The Westfalenstadion is always buzzing when Borussia Dortmund plays its opponent in front of the "yellow wall" of standing-room-only stands. The stadium is one of the loudest in Europe. This will also be the case during the six European Championship matches taking place in the Ruhr metropolis. However, as in all other stadiums, the standing room will be converted into seats during the European Championships. Whether this will help to stop the spirited fans from France, Italy and Albania from jumping up whenever things get interesting is questionable, however. 

Day 1

10 am. Every city has its emotional center. The Marienplatz in Munich, the Römer in Frankfurt or the cathedral and its surroundings in Cologne are just a few of these magical places. In Dortmund in the middle of the Ruhr region, the Old market fulfills this function. It is one of the oldest squares in the city and the place where the whole of Dortmund comes together when there is something to celebrate. (Or to mourn, like BvB's championship loss last year). For visitors from all over the world, the Alter Markt is also the quickest place to understand which city you have landed in and what makes the people of Dortmund tick. The whole market square is full of tables and chairs from the surrounding cafés and restaurants, so it's definitely loud and sociable - and late during the European Championships. 

1 p.m. For many years, it was said that the Ruhrpott was not particularly beautiful and was a complete misnomer as a vacation destination. But that has long since changed, thanks to structural change. With the end of coal mining, many industrial wastelands and buildings have been repurposed, restored and in some cases transformed into attractive leisure facilities AND local recreation areas. A good example is the Phoenix Lake. This is an artificial lake that has become a popular place of pilgrimage for Dortmund residents since 2011 with its water sports and leisure facilities. And, of course, for guests from all over Europe who simply want to relax on a beach between matches. 

3 p.m. Admittedly, the next stop in Dortmund is probably more interesting for German fans. Who from France, Turkey or Albania knows how important Bernard Dietz's captain's armband, Oliver Bierhoff's jersey and the match ball from the 1972 European Championship final are to German fans? And, perhaps a better question: who even WANTS to know? Nevertheless, a visit to the German Football Museumcentrally located in a spectacular glass palace at the main railway station, is on the diaries of all European fans. Here, soccer is illuminated in all its variations and pop-cultural manifestations. And, God knows, this does not just extend to German themes. "50 years of Wembley" is just as much a topic there as "Pink Floyd and soccer". 

6 pm. So much for theory and history. In Westfalenpark, it's back to the soccer of today. Here, one of the two Public viewing stations All German matches and selected matches from other nations will be broadcast here on a 144 square meter screen. According to the organizers, there is room for 25,000 people, so it goes without saying that there will be plenty of refreshment stands and snacks in a city like Dortmund. The site is open from 1 p.m. and admission is free. A little treat for music lovers is also on the agenda. On two nights, well-known artists will play a free concert on the Westfalenpark stage. Who will it be? Surprise! 

8 pm. All the games have finished, but the energy level is still high? In the north of Dortmund, a fine, small party scene has established itself at the harbor, which will also be well attended during the European Championships. You can expect a hub of good humor, even if that sounds a little corny. But it's true: the most unconventional place in Dortmund's harbor is actually called Transhipment center. Many concerts take place there during the week and a flea market at the weekend. In good weather, however, you can also relax in the beer garden. Or you can go a few meters further and check out the Eventschiff Mr. Walter Since 2011, it has been the home of good-humored people who not only want to chill out in the sun, but also dance under a tent roof and feel the sandy beach under their feet by the water. 

Day 2

10 am. If you ask ten Dortmund residents where the most beautiful, individual, wildest and most diverse places in the city are, seven of them will answer as if shot from a pistol: "In the Kreuzviertel!" The charm of the district lies in its diversity. Beautiful old Wilhelminian-style buildings, small, individual stores, pithy pubs next to vegan cafés. In the Kreuzviertel, there is little of the glamor and shiny surfaces of the trendy districts in other major cities, which is also noticeable: gentrification is not a big issue here. The grumpy charm of the Ruhrpötters is simply not made for that. To get the day off to a good start, we recommend breakfast at "Schönes Leben", "Kieztörtchen" or "Herr Liebig", all in the Kreuzviertel district. And then simply take a stroll and discover the district - it'll be great! 

1 p.m. What does Dortmund stand for apart from soccer? Beer, of course! Dortmund was traditionally a city of breweries, with eight large breweries once co-existing in the Ruhr metropolis. The best-known beer producers were Hansa, Kronen and Bergmann, and there were also Löwen, Ritter, Stifts and Thier. Resounding names. And who is left to keep hop and malt production alive in Dortmund? Only the Dortmunder-Aktien-Brauerei (DAB). This is exactly where Daily guided tours in the brewery museum, where you can learn about all of Dortmund's breweries and, above all, visit the DAB brewery. It goes without saying that this does not happen without tasting the brewery's own product.   

3 p.m. A visit to an art museum is not for everyone, that is understandable. But this museum is different, more spectacular, more visually powerful. In the Phoenix des Lumièresa former blast furnace plant with correspondingly gigantic dimensions, there are no conventional pictures hanging on the wall. Here, three-dimensional worlds of color are projected into spaces whose beginning and end can only be guessed at. Dali's work is presented there in the exhibition "The Endless Enigma", Gaudi's architecture is illuminated and cosmic nights are organized in which visitors can immerse themselves in breathtaking parallel universes. Don't miss it, there's no soccer at this time of year anyway! 

6 pm. After all, the games in Dortmund are at 6 p.m. at the earliest. And by then, even the art lover has long since returned and joined the queue at Dortmund's Friedensplatz, the second big Public Viewing Area in Dortmund. On the centrally located square in the city center, all 51 games of the European Championship will be broadcast on a huge LED cube. There is room for over 6,000 fans. If you feel like it, you can do more than just watch. There will be a soccer court where you can kick a ball around together, there will be football boxes and table football as well as live concerts. 

8 pm. The later the evening, the happier the guests. It's just a shame that so many bars and pubs in Dortmund close quite early. A laudable exception is the colorful Wholesale market taverna dance club with vintage furniture that hosts concerts several times a week and invites you to get down and dirty. A very quirkily decorated, undogmatic club that focuses more on good humor than coolness. If you like evenings under a disco ball and plastic sunflower decorations, you shouldn't think twice. This is the club you've been looking for in Dortmund. And if you ask yourself at five in the morning whether the place actually never closes, you'll be proven wrong an hour later. 

Copyright cover picture: The Phoenix Lake in Dortmund © - Scanrail

Geschrieben von Harald Brown

Travel and culture journalist Harald Braun, a native of the Rhineland, lives in the countryside of Schleswig-Holstein, regularly escapes to Australia in winter, likes FC St. Pauli, South Tyrol and, increasingly, selected corners of Germany that he has recently discovered - such as the "Greif" harbor crane in front of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, where you can spend an excellent night.

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