With Düsseldorf's Merkur Spiel-Arena set to host games at UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany, get clued up on the stadium and the city in our guides.
Stadium: Merkur Spiel-Arena
Düsseldorf's Merkur Spiel-Arena is a fine example of the top-class stadiums that can be found around Germany, even in the second tier. Although it didn't host group games at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 54,600-seater arena will be a venue at Euro 2024, while Fortuna made a sensational announcement in April 2022 that fans will be able to attend home games free of charge, with the club's sponsors making up for the shortfall in matchday revenue.
Previously known as the LTU Arena and Esprit Arena, the Merkur has also hosted several Wladimir Klitschko boxing bouts, countless concerts, the Eurovision Song Contest and the 2010 Race of Champions, which featured Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.
Watch: Inside Fortuna Düsseldorf’s home
Matches to be played there:
Group D – 17 June
Group E – 21 June
Group B – 24 June
Round of 16 – 1 July
Quarter-final – 6 July
How to get to Düsseldorf:
Düsseldorf Airport is Germany’s fourth-busiest. Connections within Europe are often affordable thanks to low-cost carriers, while there are frequent services to huge hubs like London, Istanbul, Doha and Dubai. However, there are currently no scheduled transatlantic services to/from the Americas. Flying to nearby Cologne or even Frankfurt and the Netherlands are viable alternatives, especially given the affordability and efficiency of Germany’s fast and regional train networks, of which Düsseldorf is a major hub.
How to get to the Merkur Spiel-Arena:
The stadium itself is located in the north of the city, roughly four miles from the central train station. From there, take the metro (U-Bahn) line U78 to Merkur Spiel-Arena/Messe Nord; you can also hop on in the historic old town at Heinrich-Heine Allee. The journey takes no more than 20 minutes.
Watch: Fortuna's free football fan festival
Once in Düsseldorf…
Things to see and do (apart from the football!):
The capital of Germany's most populous region, Düsseldorf is an advertising and fashion hub – home to the country's modelling industry. But those designer jackets come off after a few hours in the Altstadt’s many bars. It's a cultural hub. The world-famous band Kraftwerk – whose song ‘The Model’ references the thriving fashion industry – hail from Düsseldorf, while Heinrich Heine, one of Germany's most famous poets, was born there in 1797. You can also explore Düsseldorf’s cartwheeling tradition – you’ll see statues, sculptures and even manhole covers featuring children cartwheeling. But if the city isn’t enough for you, its central location in North Rhine-Westphalia means it’s rarely more than a couple of hours away from some of Germany’s biggest cities and sites. Just don't mention fierce regional rivals Cologne.
The local cuisine:
Be it Westfälischer Pickert (deep-fried potato pancakes), Himmel und Aad (black pudding with apple sauce and mash), Sauerbraten (pot roast marinated in vinegar) or Halve Hahn (rye bread with local cheese and mustard), Düsseldorf has something for everyone. It’s another good spot for beer drinkers, with Altbier (a copper-coloured lager) the local specialty.
Check out the rest of our Euro 2024 city guides:
Alonso's Leverkusen career in numbers
You know it's been good, but just HOW good has Xabi Alonso's time on the touchline been so far?
Pavlović, Tel leading the next wave of Bayern youngsters
Aleksandar Pavlović and Mathys Tel have followed Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala in making the jump from academy football to the first team at Bayern Munich, and there are more to come...
What is a sporting director?
They are wheeler-dealers, arch-strategists and master negotiators: meet the Bundesliga's sporting directors.