Airport braced for summer footballing feast with 100k fans expected to travel

Manchester Airport is expecting to handle more than 100,000 footbal fans this summer, jetting out to Germany for the 2024 UEFA European Championships.

The 17th championships will take place between June 14, to July 14.

Manchester serves eight direct routes to Germany, more than any other English airport outside London.

England and Scotland have qualified for this year’s tournament and England will be hoping to go one better on their Euro 2020 final appearance and bring the trophy home.

They kick off their tournament in Gelsenkirchen against Serbia on June 16 – only 45 minutes on public transport from Dusseldorf Airport, to which Eurowings offers direct flights from Manchester Airport.

Gareth Southgate’s men then travel to play Denmark in Frankfurt, and Slovenia in Cologne – both of which have airports with direct Manchester Airport flights.

England’s subsequent knock-out games could take them to other cities across Germany, including Stuttgart, Hamburg and Munich – all of which have direct Manchester Airport flights.

The airport has provided a round-up the best of the action in each host city – looking at how you can get there from Manchester and key dates for football fans’ diaries, with some tips on what to see and do when not taking in a game.


Olympic Stadium, Berlin (Pixabay)

Served directly from Manchester Airport by easyJet and Ryanair

Highlights: Spain v Croatia (15 Jun), Final (14 Jul)

The German capital’s Olympic Stadium will bring the curtain down on the tournament on 14 July, when it hosts the final, and will also see three group games.

Berlin’s famous Brandenburg Gate will be the centrepiece of its Fan Zone, framed by what organisers are billing as ‘the largest football goal in the world’ and complete with big screens showing all the action. A fan park will also be in operation outside the Reichstag parliament building, another of Berlin’s most popular tourist spots – so fans can combine sightseeing with enjoying the tournament.


Frankfurt (Pixabay)

Served directly from Manchester Airport by Lufthansa

Highlights: Denmark v England (20 Jun), Switzerland v Germany (23 Jun)

England fans will be descending on Frankfurt for the group game against Denmark on 20 June, and the city will also bear witness to a tantalising clash between the host nation, Germany, and their near neighbours Switzerland on 23 June.

Event organisers in Frankfurt are promising a ‘rich programme of arts, culture, music and of course, football’ at its Fan Zone on the banks of the River Main. Visitors to this city can also enjoy the views from the observation deck at the Main Tower, one of the EU’s tallest buildings.


Hamburg (Pixabay)

Served directly from Manchester Airport by easyJet and Eurowings

Highlights: Poland v Netherlands (16 Jun), Croatia v Albania (19 Jun)

Hamburg is a gritty, northern industrial city with a rich football and music tradition – sound familiar? Engand could find themselves playing a quarter final here, and if they do, fans travelling from Manchester will feel right at home. The Fan Zone is in the city’s St Pauli district, home to the football club of the same name, and also at the heart of Hamburg’s famous nightlife scene. Its Beatles statue is a nod to the time the Fab Four spent here in their formative years, performing in Hamburg’s underground music venues.


Allianz Arena, Munich (Pixabay)

Served directly from Manchester Airport by easyJet and Lufthansa

Highlights: Germany v Scotland (14 Jun), Denmark v Serbia (25 Jun), Semi-Final 1 (9 Jul)

Munich’s Allianz Arena will be the setting for the tournament’s opening act, when the host nation face Scotland on 14 June, and it will also see action at the business end of the competition, hosting a semi-final.

The city is hosting a Fan Festival, with ‘interactive experiences for all ages, live music and performances from local artists and beyond’. Organisers are also pledging ‘plenty of football activities to be enjoyed and delicious culinary delights to sample’. Munich’s beer halls are world famous, with many dating back to medieval times.


Cologne (Pixabay)

Served directly from Manchester Airport by and Ryanair

Highlights: Belgium v Romania (22 Jun), England v Slovenia (25 Jun)

Most famous for its 12th-century cathedral, the tallest twin-spired church on the planet and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Cologne is hosting England’s final group game against Slovenia. The city’s Fan Zone is in the Heumarkt (‘Haymarket’), a historic square in the Old Town that also hosts Cologne’s annual Christmas Market.


Served directly from Manchester Airport by Eurowings

Highlights: Austria v France (17 Jun), Albania v Spain (24 Jun)

If England win their group, and then come through a last-16 tie, this is where the Three Lions will play their quarter final. Before then, Dusseldorf hosts some enticing group stage clashes involving heavyweights like France and Spain. Faith. Love. Football., a play that has been specially commissioned for EURO 2024, is taking to the stage at the city’s Fan Zone.



Served directly from Manchester Airport by Eurowings

Highlights: Germany v Hungary (19 Jun), Scotland v Hungary (23 Jun), Ukraine v Belgium (26 Jun)

Stuttgart is the newest addition to Manchester Airport’s German route network, with Eurowings flights launching this May – just in time for a summer of sporting action. The city will see Scotland and host nation Germany take on Hungary in the group stage, and the winner of that group will return here for their quarter final, if they come through a last-16 tie. Stuttgart is most well known as the home of two luxury car brands, Mercedes Benz and Porsche, both of which have museums in the city.


Just over one hour from Dusseldorf Airport by train

Highlights: Italy v Albania (15 Jun), Turkey v Portugal (22 Jun), France v Poland (25 Jun), Semi-Final 2 (10 Jul)

Borussia Dortmund’s huge 81,000-capacity Westfalenstadion is one of European football’s most iconic grounds, and big hitters like Italy, Portugal and France will all be here in the group stage. Dortmund will also host the penultimate game of the tournament when a semi-final is played in the city on 10 July.

With the Fan Zone Friedensplatz and the Public Viewing Westfalenpark, Dortmund offers not one, but two prime Fan Festival locations.


Oktoberfest Steins (Pixabay)

Around 45 minutes from Dusseldorf Airport by train

Highlights: Serbia v England (16 Jun), Spain v Italy (20 Jun)

A small city neighbouring the much larger Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen has an outsized influence on German football as the home of one of its top clubs, Schalke 04, although now languishing in Bundeliga 2. Schalke’s home ground has been selected to host Euro 2024 games – England are here for their opener against Serbia and will return for their last-16 tie if they win Group C. On 20 June, arguably the most hotly anticipated game of the group stage will take place here when Spain meet Italy.

A former colliery site has been given a new lease of life for the tournament as Gelsenkirchen’s official Fan Park.


Approximately two hours by car from Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Highlights: Portugal v Czechia (18 Jun), Netherlands v France (21 Jun), Croatia v Italy (24 Jun)

The biggest city in the former East Germany, Leipzig, was something of a footballing backwater until 2009 when soft drinks giant Red Bull took over a local team in the fifth tier and funded their promotion all the way to the top flight.

It is the only host city that England definitely won’t play in, irrespective of where they finish in their group or how far in the tournament they go – but will nevertheless host some intriguing group stage clashes involving the likes of Portugal and France, before staging a last-16 fixture.


Chris Woodroofe, Manchester Airport managing director, said: “We’re proud to serve the North, connecting people with the places they want to go to, and big events like Euro 2024 are where we really come into our own.

“Our route network is unrivalled outside London and if you’re travelling out to Germany to watch a game, or even just soak up the atmosphere, we can get you to whichever host city you want to visit.”

He added: “Whatever the outcome of the tournament, it will be a truly memorable experience for travelling England fans and we’ll be on hand to ensure that their trips get off to the right start.”