To say that soccer is a popular national sport in Turkey is to miss the point entirely. Soccer is closer to a religious experience; club rivalries are waged with an intensity comparable to the holy wars.
The three main soccer clubs in Istanbul are Fenerbahçe, Besiktas, and Galatasaray. Main matches are played nights at 7pm from late August to May. (A few late-summer matches are played at 8pm.) Home matches are played every other week at Inönü Stadium, above Dolmabahçe Palace, for Besiktas; at Alisami Yen, in Mecediyeköy, for Galatasaray; and at Fenerbahçe Stadium, near Kadiköy on the Asian side, for Fenerbahçe. Tickets run from 55TL to 350TL and are available at the stadium the day of a match, or through Biletix (www.biletix.com).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.