My home base for the day was the city of Cologne which is the train station with the most connections in the North Rhine-Westphalia region in Germany (which consist of other football cities such as Leverkusen, Monchengladbach, Schalke etc).
DIRECTIONS from Cologne
The trip from Cologne to Dortmund will take approximately 1 hour 40 mins. Not to be confused with Dortmund HBF (the main train station), the nearest station is Signal Iduna Park station and you need to change train at HBF.
What ticket to buy?
A one-way trip to Dortmund will cost a whopping EUR23 per person using a normal ticket.
However, DB Bahn have a special regional pass called “SchonerTag NRW ticket” which gives the holder unlimited train travel in the North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) region (which includes both Dortmund and Cologne). The pass cost EUR 30 (for one person) and EUR 45 (for up to 5 person – yes you read that right. The trip becomes cheaper when you have more people going).
Pass Name: Schoner Tag NRW Ticket
Validity: Unlimited travel within NRW from 9am to 3 am (of the following day)
Price: EUR 30 (1 person), EUR 45 (up to 5 people) (As at Dec 2018)
Where to purchase : Any DB Bahn machine in the station
The train schedule and necessary connections can be checked at DB Bahn website here: DB Bahn
How and where to buy ticket to the stadium tour
In May 2015, you cannot purchase the ticket to the stadium tour online in advance. The ticket had to be purchased at Borusseum (Borussia Museum) which is a building connected to the stadium. The tour will also start from Borusseum.
However, towards the end of 2015, they set up an online purchase system for the ticket. Can’t review on how reliable the online ticketing is since I didn’t get chance to try it. Price for 1 adult ticket is EUR12. There might be changes to the price but the info and link to buy the ticket is here : BVB Stadium Tour Official
There is only one session for English tour which starts at 1.20pm (as at December 2018) for a maximum of 40 people (check website for any updated schedule). Do come a bit earlier especially on a weekend if you want to secure a spot without any online purchase.
During my visit, the U21 BVB team had a match at the field beside the stadium. While that gives a bit of sneak peek of the matchday atmosphere, as the U21 team shares the same changing room as the main team, it also means that no player changing room visit for the day. 😭😭
The tour instead starts from the press conference room (which is usually only for PLUS arena tour -but since we couldn’t go to the changing room they gave this as compensation).
Update: As at December 2018, PLUS arena tour had been discontinued. There is 3 types of tour on offer, the Express Tour (60mins), Private tour and school classes. I would assume the express tour would mirror my experience written here in 2015 as it is priced the same.
At the end of the tour, we were led to the exit which “coincidentally” with a view of the entrance to the Fanshop. The fanshop is just outside the stadium so most probably you’ll see it when you reach the stadium anyway.
All in all, the stadium tour is definitely a recommended experience. Even for non-fans, I would think that everyone would be impressed with the level of passion and love the fans have for BVB. I felt the passion from our stadium tour guide who holds season pass to BVB game and had personally met with Marco Reus himself! I loved how he passionate he was when he explained about the importance of the fans’ support in BVB’s success.
Personally, I love BVB but Bayern have always been my No. 1 team. However, Allianz Arena felt more like a commercialize stadium where the FCB logo can easily be changed to another team if there is a need to. But here you can really feel the spirit of Borussia Dortmund.