While you are in Lisbon you might want to go watch a football (soccer) game, so this article will explain how to go to a Benfica game. Benfica is the winningest team in the history of Portuguese football.
Sport Lisboa e Benfica has won the Portuguese Primeira League thirty seven times.
The league was founded in 1934, and has historically been regarded as one of Europe’s top five leagues).
When does Benfica play?
In a typical year, the season runs from August until May.
The 2022-23 season will likely be different, as the World Cup will be held in November and December this year – a first!
On weekdays the team may play in Europa League or Champions League matches, depending on which competition they are involved in.
Weekends are reserved for the Portuguese league.
Where does Benfica play?
Benfica plays at the 65,642 seat Estádio da Luz (Stadium of Light). Estádio da Luz opened in October, 2003.
The stadium cost 162 million euros to build.
The largest stadium in Portugal, Estádio da Luz recently hosted the UEFA Champion’s League finals in 2014 and 2020.
Team benches and locker rooms are located on the west side of the stadium.
Three thousand tickets are usually allocated for visiting fan groups, who must sit in the northeast corner of the stadium. A casual tourist can choose to sit anywhere.
Avenida Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, 1500
GPS: 38.752957952095755, -9.18482564513134
Metro blue line to Luz / Colégio Militar station.
Also, buses 3, 64, 726, 729, 750, 765, 767, 768, 799
If you choose to drive (the least convenient way to get to the game) you can find paid parking at the stadium, but you should expect delays on the way out of the game.
There is also paid parking at the Colombo Shopping center on the other side of the highway. This lot fills up quickly and also has delays on the way out. Shopping Colombo is the largest mall in Lisbon and might be a good way to spend the day prior to a game.
Finally, you could park for free at the Alto dos Moinhos metro station (blue line). These spaces fill up quickly.
Is it safe to attend a Benfica game?
Absolutely. There is little violence or hooliganism, and there is a family atmosphere at Benfica games.
The organized groups of supporters singing and chanting (called hinchas or torcidas in Latin America) are called claques in Portugal. In Portugal, they do not have a reputation for brawling like they do in South America or other parts of Europe.
Where to buy tickets
In order to buy directly from the team online, try https://www.slbenfica.pt/en-us/loja/bilhetes/futebol-modalidades
Tickets generally go on sale ten days before the match.
You can buy tickets in the Benfica superstore located in the stadium.
I recommend walking into the Benfica fan shop in the Baixa neighborhood at Rua Augusta 1100. There is also a store just north of Rossio Square on Rua das Portas de Santo Antão.
This location is very convenient as nearly all people visiting Lisbon will walk by the store at least once.
Open 10:00 am – 11:00 pm. Tell the cashier you want to buy a ticket, and you will walk out with a paper ticket.
You will need to show your ID when you buy your ticket and when you enter the stadium.
Ticket availabiity and prices
The average ticket price is between €25 and €45 depending on the importance of the match. The most popular matches will only be available for “socios,” – members of the official supporters’ club.
The classic games which might sell out are between Sporting and Benfica and Porto and Benfica.
Benfica has been playing crosstown rival CP Sporting since 1907.
Important Covid information
For current health regulations for attending a large event in Portugal, see Benfica’s Rules to access the Stadium – SL Benfica
The Benfica Experience
Benfica’s most famous player ever is Eusébio (da Silva Ferreira). He is considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.
As a pro, he had 733 goals in 745 games, and 41 goals in 64 games representing Portugal. Eusébio was the leading scorer in the 1966 World Cup, in which Portugal placed third.
Entering and exiting the stadium you will find a festive atmosphere with everyone clad in red and white. There will be lots of vendors selling scarves, flags, and other team gear.
Also, you will have plenty of opportunities to buy beer, prego (a steak sandwich), or pão com chouriço (a sausage sandwich).
Benfica’s mascot is an eagle named Vitória (Victory). Vitória flys from the top of the stadium down to the field prior to the start of each game.
Benfica Museum and Stadium Tours
If no home match is being played on the days that you will be in Lisbon, you can still arrange a tour of the stadium and a visit to the Benfica Museum – Cosme Damião.
This 4000 square foot museum opened in 2013, and displays nearly 1000 trophies won by Benfica. There are displays and video presentations highlighting the club’s history, players, managers, fans, and games.
The centerpiece of the museum is a hologram of the club’s legendary player Eusébio.
Admission to the museum is €8.50 Admission to the museum plus stadium is €14.88
Stadium tours are not allowed on game days.
The museum is open every day from 10 am – 6 pm, but closes when the game starts on match days.
For more information about museum and stadium visits: https://www.slbenfica.pt/instalacoes/museu-benfica
Go with a local
Sometimes it’s a great idea to go with a local who can fill you in on the details about the team and the players, as well as show you the best street food and watering holes. Transportation will probably be handled as well.
For example, for my first pro game in Brazil, I went to a Palmeiras game with a local sportswriter. He pointed out a 17-year-old Gabriel Jesus before he was destined to play for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. I learned a lot about the team and had a great time.
In Lisbon, you can go to a game with locals Pedro and Pedro through this AirBnB experience. Benfica soccer match with locals – Airbnb
Benfica is not the only team in town
If Benfica doesn’t have a home date while you are visiting and you still want to experience a Portuguese football game, check to see if rival Sporting has a home game during your dates. HOME | Official website of Sporting Clube de Portugal
Also one of Portugal’s big three teams, Sporting was Cristiano Ronaldo’s former team.
Thank you for reading my article. I am not affiliated with any businesses mentioned in this article. If you are looking for other things to do while you are in Lisbon, see my article, Unique tours and experiences in and near Lisbon