From sprawling beer gardens to gargantuan lager-filled steins, this summer’s host nation and the Tartan Army are a match made in heaven. Look no further for the premier spots to sample the best Germany has to offer a thirsty travelling support. 

I'll say this with absolutely no disrespect intended to Steve Clarke, his players, his coaches and anyone who worked at the Scottish FA to play any small part in helping the country get over its decades-long hoodoo in qualifying for Euro 2020, but this is the first *proper* international tournament Scotland have qualified for since France 1998. 

FIFA and UEFA are trying their best to make it otherwise so but international tournaments are about several countries descending on one host nation, or a pair of smaller nations so long as they're close together and not making up an entire continent, like FIFA is doing with the next World Cup being spread across United States, Canada and Mexico. (It won't be long before a World Cup host announcement resembles a rendition of globe-spanning Animaniacs anthem 'Yakko's World'.) It provides fans with a communal sense of adventure, regardless of nationality, and it gives the competition itself a clear identity in which to remember it. 

Euro 2020 was spread across several host cities, and also impacted by Covid-19 restricting how many people could gather in stadiums, bars and public spaces. It's hardly a surprise that Scotland disappointed and failed to get out of the group. How can you expect a nation which relies so much on the backing of its liquored-up fanbase to do anything else? 

This time it's going to be a proper party atmosphere, and the national team is going to do right by us. I can feel it. And with such blind optimism in mind, I thought it best to lay out a rough travel plan for every Scotland fan hoping to travel to each and every city hosting our three group-stage matches: Munich for the opener against Germany, Cologne for the meeting with Switzerland and Stuttgart for the potentially crucial closer against Hungary. 


The Herald: The city hall at Marienplatz in central MunichThe city hall at Marienplatz in central Munich (Image: Getty)

The football: Everybody knows about Munich's premier club and their on-field exploits with 33 league titles, 20 German Cups, six European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one Cup Winners' Cup (we could also count their two European Super Cups, but everyone outside of Aberdeen knows this is not a competition worth mentioning.) But did you know that all but one of Bayern's major trophies were won after Franz Beckenbauer joined the club in 1964, and that history could have been so very different? The young Kaiser had his heart set on Bayern's city "rivals" 1860 Munich until an altercation in a youth final. An 1860 player allegedly slapped Beckenbauer, causing him to change his mind and sign for Bayern instead. 

What would have made that folly even worse was that his presence constantly loomed over 1860's home ground as the two clubs shared a stadium for 92 years, each going from the Grünwalder Stadion to the Olympic Stadium (where the fan zone and big screens will be situated this summer) and finally the Allianz Arena. 1860 even owned a 50 per cent stake in the 70,000 capacity arena until they quickly sold that to Bayern for just €11 million to ease financial woes. They played as tenants until 2017 when Bayern cancelled the agreement and 1860 moved back to their spiritual home of the Grünwalder. 

The stadium: Like most modernly constructed stadiums, the Allianz is unfortunately located a significant distance from the heart of Munich, sitting 10 kilometres away on the northern edge of the city. It is surrounded by offices and a retail park, so if you're wanting to have a bit of fun and lose some inhibitions before attending the match, then it's best to do so in the centre and then get public transport along (this will be a theme of this article). Thankfully, it's only 15 minutes on the metro. 

The city: Munich, it must be stated, is very big by Scottish standards. The population comes in at over 1.5 million people and that only makes it the third largest in the country behind Berlin and Hamburg.  Beer gardens are an absolute must for any large group of Scots going abroad to drink themselves into a stupor, so the Augustiner Keller is a recommended destination with its 5,000-seater outdoor area. Tap-House is the most highly rated bar on TripAdvisor and is for those who like a bit more culture from their beer rather than finding the closest thing to Tennant's and necking several glasses of that. And, if you're anything like me and appreciate a few beers with a local food market, head for Viktualienmarkt. 


