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WC to offer great tourism in Germany

Apart from World Cup matches, Germany has a lot more to offer for the international crowd.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 18:58 IST

Next month in Germany, more than a million visitors will marvel at world-class play during the World Cup soccer championship. They can also admire great art, stroll medieval town squares and savor some of the world's best beer.

The World Cup offers great tourism as well as sport, with the 12 host cities including perennial travel favorites Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Nuremberg and Hamburg.

With as little as two or three spare hours before a game, visitors can take in Albrecht Duerer's 'Self-Portrait' in Munich's Alte Pinakothek art museum - or try a crisp -roasted schweinshaxe, or ham hock, with sauerkraut and a cold pilsner from a centuries-old local brewery.

Visitors during the June 9-July 9 tournament won't even need tickets to plug into the soccer excitement.

Games will be shown live on big screens in public places such as Berlin's Potsdamer Platz and Munich's Olympic Park, and thousands of people are expected to take part in fan festivals around the country.

Berlin alone is expecting 300,000 overnight guests, but tourism authorities say there will be room. "Whoever comes will always find a hotel bed," promised Hanns Peter Nerger, head of Berlin's tourism marketing operation.

Of course, one can even forget the soccer. As with Athens and the 2004 Olympics, the week after the event ends might be a good time to visit, since some hotels are raising hotel prices on game days.

First Published: May 18, 2006 18:58 IST