Destinations

Germany: A different ball game

Germany may be going football mad this June, but there’s more to see and do in the key cities than watching matches. Travel Weekly gives you the lowdown:


Munich



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Match information
The 66,000 capacity stadium will host the opening ceremony on June 9 followed by Germany v Costa Rica at 5pm. England could play their second round match in Munich on June 24. The stadium is six miles from the city’s main railway station and six miles from the city centre.


Key selling points
Munich is Germany’s third-largest city and is popular for its royal palaces, gardens and lakes. If clients feel inspired by all the sporting activity, they can hike or cycle in the nearby Alps.


Key sites in the city include the distinctive Gothic Church of Our Lady and the Hofbräuhaus beer hall. The Residenz Palace, once the home of Munich’s rulers, will appeal to history buffs while sports fans will like the Munich Olympic Stadium, where the 1972 Games were held.


Museums are in plentiful supply and include the Pinakothek der Moderne museum of 20th and 21st-century art. The best shopping is found in Marienplatz.


Sample product
Dertour has two nights at the three-star Amba Hotel for £339 per person, including flights, departing June 23.


Frankfurt


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Match information
The first of the city’s five matches is a big one – England v Paraguay on June 19. The new 48,000-capacity Waldstadion is just under three miles from the main railway station and three-and-a-half miles from the city centre.


Key selling points
Frankfurt sits on the banks of the river Main and has a striking mix of modern and historic architecture. Among the major attractions are the Alte Oper opera house, the cathedral and St Paul’s Church, all within walking distance of each other. Nearby is Romerberg Square, with its fully renovated half-timber buildings and town hall.


A highlight (in more ways than one) is a trip up the 200-metre observation platform in the Main Tower. Museum Mile on the banks of the Main is a cultural haven and home to the famous Stadel Art Museum, German Film Museum and Museum of Architecture.


Cider houses are a specialty of the city, while on the outskirts, Taunus, Spessart and Vogelsberg hills are good for activity-based excursions.


Sample product
Germany specialist Moswin is offering three nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Maritim
Hotel – about 20 minutes out of the city centre – for £479 per person, departing June 9. The price is based on two people sharing and includes flights.


Nuremberg

Match information
Mexico v Iran on June 11 is the first game at the 45,000-capacity Frankenstadion. It’s approximately two-and-a-half miles from the main train station and just under three miles from the city centre. England play here on June 15.


Key selling points
Nuremberg’s principal landmark is Kaiserburg Castle which overlooks the city and is the focal point of the old quarter. The area is surrounded by walls and 80 towers, dating back more than 950 years.


This area also has a vast array of boutique shops, bars and restaurants, while at its entrance the Handwerkerhof centre has traditional crafts.


As with many German cities, museums abound. The Germanic National Museum contains everything you ever wanted to know about the country’s art and culture, while the documentation centre at the Reichsparteitagsgelandes explores the history of the Third Reich.


With Nuremberg lying on the aptly named Castle Route, there is no shortage of excursions from the city. It is also located in the Franconia region, known for its wine.


Sample product
Two nights’ bed and breakfast at the two-star Leonardo Hotel is offered by Dertour at £399 per person. The cost includes return flights to Stuttgart, departing June 14, and the two-and-a-quarter-hour train journey to Nuremberg.


Cologne


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Match information
The opening match sees Angola take on Portugal on June 11. England play here on June 20. The stadium is about four miles from the train station and three miles from the city centre.


Key selling points
Any city with a brewing tradition must have something going for it. The old quarter, dating back some 2,000 years, is crammed with bars, many selling the locally brewed Kolsch beer.


Sitting on the banks of the Rhine, Cologne is a cultural city with a reputation as a major centre for the arts. The Cologne Philharmonic Concert Hall puts on 400 events a year.


The UNESCO World Heritage Gothic cathedral is the most distinctive landmark, attracting six million visitors a year, although the circle of 12 Romanesque churches comes a close second. Another must-see is the town hall with its 61-metre tower.


Sample product
Two nights’ bed and breakfast at the three-star Conti Hotel departing June 19 starts at £379 per person, including flights, with Thomson Cities.


Berlin


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Match information

The 74,500-capacity Olympic Stadium will host the World Cup final on July 9, but its first game will see world champions Brazil take on Croatia on June 13. It’s approximately four miles from the railway station and five miles from the city centre.


Key selling points
Where to start? Germany’s thriving capital has three opera houses, two concert halls, 35 theatres, 300 clubs and 7,000 bars. Its iconic landmark is the Brandenburg Gate with Berlin Cathedral and the Reichstag building also high on the sightseeing list.


Culture is not in short supply, with 170 museums scattered around the city, including the much-visited Jewish Museum. Close to the city is Grunewald forest which has many lakes.


Berlin’s nightlife and shopping are said to rival anything in Europe.


Sample product
Kirker Holidays has three nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Bleietreu Hotel for £531 per person, including flights, departing Heathrow on June 11.

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