Places to watch the FIFA World Cup in Germany
For soccer fans, the countdown has long been underway. As each day takes us closer to the most widely viewed sporting competition on the planet, it remains ever harder not to be swept up in the passion for the beautiful game.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup will play out between 32 teams in 11 Russian cities from June 14 through July 15. Not only is the U.S. absent; typical soccer heavyweights such as Italy and The Netherlands didn’t make it through, either.
European sides we can choose to cheer on include Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland. And of course, looming large is 2014 World Cup Champions Germany. Will they make it two titles in a row? The last time a country managed back-to-back championships was in 1962, when Brazil held on to its title.
Public viewing events close to U.S. installations in Germany:
Garmisch-Partenkirchen: The Peaches Cocktailbar shows the games on its summer terrace.
Freisen: The opening match, all of the games in which Germany plays, and the final will be broadcast at a public viewing event at Kreisel, Bahnhofstr. 62. Entry is free.
Mainz: The monthly magazine sensor suggests the Favorite-Biergarten in the Volkspark, the Mainzerstrand on the banks of the Rhine and the Eulchen-Schlossbiergarten. For something totally different, check out the “Football Concert,” organ music accompanying the Spain-Portugal match at the Altmünsterkirche on June 15. Entry is free.
Stuttgart: The beer garden in the Stuttgarter Schlossgarten will be showing the games; for groups of 10 and over, reservations are required.
Trier: The volksfreund reports that Germany’s second and third games in the group stage will be broadcast at the Viehmarkt. Entry costs 4 euros and includes one drink.
Wiesbaden: The restaurant Lumen, in the glass cube next to the red brick Marktkirche in the city center, will show all of Germany’s games. Out of the 9 euro entry fee, 4.50 euros can be applied to the cost of food and drink. Games in which Germany doesn’t play can be viewed for free there.
Germany’s biggest public viewing events:
Berlin: Germany’s biggest Fan Mile, offering viewing possibilities on three screens, will be set up in a mile-long zone between the Brandenburg Gate and the Strasse des 17. Juni. All Germany’s games will be shown, along with the knockout rounds as of June 30. Live stage shows with stars and VIPs add further glamour to the festivities. Entry is free, but large bags and alcohol must be left at home.
Cologne: The city’s biggest public viewing event will be hosted by former player Lukas Podolski at the Gallopprennbahn in Köln-Weidenpesch on June 23, when Germany takes on Sweden. Tickets to “Poldis Public Viewing Party”cost 15.50 euros.
Frankfurt am Main: The Commerzbank-Area hosts public viewing sessions for all three of Germany’s games; ticket prices start at 12 euros.
Hamburg: Germany’s matches will be shown at the Heiligengeistfeld in St. Pauli, the site of a massive fan zone capable of accommodating up to 70,000 viewers. Entry costs 2 euros.
Mainz: The Ernst-Ludwig-Platz, a square near the Kurfürstliches Schloss, will be the site of public viewing for all of Germany’s matches, the semi-final and the final. Sports commentators and cheerleaders provide entertainment on stage. Entry to the “Meenzer Fan-Arena,“ capable of hosting up to 5,000 viewers, is free, although each visitor is obliged to spend a minimum of 10 euros at the site.
Munich: Public Viewing will take place at the Munich Airport on a specially built stage capable of accommodating up to 2000 fans. A panel of commentators will host. Tickets to all of Germany’s group stage games cost 5 euros; those under three get in free.
Stuttgart: The Mercedes-Museum in Bad Cannstatt plans to broadcast World Cup games on its big screen.
Wiesbaden: According to an article in the Wiesbadener Kurier, should the German team make it into the semi-finals, the game will be broadcast by the seashell in the Kurpark; if they’re in the final, the game will be shown on the Bowling Green. Group stage matches will NOT be shown.
Sitting outside, cool beverage in hand, getting caught up in the emotion and energy of your fellow supporters is certainly not the worst way to spend a balmy summer eve!