Destination Euro 2012 – For All You Football Fans
I grew up on rugby, so I’m not very learned about football. I know the players look fitter, younger and generally more handsome than rugby players, with a notable lack of cauliflower ears. However, I’m not adverse to learning and I listen intently as my lovely man talks passionately about his boys in blue.
I won’t pretend I know all the details of Euro 2012, in fact, I must admit I did utter the words ‘World Cup’ much to the disgust of himself. However, I do know how important it is to many, and that thousands of Irish men and women will be packing their bags in June and heading to Poland to support our boys.
The truth is, I admire the passion, enthusiasm and loyalty of any man or woman who avidly supports a team, whether it be football, rugby, GAA, whatever. They devote themselves to a team for life, their loyalty unwavering.
Rain, hail or snow, supporters of every sport, all over the world, follow their teams wherever they go, no matter what the odds are of them winning. They bring with them, a magical team spirit and a willingness to experience the highs and lows their team will inevitably go through. Yet, no matter what, there is always a glimmer of hope in their eyes, because when you love something that much, there’s always hope.
So my contribution to those going to Euro 2012 will be to let you know the best way to get to Poland, how to get around and where to stay. For those thinking of making it into a fun holiday for the family, I’ll even throw a few suggestions your way.
So tune in Thursday, 15th December on Ireland AM, TV3 at around 9:05am and I’ll fill you in. Watch the slot here.
Ps – my advice? Get booking as things seem to be going VERY fast!
Ireland’s first match kicks off in Poznan, an industrial city that recently invested in a sparkling new stadium. Despite being quite industrial it does have a beautiful, old city centre, an attractive town hall and a good selection of restaurants and bars.
Wizzair fly from Cork direct flights into Poznan, as do Ryanair and at the moment flights are around €450.
Ryanair fly into nine cities in Poland so there are a number of indirect routes that you can choose from and most cities have train links to Poznan.
Many are considering flying into Berlin and will then take a train from central station to Poznan, which, depending on the train you take, is just over 3 ½ hour journey.
The more adventurous may choose to get a boat from Ireland to Cherbourg, France and then drive the 1000 or so kilometres across Europe to Poland.
Fly direct from Cork From €400 return
Fly direct from Dublin From €450 return
Fly direct from Dublin to Berlin From €200 return
Warsaw – Poznan (approx 3 ½ hours) From €20
Berlin – Poznan (approx 3 ½ hours) From €45
Rosslare – Cherbourg, France From €200 (car and 4 passengers one way) www.irishferries.com
There is a range of accommodation available to visitors, everything from hostels, guesthouses, B&B’s, hotels, serviced apartments and campsites. There are 2 or 3 lakes on the outskirts of the city and these have campsites where you can pitch a tent, pull up in a campervan or some even have basic rental accommodation.
Campsites include – Euro Camps – set up in Poznan especially for the football
Poznan Football Fans Camp with prices starting at €23 for camping with your own tent
Carlsberg Fan Village with space for tents €31 or tent supplied at €58 per night
Some people will fly into Germany, hire a campervan and use that as the accommodation. Just be sure when you’re booking that you are able to drive into Poland and your insurance will cover you there.
With Berlin just being less than a 4 hour train journey some will opt to make that their base where there are endless accommodation options.
A company comprising of people who have joined together to rent out their apartments, houses or rooms in their homes will arrange accommodation for people http://www.polandaccommodation.eu/ offering reasonably priced accommodation in and around the Poznan and Gdansk.
WHAT TO DO
Poznan has a lovely main square with an attractive town hall, a number of museums and pretty, brightly coloured narrow houses lining its streets. The city also has some attractive parks and is located in the lake district. There are a number of both natural and artificial lakes a short drive away where you can swim, fish take a boat out and enjoy the warm summer. There is also the Greater Poland National Park south of the city which has over 85kms of parkland. Walk along forest trail, take a boat out to the ruins of an ancient castle and escape the football hype!
