Travelling abroad is a sure way to discover a foreign culture inside and out. From exotic cuisine to unique landmarks, there are plenty of opportunities for a culture shock. But if you’re more into stadiums than museums, sport is just as authentic a window into a country’s soul. So, are you ready to blend in with the roaring crowds of a football game or soak up the atmosphere of a historic bicycle race? Here are some exciting sports events to experience on your next trip.
Tour de France
The first Tour de France started in 1903. Since then, the iconic race has become the most popular and most prestigious bicycle competition worldwide. And foreign tourists and locals alike have long flocked the country each summer to follow in the action-packed stages of the infamous French Tour. Held every year in July, the tour comprises 21 stages over 23 days.
With a mix of rural stages, mountainous peaks, and metropolitan stopovers, this bicycle race offers many changes of scenery. The Tour de France also occasionally passes by neighbouring countries. In 2022, riders departed from Denmark’s Copenhagen. Thus, tourists can plan their trip accordingly to follow the riders all the way to a grand arrival on the Champs-Élysées.
Alternatively, visitors might catch a glimpse of a single exciting stage on such legendary climbs and passes as Mont Ventoux. Avid sports enthusiasts may even ride the bike themselves to discover picturesque French locations on the road.
Wrestling is a worldwide passion. Contrary to martial arts, though, wrestling is as much about spectacular moves as over-the-top theatrics. While the USA boasts the largest number of wrestling events for visitors to attend, tourists can cross the border down south to explore another wrestling hotspot.
Mexican wrestling, or Lucha libre, is famous for its colourful masks, goofy fighters, and impressive high-flying manoeuvres. A way of life in its own right, Mexico City declared Lucha libre an intangible cultural heritage. The capital’s gigantic Arena México hosts epic luchas every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. The Arena Coliseo in Guadalajara also schedules wrestling fights on Tuesday nights.
Other countries have put their twist on this enthralling show of strength, from Senegal to Mongolia. Yet, Japan might claim the most dramatic wrestling variant of all. Considered the ultimate national sport, sumo wrestling dates back to Antiquity. And with its complex set of rules and traditional customs, sumo is just as gorgeous-looking as it is impressive. However, few sumo tournaments are held each year throughout Japan. In Tokyo, tourists may head to Ryogoku’s sumo stadium in January, May, and September. Osaka also boasts sumo competitions in January, March, May, July, and September.
European football season
Football is, by far, the world’s most watched sport. While the beautiful game is universally loved, Europe remains the cradle of high-level football. And for sports enthusiasts, a European trip is rife with live football possibilities.
The continent’s most spectacular leagues are, arguably, the German Bundesliga and the Spanish La Liga. To see some superstars up close, the French Ligue 1 boasts football icons such as Lionel Messi and Neymar. And the hectic crowds of Greek and Turkish stadiums offer as much entertainment in the rows as on the pitch. Still, the English Premier League remains the undisputed leader of European football. Grabbing tickets for world-class clubs like Liverpool and Manchester City can be a handful, but visitors might try their luck with lower tier teams.
The European football season usually starts in August before ending in May, with Champions League and Europa League matches scheduled in between. So, tourists might plan their trip ahead to secure tickets. And to get it on the hype, they may even place bets on their favourite team. Online betting site reviews allow punters to find rewarding sportsbooks. Expert bettors have scoured the internet to rank top websites. From competitive odds to juicy bonuses and accessible customer services, they cover every aspect of sports betting online. Plus, reviewers provide valuable tips for punters to avoid scams.
Are you gearing up for some excitement on your next trip? Watching live sports is just as fun as it is authentic. And from F1 Grand Prix to NBA games and legacy tennis tournaments, there are many more sports events to plan a thrilling trip.