Football has been a hugely important feature of North Rhine-Westphalian life since the year dot, with stadiums acting as places of worship for the game's legions of fans. The approximately 800 km long German Football Route can be travelled by car or bicycle and crosses the football Mecca of North Rhine-Westphalia, running from Aachen to Bielefeld and taking in sites of national and international football significance along the way.
Taking football as its theme, this modern take on the 'fairy tale route' is a great way to visit stadiums across North Rhine-Westphalia, from the edge of the Eifel as far as the Hermannshöhen trail in the Teutoburg Forest. . A trip along the German Football Route is a square pass through the land of football that will be of interest to all fans of the game.
The cultural tour kicks off in Aachen
The route runs through the cities that played a prominent role in football history, stadiums past and present, favourite pubs, monuments and football club museums. With a cycle route running parallel, the route offers a hands-on experience of football history, a wealth of insider tips from the past and present and links UNESCO World Heritage Sites and attractions in a number of different cities.
Only football and God have a place for everyone
"Football experience sites" focusing on cult heroes, cult sites and their national and international history, tourist attractions and art line the German Football Route. In addition to large stadiums, aspiring fans and die-hard fans alike will also discover interesting facts and receive profound insights into the history of this round leather ball.
In this environment, football may seem like a square peg in a round hole; however this allows you to gain a completely new perspective on all the excitement, all the matches and unforgettable goals, spectacular saves and cheers, as well as the great victories, tragic defeats, league titles, blood, sweat, triumph and tears.
Football is the beating heart at the centre
Sliding tackles, struggles for possession, fouls and outstanding teamwork: all are witnessed on the "hallowed turf" and in no other game can fans follow the action from the stands with bated breath, rail against their team, sing, drink cool beer and curse at the ref in quite the same way. More and more clubs are offering their fans a chance to look inside their hallowed doors, and the same can also be said of modern stadiums, football club museums and even the detention cells used for fans determined to spoil the game for others.
Over 800 km of joy and passion
To football fans, this is as important as an oasis is to pilgrims travelling through a hot desert.
Length: approximately 800 km
Theme: football, sport, culture
Aachen: cathedral, museums, stadium
Bielefeld: stadium, Sparrenburg Castle, ecclesiastical buildings
Bochum: stadium, planetarium, museums
Bonn: stadium, castle, Beethoven's House (Beethovenhaus)
Dortmund: stadium, Zeche II/IV colliery (Zeche Zollern), visitor mine
Duisburg: stadium, museums, zoo
Düsseldorf: stadium, shopping mall, Medienhafen
Essen: stadium, Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (UNESCO), Villa Hügel mansion
Gelsenkirchen: stadium: ZOOM Erlebniswelt zoological gardens, museums
Cologne: stadium, sport academy, cathedral
Oberhausen: stadium, Gasometer exhibition space, Legoland Discovery Centre
Wuppertal: stadium, cable railway, zoo
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