From the temples of Santiago Bernabéu to Camp Nou, Spain hosts some of the most revered stadiums in the world. Here are our hand-picked selections of the country’s eleven best.
Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid
Home to one of the biggest clubs in the world in Real Madrid, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a spectacle. Built in 1947, the stadium takes the shape of an alien ship in the heart of one of Madrid’s most famous districts, the Paseo de la Castellana. On the inside, the 81,044 capacity venue offers a timeless, cracking ambiance. Playing host to countless dramatic finishes to Los Blancos, the World Cup and European finals, no wonder it is rated highly as one of the world’s best world’s best venues.
In 2020, the venue underwent a significant renovation to bring it up to the technological standards of the 21st century plus a retractable roof and new towers on the west side.
Camp Nou, Barcelona
In what is the largest football stadiums in La Liga and Europe, Camp Nou in Barcelona seats 99,000 fans. Opened in 1957, it has played host to two of the best players ever — Johan Cyruff and Lionel Messi — and has been a go-to stadium for Champions League finals, the World Cup, and the Summer Olympics. Considered a modern-day cathedral, the stadium’s museum clocks in 1.2 million visitors each year.
Estadio de La Cartuja, Sevilla
A popular venue for the Spanish national team, Estadio de La Cartuja is a modern stadium that seats 60,000. Completed in 1999, it often plays host to Spanish Cups and Europa League finals. Both of the city’s clubs Sevilla and Real Betis are considering playing in the venue while their stadiums get restructured.
El Molinón, Real Sporting de Gijón
Nicknamed the “big mill” since it was founded in 1908 on the grounds of an old watermill, El Molinón Stadium is the oldest football stadium in Spain. While the outside of the stadium looks disorderly, the inside of the stadium is full of magic. The arena seats 29,029 fans in what proves to be one of the traditional, rabid Spanish football atmospheres.
The Mestalla, Valencia
Built in 1923, Mestalla Stadium seats nearly 50,000 of Spain’s most ardent fans who make their venue feel like a fortress. Valencia is often considered one of Spain’s most followed clubs not named Real Madrid and Barcelona.
San Mamés, Bilbao
Opened in 1913, the so-called ‘Cathedral of football’ continues to offer one the most charming experiences in Spanish football. With the seats aligned closer to the field, fans get to see the beautiful game played with a more intimate experience.
Manuel Martínez Valero, Elche
Completed in 1976, the Manuel Martínez Valero Stadium contains the biggest field in La Liga at 108×70 meters. While it serves as the home stadium for second division Elche, the 33,732 capacity arena also played host to the 1982 World Cup and 2003 Copa del Rey.
Riazor, Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña
Home for Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña, Riazor Stadium is a 33,000 capacity arena that sits steps away from the ocean side. Like many of the other stadiums on this list, it too featured as host stadium in the 1982 World Cup.
El Sadar, Pamplona
One of the rowdiest stadiums in Spain, the 18,761 seats make home to second division team Club Atlético Osasuna. The arena opened in 1967 with a three-team tournament involving Osasuna, Real Zaragoza, and Portugal’s Vitoria de Setúbal.
Ipurua, Sociedad Deportiva Eibar
Surrounded by mountains, Ipurua Municipal Stadium is a 7,000 capacity stadium that originally opened in 1951. The home team Sociedad Deportiva Eibar entered La Liga in 2014 to much fanfare but have since complained about the limiting seating at the area. The most crowded game all-time took place took place against visitors Barcelona which drew in 6,725 spectators.
Vicente Calderón, formerly Atlético Madrid
Named after the former 20-year president of Atlético Madrid, Vicente Calderón, the Vicente Calderón Stadium is a 54,000 capacity arena located in the Arganzuela district of Madrid. From 1966 to 2017, it operated as the home field for Atlético Madrid who now plays at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. From Atletico’s La Liga championship side in 2014 to the 1982 World Cup, the Vicente Calderón stadium has played host to some remarkable matches.