Manchester United fans' guide to Leverkusen

While our International Ground Guide is undergoing some maintenance, we thought we'd provide our usual service of advice and information for travelling supporters in brief blog form.

Once up and running again our ground guide will cover all manner of information from travel options to hotel advice, eating and drinking suggestions to practical tips on getting around, along with safety and security advice and anything else we think will be of use to travelling supporters. 

In the meantime, while the below might not necessarily have all the information you'll be after if you're heading out to Germany, we're always available to help - just drop us an email if you have any questions.

We'll do our best to find out what you need to know, either from our own vast experience in covering England and Wales games abroad, or from our friends at Football Supporters Europe.

About the Club

Bayer were founded in 1904, and are not historically one of the Bundesliga's most successful clubs. The club's heyday was undoubtedly in around the turn of the century, as having won the German Cup in 1993 they finished runners-up in the league on 5 occasions between 1997 and 2002. The 2001/2 season also saw them come closest to glory in Europe's premier competition, as they finished runners-up in the Champions League, losing 2-1 to Real Madrid.

They do have their own bit of European silverware, however - they lifted the UEFA Cup in 1988. Managed by former Liverpool centre-back Sami Hyypia, they finished 3rd in last season's Bundesliga.

About the City

Located in western Germany just north of Cologne on the banks of the Rhine, Leverkusen is home to around 150,000 inhabitants. Lacking the touristic splendour of its near neighbour, Leverkusen is more famous for its chemical industry - the Bayer in Bayer Leverkusen is owed to the fact that the chemical giant is based in the town.

For tourism information on what there is to see and do (not a great deal, but there's the Neuland Park beside the river, and Morsbroich Castle), visit the town's English language website - http://www.leverkusen.de/english.

About the Stadium

The BayArena, located at the edge of the city on Bismarckstrasse adjacent to the junction of the two motorways, has undergone some modernisation work in recent years, and is now a 30,000 all-seater stadium. Work on the roof means that now all seats are covered, and the ground retains an intimate, old-school feel despite the renovations.

Away fans are typically located in the south-west corner section, next to the executive boxes. The stadium's website (in German, but there's always Google Translate) can be found here.

To make the ground easier to reach/leave on matchdays, many of the local roads are blocked off to traffic on matchdays from around 30 minutes ahead of kick-off. The ground is just over a mile walk from Leverkusen Mitte station, and should take around 15-20 mintues to reach.

Thanks to DerHans04 for the image used in this blog, reproduced under Wikimedia Commons.