Kiwi.com’s Euro 2024 Travel Guide – Kiwi.com

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Which cities and stadiums are hosting matches at UEFA Euro 2024? What are the best things to see and do, eat and drink in the host cities, and what’s the easiest way to get there? Check out our guide to find out which teams are playing in which cities, and what to expect

Thinking of traveling to the European Championship? Even if you don’t have a match ticket, it’s a great excuse to see a lot of Germany, the host nation. The matches are spread across ten cities — Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart — and each place is very different. This isn’t a football preview as such (there are loads of those out there), but more a guide on where to go, what to see and do, and what your travel options (air, rail etc.) are.

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Spain vs. Croatia, Poland vs. Austria, Netherlands vs. Austria; round of 16; quarter-final; final

Germany’s capital will host the final at the famous Olympiastadion, home of Hertha Berlin. Interestingly (if you’re interested in this sort of thing), it’s one of five stadiums whose resident club team isn’t in Germany’s top flight, the others being Gelsenkirchen (Schalke 04), Hamburg (HSV), Düsseldorf (Fortuna) and, since their relegation was confirmed, Cologne (1.FC Köln).

The city’s merits are well-known: monuments, parks, a great party scene and a side-order of grittiness. Walk along the Berlin Wall from the Oberdaumbrücke; head to Kottbusser Tor or Hermannplatz for fantastic Turkish and Syrian food; investigate the German Spy Museum or the Topography of Terror for some historical insight; or hang out with the hipsters in the dive bars of Kreuzberg and Schöneberg.

Where’s the fanzone in Berlin?

The Berlin fanzone is centered around two sections of the city that are quite close to each other. The Fan Zone Reichstag will host a month-long festival, while the Fan Zone Brandenburger Tor is where the official big-screen viewing area is located.

Kiwi.com’s Euro 2024 Travel GuideBerlin, with its rich history and vibrant culture, is ready to host the thrilling Euro 2024 © Getty Images

Hungary vs. Switzerland, Scotland vs. Switzerland, Belgium vs. Romania, England vs. Slovenia; round of 16

Cologne (Köln in German but I’m sticking with the anglicized spelling here) is the largest city in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, and is the fourth-largest city in the country. For over two thousand years people have lived on the banks of the Rhine, and the city’s history is most easily observed through the almighty twin spires of its gothic cathedral, the most-visited landmark in Germany.

The city has an image of being gruff-but-friendly, and the old, wood-paneled pubs are a good place to experience the local vibe with a glass of Kölsch, the local style of beer and a source of immense pride. If you’re looking for more touristy things to do, there’s a Chocolate Museum where you can customize a chocolate bar to your taste, lie in the sun in one of the many parks, or head to the Belgian Quarter for cool cafes and bars.

Where’s the fanzone in Cologne?

Cologne’s fanzones are the Fan Zone Heumarkt (festival site) and Public Viewing Tanzbrunnen (big screen in a park, just over the river from the cathedral).

Kiwi.com’s Euro 2024 Travel Guide

Italy vs. Albania, Turkey vs. Georgia, Turkey vs. Portugal, France vs. Poland; round of 16; semi-final

An industrial powerhouse of Germany, originally coal and steel, now IT and medical technology, Dortmund is known probably more for its football team than anything the city particularly has to offer. Indeed, Dortmund is home to Germany’s National Football Museum, slap-bang in the city center, opposite the railway station.

Its history of heavy industry has influenced its cuisine, with traditional food including Pfefferpotthast (a hearty, beefy goulash), Himmel und Äd (black pudding, stewed apples and mashed potato) and Dortmunder Salzkuchen (a bread roll topped with salt and caraway seeds containing minced meat and onions), all washed down with a shot of Dortmunder Tropfen, a herbal liqueur. Prost!

Where’s the fanzone in Dortmund?

Just the one fanzone in Dortmund, at Friedensplatz, next to the city hall and the shady trees of the Stadtgarten.

Traveling around the VRR

An important note at this point: the cities of Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen and Düsseldorf (as well as 16 others) are part of the Verkehrsbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR), an integrated public transport network covering the area. For Euro 2024, there’s a special ticket that also includes Cologne. There’s an overview of tickets here, but the headline is that if you have a ticket for a game, you can get a free 36-hour transport ticket between venues. Otherwise a ticket from, say, Dortmund to Düsseldorf will set you back around €17 for the 50-minute journey. Your best bet is to get the VRR app as tariff bands and journey lengths start getting complicated.

