ONE way of doing something memorable on holiday is to do what locals do. What is mundane to them could be a novel experience for you.

So why not join them on the terraces? Watching a football match is the perfect way to get under the skin of a place. You see locals let their hair down, played in the universal language of football.

It doesn't need a stadium full of Galacticos. Once in Prague, we were staying in the Žižkov area and went to see local favourites Viktoria. Despite sharing a division with Slavia and Sparta, Viktoria were not really in the same league.

Although 10.30 in the morning, beer and sausages were on sale at their compact stadium.

The crowd, like the Czech style of play, was understated. Fans walked to the stadium on this quiet Sunday wearing replica Viktoria red and white striped shirts. It was like watching Sunderland fans going to church.

A darkly comic and revealing moment came as an injured player was carried off. A thunderous clearance by a Viktoria right-back cannoned into the stretcher and pitched him onto the floor.

Some fans laughed guiltily, other older fans glared at them for daring to snigger.

But if in a city when a big team is playing, it’s worth going. In Madrid one summer, we got tickets to see Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao.

Although Basque terrorists were then fighting the Spanish state, there was no hint of animosity as the Bilbao fans unfurled their flag.

Instead, to use a sporting cliché, they let the football do the talking, and Real did most as they strolled to a 3-1 win.

We sat next to a Madrid family, whose two boys sat in raptures. The elder, perhaps 10 years old gave a commentary. ‘Buen, Figo, buen’, he would say, pointing like a junior Morinho after a silky move from the Portuguese star; his little brother gazing up adoringly.

We felt the same delight as those boys did, and whether the game you see is big or small it’s sure to add some magic to your holiday.