Holidays & Travel

How to plan a mini break to the Euro 2024 host cities

Ahead of the football championship starting on June 14, Sarah Marshall recommends what to see and do.

Kick off EURO 2024 with a break to a German city, including cultural Cologne
Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge, Cologne Kick off EURO 2024 with a break to a German city, including cultural Cologne (Alamy Stock Photo)

Football mania is set to take hold again when the EURO 2024 tournament kicks off on June 14 in Germany. Over the course of a month, teams will battle on the pitches of stadiums in 10 host cities – but beyond the matches there’s a great deal more to see.

If you’re planning on heading out to soak up the atmosphere, make the most of a trip by exploring what else is on offer. Whatever the outcome, these German cities are real winners.


The Hofbrauhaus brewery
The Hofbrauhaus brewery (Alamy Stock Photo)

Within easy reach of the Alps and several lakes, Germany’s third largest city has earned a reputation for being laidback and calm. The centre of any action is the Marienplatz square, with buildings constructed in the 12th century. The Neo-Gothic New Town Hall is a highlight; admire its façade of gargoyles, turrets and a glockenspiel with 43 bells and 32 figures which chimes twice a day.

Celebrate wins and commiserate losses in the Hofbrauhaus, the city’s best-known beer hall, commissioned as a state brewery in the 16th century. Tables are shared, although avoid any marked as ‘stammtisch’ – these are reserved for regulars who store their beer mugs in dedicated safes.

How: Doubles at Ruby Rosi hotel start from £100 per night with breakfast. Visit


Alexanderplatz Station and TV Tower
Alexanderplatz Station and TV Tower (Alamy Stock Photo)

Germany’s capital has a complex and dramatic history, revealed simply by walking through its streets. The story of the Cold War is told through sombre landmarks such as Checkpoint Charlie, while a brighter story of hope can be found at the Brandenburg Gate on Unter den Linden symbolising the unification of eastern and western Germany. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which once split the city in two, and several celebrations and events have been planned.

For a 360-degree view of the trendy city famed for its arts scene and nightlife, climb to the top the TV Tower in Mitte, the tallest building in Berlin. Head to the western section of the city to see the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on shopping street Kurfürstendamm; a hole ripped through the roof is a reminder of damage inflicted during WW2.

How: A private twin room at Generator Berlin Alexanderplatz starts from £61 per night, room only. Visit


Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral (Alamy Stock Photo)

Set along the Rhine river, this scenic city is the place to indulge cultural pursuits. There are more than 100 museums, ranging from the study of fragrances to sport. Housing a decent collection of pop art pieces, Museum Ludwig also has one of the world’s largest Picasso displays. For a more indulgent day out, the Chocolate Museum is an easy contender. Along with information about the evolution of the sugary treat, there are plenty of samples to try.

Costing around €30,000 a day to maintain, the ostentatious Cologne cathedral is a showstopper and lauded as Germany’s most popular landmark. Attempts to achieve unobtainable perfection make is an ongoing work in progress – even after 632 years.

How: Doubles at Mercure Hotel Koeln Belfortstrasse start from £190 with breakfast. Visit


Skyline of Frankfurt
Skyline of Frankfurt (Alamy Stock Photo)

Don’t let a connection with stocks, shares and banking lead you to believe Frankfurt is boring. For a view of the buzzy skyline – easily up there with New York’s Manhattan – visit the Eiserner Steg footbridge built in 1869 and used by more than 10,000 pedestrians every day. An alternative viewpoint lies at the top of the glass-fronted Main Tower (the first high-rise building in Europe), or head to one of the city’s many rooftop bars to watch the sunset.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge of cramming several exhibitions into one afternoon, head to the Museum Embankment. Displays are hosted in a collection of historic villas and purpose-built spaces, covering art, architecture, film and even comic books.

How: Doubles at Avani Frankfurt City Hotel start from €175/£149, including breakfast. Visit


Leipzig street art
Leipzig street art (Alamy Stock Photo)

Stealing Berlin’s crown as a hub for alternative subcultures, this city in Saxony has been fondly nicknamed ‘hypezig’. Priced out of the capital, artists and DJs have found more affordable former industrial spaces here, creating one of the buzziest underground scenes in Europe. Street art decorates many of the neighbourhoods, a reflection of the city’s rebellious spirit displayed in a daily-changing living gallery.

A former cotton mill, the Spinnerei hosts art galleries, studios and theatres, while the former machine material testing hall, WERK 2, offers concerts and events. Karl-Liebknecht-Straße – fondly referred to by locals as Karli – is a destination for vegan cafes and indie boutiques.

How: Capri By Fraser Leipzig aparthotel has studios from £128 per night. Visit