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 trip, you will meet our English Speaking Homefans Local Host and Besiktas fan, Sinan, who will take care of the whole group at all times. You will visit the Old Town and walk through the main landmarks, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. He will be able to connect football with amazing stories from these specials places.
And the match? One of the biggest Derby in the world, Besiktas x Galatasaray! 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. You will have the best pre-match experience with local supporters and watch this intense and huge game!
Also, you will have a stadium tour at Turk Telecom Arena, home of Galatasaray. Over there, experience football in Turkey 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.
Are you ready?
Today's all about getting together, as adventurous football fans from across the world arrive in Istanbul for derby day.
You'll meet your local host Sinan - who'll kick off the trip in style by taking you to a traditional Turkish food place for dinner.
So you can meet your fellow travelers and prepare for an incredible, jam-packed day of action tomorrow.
It's matchday! And what a day this is.
Today starts with a magnificent city tour and a look into this city's amazing history. You'll see the best of Istanbul with your local host and marvel at sights like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, and the Grand Bazaar.
Then we'll visit the historic Besiktas area along the European shores of the Bosphorus strait. Where you can treat yourself to some tasty local food and enjoy one last moment of calm before your crazy matchday experience begins.
You'll meet up with Besiktas supporters groups to learn their chant and get immersed in their local fan culture before heading to the stadium together. Where you'll see one of the loudest and most insane football atmospheres on Earth!
After the game, your host will be happy to give you the best nightlife tips. Or help you get back to the hotel and recover after a truly crazy day!
Istanbul is a city of many stadiums and clubs...but we will head to Galatasaray Turk Telecom Area to have an amazing stadium tours behind the scenes.
If there's another good football game in town, our host will be happy to give you more insight and take you there.
Unfortunately, even the finest (and craziest) adventures must come to an end. But the new friends and fantastic memories you've made will last for a lifetime.
It's time to pack your bags, check-out, and say goodbye to the majestic city of Istanbul. But don't forget to stay in touch with your fellow travelers - you might meet them on another Homefans sooner than you think!