As the official travel partner of the UEFA Champions League, we've journeyed to the homes of the clubs through to the last 16 to give you the lowdown on the hotspots for your next away trip. In this article we head to Dortmund, home of Borussia Dortmund .
__***Go and see your favourite team in action at the UEFA Champions League matches across Europe and travel like a champion with Expedia._ _Check out our travel deals!***__
Whenever there's a home game on, Dortmund's landscape is blanketed in yellow and black. The German city is famed for its passionate football fans, who don the Borussia Dortmund team colours with pride and pack out the stands for pretty much every game at BVB Stadion Dortmund.
The spine-tingling atmosphere on match days is one of the biggest draws for football fans visiting the city, in Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia region. But there's also a vibrant art, food and nightlife scene just waiting to be discovered. Not to mention the locals' surprising love of salsa dancing...
Discover the best places to go and things to do during a Dortmund city break, visit the world-class stadium - and prepare your lungs for some serious chanting.
Image Credit: Tourism Media
Meet the team: Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund's fans are arguably the most ardent in Europe. The team, also known as BVB or simply Dortmund, was founded in 1909 in Borsigplatz, a public square north of the city centre.
The club has endured lows on and off the pitch, including periods of financial difficulty. The undying support of the fans, who rallied around and drummed up global interest at the most crucial times, is seen as key to its survival. It just makes the highs, including a 1997 UEFA Champions League win and eight league titles, all the sweeter.
Jürgen Klopp's seven-year reign, until 2015, was seen as a golden period for the club. Klopp also made stars of former players including Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski, who stand alongside Matthias Sammer, Jürgen Kohler and Manfred Burgsmüller in Borussia Dortmund's heroes gallery.
The team has a long-running rivalry with FC Schalke 04, team of nearby Gelsenkirchen.
Image Credit: Tourism MediaVisiting Borussia Dortmund's football stadium: BVB Stadion Dortmund
BVB Stadion Dortmund - Westfalenhalle district
BVB Stadion Dortmund is Germany's largest stadium, with a capacity of 81,365 including space for 25,000 standing supporters (only for domestic games). It's also one of the highest attended, regularly packed out with local supporters who call the ground 'the temple'. So tickets do sell out fast.
Yet this sleek, modern stadium, which is updated prior to every season, was a long time in coming. The plan to move the club from small, outdated Rote Erde (whose field remains next door) was first hatched in 1961, with the new ground finally opening in time for the 1974 World Cup. Today, the rectangular structure is a real beauty, with a gleaming glass facade, bold yellow pylons and tall black letters that etch the team's name on the city's skyline (glowing white at night).
Image Credit: Tourism Media
Borussia Dortmund supporters are famed for their loud, energetic chants, which roar from the huge South Stand, known as the 'Yellow Wall', throughout every home game. When there isn't a match on, take a tour of the hallowed ground. Guides will lead you through the dressing rooms, players' tunnel and stadium prison. Tickets also include access to the Borusseum, the onsite museum with exhibits on the club's history and fun facts about rituals including the most popular chants.
Getting there: It's a 20-minute drive from Dortmund airport and 15 minutes from the city centre. Düsseldorf International Airport is around 50 minutes away by car. There's also a park and ride service from the university campus, at the Otto-Hahn-Straße car park. Or you can catch U-Bahn (underground) lines 45 or 46 from the city's main train station, alighting at Westfalenhalle/Stadion. The journey takes around five minutes and it's a short walk to the ground.
Image Credit: Tourism MediaWhere to eat and what to do in Westfalenhalle
The area is also home to the city's conference centre, so there's plenty of choice when it comes to Dortmund hotels, including a few right next to the stadium.
You'll find the biggest choice of bars and restaurants in the city centre, which is within easy reach of the stadium. Try Yumini, a top-rated Japanese spot, or popular Italian, Restaurant Emilio. While in town, pop into the incredible German Football Museum. Sweeping exhibits on the game's history in Germany include a dimly-lit treasure chamber with trophies including the FIFA World Cup.
If you want to be in the area nice and early to soak up the excitement, Strobels is a good shout for pre-match beer and burgers. Or try Steakhouse Rodizio, a cosy, upscale spot that specialises in Brazilian-style grilled meats.
It's easy to spend a few hours wandering around Westfalenpark, a 20-minute walk from the stadium. While there, catch the elevator up to Florian Tower's observation deck, for views over the park towards the city. And you can gaze at the stadium, of course.
Alternatively, walk 15 minutes south of BVB Stadion Dortmund to Bolmke. This forested park is especially popular with dog-walkers.
Yumini, Stubengasse 8, 44135 Dortmund; L'Osteria Dortmund, Friedenspl. 8, 44137 Dortmund
Strobels, Strobelallee 50, 44139 Dortmund; Steakhouse Rodizio, Rosemeyerstraße 2-4, 44139 Dortmund
Image Credit: Tourism MediaPartying in Dortmund after the match
Celebrating after the match: paint the town yellow
Any self-respecting Borusse (as Borussia Dortmund fans call themselves) won't be in a hurry to leave the stadium following a victory. Instead, they tend to stay in the stand, jumping and cheering with an infectious zeal.
When they do finally spill outside, their vibrant team colours fill the nearby streets, parks and pubs. A favourite is Biergarten Stadion Rote Erde, a vast beer garden right by the stadium, and a particularly great place to celebrate on sunny days.
After the biggest wins, the river of yellow flows towards Borsigplatz, a square a few kilometres north of the ground. This is where the team was founded, and there's even a 'Walk of Fame' consisting of bronze stars dedicated to moments in the club's history.
Biergarten Stadion Rote Erde, Strobelallee 40, 44139 Dortmund
Image Credit: Tourism MediaGoing out in Dortmund
One of the hippest hangouts in town is Tyde Studios, a former rope-making factory that's now a bar, nightclub and vegan restaurant in one. It's always fun and packed out, with views across the harbour. If you're in town on a Thursday evening, join in the salsa classes that take over the industrial-chic space.
Dortmund has a somewhat unlikely passion for the Latin dance. If you're there in summer, one of the best places to get in the spirit of the city is West Park, where a temporary, open-air dance floor fills up with salsa dancers every Friday afternoon between June and September.
For a busier nightlife scene, it might be worth looking at Bochum, a half-hour drive away or less than 15 minutes by train. The centre is a hub of dance clubs and later-night cocktail bars. Arty Düsseldorf is also less than an hour away, with both good options if you're looking to stay a little longer.
Tyde Studios, Mathiesstraße 16, 44147 Dortmund
Image Credit: Tourism MediaPractical information
You can fly direct to Dortmund in an hour and 15 minutes from London. There are more flights to Düsseldorf, which is less than an hour's drive away. It takes an hour and 20 minutes from London, around 1.5 hours from Manchester or Newcastle, and just under two hours from Edinburgh or Dublin. Despite its rich history, Dortmund is full of sleek, modern hotels, so you can get the best of both worlds.
Ready to join some of the most passionate football fans around? Borussia Dortmund's striking stadium, fascinating history and hip nightlife scene make for an exciting city break for fans heading to a match.
Want to learn more about travelling in Germany? Read about eight amazing German beach locations, or check out ten of the best museums in Berlin. You can also read about the ten most beautiful castles in Bavaria.