A Manual for Germany > Everyday Life  > