The Allianz Arena - Bayern Munich's stately home - is one of European football's most modern and innovative stadiums. bundesliga.com takes you inside a venue that has already witnessed some of the game's biggest moments, and whose wow! factor never wears off.
When an overhaul of Munich's Olympic stadium — Bayern's home since the 1972 Games — was ruled out, a site to the north of the city was chosen for the Bavarian city's new state-of-the-art arena.
In two-and-a-half years from October 2002 until April 2005, the Allianz Arena was raised from the ground to the 75,000 capacity (70,000 all-seater) venue it is today. It may be Germany's second-largest stadium after Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park, but it can lay claim to being the Bundesliga's and one of the world's most unique thanks to the thousands of inflated plastic 'cushions' that make up its instantly recognisable facade.
Watch: Bayern Munich – all you need to know!
Originally shared with neighbours 1860 Munich, Bayern took sole ownership in summer 2017, and undertook work to deck out the inside of the arena in their colours — incorporating their club badge and 'Mia san mia' motto into the seating — ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
In addition to witnessing some of Bayern's most important Bundesliga matches, the Allianz Arena was a 2006 FIFA World Cup venue, even staging France's semi-final defeat of Portugal, and also provided the backdrop to the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League final in which Bayern's dream of being crowned European champions on home soil was dashed by Chelsea.
By car: The A9 autobahn, which was specially widened to cope with matchday traffic, runs in the shadow the stadium, affording easy access from the city centre to the south and Munich's Franz Josef Strauss Airport to the north.
Parking: The architects thought ahead and provided Europe's biggest underground car park just in front of the stadium. Four stories have room for 9,800 cars with a further 1,200 places inside the stadium itself.
By train: The stadium is handily placed on the U-Bahn's number 6 line at the Fröttmaning stop, about a 16-minute journey from the city centre. It takes 10-15 minutes to walk to the stadium, but you can't miss it!!
There are a number of options to purchase tickets for games, but be warned: you won't be alone…
Bayern announced before the start of the 2018/19 season that all 17 Bundesliga home games had already sold out, but a limited number of tickets are likely to be available for most matches through the FC Bayern Ticket Exchange. For more info, click here
The Arena Bistro serves meals, snacks, and hot and cold drinks on matchdays and throughout the week, while the Fantreff Nord dishes up locally brewed beer with Bavarian specialities, such as Leberkäse, a kind of meat loaf.
On matchdays, 28 kiosks kick into operation between levels two and six to keep you happily refuelled as you watch the record Bundesliga champions.
Previously, the Arena Card — a cashless payment card exclusive to the stadium — was the sole way to make purchases, but credit cards and Apple Pay have been accepted since December 2018.
The 2018/19 season also saw reusable cups introduced at the Arena as part of Bayern's push to be a more environmentally friendly club.
The FC Bayern Megastore on the third floor of the Arena is aptly named. It is wall-to-wall fan swag spread over 1000 square metres of heaven for the Bayern supporter who wants to show their love for their club in every aspect of their life. From the classic replica shirt with your favourite player's name on the back to a garden gnome, you can indulge yourself year-round except Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (opening hours 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.CET).
On non-matchdays, you can take an hour-long guided tour of the stadium, which will bring you to places usually only the likes of Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez get to see, including the dressing rooms and players' tunnel.
So-called 'Kombi Tours' combine the tour with entrance to the Bayern museum — the FC Bayern Erlebniswelt — which was opened inside the stadium in May 2012, and details the club's history from foundation in 1900 to the historic treble of 2013 through innovative technology and the club's dazzling collection of silverware. For more information and to make a reservation, click here.
Did you know?
Originally only red, white and blue when the stadium first opened, the LEDs inside the Arena's 'cushion' exterior can now — since an upgrade ahead of the 2015/16 season — be illuminated in any of 16 million colours, including those of the rainbow as they were to celebrate Gay Pride in 2016.