Watching Manchester United at Old Trafford

I’ve been a fan of Manchester United since I was a small boy, still I have never seen them live. And since the Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is playing there this season, I decided that this was a perfect time to go and see the club play. Now, getting tickets to see Manchester United at Old Trafford can be a bit tricky, especially games in Premier League, so I chose to see them play the return game against FC Rostov in the Europa League.

manchester united zlatan
Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford.

Getting tickets to Manchester United

Tickets to Premier League home matches are only sold to official members. Register at the site to become a member. Due to high demand, you need to apply tickets to some games (against Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City). Read more here.

It may be easier to get tickets to other games like Cup mathes. A list of upcoming matches can be found here.

Another alternative is to buy tickets via a travel agency like Thomas Cook. That ususally requires that you also buy a hotel package which might be a little more expensive than if you book hotel yourself, but at least you will be able to get official tickets this way. Please be wary of unoffical sites selling tickets.

How to get to Old Trafford

The easiest way to get from the city centre to Old Trafford is to take the Metrolink trams from central stations like Victoria or Picadilly. Trams stop at several different stations that are within 5-10 minutes walking distance from the stadium, like the Old Trafford or Trafford Bar stops. You can also take the D/E lines to Pomona or Exchange Quay. See full network map here.

A full day pass on the Metrolink is quite inexpensive and costs about 5 GBP. That pass is also valid on the tram to the Manchester Airport, but it takes forever (about 1 hour) so I would recommend taking that train instead to and from the airport.

Where to stay

Trains and trams to and from the airport stop at the Picadilly station (tram requires a change at Deansgate), so staying at a hotel nearby is highly recommended. I stayed at Motel One across the street and it was great value for money. Clean, great location and it won’t break the bank.

 

An experience to remember

Old Trafford is the second largest football stadium in England, only second to Wembley. So naturally it was quite an experience to watch the team play live. I was lucky to get tickets really close to the pitch, fourth row, in the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. How did the game end? United won the game against Rostov 1-0, Zlatan Ibrahimovic with the back-heel assist to Juan Mata’s goal.

View from One World Observatory at One World Trade Center

Since May 29, 2015 there is a new skyscraper to visit for magnificent views of Manhattan and the surrounding New York and New Jersey areas. That’s when One World Observatory opened up to the public. The Observatory is located on the 100th, 101st and 102nd floors at the top of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

It’s an impressive building and almost anywhere you go on lower Manhattan, you can see the top of the skyscraper.

One World Trade Center

Planning your visit
Plan your visit to the observatory in advance and it is easy to buy tickets online here and print at home. You should arrive 15 minutes before the chosen time on your ticket and we planned to enter at 6.15 PM to be able to watch the sunset. Entry was really quick and hardly no line at all so we just went through security which took a minute or two and then entered the elevator.

Videos are shown on the elevator walls which simulate the view of Manhattan and the trip up to the top is both smooth and quick. Once you arrive at the top you step inte the See Forever Theatre and are shown a two-minute film about the building and New York. Once the film is over the curtains go up and you get to see the live view of the surroundings for the first time.

Then you step down to the observation deck on the 100th floor and the 360 degree views that are absolutely breathtaking. It was well worth the wait to see the sun go down over New Jersey.

Sunset: View from One World Observatory

While the views are stunning I still think that a visit to the top of Empire State Building is more impressive since you get to see the views outside. It’s not the same thing to watch behind glass windows and it also made it much more difficult to take good photos since there were a lot of reflections. And also, people had the annoying habit of sitting on the small ledge below the windows, so that you had to wait until they left to be able to get a decent shot. Nevertheless, it was a cool experience and maybe next time in New York we will aim for Top of the Rock.