While the outskirts of the city are home to thriving shipyards, the port city of Gdansk has a stunning historical city centre, reminiscent of Prague with cobbled street, handsome merchantile houses and church. It is bursting with bars and restaurants. It was once the wealthiest city in Europe and many of the buildings in the centre are being restored to their former glory.
Gdansk’s airport is 8kms outside the city and there are direct flights from Ireland and is also serviced from London, Brussles, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Hamburg giving a number of indirect routes. Flight information is same as above to Poznan – wizzair & Ryanair
Train from Berlin to Gdansk (10 hours)
Train from Warsaw to Gdansk (3 ½ hours)
There is also a ferry connection between Gdansk and Nynasham port in Sweden. Train from Stolkholm – Nynasham port (1 hour 20 mins)
From €10 for train (one way) http://www.reseplanerare.sl.se
From €90 (return) http://www.polferries.pl/
Gdansk has more of a range of accommodation than Poznan, with everything from hostels, guesthouses, B&B’s, hotels, serviced apartments and campsites.
Campsites include Stogi – 45 minutes from the stadium (driving/tram)
Camping Euro2012 who have a range of apartments, caravans and camping. Some info on them includes:
– number of places is 1000
– with space for tents € 8 or tent supplied at € 49.5 per night
– with space for motorhomes from € 9
– with space for caravans from € 8
-Discounts for staying at the tent campsite over 7 days: 5%.
Over 14 days: 10%
5% discount for 5 people +, 10% discount , more than 15 persons 20% discount
- Fully equiped rooms with bathrooms from 1-5 persons in 3 guesthouses ( Gdansk Area- to 90 persons, Sopot , Gdynia ) with free breakfast included , apartments also included
- 2 apartments located in Sopot with stay possibility for 4 persons in each one , free airport shuffle and other facilities included
- 2 apartments located in Gdynia with stay possibility for 6 persons in each one, free airport shuffle and other facilities included
Gdansk Football Camp 2012 in the city centre with room for 5000
Gdansk Football Fans Camp with accommodation from €23 per person per night in their own tent or €75
Carlsberg Fan Village with space for tents €31 or tent supplied at €58 per nigh
For information on apartments check
Cheap and cheerful Hostel przy Targ Rybnym has wonderful views over the quay and is said to be one of Poland’s best hostel.
WHAT TO DO
Wander the beautiful city centre, visit the galleries, enjoy a beer overlooking the quay and visit what is said to be the world’s biggest brick church, St Mary’s Church, which houses and enormous astronomical dial dating from the 15th century and 31 chapels. Gdansk has a thriving arts culture and there are a number of great theatres and an opera house. 45km south of Gdansk is the fairytale castle Malbork Castle, with a stunning riverside location and is well worth visiting.
Those wanting to get away will head to the long, sandy beach at Sopot, a popular beach resort, with a bit of a Brighton feel about it. A buzzing nightlife, pretty beach and plenty of accommodation, people may opt to bring their families along for a beach holiday while they slip away to the match. With Poznan around 340kms away, it can be done in a day trip, using Gdansk as your base.
Renting Campervans From €2000 for 2 weeks (4 berth) €2800 for 2 weeks (Only available from Western Germany, Paris, Milan and Vencie due to high demand)
Car Rental Companies in Poland
I will be posting more info here as the deals start to come out and there are a number of sites launching this week and next with options for travellers going to the matches. I will keep you posted 🙂
Marathon Sports Travel – 3 day, 2 night package with return Charter Flights, 3* superior accommodation in Ponzan and the option of match tickets in the Irish or Neutral section of the grounds. Cost is from €1000 per person
Day trips to the matches and start at €419 and tax which includes flights, transfers, and assistance from representative
10 Night packages taking in the 3 games at €2400 euro pp sharing , this Package includes Cat 2 tickets to all 3 games ,Hotels, flights, transfers , and taxes.
Also have shorter trips available.