May 10, 2019
After a crazy week of remarkable comebacks and drama, four English teams will face off in the finals of Europe’s top two competitions for the first time in history.
In the Champions League, Liverpool FC will play Tottenham Hotspur on June 1 in Madrid, while Arsenal FC face Chelsea FC in Baku for the Europa League title on May 29.
Unsurprisingly, demand for flights to both Madrid and Baku has gone through the roof. So, if you're desperate to be a part of the action, we've rounded up some of the options for getting to both finals.
Direct flights to Madrid from the UK are virtually impossible to come by for Friday, 31 May and Saturday, 1 June (the day of the final) unless you are willing to pay a small fortune.
When we checked, direct flights from Manchester were coming in at £1,081pp (flying with Air Europa on May 31 and back on June 2), while direct flights from London Gatwick for the same dates would set you back £993 (Flying with Iberia).
However, if you can’t afford to pay such inflated prices, there are a few cheaper indirect options available. These are our tips for making it to the Champions League final for less:
1. Consider different travel dates (and a longer break)
Fly out just for the game and straight back again and you'll pay for it.
But if you extend your trip to dates that are less in demand, not only are you likely to get a better deal on flights, you can enjoy a cheeky city break in Madrid as well.
For example, there are flights for under £200 return if you’re happy to fly out from Manchester on the Thursday and spend 5 to 6 nights in Spain, flying back on June 4 or 5. Just be aware you’ll have long layovers each way in Brussels.
It’s even better news from London. Fly out on the same dates and you could get direct flights from Heathrow for £304pp.
2. Prepare for late nights and long layovers
If you are prepared to spend a lot of time in airports and on planes, you can travel to the game on the Friday and come back on the Sunday for under £500pp.
When we checked, there were flights to Madrid for £473pp flying from Manchester. The flight out includes a stop in Marrakech, while the return has two stops in Barcelona and Menorca. Total transit time for both legs would be over 24 hours.
Same goes for Spurs fans flying from London. You could fly from London City, stopping over in Lisbon on the way, with the return flight getting into Luton via Barcelona and Bucharest, for £364pp.
3. Look at flights to different Spanish airports
Rather than Madrid, compare the price of flying to a different Spanish airport. The major cities are well connected by train and rail travel is relatively cheap (compared to Britain, anyway!).
We found flights to Spain starting at £165pp return. For example, you can currently fly to Barcelona from Gatwick on May 30 returning June 3 for £165pp – you would need to spend a night in Lisbon on the return leg, however.
From Manchester, there are indirect options from £281pp for the same travel dates.
The AVE high-speed train service between Madrid and Barcelona gets you there in just under three hours. Compare this to a direct flight to Madrid on the same days (Flying out May 30, flying back June 3) and the best available fare showing is £948 return.
Seville is also worth looking at; trains take around 3 hours to Madrid. Valencia is another option, with a shorter train journey of 2 hours. Compare flights to Spain using our comprehensive travel tool.
4. Look at hotels outside of Madrid
Like flights, hotel prices in Madrid have also sky-rocketed for the weekend of the game. The good news is there are plenty of places to stay outside of the Spanish capital.
For example, you can find a night in Toledo from £62 (with breakfast) on June 3.
It’s bad news for Liverpool fans: Across the board, it’s cheaper for Spurs supporters flying from London. Although they may not be too bothered when they see that Liverpool are strong favourites to lift the trophy!
Chelsea and Arsenal fans have considerably longer journey ahead of them if they want to cheer on their team come May 29. The final takes place on the absolute fringes of Europe in Baku, the fascinating capital of Azerbaijan.
Being such an unusual destination, it’s not likely to be a cheap journey. When we looked, the quickest flights from London came in at a whopping £2209 (flying out May 28, returning May 30).
You can do it for around £500, but you’ll need to be prepared for nearly 40 hours in transit and multiple layovers across there and back.
Please note: All prices correct as of 10 May, 2019.
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