Party capital prepares to welcome Fulham fans
5:40am Sunday 9th May 2010 in Fulham
Fulham fans attending next week’s Europa Cup final in Hamburg can look forward to more than the football.
With its maritime flair, countless tourist highlights and its world-famous entertainment district, the Reeperbahn, Hamburg is the perfect location for the final of this newly formed event. Not only in Germany is Hamburg regarded as Europe’s favourite party and sports mecca.
In the run-up to the final between Fulham FC and the Spanish football team from Club Atlético de Madrid, thousands of British fans are expected to celebrate the occasion in the city centre and in Hamburg’s Reeperbahn, the city’s renowned entertainment district.
The final on Wednesday, May 12, will be hosted in the Hamburg Arena at the Volkspark, home of the Hamburger Sportverein (HSV), whose team was eliminated by Fulham in the semi-final.
On the pitch, Hamburg were the team Kevin Keegan played for in the late 1970s. He was a member of the team beaten by Nottingham Forest in the 1980 European Cup final, but they did get their hands on the famous trophy three years later.
For the last ten years, the modern 5-star stadium has ranked among Europe’s most atmospheric football stadiums. During the FIFA Football World Cup 2006, the stadium was the venue for five matches.
Ever since Germany hosted the World Cup, Hamburg has been recognised as an international hotspot for football fans.
Just a few train stops away from the stadium, visitors of the UEFA Europa League Final will have the opportunity to explore Europe’s largest entertainment district, the famous Reeperbahn.
There is hardly any other street in the world with such a legendary reputation attached to it, and no other street has so many tales to tell.
The Reeperbahn was originally a somewhat shabby red-light district for seafarers and sailors. However, by the 1960s and 70s it had turned into a stepping stone for popular culture, with the Beatles as the most striking example.
Ever since the 1990s, the Reeperbahn has turned into one of the world’s most vibrating and creative entertainment districts. With hundreds of bars, pubs and clubs, some of Europe’s best live music venues and a creative community that comes second to none, the Reeperbahn is definitely the place to go to celebrate the outcome of the final.
But also during the day, Hamburg offers a wide range of tourist highlights such as Europe’s largest inner-city port and the highly innovative urban development project HafenCity Hamburg with its historic warehouse district Speicherstadt attached to it.
Other points of interest include the work in progress on the Elbe Philharmonic Hall – Hamburg’s new landmark – as well as the beautiful Alster lake that is located amidst the buzz of the city centre with its countless shopping opportunities.
In Hamburg’s trendy, up-and-coming neighbourhoods, North European design blends with an almost Mediterranean flair. On the day following the final, the Queen Mary2, Queen of the Oceans and the world’s longest cruise liner, will arrive in the port of Hamburg and will be welcomed by hundreds of thousands of onlookers from all over the world.
Not alone for the football final can Hamburg be enjoyed. Each year, more and more British tourists make Hamburg their destination. Whether you fancy a shopping weekend, a cultural trip or if you want to follow the footsteps of the Beatles on the Reeperbahn – Hamburg is the place to be. With 150,000 overnight bookings per year, the UK now comes close to Switzerland as regards overnight stays in Hamburg.
This is also due to excellent low-fare flight connections between Hamburg and the UK: for example, EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) offers flights from Luton and Gatwick to Hamburg for as little as £45 return.
For additional information on the UEFA Europa League and the final, please visit www.uefa.com.