posted on: 8 July, 2020
A Football Trip to Dortmund. Your life as a football fan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a Borussia Dortmund home match. The Bundesliga is extremely fan friendly and massively popular these days. Full of top talents and international superstars there’s no better way to experience it than with a football weekend trip. And what better place to start than the mighty Borussia Dortmund?! The atmosphere is legendary, and the roar of the Yellow Wall sends shivers down every visitor’s spine. Week in week out 83000 people visit their beloved BVB and turn the match day into a celebration. But it hasn’t always been like that. So, let’s have a brief look at the history of the club.
Founded in 1909 we can easily jump to 1966 when the BVB became the first German club to win an international competition. Beating the Bill Shankly’s mighty Liverpool FC, 2-1 in the European Cup Winners Cup Glasgow put them on the map of European football. Not for long though. The 70ties and 80ties were periods of decline marked by financial problems and the relegation from the Bundesliga in 1972. A new dawn came with the opening of the Westfalenstadion in 1976. The move from the former home ground, the Rothe Erde stadium (right next to the new ground and now home to the second team playing in the Regionalliga West) was completed with the BVB’s return to Bundesliga in 1976. Crowd numbers were low and the success moderate. And they survived relegation by the scrap of their teeth again in 1986. A last-minute goal on the relegation games vs Fortuna Koeln gave them a rematch which they then won 8-0 (!). For the older generation, these games last forever in their memory.
By surprise the team reached the 1989 German Cup final. And won it! Local hero Norbert Dickel scoring a hattrick while playing with a knee injury eventually ending his career. This total commitment and sacrifice made him a legend. For many this win was the dawn of a new era. The golden nineties followed when the club became an international household name and a supporter’s magnet. The BVB won league titles in 1995 and 1996 and ultimately they won of the Champions League in 1997. But the BVB wasn’t as stable as thought and after a brief up, they came crashing down in 2005 which almost led to bankruptcy of the club. But then a certain Juergen Norbert Klopp took over and led the club back to the top with league titles in 2011 and 2012. Since those days, the BVB stands for fast paced offensive football attracting Europe’s top talents and stars.
The fans. Since the late 80ties Dortmund is a magnet for the fans. Record attendances and several ground extensions have led to a 15-year waitlist for a season ticket. Support hasn’t ceded since 1989 and the BVB is still in high demand when it comes to match tickets. The world class atmosphere created by the Dortmund ultras makes a football trip to Dortmund unique Their biggest group is the Unity, located in the lower end of Block 13 on the Suedtribuene. Followed by the Desperados and the Jubos. They create a rocking atmosphere week in and week out and spend hours of their free time making the breath-taking choreos you can admire on TV. And the Westfalenstadion (or as it’s now called the Signal Iduna Park) turns into a complete nuthouse on when the, say less popular opponents visit.
BVB’s biggest rivals are neighbouring Schalke 04 (The Derby), Bayern Munich and Borussia Moenchengladbach. During these games, the atmosphere is close to boiling point. The Yellow Wall is Europe’s biggest all standing terrace with 27000 people cheering the beloved team on frenetically. If you weren’t a fan already, you will be one afterwards! And while the overall capacity stands a whopping 83000 getting tickets is still not easy. But ATO can help you there. Tickets prices start at 18EUR for a standing ticket and 35EUR for seat which is still more than reasonable. Especially when you compare to some Premier League clubs. And a huge bonus is that your tickets includes free train travel in a radius of around 70km on match days. So, if you arrive say in Duesseldorf you can board your train for free making the whole trip very affordable indeed. Check your timetables here. Getting to the stadium is easy to with many frequent trains and busses running from the main station to Signal Iduna Park. They do get packed though and it is only a 25min walk, so don’t wait for too long to get on a train.
First of all, yes you can have a beer while watching the match. Dortmund used to the beer capital of Germany so not having one is unthinkable. Beer outlets are all over and around the stadium and a 0.5l Brinkhoffs costs you 4.20EUR. Not bad. Payment is via the Stadion Deckel, a prepaid card which you must buy and load beforehand. It is a bit annoying, but you will get over it. However, if you don’t want to go in the stadium right away and soak up the pre-match atmosphere around the stadium, we can recommend you places. Unlike in the UK, people arrive early for the game, around 2hs before kick-off.
First, there’s the clubhouse of the Flora tennis club which hosts a small bar and some beer and barbecue (you can’t go on a football trip to Dortmund without having a Bratwurst, fact) outlets in their courtyard. It is free to enter to everyone just like to the outdoor swimming pool around the corner. The pools aren’t open on match days, but again there are beer outlets and a bar in the pool area. In between the two and on the way leading up to the entrance of the famous Suedtribune there are more places selling beer. Trust me you won’t go thirsty. Then close to the main entrance, in the old Rothe Erde stadium is a fabulous beer garden and the official BVB pub, Strobels. On the other side of the ground there’s indoor riding centre, again equipped with a bar! And if you venture a bit further, you reach the local garden allotment areal with, guess what, a bar! But don’t overdo it and make sure you’ll leave room for the evening in town.
The city centre is within easy reach either by train or tram, but be aware they’ll be absolutely packed. We recommend staying in one of the city centre hotels such as the NH, right opposite the main station. Double rooms come at around 120EUR per night, but there are plenty of cheaper or more upmarket options around. Next to the station and well worth a visit is the German Football museum. Opened in 2015 the museum covers the history of German football. Tickets are priced 15eur and the museum gives you a great interactive inside into the Germany’s football past.
Other than that, and here, I am not talking around the block the centre isn’t pretty or quaint and there’s isn’t much to see. Dortmund used to be steelworkers and coal miners town. So, if you want sightseeing, head to Venice.
But there are plenty of nice squares to have a beer or two such as the Friedensplatz or the Alter Markt. We can recommend a visit to the brewery pub Wenkers! Or head to the popular Kreuzviertel with its many pubs, trendy bars, and restaurants. Wherever you go you will find out that the locals are a friendly bunch. And there’s no closing time in the pubs and bars. That’s why victory celebrations can easily go into the early hours of the morning.
Overall a football trip to a Dortmund match is memorable experience. And with many frequent flights from the UK to Dortmund, Duesseldorf or Cologne with RyanAir, Easyjet, British Airways and Eurowings it is no problem to get there too. Prices start from a little as £17.99 per way. And why not stay a bit longer and see more games?
Here’s a list of clubs within 1h distance from Dortmund:
FC Schalke 04, Borussia Moenchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Cologne, Arminia Bielefeld
VfL Bochum, Fortuna Duesseldorf, SC Paderborn
MSV Duisburg, KFC Uerdingen (play their home games in Duesseldorf), SC Verl (play their home games in Paderborn)
And in the Regionalliga West, you have the former champions and fallen giants of Rot Weiss Essen! As you can see there are plenty of clubs near Dortmund. So, someone always plays.
So why not give it a go next season?
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And if you fancy a different football trip check a brief overview here.
See you in Dortmund!
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