When I started to plan my summer holiday for this year, my main priority wasn’t where I’d stay or what I would do - it was whether I’d be able to watch the World Cup! The biggest tournament in football kicks off in just a few days, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be glued to every game, no matter what country you’re in.
Luckily, the rest of Europe is just as football-mad as the UK, so there are plans in place to make sure everyone can enjoy this global event. These are some of the amazing outdoor screens where you can gather with other fans to watch the World Cup - some are only showing their own country’s games, while others will be screening all the available fixtures. Just make sure you’re wearing the right coloured shirt!
Amsterdam decorated in the Dutch colours
The liberal and diverse capital of the Netherlands has plenty to tempt visitors - but this summer, all eyes will be on the action in Brazil. If the Dutch team makes it to the semi-finals, a huge screen will be erected in Museumplein to show the last few games. In 2010, an army of 200,000 orange-clad fans gathered to watch the Netherlands lose 1-0 to Spain, and they’ll be back this year in the hope of a better result. If you want to catch every second of the tournament, you’ll find bars and cafés screening all the international games - try looking around the Leidseplein until you find a screen that takes your fancy!
Santiago Bernabéu stadium is the home of Real Madrid, and if Spain hope to repeat their last World Cup performance it will soon be the home of thousands of fanáticos eager to watch the football in the open air. The huge screens on the sides of the stadium have been used to broadcast football before - if Spain get the results they’re looking for, expect them to light up by the semi-finals. Plenty of smaller venues will be showing the football too - I always like to go to an Irish bar for the unique atmosphere.
German fans watching the World Cup
There are very few venues committing to show every World Cup match, but Berlin’s extraordinary outdoor set-up appears to be rising to the challenge. Housed in the Brandenburg Gate, the massive screen has a special legal exemption from noise restrictions so that football-loving Germans (and sporting holidaymakers!) can cheer their hearts out. Whilst the programme of screenings hasn’t yet been confirmed, it looks like the Berlin open-air screen will be showing the whole tournament from the group stages to the grand finale.
Bad news - following disruption in previous years, Parisian officials have decided not to set up an outdoor screen for this year’s World Cup. But that doesn’t mean you can’t tune in! PlayOff, located on the Rue St Georges in central Paris, feels like a combination of English pub and American sports bar; perfect for an international sporting event. Hundreds of other bars will also be getting into the spirit, from the ‘international style’ Belushi’s to traditional French cafés with one tiny television.
Wherever you’re travelling this summer, you’ll be able to watch the World Cup with other supporters. With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, packing your England shirt and maybe a vuvuzela won’t take up any baggage allowance - if there’s room in your car you can take as many suitcases and bags as you like for no extra cost! The journey from England takes just 35 minutes, so before you know it you’ll be speeding towards a relaxing holiday and a summer full of football!