Top-league Scottish football (soccer to us on this side of the Atlantic) comes with all the heart-pounding excitement a professional game should have. There are rivalries, grudge matches and superior athleticism. With 12 teams in the Scottish Premier League, here are four venues that host must-see events.
Celtic F.C. at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Dating back to 1887, Celtic F.C. is the top-ranked Scottish football club to visit when you’re in Glasgow. Situated in the Parkhead area of Scotland’s largest city, the stadium holds more than 60,000 devoted fans. This is where you want to go if football is your religion. While it’s not a great place to take small children or those new to the sport, it is the top venue for the hardcore fan who wants to cheer on the team with a few thousand like-minded friends. Tickets cost between £29 (about $45) and £34 ($52). Buy your tickets in advance via the club’s website. Saturday kick-offs usually take place at 3 p.m.
Aberdeen F.C. at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Aberdeen F.C. has been calling Pittodrie Stadium home since April 1903. This tradition will come to an end soon when the team relocates to a larger and more modern venue. If you want to visit the stadium where the football team has played for more than a century — and where it is still playing, for now — this is a venue you simply cannot miss if you’re a fan of football and history. Find it on Merkland Road in Aberdeen, on Scotland’s east coast. For game day information and advance tickets, visit the club's online ticket shop. Costs for adult tickets are about £15 ($23) to £18 ($28).
Dundee F.C. at Dens Park, Dundee
Do not mistake Dundee F.C. for Dundee United! Founded in 1893, Dundee F.C. is the older of the two teams. Tickets are available online and cost £20 ($30). The match day experience will be more subdued than the one you would have had at the team’s prior venues, since Dens Park only holds about 12,000 attendees. Located at Sandeman Street in Dundee, about an hour and a half noth of Edinburgh, this is a venue where you can take a family or first-time match visitor for a relaxed afternoon.
St. Mirren F.C. at St. Mirren Park, Paisley
St. Mirren F.C. played its first match in 1877. Cozier than Dens Park, St. Mirren Park in Paisley, near Glasgow, holds about 8,000 fans. Tickets are for sale online and cost between £20 ($30) and £22 ($35) for the main stand, where the seats are padded. If you are coming by car, note that the parking lot is open to permit holders only. Be prepared to arrive early and make use of nearby street parking.
Photos: Celtic player Victor Wanyama (l) rises above Steven Thompson to get in a header during a Scottish Premier League match between St Mirren and Celtic at St Mirren Park in Paisley, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Singer Rod Stewart, a Celtic fan (r) chats with actor Billy Connolly (l) before a UEFA Champions League match between Celtic and Juventus at Celtic Park Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)