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UEFA Champions League possible opponents guide – part 9

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Germany

From: The city of Leverkusen, which has about 161,000 residents.

Positioned:
In the far west of Germany, 14 miles north of Cologne, 20 miles south of Dusseldorf, 40 miles south east of Monchengladbach and 122 miles north west of Frankfurt.

Description:
The city is small and is known for its association with the Bayer chemical company.

It doesn’t really have many other attractions, save for a Japanese garden and an industrial museum.

Random fact:
The state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia is Dusseldorf.

The club:
Bayer finished second, seven points behind Borussia Dortmund, in the 2010/11 Bundesliga and qualified automatically for the UEFA Champions League group stages.

Chances of playing United:
Bayer are in pot 3 of the draw and have a one in seven chances of drawing United, as Manchester City are also in pot 3.

Stadium:
The BayArena holds 30,210 people and is slightly to the east of the city.

It is a 20-minute walk from the nearest local train station, which is called Leverkusen-Schiebusch.

Tickets:
The away team would probably get 3,000 tickets

What else is there to do besides football?
Drink, probably. In fairness, Leverkusen doesn’t claim to be a tourist draw and most fans would probably stay in the nearby hubs of Dusseldorf and Cologne where there is much more to offer.

Hotels
(unless stated all prices are per person per night based on two people sharing a twin or double room. They can be booked through booking.com on a pay-on-arrival basis. All bookings can be cancelled for free up to 24 hours before arrival)

Bargain – £24
If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful place to stay, the Ibis Koln-Leverkusen, at Lichstrasse 72, is your best bet.

It’s in the centre of Leverkusen, half a mile from the central train station and has 63 basic but clean and quiet rooms.

Rooms come with a private bathroom, a TV and a workdesk and there’s a 24-hour bar downstairs with a summer terrace.

You can pay a bit extra for a buffet breakfast or some snacks from the bar.

Value – £30
For a few quid more, you can stay at the three-star CityClass Hotel Atrium Comfort, at Heinrich-Lubke Strasse.

It has 55 rooms, each with a private bathroom, workdesk, TV minibar and it’s only a five-minute walk from the central train station. There’s a stylish cafe and a relaxing sauna.

Luxury – £45
Arguably the best hotel in Leverkusen is the four-star Best Western Hotel, at Am Buchelter Hof 11.

It has 200 rooms and is a two-minute walk from the central train station.

The hotel has its own swimming pool and spa and a brilliant restaurant.

Rooms come with a private bathroom, satellite TV and a minibar. They are all air-conditioned and heated.

You can get a £19-per-room discount if you waive your right for a refund.

Travel

Flights

Karlsruhe/Baden/Baden
£30 from Stansted on Ryanair

then a three-hour train, changing at Manheim and Cologne, for £70 return



Dusseldorf International
£58 from Gatwick on easyJet and Flybe
£84 from Stansted on Air Berlin and TUlfly
£84 from Southampton on Flybe
£86 from Leeds Bradford on Jet2
£87 from Manchester on bmi, Lufthansa, British Airways and Flybe
£87 from Heathrow on bmi, Lufthansa and British Airways
£101 from Birmingham from Flybe, bmi, Lufthansa and British Airways
£121 from Newcastle on Lufthansa and bmi
£234 from Exeter on Flybe

then a 15-minute train costing £10 return

Cologne
£45 from Stansted on germanwings and TUlfly
£51 from Manchester on germanwings and TUlfly
£53 from Gatwick on easyJet
£89 from Heathrow on bmi and Lufthansa

Then a 19-minute train costing £10



Frankfurt am Main
£86 from Manchester on Lufthansa and bmi
£89 from Heathrow on bmi, Lufthansa and British Airways
£89 from Gatwick on Lufthansa
£89 from Birmingham on Lufthansa and bmi
£93 from London City on bmi, Lufthansa and British Airways
£102 from Southampton on Flybe

then a 50-minute train changing at Cologne costing £50 return

Dortmund
£49 from Luton on easyJet

then a 69-minute train costing £30 return

Paderborn
£82 from Manchester from Air Berlin and TUlfly
£107 from from Stansted on Air Berlin and TUlfly
Then a two-hour 33-minute train changing at Hamm costing £35 return

Hannover
£55 from Stansted on germanwings and TUlfly
£101 from Birmingham on Flybe
£101 from Manchester on Flybe and British Airways
£111 from Southampton on Flybe
£125 from Heathrow on bmi, Lufthansa
£141 from Flybe

then a three-hour five-minute train costing £80 return

Stuttgart
£51 from Stansted on germanwings, TUlfly, Air Berlin
£88 from Manchester on bmi and Lufthansa
£90 from Heathrow on bmi, Lufthansa and British Airways
£102 from Flybe and British Airways

then a three-hour 30-minute train costing £80 return

Direct train – £137
From Manchester, the journey to Leverkusen is surprisingly quick – only nine hours and 15 minutes.

If you leave Piccadilly at noon, you can get to London Euston at 12:30 and cross over on the Tube to St Pancras and then take the 14:32 train to Brussels.


Arriving at 17:43, you then wait just under an hour and take the 18:25 to Cologne, arriving at 20:15. From there, it’s a 19-minute train to Leverkusen.

If you book in advance, a return from Manchester to London can cost £30 return, then to Cologne it can cost £97 return and then the last leg can cost £10 return.

There are seven possible journeys every day on this route.

Car
From Manchester, it would take 10 hours of non-stop driving over 582 miles to Cologne, via Kent, France and Belgium.

The petrol and road tolls would cost about £210 return

Coach – £103 return
From Manchester, it takes 20 hours and 30 minutes to reach Leverkusen by Eurolines coach.



You take the coach from Manchester to London leaving at 13:00, transfer to another coach and arrive in Cologne at 09:15 the next day, then continuing your journey onwards by train. The coach ticket would cost £48.50 each way – £93 return – add on the extra £10 train fare.

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