The Herald:  Dom Cathedral in Cologne and the European Championship trophy Dom Cathedral in Cologne and the European Championship trophy (Image: Getty)

The football: Venturing north to Cologne for matchday two, we find the fourth most populous city in Germany and the largest in a region which also holds fellow Euro 2024 hosts Dortmund and Dusseldorf. Its biggest club, FC Koln, are something of a yo-yo team in the German top flight, winning the second tier four times and finishing runner-up once in the past 25 years. So they're kind of like a German Dundee FC, but you only have to go back to 1983 for Koln's last major cup triumph and not before construction was completed on the Titanic.  

The stadium: RheinEnergieStadion is a modern 50,000-seater stadium which was built specifically for the World Cup in 2006 and will get another shot at hosting international tournament football. It is notable for having four huge towers at each corner which stand much taller than the height of the roof. Although it is mercifully not situated far outside of the city centre (around four miles away) it does sit in a residential area with not a lot of nightlife around it, so you're best getting the tram out there from the centre. 

The city: A football village will be set up in the city's old town, which boasts colourful buildings and cobbled streets, but large screens for fans to watch the action live will be situated at Tanzbrunnen. Here you'll also find a cheap location to stay for the night with tickets to a camping area going for as little as £29.80, so long as you bring your own tent and are eager to experience the feeling of being baked alive once the sun comes up. This area is on the banks of the River Rheine and is an ideal location for Tartan Army visitors who do want to experience a bit of the local culture, as the Cologne Cathedral, Hohenzollern Bridge and Ludwig Museum, three of the city’s main tourist attractions, are all located nearby. 

Odonien is a German beer garden with a bit of a difference. From artwork that's repurposed scrap metal to a dance floor located on top of a bus, it provides an unconventional vibe if you want to try something a bit different. Be careful not to get too drunk, though, as you may start to look at nearby Pascha, Europe's largest legal brothel, and think it's a good idea to enter. 


The Herald: Equestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon and the Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg at the Place RoyaleEquestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon and the Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg at the Place Royale (Image: Getty)

The football: Heading south once again, VfB Stuttgart are having a rare old time in the Bundesliga this campaign despite needing a play-off victory over Hamburg at the end of last season to avoid relegation. Another fairly modest club in terms of past success, they have managed a major honour this century after the goals of Mario Gomez helped fire them to the 2007 title. Fun fact: the first club to eliminate Stuttgart from European competition was Dunfermline Athletic all the way back in 1964. 

The stadium: For most of the MHPArena's history it had a running track, but this was removed in 2008 after the city decided it would be better if it were designed purely for football. The pitch was lowered, and stands were extended closer to the pitch. If the Scottish Government, City of Glasgow Council and Scottish FA could all take note of this, that would be much appreciated (co-signed by literally every single Scottish football fan). The 60,000 seater is located roughly three miles from Stuttgart’s city centre and can easily be reached through the overground metro. 

The city: Though it's not in the arse-end of nowhere, Stuttgart’s ground doesn't have a whole lot of drink and food places in close proximity, so once again it's better to indulge centrally before making the trip north. The fan zone is also in the centre.  

The city is a bit more humble in terms of population with 650,000 inhabitants, which is the size of Glasgow. Whether there are as many empty Buckfast bottles and discarded tins of Monster remains to be seen. It's a little more like Edinburgh, though, with regards to how many hills and steps required to navigate it. In total, there are over 400 outdoor stairs. Regardless of whether you are at the top or bottom you will undoubtedly catch sight of the Fernsehturm looming over the landscape. This was the world's first concrete television tower. 

Biergarten Stuttgart Klingenbach, in case you haven't already worked it out, is the recommended beer garden. It accepts patrons purely on a first-come, first-serve basis, while it may also be worth checking out Ackermann's bar, known for its wide range of whisky. 

I do hope you found any of the previous 1,500 words on Scotland's Euro 2024 travel destinations useful in any way. If you happen to spot me in Germany - stein in hand, sunglasses on, knock-off Scotland heritage kit around torso - please don't be shy to come say 'Hullo' in the style of Shaughan McGuigan, who may also be present, just considerably more drunk.