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Man United fans’ guide to Real Sociedad

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

If you are seeking a document regarding training or the development of your supporters’ organisation, please visit the live training and resource section of our website. if you need further assistance email: [email protected]

While our International Ground Guide is undergoing some maintenance, we thought we’d provide our usual service of advice and information for travelling supporters in brief blog form.

Once up and running again our ground guide will cover all manner of information from travel options to hotel advice, eating and drinking suggestions to practical tips on getting around, along with safety and security advice and anything else we think will be of use to travelling supporters. 

In the meantime, while the below might not necessarily have all the information you’ll be after if you’re heading out to Spain, we’re always available to help – just drop us an email if you have any questions.

We’ll do our best to find out what you need to know, either from our own vast experience in covering England and Wales games abroad, or from our friends at Football Supporters Europe.

As with all of our guides, if there is anything missing from the following pages that you need to know then feel free to drop us an email and we’ll do our best to find it out for you.

About the Club

The club’s most successful period was the 1980s, picking up their two La Liga titles and a further 2 runners-up places in a 9 year span. They also picked up a Copa del Rey in 1987. More recently they’ve spent a couple of years in the Segunda Division before gaining promotion back to the top flight in 2010, and Sociedad finished 4th last year to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2003.

For many British fans the main link to Sociedad comes through John Toshack, who has managed the club on 3 separate occasions. Chris Coleman also had a brief spell in charge in 2007-08. Like Basque country rivals Athletic Bilbao, Sociedad had a Basque-only player policy for a long time, but officially abandoned the policy in 1989. The club’s first non-Basque player? John Aldridge.

About the Stadium

Real Sociedad play their games at Anoeta in San Sebastian, a 32,000 seater stadium with a running track separating the stands from the pitch (pictured above). All but the first couple of rows of seats are covered, so even in inclement weather you should be alright. 

The stadium is located at the southern edge of the city in the Amara district at the end of the main De Madrid Hiribidea boulevard. Buses 21 and 40 serve the stadium directly, and the station Anoeta, located right outside the ground, serves trains from nearby towns including Hendaia and Donostia.

About the City

San Sebastian is a small city with a population of just under 200,000, and is famous for its two city centre beaches. To get the best view of the city, take the funicular up Monte Igueldo – from here you can see across La Concha Bay, the island in the bay and the whole town. A stroll along the seafront is a relaxing way to spend a day, and the promenade is littered with cafes and bars.

San Sebastian is famous for its food, particularly its tapas (pintxos in Basque). It is traditional to bar-hop and have one or two tapas in each bar rather than eating several in one place. Particularly in the Gros, Centro and Parte Viejo (Old Town) districts you’ll be tripping over bars and cafes offering these nibbles alongside a nice cold beer or glass of wine.

You might also see Kalimotxo on the drink menus – this is a red wine/coca-cola mix, and not quite as disgusting as it at first may sound!

The city is best viewed by foot or bike, although public transport options are available. The local bus network covers the city and outlying areas and single journeys can be made for €1.45. If staying for more than a few days and making multiple journeys we’d recommend getting a Kutxa card, from the city’s main bank, for €5.50, after which journey prices are halved. The card can be topped up at ATMs throughout the city.

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