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How to plan a mini break to the Euro 2024 host cities

Cologne Cathedral <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Cologne Cathedral (Image: PA)

Football mania is set to take hold again when the EURO 2024 tournament kicks off on June 14 in Germany. Over the course of a month, teams will battle on the pitches of stadiums in 10 host cities – but beyond the matches, there’s a great deal more to see.
Ahead of the championships we recommend what to see and do.

Munich
Scotland and Germany open the tournament at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Friday evening. 
Germany’s third-largest city has earned a reputation for being laidback and calm. The centre of any action is the Marienplatz square, with buildings constructed in the 12th century. 
The Neo-Gothic New Town Hall is a highlight; admire its facade of gargoyles, turrets and a glockenspiel with 43 bells and 32 figures which chimes twice a day.
Celebrate wins and commiserate losses in the Hofbrauhaus, the city’s best-known beer hall, commissioned as a state brewery in the 16th century. Tables are shared, although avoid any marked as ‘stammtisch’ - these are reserved for regulars who store their beer mugs in dedicated safes.
How: Doubles at Ruby Rosi hotel start from £100 per night with breakfast. Visit ruby-hotels.com

Hofbrauhaus brewery in Munich (Image: PA)
Cologne
Scotland and England are due to play in Cologne. 
Set along the Rhine river, this scenic city is the place to indulge cultural pursuits. There are more than 100 museums, ranging from the study of fragrances to sport. Housing a decent collection of pop art pieces, Museum Ludwig also has one of the world’s largest Picasso displays. 
For a more indulgent day out, the Chocolate Museum is an easy contender. Along with information about the evolution of the sugary treat, there are plenty of samples 
to try.
Costing around E30,000 a day to maintain, the ostentatious Cologne cathedral, pictured, is a showstopper and lauded as Germany’s most popular landmark. 
Attempts to achieve unobtainable perfection is an ongoing work in progress – even after 632 years.
How: Doubles at Mercure Hotel Koeln Belfortstrasse start from £190 with breakfast. Visit mercure-hotel-koeln-belfortstrasse.de/en/

Frankfurt skyline (Image: PA)

Frankfurt
England are due to play Denmark at the Frankfurt Arena. 
Don’t let a connection with stocks, shares and banking lead you to believe Frankfurt is boring. For a view of the buzzy skyline – easily up there with New York’s Manhattan – visit the Eiserner Steg footbridge built in 1869 and used by more than 10,000 pedestrians every day. 
An alternative viewpoint lies at the top of the glass-fronted Main Tower (the first high-rise building in Europe) or head to one of the city’s many rooftop bars to watch the sunset.
If you’re ready to take on the challenge of cramming several exhibitions into one afternoon, head to the Museum Embankment. Displays are hosted in a collection of historic villas and purpose-built spaces, covering art, architecture, film and even comic books.
How: Doubles at Avani Frankfurt City Hotel start from €175/£149, including breakfast. Visit avanihotels.com