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London readying itself for German invasion

London readying itself for German invasion

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund go head to head at Wembley Stadium at 7:45pm on Saturday 25th May 2013 in a mouth-watering all-German final of the UEFA Champions League. After stylishly seeing off the challenges of Spanish favourites Barcelona and Real Madrid in the semi-finals, the two Bundesliga clubs do battle in the home of English football as Wembley hosts a record second European Cup final in three years.

With over 40,000 Germans living in London, the arrival of Germany’s two best football sides to the capital – with hoards of travelling fans in tow – will be as good occasion as any to have one big party. Fans who have missed out on tickets to the most important football fixture of the season need not despair – for London’s German bars and pubs have raised their game with a variety of football-themed parties and events. Travellers coming from outside London to attend the match at Wembley or to enjoy any of the other celebrations can book their accommodation on, where there’s a superb selection of cheap London hotels.

For Bayern fans one destination stands out: Octoberfest Pub on Fulham Road – the official Bayern Munich UK fan club since 2005. The huge venue has two massive screen projectors and three plasma TVs that show every Bayern game of the season. Ocbtoberfest Pub has been featured on Sky Sports and will welcome two German film crews during the big game and the after-party, and guarantees the best Bayern Munich atmosphere in London.

Making the most of its prime Thames-side location, Bierschenke in Aldwych is offering three different options for German football fans: free entry to the main bar to watch the match on HD screens with seats on a first-come first-served basis; tickets to watch the game on HMS President with a German buffet and boat after-party; or a spin-off gathering at sister pub The Lion, also known as the Kings Cross Social Club.

Bierschenke will be open from 2pm on Saturday for all the pre-match hype and an early arrival is recommended. Tickets for HMS President cost £20 and include a German buffet (6pm-9pm), an after-party until 2am and a comprehensive choice of German beers such as Krombacher, Konig Ludwig Weissbier and Augustiner Helles (popular with Bayern fans). The boat is docked at Blackfriars Bridge and will be open from 4pm. For £15, the King’s Cross Social Club event includes a German barbecue (with schnitzel, sausages and salad), guaranteed entry and a party until 2am. Beers include Krombacher, DAB and Koelsch (a Dortmund favourite).


South of the river in Lambeth, London’s first German gastropub - Zeitgeist at The Jolly Gardeners - will open early (with no entry charges) to accommodate the huge number of fans arriving in buses from Germany to watch the game. The pub is expecting a “mad” day and Zeitgeist is sure to be a popular spot with its 24 German beers on tap as well as 30 bottled German brews. Fans can feast on German favourites such as schnitzel, schweinerbraten and leberkaes – before toasting victory (or downing their sorrows) with a glass of German Schnapps.

London’s two Bavarian Beerhouse venues – on Old Street and Tower Hill – will be doing a roaring trade, offering spectators the chance to watch the Champions League Final in a traditional Bavarian setting: authentic German beer cellars, complete with steins of German lager and generous plates of schweinshaxen, sausages and sauerkraut served by charming Frauleins in Dirndl and accompanied by a Lederhosen-clad Oompah band.

What more can you want to get into the spirit as German’s two biggest football sides come to London to take part in the biggest club game of the world football calendar? For more information on the Champions League Final and other major sporting events in London in 2013 please visit the events section on