own, to enjoy the experiences that we had and the food we ate, it would have probably costed us more!

The LittleXplorers Arctic Adventure turned out to be the best leg of our Europe trip. I loved it that we did all that we had planned for with Suriati, but what we got out of it was much much more than just that. We learnt a great deal about the outdoors and the Norwegian way of life. We lived like the locals, we had many firsts and we did stuff we can only dream of doing in Singapore. We survived the Arctic, and most importantly, with God’s will, we got to enjoy 2 nights of absolute Northern Lights bliss, right where we were. Definitely a trip to remember. Contact Scandiplanet if you would love to experience such an adventure too! 

Familytrippers learns how to dress warm for winter…

We were unprepared for the cold in Sorreisa, Norway. Our jackets were thick but not thick enough for single digit (and lower!) temperatures. But we were lucky because our guide has a 2 year old son, and he had extra jackets and boots that our boys could borrow during our stay. Our tour agency also brought along snow suits for the kids, which were very effective in keeping us warm even in very Low temperatures. 

Roy told us that the temperature will dip even lower this December. If you are planning a trip to Norway or neighbouring Iceland / Sweden, do make sure you bring along the right kind of clothes to keep you and your children warm!

Watch this video for a better idea of what dressing warm looks like over in Norway.

Soccer-tripping

One of the highlights of #thesuhardisineurope was the live soccer matches that we caught in Anfield and Old Trafford. Hubby is a soccer-freak, I say freak because each time he is on his phone, he is always reading updates on soccer matches or other soccer-related news. I always tell him that he will make an excellent sports newscaster because he’s so well-read on global soccer news.

Part 1 – Buying tickets for soccer matches in Europe

I thought of sharing on our experiences in getting hold of match tickets for the matches that we have watched thus far, just in case any of you are keen to catch some live Soccer action in your next Europe trip. 

Inter Milan vs Atalanta

San Siro, 24/4/2010

6 years ago, when we were in Europe for our honeymoon, we were supposed to catch a match in Barcelona. We ended up stranded in Paris due to the Icelandic volcanic ash incident, and we never made our way to Spain as we had to find alternative travel arrangements out of Paris. We were in Milan and we found out that there would be an Inter Milan match on one of the evenings that we were there. We were told that we would be able to get tickets before the match as it was not a sold out match. 

True enough, we managed to buy our tickets from the ticket counter at the stadium and that was our first experience catching a soccer match live in Europe.


Ticket price: €26

Liverpool vs Man Utd

Anfield, 17/10/2016

For our recent trip, we booked our flight tickets in April, as there was an attractive promotion by KLM then. We knew that we would be visiting Anfield and Old Trafford, but because the match schedule for the season 16/17 was not out, we did not fix the itinerary of our trip then. When the match schedule was released in June, we decided on the match that we would be catching and fix our itinerary from there. There was going to be a Liverpool-Manchester United match on the first weekend that we would be in Europe, and since that is an important match for us (hubby is a Liverpool fan and I’m a Man Utd fan!). We did our research and asked around about getting tickets for the match, and we found out the following:

– Tickets for huge games like this one are usually not available for sale to the public. You’ll need to be a member for a chance to buy the tickets. This brings me to my next point below.

– Even if you are a member, there are limited tickets for these games, hence balloting will take place. In other words, there is no guarantee that you will get tickets for the match.

– And even if you are lucky and manage to snag a ticket, you can only ballot for 1 ticket per member. There was no way I would be a Liverpool fan just for a (slim) chance of getting a ticket to the game! 

– One possible option is to take up the hospitality packages that the club offers through agents like Thomas Cook. The packages usually include accommodation and/or dinner before the match. On the first day of the hospitality package sale, the children packages (which were a fraction the price of the adult packages) were sold out within the first hour. We were left with the option of purchasing 4 adult packages which would have cost us over £1.5k ! 

We did the next best thing and asked for help from our Facebook contacts. A friend of ours directed us to a Malaysian who currently lives in Liverpool, Nazali. He runs a Homestay business in Liverpool and facilitates the purchase of match tickets for his guests. We got in touch with him and made arrangements to stay in his accommodation for 2 nights. His hospitality package was slightly higher than the one offered by Thomas Cook, but we decided to go ahead with it as he and his wife provide a babysitting service at a very low price of £10/hour. We decided to go ahead with the booking, and spent £1.05k on our match tickets, 2 nights of accommodation, stadium tour and babysitting service. If you do book a package with him, you might want to request for an accommodation in Liverpool city centre as it is nearer to Anfield. We stayed in an apartment in Garston which was about half an hour away from city centre and one hour away from Anfield via public transport. The only consolation was that we could easily drop off and pick up our kids on the night of the match as his place was a 10-minute walk from our accommodation. If you do not require babysitting service, we do not recommend that you stay in this neighbourhood.


