By Shelley Marsden
Travel guide http://goeuro.co.uk offers top spots to enjoy the beautiful game this summer
Thousands of football fans are expected to travel across the world to Brazil to enjoy this year’s World Cup, yet countless more will watch the tournament unfold back here in Europe. GoEuro.co.uk, the online search engine that compares and combines all transportation options in a single search, has produced a guide to the best cities in Europe to enjoy the beautiful game at its finest a little closer to home.
Large scale ‘fan miles’ have become a popular tradition in the German capital ever since the nation hosted the 2006 World Cup. The fan parks from eight years ago, the first of their kind, attracted over one million supporters every day across the country and have served as a model for subsequent tournaments in South Africa in 2010 and, of course, Brazil this year. In fact, the German government recently gave the proposed fan parks special dispensation to operate throughout the night, even for late-night games. For those that want a taste of Brazil without having to travel across the world the city has also organised a series of themed events, including the ‘Festa do Brasil,’ a celebration of Brazilian culture, food and music to be held on the weekend of the 31st May at the BeachMitte.
There’s no better place to enjoy the World Cup than the home of football. The city proved a hit with supporters when it hosted the Olympic Games in 2012 and this year will be no different with big screens and celebrations planned for the duration of the tournament. For those who brave the early hour kick offs, the city is full of late-night bars that will show games every night of the week. The city also boasts a large, young and vibrant international community so the atmosphere will continue to buzz long after England crash out on penalties in the quarter finals.
The Netherlands hold the record for having played in the most number of finals without ever winning, most recently in 2010, and are one of the favourites for this summer’s tournament. While Dutch fans and the ‘orange army’ are known for travelling in large numbers to international tournaments, the atmosphere in this football-mad city will match that of anywhere in Europe.
Officially France’s sunniest city, Marseille’s fascinating history, culture, architecture and beaches mean visitors won’t be short of things to enjoy during their time here. Perhaps most importantly, this jewel of the Mediterranean is also known for being home to some of Europe’s most passionate football fans and won’t disappoint those in search of a lively and exciting venue to watch the world’s most important sporting event.
The location for Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson’s movie In Bruges, known as the ‘Venice of the North’ and complete with cobblestone streets and canals, is a great under-the-radar choice to enjoy the World Cup. A giant screen will be set up in ‘t Zand Square giving natives and visitors alike the chance to watch the young and exciting Belgian national team play its first World Cup in over a decade.