Of course, the atmosphere during a local derby between Dortmund and Schalke or a Rhine derby between Cologne and Mönchengladbach is truly unique. But it is hard to acquire tickets because so many people want to attend. Fortunately there are other ways of getting into the stadium, for example taking a tour. This is a better alternative for those wishing to gain a glimpse behind the scenes, because when else would you be able to enter the player dressing rooms or walk down the tunnel into the stadium like a professional?
Germany’s largest stadium offers tours like these, among other things. The stadium formerly known as the Westfalen-Stadion in Dortmund and now called Signal-Iduna-Park is the largest in Germany and seats 80,000 spectators. Professional footballers love the special atmosphere of this stadium and a few years ago, the London Times even named this footballing temple the best stadium in the world. The competition ground in the eastern Ruhr Area also has another superlative to offer: the local stadium of BVB is home to Europe’s largest standing area. The Borusseum is also housed at the museum. This is the BVB club museum – a real ‘get involved’ museum with club song karaoke and the chance to commentate a match yourself.
Of course, there is also a club museum ‘auf Schalke’, as the Gelsenkirchen stadium is known. Hardcore fans can get married or have themselves or their children baptised in the adjoining chapel. There is even a cemetery just for Schalke fans! The stadium tours also offer a glimpse behind the scenes at the Veltins Arena, which is classed as Europe’s most modern stadium due to its closable roof and retractable pitch.
A 3-star superior Hampton by Hilton hotel with digital services such as choosing a room by Smartphone, a digital concierge, E-mobility offerings, and a fitness area with digital features is to ensure cutting-edge overnight comfort with football feeling from 2021 onwards.
Fans are able to spend the night at the Borussia-Park in Mönchengladbach as well: the H4 hotel offers 125 rooms and six suites with an athletic design and comfort. Depending on room category, the price includes access to the executive lounge. In addition to the hotel, the “Borussia-8-Grad” building complex opened in 2019 houses a fan shop and club museum. “Fohlenwelt” (Foal World) is the name of the Borussia Mönchengladbach club museum that tells the club’s story on 1,150 square metres, using pictures, large projections, and videos. Visitors can pick from a selection of eight guides, all of whom are Borussia insiders and will introduce them to the club’s history from a very personal point of view.
There is also the option of taking a circuit around the Merkur Spiel-Arena. While the Fortuna team that plays here is constantly switching back and forth between the first and second league, its home arena has already been long established as a topclass football venue. The arena has not only hosted the German national team several times, but concerts by international superstars and other events are also regularly held here. Tours of the stadium take visitors to the players’ locker rooms and the press conference room, among other areas of the arena.
About a dozen different stadium tours lead visitors through the RheinEnergieStadion of the 1. FC Köln. No matter if they prefer the offside tour with Walter Eschweiler, the team quiz tour, the Jecke StadionTOUR, or “On the tracks of Lukas Podolski”, any tour will give them glimpses of areas that are otherwise reserved to VIPs or players only.
For those who don’t want to leave the stadium, even at night, the Bayarena in Leverkusen is the perfect destination as Germany’s first stadium hotel – nestled within the ‘Nordkurve’ stand where the Leverkusen fans stand to watch the match. The entire stadium can also be visited during tours. In addition to the normal tours, there are also special tours for children and people with limited mobility.
The reason why the Bielefeld stadium, officially called the SchücoArena, is traditionally nicknamed “die Alm” (mountain meadow) by the fans has been lost to time. In any case, the home of DSC Arminia Bielefeld is not located along the slopes of the Teutoburg Forest, but in the middle of a residential quarter. Stadium tours provide a peek into otherwise-closed areas and share information about the “Anfield Road of Eastern Westphalia” as well.