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Hamburg, a Euros guide: What visiting football fans should know

At Hamburg's Oevelgönne Elbe beach, you can go for a swim and watch container ships pass. Georg Wendt/dpa
At Hamburg's Oevelgönne Elbe beach, you can go for a swim and watch container ships pass. Georg Wendt/dpa

Hamburg is one of the host cities of this year's European football championship. Poland, Albania, Croatia, Georgia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Turkey will all be playing matches here, and one of the quarter-finals will also be held in this northern German port city.

Whether you're in Hamburg for a game, or will just be in town during the tournament: What is there to experience from a fan's point of view? Where can you soak up the Euro atmosphere away from the stadium? And what else is on offer besides football? Here are some tips on what to see and do:

1. Public screenings:

A fan zone will be set up in an open area called the Heiligengeistfeld in the centre of Hamburg, where all matches will be shown free of charge. The large field will also be open on 15 match days, with up to 40,000 people able to watch: this includes the German team's matches, all of the matches played in Hamburg and all matches at the knockout phase.

2. Stadium:

The European Championship matches will be played in the Volksparkstadion, which has a capacity of 49,000. The nearest railway stations are Stellingen or Eidelstedt, served by the S3 und S5 lines of the Hamburg S-Bahn, taking around 20 minutes from Hamburg Central Station. From Stellingen or Eidelstedt it's a 15-minute walk to the stadium. You can also get the S1 line to Othmarschen, which is around 20 minutes from the Central Station. With a shuttle bus from Othmarschen it takes around 20 minutes to get to the stadium.

Good to know: Strict security measures mean almost no vehicles will be allowed around the European Championship venues. So if you're arriving by car, you'll have to park away from the stadium and continue your journey by public transport.

3. Must-sees for football fans:

St. Pauli is a centrally located quarter of Hamburg, and the Millentor Stadium is right in the centre of St. Pauli itself (opposite the Heiligengeistfeld). You can book guided tours of FC St. Pauli's home ground online, but bookings are already sold out on many days during Euro 2024. The St. Pauli club museum is also located at the stadium, and just across the street you can find the famous Jolly Roger pub, which is frequented by St. Pauli fans.

There is even a Rewe supermarket north of the Outer Alster Lake, in affluent Winterhude, that has a connection to football. One of the supermarket's managing partners is Holger Stanislawski, who was a coach at St. Pauli for many years and is one of the club's cult figures. If you're lucky, you might get to meet him in store.

If you managed to get tickets to the tournament, you should make a stop at the north stand of the Volksparkstadion and check out an unusual monument: a five-metre tall cast of the right foot of Uwe Seeler, one of the greatest strikers in German football history.

4. What do see away from the pitch:

During the day you can watch ships at the St. Pauli Piers (Landungsbrücken) or from the balcony of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, stroll through the Speicherstadt warehouse district or visit the tower of the famous St. Michael's Church. In the evening you can check out the entertainment district around the Reeperbahn or head to a musical in one of the theatres along the Elbe river.

The Miniature Wonderland is worth a visit, especially when the weather is not so great (which is often the case in Hamburg). At the world's largest model railway system, you can see the planet in miniature. A new section depicting Monaco is the latest addition.

The Miniature Wonderland also has something for football fans: In the Hamburg section there's a replica of the Volksparkstadion stadium with 12,000 figures in the stands and a match being played between the two local rivals, HSV and St. Pauli.

If you get tired of the hustle and bustle, you can head to the 13-kilometre long Elbstrand beach and watch the giant container ships on the river heading for the port or the North Sea.

Tip: Instead of a pricey harbour tour, take line 62 of the Hamburg ferry from the St. Pauli piers. Line 62 stops at the fish market and the Cruise Center Altona, one of the city's cruise terminals.

Antonipark combines views of the harbour cranes. The park on the banks of the Elbe in St. Pauli was once supposed to be built on, but the locals pushed back. An initiative was set up and a park filled with art was created, not far from the Reeperbahn S-Bahn station. The steel palm trees are a particularly popular backdrop for selfies.

The Millerntor Stadium is located in the St. Pauli district - and will be a first division stadium again from the coming season, as FC St. Pauli has been promoted. Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa
The Millerntor Stadium is located in the St. Pauli district - and will be a first division stadium again from the coming season, as FC St. Pauli has been promoted. Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa
Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland is home to the world's largest model railway. Markus Scholz/dpa
Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland is home to the world's largest model railway. Markus Scholz/dpa
Many of Hamburg's tours start from its piers in the St. Pauli area. Jonas Walzberg/dpa
Many of Hamburg's tours start from its piers in the St. Pauli area. Jonas Walzberg/dpa
As with Germany's 2018 World Cup, public screenings will be held at Hamburg's Heiligengeistfeld during the Euros - come rain or shine. Paul Weidenbaum/dpa
The Volksparkstadion has a capacity of 49,000 spectators for the Euros. Hamburger SV plays its home games here. Christian Charisius/dpa
The Volksparkstadion has a capacity of 49,000 spectators for the Euros. Hamburger SV plays its home games here. Christian Charisius/dpa