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International Sporting Events to Add to Your Travel Bucket List

If you’re a sports fanatic with the travel bug, worldwide sporting events are a great opportunity to experience the energy of your favorite competition in a new place. And why settle for a TV screen when you can be right in the middle of the action and watch it live.

International sporting events see the best of the best come together to compete on the world stage, igniting healthy rivalry and patriotism around the globe. Whether you’re plan is to hit up the Olympics, or take in the World Cup, there’s an international sporting event for every type of fan.

You can’t call yourself a true sports fanatic without experiencing the following events. These are the international sporting events to participate in before you die.

The Olympics

Opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Photo CC Republic of Korea.

The Olympics are the obvious choice for attendance at an ultimate international sporting event, and whether you’re traveling to the summer or winter games, the Olympics should be on everyone’s bucket list.

A showcase of the world’s best athletes across a variety of different sports, this is an event which dates back to ancient Greece in 776 BC. The games occur every two years in variation of season and location, so there is always an opportunity to plan your ideal Olympic trip.

The next summer games occur in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The winter games after that are in 2018 in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. The summer games following this will take place in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

The World Cup

Second to the Olympics as the biggest sporting event in the world, the excitement of soccer’s top competition streams worldwide on every screen. The Olympics of soccer is a tournament-style event, and hundreds of thousands of soccer fans travel to the other end of the world to see the world’s best players battle it out on the field.

The World Cup takes place every four years, with the most recent event having taken place in 2014 in Rio, and the Cup in 2018 being hosted by Russia.

FIrst Match of the Fifa World Cup - Mexico VS South Africa - In Soccer City, Johannesburg.

FIrst Match of the Fifa World Cup – Mexico VS South Africa – In Soccer City, Johannesburg. Photo CC Celso FLORES.

Coronation Stakes

The Coronation Stakes is Great Britain’s most popular horse race, open to three-year-old thoroughbred fillies. It is run at Ascot over a distance of 1 mile (1,609 metres), and annually takes place in June.

An event which is well ingrained into British culture and history, horses have been racing in the Coronation Stakes since 1840, and its title commemorates the coronation of the new British monarch at the time, Queen Victoria.

Today, the Coronation Stakes runs on the fourth day of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting. Fillies who usually partake will also run in the 1,000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches or the Irish 1,000 Guineas. To know more about the Coronation Stakes Day Ascot odds – click here.


The oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon is an annual championship which showcases white-clad pros on grass courts for competitive play in the height of summer in London.

While acquiring tickets can be expensive, this is the ultimate trip for tennis fans and the grass courts have hosted some of the most famous names in tennis. The grounds themselves are open to the public for tours all year round, however you must hold a ticket to gain access during the championship week. 

Remember to scan the stands for a glimpse of British royalty!

Photo CC by

Photo CC by Steven Pisano

Running of the Bulls

Each July, fearless (or foolish) adventurers travel to Pamplona, Spain and thrust themselves into the path of six furious bulls.

Originally celebrated as a saint’s feast day, this is now a festival which runs for nine days, from July 6 through 14 each year. Bulls are released into the city streets each morning as the city clock at the corral in Calle Santo Domingo strikes 8, with Spaniards across the nation watching the spectacle on live TV.

At 8am after the launching of two rockets, the bulls charge behind the runners for 825 metres, the distance between the corral and the bullring. The run usually lasts between three and four minutes although it has sometimes taken over ten minutes, especially if one of the bulls becomes separated from his companions.

In a race which is sure to get your adrenaline truly pumping, it has been said that “you know you are really running with the bull when you feel the breath of the animal on your pants.


Photo CC by

The sporting event which stops the United States. Photo CC by Cliff.

The top sporting event within the United States, the whole country stops for Superbowl weekend, and you can expect a nationwide party.

Most attending the event arrive on Wednesday before the Sunday match, and each year there are an array of events, from golf tournaments to fashion shows, concerts and outdoor festivals. “The NFL was one of the first organizations to understand that this is more than just a game, it’s a chance to showcase these cities for four or five days,” Tuchman says.

Tickets to the Superbowl are cheaper before the playoff teams are announced, so if you’re traveling to just take in the insane atmosphere of the stadium, book before the prices jump and packages become more expensive.

Daytona 500

Daytona is a mecca for Motorsports fans and is home to the “world center of racing”. The Daytona Speedway draws huge crowds every year, and over 110,000 spectators fill the seats for the annual Daytona 500 (tickets sell out a year in advance).

Attending the Daytona 500 offers fans the full NASCAR experience; not only do you watch the race, though the drivers are very accessible too. Even though it’s a major, major sport you can see these guys on site, see their team, and you can get really up close.

For those times of the year when no races are taking place the visitors center has a great hall of exhibits, and computers which let you design and take part in simulated interactive pit stops as well as race commentary!  You can also take a half hour tram tour of the track itself.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

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