The grand finale of Europe's most elite club tournament is upon us and Goal.com takes an in-depth look at the city where the continent's best two teams will face off
From Odeonsplatz to Nymphenburg Palace
Let's start with the major tourist attractions. First up is the Odeonsplatz, which is located in Munich's historic centre. Adjacent we see the Hofgarten, where you can relax away from the city's vibrant life. The Neuhausen-Nymphenburg area is rather famous, and not just because of the Nymphenburg Palace, which is definitely worth a visit. Munich has plenty more quiet places to offer, giving the city a special flair. The Maximiliansanlagen is located above the east bank of the Isar river and the 30-acre park is home to numerous sporting figures. Its terraces offer a wonderful view of the city's historic centre.
The 'English Garden' is yet another park which lies in the middle of the city centre, and is one of the biggest worldwide. The complex covers an impressive 78-kilometre road network, where recreational athletes often work out and meet each other for games of football at the various grass pitches. At the Chinese tower, one can find Munich's second-largest beer garden, which has room for 7,000 patrons. Additionally, there's another beer garden, the Seehaus, a restaurant for the upper middle-class.
Munich is full of sights for tourists to see. Visitors can see an incredible panoramic view of the Alps from the Funf-Seen-Land. The Frauenkirche and the Alte Peter offer a stunning spectacle of the city, including the 'Marienplatz', the city's central square. This is where the celebrations will take place if Bayern beat Chelsea on Saturday. The Maximilianstrasse is located in the heart of Munich and is widely regarded as the city's finest street. There's a realistic opportunity that a visitor could pass by a celebrity while shopping. The Kempinski hotel 'Vierjahreszeiten', well known with fans of the show Sport1-Doppelpass, can also be found here.
The illustrious 'Hofbrauhaus' at 'Platzl' is one of most famous places of the city and can't be forgotten and it attracts both the locals and tourists. The 'Bierpalast' offers plenty of space with various guest rooms.
The unique stadium has also become one of the landmarks of the Bavarian capital over the years. The Arena will be the centre of attention on Saturday, both inside as well as outside the venue. There's the opportunity to take a tour through the Allianz Arena. Visiting the club's training centre at the Sabener Strasse is another option. The Champions League finalists' headquarters are located here as well, and the Bayern stars are more than happy to give an autograph or two on certain days.
For those who have only just started looking for a place to see the final in a public area, it could already be too late. The old Olympiastadion has room for 65,000 football fans, yet the venue was sold out in just a few days' time. A second public viewing location, the 'Theresienwiese', has a capacity of 30,000, but all tickets have been sold there as well.
From May 16 until May 19, the 2012 Uefa Champions League Festival takes place at the Olympiapark. The event is free of charge and has a number of highlights: the Uefa Museum, the Uefa Theatre of Champions, skills clinics and coaching courses, as well as the Ultimate Champions match between former stars of Bayern and other top cubs on May 19 at 12.00CET.
Many pubs and bars been fully booked for weeks, and those who are still looking for a place to watch the final will need a bit of good fortune. There remain a few places where fans might get lucky: Beer garden 'Augustinerkeller', 'Chinesischer Turm', 'Muffatwerk', Beer garden 'Seehaus', 'Hofbraukeller', 'Koniglicher Hirschgarten' and 'Paulaner am Nockherberg'. Additionally, there are a number of sports bars where visitors can still reserve a spot: among them, the 'Odeonsplatz' will be a place for English fans to share in the joy. One thing's for sure: Munich will be crowded in every place where the final can be publicly seen.
The following venues will show the Champions League final:
|Champions Sportsbar||Berliner Strasse 93, 80805 München
|Cadu||Ludwigstrasse 24, 80539 München
|El Mirador||Clemensstrasse 83, 80796 München
|Hirschgarten Biergarten In Münch||Hirschgarten 1, 80639 München
|Irish Folk Pub||Giselastrasse 11, 80802 München
|Sport-Cafe Schiller||Schillerstrasse 3, 80336 München
|Grosswirt||Volkartstrasse 2, 80634 München
|Atzinger||Schellingstrasse 9, 80799 München
|Fan-Arena||Arnulfstrasse 16-18, 80335 München
The overall well-being of guests is ensured at all times in Munich. They can have an all you can eat brunch, or go for something more exquisite. At 'BattyBaristas', "Mamasita", 'Baader Cafe' or the News Bar, one can order an extensive breakfast until the early afternoon, but other meals are available as well. The special thing about 'Mamasita' is that it's a party location where you can chomp down on some classic party food. You can order chicken wings, tortillas, burgers, pizza and other items at this Tex-Mex diner. And the prices are quite reasonable.
There's plenty of choice in the afternoon and evening as well. From Asian food to typical Bavarian dishes, and from Italian to African. 'Hugo's' in particular is worth a visit with its modern and cosy atmosphere. There one can order a stone-oven pizza for €6.50–14.50. In addition to Italian pies, the restaurant also functions as a bar and lounge. Franck Ribery and friends are among the place's most illustrious guests. Additionally, l'Osteria is situated beautifully and next to the city hall. Patrons can order a huge pizza in a very pleasant atmosphere, with most of the guests being from the younger demographic. 'Kaffehaus' offers public viewing on Saturdays and serves classic stadium sausages among other things.
These places are just a few tips and suggestions, but there are of course many more bars and restaurants where visitors can have a nice dinner in a quiet atmosphere. Once again, it's recommended to reserve a table well in advance due to the city having attracted more people than it has since the 2006 World Cup.
Hotel prices steadily rising
The 400 hotels in the city offer plenty of room, but the demand is even higher than during the city's annual Oktoberfest. At this point, there are hardly any vacancies left, with prices varying between €200 and €1000 per night. According to a report in the general hotel and gastronomy papers, there were double bedrooms available in only 11 hotels in Munich as of May 9. With demand being this high, prices are understandably rising steadily.
Aside from the 65,000 fans attending the game, four times as many fans are expected to watch the match somewhere at a public viewing location. A room in the three-star 'Preysing' hotel costs €295, while a room in four-star accommodation 'Maria Munich' costs €999. In general, the hotel prices in Munich are not exactly cheap. Nevertheless, both the 'Hilton' and the 'Bayrischer Hof' will have plenty of guests at the weekend. The tourism office expects up to 140,000 visitors for the day, with some 40,000 spending the night, according to Welt, with over 30,000 fans from England expected to make the trip. "The hotels in Munich are pretty much fully booked," commented spokesperson Astrid Gansen.
Traffic chaos inevitable
Public transport will be more crowded than ever before, warns Munich's transport company, MVG. On Saturday, 160 extra employees will be working, and there will be 20 more trains than usual in service. "We will give our all to assure things go smooth, but you reach your maximum at some point," said MVG chief Herbert Konig. Using a bicycle would therefore be advisable.
The police will take all the necessary measures to ensure safety with 2,000 officers at work. The city centre around Olympiapark, Theresienwiese, Odeonsplatz and Ludwigstrasse could be closed down for traffic on the evening of the game.
Preparations for the final on home soil started the moment it became clear that Bayern would take on Chelsea, and have since gone into full throttle. The Allianz Arena and the city of Munich will offer the many football fans a unique and unforgettable experience.