The countdown to this year’s Champions League final started in Plaza Isabel I on Monday when Juande Ramos and Juanmi set the clock in motion.
As football-loving cities go, Spain’s capital Madrid is definitely right up there with the best and the City council are hoping that this year’s Champions League final will be "an authentic fiesta" to celebrate the Beautiful Game. This will be the fifth time the final has be held in the Spanish capital, but the first to be held at the Wanda Metropolitano – Atlético’s stylish new home on the northern edge of the city.
2019 Champions League final Fan Zones
Unlike previous editions, there will be no large screen broadcast of the final. Liverpool have been designated Plaza Felipe II for their Fan Zone - the square, with Salvador Dalí's Dolmen statue at one end, is not particularly big but there are plenty of bars close by and there is at least some shade from the sun. Strumming a few tunes on the square, and who knows, possibly a rendition of Allez Allez Allez, will be Jamie Webster and John Power (ex-La's and Cast). (Metro: Goya - Linea 2, the Red Line)
Spurs' Fan Zone is down the road at the Plaza de Colón between Recoletos and Calle Serrano, recognisable by the monument to Christopher Colombus and the enormous Spanish flag on the far end near to Serrano; it's more open and there are less bars close although trees provide some shade. The nearest Metro stations are Colón and Serrano (both Linea 4 - the Brown Line) and it's also well served by buses - Numbers 14, 21, 27, 37, 45, 53, 150). Events planned so far include DJ sets and appearances by Spurs legends.
Both Fan Zones will close at 18:00 hours on the day of the game.
Getting to the Metropolitano from the Fan Zone
Liverpool fans route to the stadium from Goya: Liverpool fans making their way to the ground from the Fan Zone must take Linea 2 (the Red Line) from Goya to Las Rosas (seven stops) from where they can walk to the stadium. Liverpool have been allocated seats in the South stand (access through Gate 3).
Tottenham fans route to the stadium from Colón: Spurs fans will make their way to the game on Linea 5 (the Green Line). From the Plaza de Colón, with the Colombus monument in front of you and the Spanish flag behind you, cross the main road - Paseo de Recoletos and head up Calle Genova to connect with the metro at Alonso Martínez. Take Line 5 (Direction: Alameda de Osuna) to Canillejas (12 stops); from where it's a short walk to the stadium. Spurs fans are in the North stand (access through Gate 17).
Activities in central Madrid
Most of the pre-match activities have been organized to take place in the four main areas in the centre of the city – Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Callao and Plaza de Oriente – all of these areas are within easy walking distance of each other.
A series of events and activities have been programmed from Thursday 30 May until Sunday 2 June – all of them are open to the general public and are free to attend.
The festival gets underway with the arrival of the trophy in Sol at 11:00 hours on Thursday. Later that evening, Sebastian Yatra will provide a bit of musical entertainment on the main stage from 22:00. On the eve of the game, mini-matches will take place on Plaza Mayor during the day with a concert by Belgian house DJs Dimitri and Like Mike in Sol.
On the big day itself, legendary Brazilian full-back Roberto Carlos will be in charge of making sure the trophy gets from Sol to the stadium, and while he is driving up Calle Alcalá with Ol’ Big Ears, Colombian singer Carlos Vivas will be bringing his own brand of Cumbia-pop to the main stage in Sol.
Gran Vía station closed; Line 2 stations to reopen on Friday
Metro station Gran Vía (Línea 1 and 5) is closed due to refurbishment work. Alternative stations – all within walking distance from Sol – Opera, La Latina, Callao are the nearest Line 5 stations – this is the most direct route from the city centre.
Metro Madrid has announced that the section of Línea 2 (the red line) between Sol and Retiro will reopen on Friday 31 May. That part of Línea 2 has been closed for the past four months due to the redevelopment work in the Canalejas area. Metro Madrid have also announced that services on Lines 2, 5, 7 and 8 will be increased from 22:00 hours on Thursday until 15:00 hours on Sunday when normal service resumes.
Linea 5 (Line 5 – the Green Line)
The most direct route to the Wanda Metropolitano, via public transport from the city centre is by Line 5 then changing to Línea 7 at Pueblo Nuevo. The journey from any of the Line 5 stations in the centre (La Latina, Opera, Callao) to Pueblo Nuevo should take around 20 minutes. From Pueblo Nuevo to the Estadio Metropolitano is six stops and takes 10 minutes.
To get around Madrid on the metro – whether you are making one journey or several, you will need to buy a contactless pay-as-you-go travelcard - the Tarjeta Multi, which can be charged at machines in all metro stations. The red Tarjeta Multi is similar to the Merseyrail Walrus card and London Transport’s Oyster card. It costs 2.50 euros and can be bought directly from the ticket machines inside all stations on Madrid’s metro network or at stations on the Cercanías network, including the main hub station Atocha. Unlike the Oyster and Walrus Cards, the Tarjeta Multi is not refundable.
The Tarjeta Multi can be charged with one journey (1.20 euros) or 10 journeys (12.20 euros). One person might not need 10 journeys on their card if they are only visiting for the weekend – however if you are travelling to the ground by metro or bus in a group, you can share the same card, obviously you will need to work out how many journeys you will need to charge the card and remember how many are left.
Alternatively, you can charge the card with the Tourist Pass (Abono Turístico) which offers unlimited travel all day in Zones A or T (Zone T includes the airport). Rates are 8.40 euros for one day (Zone A – which will get you to the Wanda Metropolitano) and 17.00 euros for Zone T. Tottenham fans who bought their tickets to the game through the club will be issued a free travel pass to use on public transport in Madrid courtesy of the club.
We'd advise to ask Metro personnel to help you get your travelcard. Madrid Metro staff are generally very helpful and friendly.
Last metro service from the Metropolitano
The last metro from the Estadio Metropolitano leaves at 01:30 hours, although if you have a connection on another line, you might have to leave earlier than that. Metro Madrid have not confirmed whether there will be an extension to the normal timetable on Saturday – taking into account the post-match celebrations, it is possible that the service could be extended to 02:00 hours or later.
The area surrounding the Wanda Metropolitano will be open from 16:00 hours and the gates will be open from 18:00 hours - three hours before kick-off.
If you prefer a more scenic route to the stadium, EMT Madrid will be running three bus services to the Metropolitano stadium on the day of the game. Travelcards can be used on the bus.
28 - Puerta de Alcalá-Canillejas
38 - Manuel Becerra-Las Rosas
E2 - Plaza Felipe II-Las Rosas)
Taxis from the centre to the Wanda Metropolitano will be expensive and not necessarily quicker than the metro. Expect to pay in excess of 30 euros. The meter should read 3.10 euros when you start your journey (Tarif 2). More information on Madrid taxi charges here:
San Isidro: Corrida at Las Ventas bullring
The San Isidro festivities are ongoing in Madrid and there are bullfights programmed for the weekend of the final (both start at 19:00 hours) so the area around Las Ventas, which is on the way to the Metropolitano, will be busy early evening - and the metro service to the bullring will also be busier than usual.
Madrid's Municipal Police have launched a helpline in collaboration with Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC on Twitter before the final:
Police have advised travelling fans to carry a photocopy of their passport with them - unlike the United Kingdom, Spain does have a national identity card scheme and locals have to carry documentation with them at all times.
Here's the weather...
The weather forecast for Saturday couldn't be much better - clear, sunny with zero chances of rain. Temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 32 degrees Celcius (90F) during the day and will drop to around 29 degrees C ahead of kick-off. Although it won't exactly be sweltering hot, it is easy to become dehydrated in the Madrid heat without realizing so we'd recommend a few 'water breaks' during the day.