Football Days from Düsseldorf
The German Bundesliga is the highest attended football league in the world (and the second most attended sports league in the world, just behind the NFL!). With affordable ticket prices, cheap beer, lively standing-only areas and famous fan culture, it’s not hard to see why.
Düsseldorf (the home of trivago’s HQ) is in the perfect location for any football-lover. The city on the River Rhein is the capital of Nord-Rhein Westfalen, a region in the west of the country with the highest concentration of Football teams in Germany. This makes Düsseldorf a great base to explore the surrounding football culture.
With six Bundesliga 1st league (and a few 2nd league) teams within 70 km of our offices, trivago employees are spoilt for choice when it comes to game day. So, if you get tired of playing FIFA and table soccer at our office, here is the ‘life at trivago’ guide to the Bundesliga.
Stadium: Esprit Arena
Distance from Düsseldorf: 15 min tram from the office.
Founded in 1895, trivago’s local club Fortuna Düsseldorf plays at the Esprit Arena, which is just a ride down the Rhein from the office. Fortuna was promoted to the first division in the 18/19 season and retained their spot in the Bundesliga for the 19/20 season with a mid-table finish.
With their strong supporter base and a large, modern stadium the atmosphere at Esprit arena is always first-class. Although crowds have increased since promotion, the stadium rarely sells out (except for derby matches) so you can often still buy a ticket on game day. If you have just arrived in Düsseldorf, a Fortuna match is a perfect way to get a taste of the city and those who live here, and with tickets starting at 13€, it won’t break the bank.
Stadium: Signal Iduna Park
Distance from Düsseldorf: 65km (1hr by train)
Unquestionably the most famous club in Nord-Rhein Westfalen is Borussia Dortmund, often referred to simply as BVB. The 81,000 capacity Signal Iduna Park has the highest average attendance in Europe. Also known as Westfalenstadion, the stadium features a 25,000-person standing area known as Die Gelbe Wand (The Yellow Wall) which is world-renowned for its electric atmosphere.
Dortmund are the second most successful team in Germany, tasting victory both in the Bundesliga and Champions League over the years. It goes without saying that it is not easy to get tickets to a BVB game, especially with ticket prices starting as low as €16, which also includes public transport to the game (yes, even from Düsseldorf). If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket be sure to get to the game a couple hours before kick-off to have a ‘Bier und Bratwurst’ outside the stadium and soak up the atmosphere.
FC Schalke 04
Distance from Düsseldorf: 50km (50min by train)
Die Königsblauen (Royal Blues) are one of Germany’s most famous clubs. Founded in 1904, Schalke have since been a dominant force in German football, especially in the early days. In total S04 have won seven Bundesliga titles and five DFB-Pokals (German Cups). Schalke is based in Gelsenkirchen, a traditionally working-class area of the Ruhr Valley known in the past for its many coal mines. The close proximity of Gelsenkirchen to Dortmund has given birth to the fiercest rivalry in German football. Known as the Revierderby, the match is one not to miss, although its most likely you will be watching in a pub, as tickets are almost impossible to come by.
Opened in 2001, the Veltins-Arena is seriously impressive, it holds 62,000 spectators and features a retractable roof and pitch. But the most impressive feature is the famous North Stand or ‘Nordkurve’ when it is full of the Schalke faithful on game day, singing and jumping for the full 90 minutes. If you want to take the trip to Gelsenkirchen, make sure you book tickets well in advance, every home game is full!
Distance from Düsseldorf: 30km (40min by train)
Leverkusen is a small town situated between Düsseldorf and Cologne, it is home to the pharmaceutical giant Bayer. The massive Bayer headquarters employs many locals in the area, as was the case back in 1904 when the company decided to start their own sports club called ‘Turn- und Spielverein der Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co.’, they later realised this was quite a mouthful and changed the name to ‘SV Bayer 04’. The club has since become one of the top clubs in German football, winning the German Cup in ’93 and making it to the Champions League final in 2002, where they were beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid.
With a capacity of 30,000 the BayArena is one of the smaller stadiums in the Bundesliga, but what the stadium lacks in size it makes up in style, it features a high-class restaurant and in 1999 a hotel was attached to the stadium which includes views of the pitch!
Distance from Düsseldorf: 30km (40min by train)
VfL Bochum was founded in 1848 and, at 170 years old, is often referred to as one of the oldest sports organisations in the world. Back in 2017 trivago sponsored the team, we even swapped footballers for trivago employees, don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself:
Having spent a majority of the past 50 years in the top flight, Bochum currently play in the 2nd Bundesliga out of the Vonovia-Ruhrstadion which can seat (and stand) 30,000 fans on match day. The train ride to the Ruhrstadion is around 40 minutes from Düsseldorf, and you will be rewarded with a great atmosphere and real German football, as it was meant to be played.
Distance from Düsseldorf: 40km (1hr by train)
One of the first things you will notice when you move to Düsseldorf is the fierce rivalry with Cologne, whether it be Beer, Carnival or Football – both cities think they do it best. Just 40km down the Rhein, Cologne is the biggest city in Nord-Rhein Westfalen with around 1 Million people calling ‘Die Domstadt’ home. Winning the Bundesliga twice and the Cup four times over the years, FC Köln have certainly had their fair share of success.
The RheinEnergieStadion packs in 50,000 spectators on match day and was one of the host stadiums during the 2006 World Cup. The Cologne fans are some of the most loyal in the Bundesliga and the stadium is always packed. So, if you are planning a trip to see ‘The Billy Goats’ make sure you buy your ticket in advance… and maybe don’t mention you came from Düsseldorf.
Distance from Düsseldorf: 30km (35min by train)
Just 30km west of Düsseldorf, near the Dutch border lies the city of Mönchengladbach. Despite having a population of only 250,000 Mönchengladbach have managed to make quite a name for themselves in European football over the years. Winning the league five times and consistently challenging for European positions has secured them a strong following in Nord-Rhein Westfalen.
The impressive Borussia-Park holds 55,000 spectators including the standing-only ‘Nordkurve’ terrace with space for 16,000 fans. Just 30km from Düsseldorf, a day out at Borussia-Park should be on every trivago employee’s to-do list.
Distance from Düsseldorf: 25km (30min by train)
Duisburg is the closest club to trivago (after Fortuna Düsseldorf), it’s so close you can even catch an underground line to stadium. Duisburg has recently struggled, yo-yoing between the 2nd and 3rd leagues. But despite performance, thousands show up to every home game to support ‘Die Zebras’.
With cheap transport from Düsseldorf and ticket prices starting at 7€, a day out at Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena (including lunch and a couple beers) will leave you with change from a 20.
Want to come work at trivago (and see a few games of footy)? Then check out our open positions!
Related posts: 15 Reasons to Move to Düsseldorf