You've got to admit that whatever you think of Munich, it's a damn cool city. Not only is it the beer capital of Germany, the birthplace of Oktoberfest and the country's artistic heart, it also has one more unmistakable claim to fame in the fact that it's home to Bayern Munich FC, Germany's most successful football team. But it's not just the game that they do well; their stadium, the spaceship-esque Allianz Arena, is widely considered one of the most architecturally spectacular anywhere in the world and has a surprising amount to offer to both football fans and their not-so-interested friends.
The outside of the Allianz Arena attracts as much attention as the action inside, and is notable for being made of over 2,800 inflatable panels, an appearance which has earned it the nickname "the inflatable boat". Capable of holding up to 75,000 roaring fans during national games, including 9,000 standing spaces, and recently renovated to better reflect the proud identity of Bayern Munich FC, on a match night, it's quite the experience.
Without a doubt, the arena's most distinctive feature is the fact that its exterior is fully colour-changing and can be lit up in multiple hues to reflect whatever match is taking place. While this sounds great in principle - and indeed, it does look stunning - the stadium is devilishly close to the A9 autobahn and, as you can probably imagine, the light show does have a tendency to distract drivers. Consequently, the majority of the time it's kept to one colour, although exceptions are occasionally made. Even if you're not a lover of the beautiful game, a giant pink dinghy stretching into the sky is quite the sight to see.
Taking roughly two hours, the Allianz Arena stadium tour takes visitors through the middle and lower tier stands, into the press conference area and the dressing rooms, and out into the players' tunnel, through which some of the biggest names in football have walked. Admittedly, the quality of the guides is mixed and it is more restrictive than other stadiums of a similar size (don't expect to sit in Müller's seat - sorry!) but it is nonetheless interesting to hear about the inner workings of the arena. Individuals with tickets to a match can also take a tour on the match day itself, although these tickets are limited.
Your ticket for the stadium tour also permits access to the club's museum, which traces in great detail their history from its founding in 1900 right through to the modern day. With a dizzying number of trophies on display, as well as relics from different eras, a Hall of Fame, and interactive challenges for children, it's incredibly comprehensive.
Plan ahead - To avoid long queues when you arrive, it's best to pre-book stadium and museum tours - the prices of these can be found below. Note that on match days, only those with tickets to the match will be admitted to the stadium, so check for fixtures first. Prices for matches themselves vary, depending on who is playing; you can find information about match tickets here.
Transport - Take the S-Bahn from Munich Main Station or Munich East Station to Marienplatz, then hop on the U6 line to Fröttmaning. It is possible to drive to the arena, but the car parks are closed on non-match days, so it's best to take public transport where possible.
Disabled access - On match days, there are 227 seats allocated to wheelchair users and one accompanying person, which are located on the top row of the lower tier. There are also headsets available for individuals with visual impairments, and subtitled glasses available for those with hearing disabilities. Check the stadium's website for further details.
Throughout the Year
Combi: Stadium tour + museum ticket
Germany 80939 München