Germany, amongst its many other natural and man-made wonders, boasts one of the most dynamic and fiercely competed football leagues in the world. Only barely eclipsed internationally by England’s Premier League and Spain’s La Liga, the Bundesliga is the pinnacle of Germany’s sporting prowess. Spread over the country’s varied scenery and unique cities, following the trail of the Bundesliga are not a bad way for sport fanatics to backpack around Germany. Indeed, if you decide to begin such a quest, here are three phenomenal Bundesliga locations that shouldn’t be missed off any football supporter’s itinerary.
Dortmund (home of Borussia Dortmund)
Borussia Dortmund has historically been one of the powerhouses of the Bundesliga but has fallen upon hard times in recent months. In late 2014, Borussia Dortmund found themselves at the bottom of the league table for the first time in seven years, after going seven matches without a win. So far in 2015, the club have managed to recover some form. However they still have 16/1 odds to be relegated in the Bundesliga betting.
Whilst the city’s football club has been up and down over the last few seasons, Dortmund’s beautiful scenery and stunning agriculture has remained a consistent pull for tourists. Known domestically as a ‘green metropolis’, nearly half of the territory is made up of flowing waterways, idyllic woodland and vast, open, green spaces. Amongst the most famous of these lush locations is Westfalenpark and Rombergpark, with both locations offering serene and calming areas perfect for relaxation and contemplation.
Munich (home of Bayern Munich)
In 2013, juggernaut Bundesliga club Bayern Munich clinched the championship so early in the season that officials had not even prepared any celebrations for the victorious side. Since the establishment of the Bundesliga in 1963, Bayern Munich has won an unrivalled 24 titles. They have also won six of the last 10 titles.
Located on the banks of the River Isar and towered over by the Bavarian Alps, Munich is a city of natural beauty to almost rival Dortmund. However, it is from a historic perspective that Munich really comes into its own. Once home to Ludwig the Bavarian, Munich’s official colours remain those of the Holy Roman Empire. An integral location during the Thirty Years’ War, the city even briefly became a sovereign kingdom in 1806. Munich survived being proclaimed as the ‘capital of the movement’ by the Nazi party and recovered from this to host the 1972 Summer Olympics, although the Games were marked by tragedy. Overall, for history buffs, Munich has one of the most textured and varied pasts of any German city and therefore is perfect for those who love history almost as much as they love their football.
Cologne (home of FC Köln)
Back in 1964, FC Köln won the debut Bundesliga championship but would only go on to the lift the trophy on one more occasion in 1978. However, whilst lacking in contributions to German football, Cologne can still proudly exhibit several cultural wonders.
These include the achievement in architecture that is the Cologne Cathedral and the sprawling Cologne University campus, which is one of Europe’s oldest and largest universities. Brutally bombed during World War II, Cologne has a distinctly fragmented and contrasting aesthetic. With buildings going back to medieval times, but with many having been bombed, walking down any street can allow one to see classic, reconstructed and modern examples of various styles and eras.