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Gelsenkirchen - Stadium

The Arena AufSchalke is the latest of three grounds that have been home to Schalke 04 in the last 50 years. Until 2001, when the current stadium opened, Schalke's home ground was the Parkstadion, the remains of which still stand immediately next door. It had been built for the 1974 World Cup. From 1928 to 1973, Schalke played at the Glückauf-Kampfbahn about a mile down the road. When you see it today, with its old terraced banks removed, it's hard to believe that it used to regularly hold crowds of over 30,000. 

The current ground, which is being called by its original Arena AufSchalke name for the Euros rather than its sponsored Veltins Arena name, has a capacity for club matches of just over 62,000. This will come down to c. 55,000 for Euro 2024 due to the enforced conversion of terracing to seated accommodation.

Getting there from the city centre
It's a single bus ride from the main station. Take, for instance, the number 302 heading for GE Buer Rathaus and get off at Gelsenkirchen VELTINS-Arena. It's supposed to be a 16-minute ride. In heavy matchday traffic, however, it may well take longer. I remember that on a swelteringly hot day in 2006 we got off and walked the last bit in order to get some air (and a beer!).

Getting there from the airport
If you're flying into the country on matchday and going straight to the ground, then you're best off flying into Duesseldorf Airport, from where you can get to the Arena in 90 minutes (e.g., with a regional train from the airport to Oberhausen Central Station and another regional train from there to Gelesenkirchen main station. Then by bus as above.)

You can plan your journey on the VRR local public transport website. If you have a match ticket or a rail pass such as Interrail or the Deutschlandticket, you'll not need to pay any fare. If not, a regional WelcomeCard Ruhr would also cover it.

To keep this page uncluttered, I've not included any photos. Instead, I've put together a selection in this Gelsenkirchen City and Stadium Gallery

Hotels close to the stadium

Within 2 miles - Easy to get to/from

stays by friends Gelsenkirchen
On the Schalke 04 grounds a goalkeeper's punt away from the arena. Free Wi-Fi. Restaurant and bar. 16 minutes by tram to the main station.

Arena Hotel
As the name suggests, the hotel is located right by the arena, on the far side of the car parks, a 10-minute walk to the turnstiles. Restaurant, bar, free parking and free W-Fi. To the main station it's an 8-minute walk and then 15 minutes on the tram.

Hotel Monopol
3 tram stops (6 minutes) from the arena. 24 minutes from the main station. 2 blocks from the Dorfkrug pub/restaurant mentioned on the Gelsenkirchen City page. 3-star hotel. Single, double and triple rooms. Free Wi-Fi.

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