Austria vs. France, Slovakia vs. Ukraine, Albania vs. Spain; round of 16; quarter-final

The fact that emotionless electro-pop pioneers Kraftwerk hail from Düsseldorf should tell you something about the city. Sleek and shiny, cosmopolitan and often achingly cool, it initially might seem a difficult place to love compared to, say, the knee-slapping Bavarian-ness of Munich, but its confidence never spills over into arrogance: it’s simply a place that’s comfortable in its own skin.

It’s a place for modern art and architecture, but the Altstadt’s narrow streets and the wide riverside promenade backed by interesting cafes give it a friendly feel as posh restaurants sit side by side with traditional pubs serving their famous, malty Altbier. In fact, Düsseldorf’s love of Altbier and Cologne’s veneration of Kölsch have divided this region for centuries — which of the two camps will you fall into?

Where’s the fanzone in Düsseldorf?

Three locations across the city. Firstly Burgplatz for all the games plus live music; secondly Schauspielplatz for more esoteric things such as a live theater performance entitled Glaube, Liebe, Fußball; lastly, Rheinufer has big screens showing all Germany matches plus any games being played at the Düsseldorf stadium.

Kiwi.com’s Euro 2024 Travel GuideDüsseldorf’s Merkur Spiel-Arena will be buzzing with football excitement during Euro 2024 © Wikimedia Commons

Belgium vs. Slovakia, Denmark vs. England, Switzerland vs. Germany, Slovakia vs. Romania; round of 16

Frankfurt is Germany’s business capital. It’s the second-wealthiest city in Europe (London’s first), has one of the world’s busiest airports, and is the location of the headquarters of the DFB, the German Football Association. It’s also a great place to base yourself — as well as the games in the city, it’s easy to get north to the Dortmund/Gelsenkirchen/Düsseldorf/Cologne region, or south to Stuttgart.

Its imposing skyline of skyscrapers might give the impression that the city is all work and no play, but that’s not always true. Particularly in summer,you can sit outside drinking Apfelwein, also known as Ebbelwoi, a tangy sort of local cider, or attend seemingly spontaneous club nights in places like multi-storey parking lots. With over 180 nationalities calling Frankfurt home, the grand, almost Viennese feel of the Altstadt and city center, plus easy access to other cities, you’ve got a decent primer for Germany as a whole.

Where’s the fanzone in Frankfurt?

It’s located on a long strip of land by the river known as the Mainufer, between the Holbeinsteg and Friedensbrücke bridges.

Kiwi.com’s Euro 2024 Travel GuideFrankfurt’s dynamic cityscape will set the stage for the memorable Euro 2024 © Getty Images

Serbia vs. England, Spain vs. Italy, Georgia vs. Portugal; round of 16

The smallest of the host cities, Gelsenkirchen is home to Schalke 04, a club whose modern peak in 90s and early 2000s descended rapidly into the unmanageable trash fire currently shuffling around the 2.Bundesliga (which I feel I’m allowed to say as I declared Schalke my German team of choice after seeing their UEFA Cup-winning side at the old Parkstadion at a younger, more impressionable age).

Gelsenkirchen itself was the most important coal mining town in Europe by the early 20th century, but the city today is remarkably green in a lot of places, with the Stadtgarten and the Nienhausenbusch (17 hectares of forest including a large lake) popular with locals in the summer. While there aren’t many old buildings, those that there are (like the 14th century Lüttinghof moated castle) have been well-preserved or carefully rebuilt.

Where’s the fanzone in Gelsenkirchen?

A former colliery landscaped into a park, the amphitheater at Nordsternpark is the place to be.

Kiwi.com’s Euro 2024 Travel GuideGelsenkirchen, a true football heartland, is set to welcome Euro 2024 © Getty Images

Poland vs. Netherlands, Croatia vs. Albania, Georgia vs. Czech Republic, Czech Republic vs. Turkey; quarter-final

Germany’s second city is home to the sleeping giants of HSV and the lazy hipster’s choice of club, St. Pauli (the real ones know Altona 93 is where it’s at). It’s also a brilliantly fun place to spend a few days, a typical port city that feels gray even in the sunshine but wears its status as a home for all manner of waifs, strays and wanderers as a badge of immense pride.

