Considered one of the capitals of football, Istanbul is home of three giants in Turkey: Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray. Football for them really is more than a sport, it is part of everyday Turkish life. Most newspapers devote an average of 4 pages daily to the subject, even during the summer when there are no more matches. It is just crazy!
Upon arrival in the city, you will soon realize that football has a more important place than religion in society, which affects all classes of the population. From the President to the taxi drivers, women, men and children; everyone has an opinion about football and knowing which team you support is such a big deal. The atmosphere, the madness at major games sometimes has no comparison to Europe and even the world. The songs of the supporters, flags, and choreographies provide a memorable show you will not forget.
Understanding Turkish culture requires an understanding of the love that Turkish people have for football. This sport moves people’s passions to the point of delirium. Turkish football fans not just support their team and cheer for them, but they follow and analyze every move of their favourite teams in the papers, wear clothes adorned with their team’s symbols and logos, and endlessly talk about the matches with friends as well as strangers in every kind of social situation.
In this tour, you will meet an English Speaking Homefans Local Host, Sinan, at the Old City. We will have a nice walking through the main landmarks, such as Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. He will be able to connect football with amazing stories from these specials places. Before we move on, Sinan will take you to his favourite Kebab restaurant so you can try a delicious street food!
After having a good traditional tasty meat, we will take the Tram to the Besiktas neighbourhood, Sinan’s club. They have a huge fan base, known as the “Çarşı”. It is one of the most well-known ultras groups in Europe, supporting the team home and away, being very loud and creating an electrical atmosphere during games, especially at the European cup games. RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner was forced to wear earplugs and also held his hands to his ears before he was taken off during a Champions League game, in a hostile atmosphere inside the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul. We will have an amazing behind the scenes Stadium Tour and Sinan will be able to tell you the best stories about his club and the rivalry with Galatasaray.
Next, we will take the metro towards Turk Telecom Arena, home of Galatasaray. Over there, another authentic Stadium Tour through the main areas, such as dressing rooms, press conferences and of course, entering the pitch! In the end, you can stop by the club’s store to buy some merchandising.
It is the final stop of the tour and Sinan will say goodbye to everybody, hoping to see all of you soon!
Meeting Point: Old City