Before I went to Turkey, I’ve heard that football league in Turkey is as good as in Europe. The quality of the football club is great with top-notch players, maybe you know Robin van Persie that played for Fenerbahce, Sneijder and Podolski for Galatasaray, or Pepe who played for Besiktas. Apparently, the famous football club in Turkey are Besiktas, Galatasaray, and Fenerbahce. By famous I mean, world famous. It’s like the big 3 that always compete to get the first rank in the table.
Okay, I am not that familiar with Turkey’s Football League or as they called it Süper Lig. When everyone here knows that I like football, they started to ask which is my favorite football team in Turkey. So I started to learn about the football situation here, starting from knowing their stadium. Because a stadium tells a thousand history, right?
Why I choose Besiktas Stadium then? The stadium located in a very good location, just in front of the Dolmabahce Palace, in the shore of the famous Bosphorus. Another plus point is Besiktas is the only Turkish club that played in the Champions League this year. Disclaimer: at the time I was visiting the stadium, the club still plays in the Champions League.
The name of the stadium itself is Vodafone Park. Before that, the name was BJK Inonu Stadium, but they decided to renovate it in 2013 and it finished in 2016. In 2017, they open the stadium for the public with the first stadium tour in Turkey. The tour itself called ‘Beşiktaş JK Şeref Turu’ or ‘Beşiktaş JK’s Honour Tour’.
If you wish to enter just the stadium or the museum, you have to pay 25 TL for either stadium or museum. But it is better to buy the combo ticket which only cost you 35 TL for both stadium tour and museum. After buying the ticket, you have to wait for about 20 mins because it is a group tour, so you have to wait until the quota is full. Since I went alone for the tour, so it was quite awkward because no one went alone. And they did wear the team’s jersey.
The tour is in Turkish, so yes it getting quite awkward for me because I haven’t master Turkish yet. First stop is the tribune. I must say the stadium was quite fascinating for my first ever stadium tour. Later we visited the media, VIP room, press conference room, and the changing room (home & away). Since I didn’t know any of the BJK’s player, except Pepe so I wasn’t that excited in the home changing room. While the others were so excited. I got more excited in the away changing room because they displayed some of the famous players’ jersey who have visited the stadium.
The highlight of the tour for me is when we got the chance to land on the ground by the player’s tunnel. The tour guide turned on the chant while we enter the ground. Wow what an atmosphere. We can also sit on the players bench. I am a happy fan!
The stadium tour finish on the ground. In the exit, all the visitors could take their green screen photos (it was paid) and you can get the participation certificate by inputting personal data into the computer and they will send it to your email. I did this one, but until now I haven’t received my certificate.
For the museum ticket holder, proceed to the museum. In here, you can read the history of the team itself, some memorabilia, trophies, etc. I really like the museum because they have so many interactive displays. From karaoke room, where you can sing to their chants. The crowd noise room, where you can listen to the extremely loud chants of theirs. Virtual reality, which I didn’t try because there were too many queues. And the green screen photo area, where you can pose with the players and they will send your photos to your email, free! For kids, there was also a special area in the museum where kids can play.
No wonder, Vodafone Park got chosen as the best new stadium in the world. The stadium was magnificent, interactive, and the displays are so cool. My first ever stadium tour went well.