Best sporting venues in London
It may be that London is worthy of more different travel articles than any other city in the world. You could talk about historical sights, modern attractions, and beautiful landmarks. You can cover pubs in general, pubs off the beaten path, or the best German beers in town. You can discuss all kinds of tours, tons of museums, and a whole bunch of fun day trips. But one thing the city is known for that doesn’t always get as much attention as these popular topics is sports.
Home to great teams and iconic contests in everything from soccer to rowing, London is about as enjoyable a city for sports as you’ll find in Europe, if not the entire world. And this is at least partially thanks to some of the awesome venues that exist around the city.
Best sporting venues In London
This is probably the most famous stadium in town, and with good reason. It hosts so many major events an outsider could be forgiven for assuming it’s the only stadium in town. Opened in 2007, it seats 90,000 people primarily for soccer and rugby, but also for events like boxing matches, concerts, and American football. The stadium is striking on the outside, modern on the inside, and yet not without a feeling of tradition that links it to some of the other famous soccer stadiums in Europe. In 2017-18 in particular there are going to be a lot of chances to visit Wembley, because it’s temporarily hosting the Premier League soccer team Tottenham Hotspur while its ordinary venue (White Hart Lane) undergoes renovation.
All England Club
Technically called the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, this may actually be the most famous sports stadium in London aside from Wembley (even if you’ve never heard that long and somewhat ridiculous title). You may know it better as the place where Wimbledon happens. It’s the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament, and that’s at least somewhat thanks to the incredible beauty of the grounds. The All England Club is famous for meticulously manicured lawns, clean stadium, and even a simple color scheme that mandates players wear white. Attending matches here feels almost like watching what tennis might look like in a more refined civilization.
Known as the ”Home of Cricket”, Lord’s is a remarkable place to watch a sport that a lot of visitors to London may not be particularly familiar with. It’s worth studying the rules of cricket just so you can enjoy your time here, however, whether for a Marleybone Cricket Club match or a national team test for England or Wales. It’s just a gorgeous place for a day of sports, and particularly nice in that it’s practically attached to Regent’s Park, which is one of the nicer outdoor areas to explore in London.
One of the newer grounds in the Premier League and one of the biggest, Emirates Stadium is simply an impressive place to watch a soccer match. Lately, things have been a little bit rocky for Arsenal, the club that occupies the stadium. The 2017-18 season is going poorly, long-time manager Arsene Wenger has come up in talks about who’s leading the managerial sack race, and other traditionally classy clubs are thriving. Even so, it’s high quality soccer, and particularly when a rival London club is visiting, the atmosphere can be tremendous. Particularly with White Hart Lane closed, it may be the best place in the city to watch soccer.
The O2 Arena
This may not be as popular a pick because it just isn’t used as frequently as the other stadiums on the list. But the O2 Arena is special when it’s open, typically for boxing or tennis. You may actually have just seen a good imitation of it, given that its sister stadium in Prague just hosted the inaugural Laver Cup for tennis. In London, the main annual event is the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament, which is simply special to behold. The arena feels intimate, the stands are kept largely in the dark, and the court lights up like a theater stage as some of the best tennis players in the world go at it.
TIP: When visiting England’s capital, here’s a list of the things you should do while in London.