For things to do, you mustn’t miss Miniatur Wunderland (people will tell you it’s just a big train set — it’s actually one of the coolest things in the world) and the waterfront in Altona for a fish-in-a-roll and a pint in the indoor market. There’s also a Soviet submarine docked there you can have a poke around and, of course, the famous Reeperbahn. Besides that, you can spend an evening in Sternschanze, hanging out in the bars and parks with the raffish locals. 

Where’s the fanzone in Hamburg?

It’s on the huge Heiligengeistfeld, right next to St. Pauli’s Millerntor stadium at the eastern end of the Reeperbahn.

Portugal vs. Czech Republic, Netherlands vs. France, Croatia vs. Italy; round of 16

Only relatively recently known as a football city since the energy drink and Formula-One-tedium-production empire got their sticky hands on the license to local side SSV Markranstädt, Leipzig is a controversial name in German football. The city, however, is lovely; a seat of learning, culture and music for centuries.

In the 2010s, as Berlin became overdone and unaffordable, the relatively cheap prices of Leipzig led to an influx of artists, musicians, young business owners and the like, earning it the somewhat unfair name of  ‘Hypezig’. That scene still exists today, and the city has a raw and authentic art and culture scene, with street art, repurposed industrial spaces, indie boutiques and craft breweries making their mark: just take a stroll up Karl-Liebknecht-Straße — KarLi to the locals — and you’ll see what that looks like.

Where’s the fanzone in Leipzig?

Augustusplatz is the place to be, just south of the station and only 4km from the stadium, so the atmosphere in the city is sure to be decent.

Kiwi.com’s Euro 2024 Travel GuideLeipzig’s blend of tradition and innovation makes it an exciting Euro 2024 venue © Getty Images

Germany vs. Scotland, Romania vs. Ukraine, Slovenia vs. Serbia, Denmark vs. Serbia; round of 16; semi-final

Now home of England’s meme-worthy trophy dodger Harry Kane (I honestly feel bad for him, he seems like a genuinely nice bloke), Munich is a popular tourist destination all year round, and with good reason. The historic center is elegant and well-maintained, the beer flows like water, and the city manages to feel brisk and businesslike, but also laid-back — an unusual and welcome combination.

Make the pilgrimage out north to the old Olympic Park to see the former home of Bayern Munich and to get a view over the city, as well as to visit the BMW factory and museum. Getting a seat at the famous Hofbräuhaus will probably be nigh-on impossible, so perhaps try somewhere slightly more out of town like the Augustiner-Keller, or the huge Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm. 

Where’s the fanzone in Munich?

The big screen is at the rowing lake in the Olympic Park, a little way out of the center which is a shame, but there are also performances and general goings-on at Marienplatz by the city hall. 

Kiwi.com’s Euro 2024 Travel GuideMunich’s Allianz Arena will be a centerpiece of thrilling Euro 2024 football action © Wikimedia Commons

Slovenia vs. Denmark, Germany vs. Hungary, Scotland vs. Hungary, Ukraine vs. Belgium; quarter-final

In the south-west of Germany lies Stuttgart, home of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, and spread out over hills and valleys around the Neckar river basin. It’s one of Germany’s most diverse cities, with 40% of its residents coming from a non-German background, and a lot of people involved in the finance, tech and automotive industries.

Like many places in Germany, the city center was heavily damaged in World War II, but much was reconstructed as-was, such as the 15th century Old Castle and the Collegiate Church. The most-visited museum in Stuttgart is the Mercedes-Benz museum, and there’s also one dedicated to Porsche of course. If you’re not driving, try some of the local wine: Stuttgart is the only city in Germany that has urban vineyards! 

Where’s the fanzone in Stuttgart?

Stuttgart is going all-out with four fanzones: public viewing at the Fan Zone Schlossplatz, sports and children’s activities at Marktplatz, live music at Karlsplatz and a food and drink festival at Schillerplatz.

Kiwi.com’s Euro 2024 Travel GuideStuttgart, known for its automotive prowess, shifts gears for Euro 2024 football action © Getty Images

It should be an amazing month of football in some of Germany’s most interesting and exciting cities. And hey, even if you’re not going for the tournament, maybe just reading this article will give you the nudge to go and visit sometime soon!

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