If there’s one thing you should know about Portugal, it’s that you can’t talk about Portuguese culture without also talking about football.
The Portuguese live and breathe football, and with thunderous roars heard across cities and villages during football season, it’s no wonder the sport is also considered the national sport. The club’s home stadium, the amazing Benfica Stadium, is an iconic landmark that fills capacity each year with fans gathering from all around the world to cheer on their beloved team.
All about Benfica Stadium
Whether you’re a football fan or not, visiting Benfica Stadium is a must when you’re in Lisbon to experience firsthand the exhilarating live games and electric cheers from the crowd. One of the top Portuguese clubs, Benfica, has a remarkable story that ties in with the Portuguese people and their history.
Benfica football club
Sport Lisboa e Benfica or Benfica for short, is one of the most famous football clubs in the world, with its club origins dating back to 1904.
Belonging to one of the “big three” teams of Portugal — the others being Futebol Clube do Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal, Benfica is considered a national icon.
Benfica has one of the world’s biggest fanbases
In 2009, Benfica set the Guinness World Record for “the most widely supported football club” with a total of 160,398 paid members. Even more impressive is that Benfica is estimated to have over 14 million fans around the world.
Despite having an already inimitable football fanbase, Benfica also has teams that compete in other sports, including basketball, futsal, rugby, table tennis, and volleyball.
History of the stadium
Over the year, fans have given nicknames to Benfica Stadium, including “O Catedral” (the cathedral) or “Estádio da Luz” (Stadium of Light). It was built in 2003 on the same grounds as the old Benfica Stadium.
One of the most notable matches to happen in Benfica Stadium was the UEFA Euro 2004 Quarter Final, during which Portugal beat England in a thrilling penalty shoot out. Another was the UEFA Euro 2004 Final and the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final which saw national hero, Cristiano Ronaldo, play for Real Madrid.
Benfica’s famous eagles
Benfica is also famous for its iconic mascots Águia Vitória and Águia Gloriosa, two eagles that fly over the fans at the beginning of every game. The fans erupt with thunderous cheers each time they see the eagles. It’s a magnificent spectacle for anyone who’s ever watched a game at Benfica Stadium.
In 2014, an online poll by L’Équipe voted Benfica Stadium as the most beautiful stadium in Europe.
How do I get to Benfica Stadium?
You can get to the stadium easily from the center of Lisbon by metro. Just take the Blue (“Azul”) line to Colégio Militar/Luz station.
You can also catch a bus to Benfica Stadium. Bus lines 750, 754, and 768 all stop at the Colégio Militar bus terminal nearby.
For those who prefer to take a taxi or Uber, the estimated cost from downtown Lisbon runs between €10 and €15, depending on traffic.
Are there tours available at Benfica Stadium?
There are various tour options available for your visit to Benfica Stadium. Keep in mind, you can choose to tour Benfica Stadium, Benfica Museum, or both. Prices for the stand-alone stadium and museum tours are €12.50 and €10, respectively. The combined tour is €17.50 — which is a great value if you want to see both.
A tour of Benfica Stadium typically includes visits to:
- The stadium stands
- The locker rooms
- Sidelines and technical areas of the pitch
- The press room
You also get a photo opportunity with Águia Vitória or Águia Gloriosa, the two Bald Eagles who are the mascots of the Benfica club.
Visit the Benfica Museum
On the Benfica Museum tour, you’ll see hundreds of trophies won by Benfica teams over the years. You’ll also learn about the history of the Benfica club and some of its stars, like Eusébio.
You’ll even learn about the history of Portugal through the times of the dictatorship by António Salazar and the world’s’ most famous Fado singer, Amália Rodrigues.
The Benfica Stadium guided tours last between 45 minutes and one hour. The self-guided tour of the Benfica Museum lasts between one and one-and-a-half hours.
Want a personal, guided tour of the stadium and museum? Tours are available with guides who speak English, French, Spanish, or Portuguese. You can book this tour here. We definitely recommend it.
How do I watch a Benfica game in the Benfica Stadium?
Watching a Benfica game at Benfica Stadium is a truly amazing experience. From the Benfica eagle flying above you before the start of the game, to the echoing chants of almost 65,000 people in the crowd, this definitely should be on your bucket list for your time in Portugal.
You can buy tickets to all the games directly at the Benfica Stadium, its website or the various Benfica Official Stores around Lisbon. There’s also various reseller websites like OLX (website is in Portuguese), where you can find some last-minute discounted tickets.
How much does it cost to watch a Benfica game?
Prices for games at Benfica Stadium can vary depending on the type you wish to attend. The average price for a Primeira Liga match, the top professional division, can be found for around €25.
You can find tickets for a derby match for around €50. A derby match is usually played between two rival teams in the same geographic area — Benfica and Sporting, for example.
Or, get tickets for international competition matches like the Premier or Champions leagues for around €50.
Is it worth visiting Benfica Stadium?
Absolutely! Whether you are a football fan or not, it doesn’t matter!
We can’t recommend it enough. If you have a chance, definitely take time to experience firsthand the amazing energy of a live game. It’s truly jaw-dropping to see so many fans united together.
Football is a sport for fans of any and all ages. Visiting the stadium and museum is also an experience open to everyone, and an unforgettable experience.
Have you been to Benfica Stadium? Let us know what you thought of the experience in the comments below.
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