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Soccer and Scottish culture are inextricably linked, and taking in a match has been a staple of UK & Scotland tours for years. While there are dozens venues to choose from so it may seem overwhelming deciding where to visit, you can't go wrong with a trip to legendary Hampden Park.
Located in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, the park has been hosting matches for well over 100 years. When it was originally built in the early 20th century it was among the largest stadiums in the world, even setting a record for attendance with 149,415 spectators for a 1937 match. Though renovations have since dropped the capacity, it still can hold up to 52,000 raucous fans.
Despite its age, Hampden Park is largely modern thanks to renovations in the late 1990s. Today it is the home venue of the Scottish national team, but also hosts other important matches including the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup championship games.
Even if you don't get there for one of the most significant games, any event in the friendly confines of Hampden Park (it hosts concerts and rugby as well) will certainly stand out as a highlight of your UK & Scotland tour.
Aside from being home to many exciting sporting events, Hampden Park is also a popular destination because it houses the Scottish Football Museum. Opened in 2001, the museum will give you a glimpse into the important role that soccer plays in Scottish history and culture. The museum also features a hall of fame, which pays tribute to some of the best players in Scottish history, which may leave you heading home with a greater appreciation for the beautiful game.
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The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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