A Football Break in Berlin is a 4 Part Series written by Jack Gillies exclusively for Covert Football Trips following his latest experience in the German Capital City.
A Football Break in Berlin – Part 4
No football weekend in Berlin would be complete without a trip to Hertha (may be a bit of bias again) Hertha BSC have become a club that symbolises Berlin and while they might not always do well on the pitch the match day atmosphere at the Olympiastadion and the fierce loyalty of the fans more than makes up for those short comings. Hertha is simply put the quintessential Berlin club and are always well worth a visit.
Hertha haven’t found life in the 2nd tier easy and went into the clash against Eintracht Braunschweig coming off the back of a 6-4 loss at the hands of 1.FC Magdeburg in a game that proved scoring goals certainly wasn’t the problem but conceding them certainly was. On a personal note, I had a little confidence heading into the game but Eintracht Braunschweig had proved a boggy team in the past so as a Hertha fan my overriding emotion on the day was one of dread, but it turned out to be completely misplaced.
The Olympiastadion as the name suggests was built for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and really is a marvel to behold with capacity for 74,667 spectators (although Hertha typically average around the 40,000-50,000 mark) my main tip for any Hertha game is arrive in plenty of time and this is for a number of reasons: number 1 is the amount of matchday activities around once you are through the turnstiles there really is something for everyone of all ages, number 2 is the food and beer you really are spoiled for choice, number 3 is merchandise there is the club shop, merchandise stands and even the Ultras selling tops and stickers so make sure you stock up on all your Hertha mementos and number 4 is crowds, most entrances can get very crowded before the game and queues can take a long time to go down so arrive in plenty of time so you can get in and enjoy it all!
When it comes to picking a place to sit it the Olympiastadion the Ostkurve or the upper tier Oberring are the best places in the house with electric atmosphere and the most passionate fans giving it absolutely everything. Tickets for both areas are hard to come by but if you know the right people then getting a ticket isn’t an issue and again I have to give a massive shout out to the Hertha Inters and Max in particular who move heaven and earth to get people into games.
For this game I was in the Oberring which was my first time outside of the actual Ostkurve itself and what a game it was! Hertha but my earlier nerves to rest with a stellar 3-0 win against and it could have very easily been more on the day. Summer signing Haris Tabaković continued his fine 2.Bundesliga form with a hat-trick earning him perhaps the highest honour bestowed on any footballer in Germany the title of Fussballgott which I have to say was absolutely deserved. Outside of the football on the pitch the atmosphere was amazing Hertha fans (and I include myself in this) really are loyal to the core it was non stop singing for 90 minutes and the reception the team got at the end was really special.
After the game myself and the Hertha Inters had some celebration drinks at one of the many Olympiapark benches where Hertha fans gather to drink and dissect games. Those beers taste that little bit better when they are to celebrate a victory. A visit to Hertha should be on everyone’s Berlin list even if football isn’t the main reason for your visit you will always find a warm welcome and great atmosphere even if the football is a little bit questionable at times!
Tickets vary in price depending on area of the stadium and fixture. My ticket for the Oberring was very kindly provided by my dear friend Max from the Hertha inters but usually a ticket in the Oberring costs 15 EUR which isn’t a bad price for 2nd division football if you ask me.
Getting to the stadium:
The Olympiastadion has its own dedicated S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations. The U-Bahn station is serves by the U2 line which runs through Alexanderplatz and other major city centre stations like Potsdamerplatz while the S-Bahn station is served by several S-Bahn lines with great connectivity. On this occasion I jumped on the S3 a good top tip is that a Hertha match day ticket is valid on all Berlin public transport in all 3 fare zones for the duration of the -matchday. Both the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn are popular on matchday so allow yourself plenty of time to avoid crowded trains and I recommend hanging back after the game for a drink to let the worst of the crowds disperse before heading back into Berlin city centre.
My little weekend is but a glimpse into the amazing footballing adventures that are waiting for you in Berlin! I have visited Berlin several times, but I am still discovering new clubs and new grounds, so each weekend is unique and that is the perfect word to describe Berlin football unique. So, what are you waiting for? Get your Berlin trip booked today and see what the German capital’s football scene really has to offer I can guarantee you will not be disappointed!
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At Covert Football Trips we organise Mystery Football Weekends to Germany. Your trip could see you arrive in Berlin for some great football matches. Visit our website to find out more.