Man Utd v Fenerbache 

Old Trafford, 20/10/2016

When we were planning our UK itinerary, we found out that Man Utd will be playing a home match the night that we had originally planned to fly off from Manchester to Norway. We decided to spend an additional night in Manchester just so that we can catch the match at Old Trafford. As it was a Europa Cup and not a Premiere League match, tickets were available and non-members are allowed to buy multiple tickets. Children tickets were available as well, so we decided to buy the tickets and bring the kids along for the match. Total cost for 2 adults and 2 kids was £105.

We bought the tickets online from the club’s website about 2 months before our trip. One week before our departure, we realised that we had yet to receive our tickets. Worried that the tickets will not reach us in time for our trip, I decided to email the club to enquire. We got a reply from them within the day assuring us that the tickets would be sent to us. The next day, they informed us that they have mailed out the tickets. The tickets arrived the day before we departed for Europe.



Ajax Amsterdam v Excelsior

Amsterdam Arena, 30/10/2016

When we were in Manchester, hubby was catching up on his daily soccer news and found out that Ajax will be playing at home on our 2nd night in Amsterdam. We checked out the club’s website and found out that tickets were still on sale. However we weren’t able to purchase the tickets online as the site required us to key in our membership details which we didn’t have. We decided that we will try our luck at the stadium instead. On the night of the match, we reached the stadium an hour before kick off. We managed to locate the ticket sales counter and got ourselves tickets for the match. We paid about €100 for 2 adults and 2 child tickets. 

The match wasn’t that exciting but we still had a good time. 😬



Part 2 – Things to note when watching soccer matches in Europe

– Public transport can be pretty crowded. You might want to try and make your way to the stadium earlier so that you won’t be caught in heavy human traffic.

– Bring as little stuff as possible. We usually leave our bags and bottles in our accommodation, and only bring along the necessary items and money. There are usually bag checks, so it’ll be faster to clear if you don’t have big bulky bags with you.

– The stadiums that we have been to have many entrance points. Make sure you check which gate you are at, else you will find yourself walking around the whole stadium to get to your entrance. 

– Because there are many entrance points, I didn’t find myself having to jostle with people as I enter or leave the stadiums. Despite the large crowd, the stadiums don’t feel crowded, which is what I like most of all!

– We usually buy cheap seats hence our seats are almost always somewhere at the top. Be prepared to climb up and down the stairs, wear comfortable shoes! Amsterdam arena actually has escalators, so that was easy !

– Sit in the family section if you are watching the game with your kids. The fans can be very passionately loud and vulgar during the match, you wouldn’t want to expose your kids to their foul language. We sat in the fans section at Anfield and I was shocked (and amused!) at the words that came out of the fans’ mouths ! At Old Trafford, we sat at the family section and we had none of them vulgarities uttered in the section! 

– Bring along a good jacket if you are there during autumn/winter. I kept my jackets on throughout all 3 matches in our recent trip because it did get rather chilly during the matches.

– Do find out if you are sitting in the Home or Away section, and dress accordingly. Club loyalty is big and we don’t want scary things to happen to you just because you picked out the wrong jersey to wear that day!

– Quite a lot of people leave the stadium at the 80th minute just so they won’t be caught in a human traffic congestion after the match is over. Leave early or stay behind and leave after the crowd has dispersed. This is especially useful if you are watching the game with young kids.

So if you love Soccer and are planning a trip to Europe, I say go and catch a match if you can! You should see hubby’s face each time we reach a stadium – he’s like a little kid in Disneyland ! ☺️

For the love of soccer

Hubby is a huge Soccer fan, so we have decided that we will visit as many stadiums as possible on this trip. In Singapore, Barclays Premier League is one of, if not the most watched sports league. Almost everyone who loves Soccer is an avid supporter of one of the  BPL teams, hence visiting these stadiums where many a matches have been played and streamed live in Singapore, is a big deal to the hubby.

Presenting our collection of #visitallstadiums photos to date.

Emirates Stadium | 14 Oct 2016

Stamford Bridge | 15 Oct 2016


Anfield | 18 Oct 2016


Goodison Park | 18 Oct 2016


Old Trafford | 19 Oct 2016

Etihad Stadium | 19 Oct 2016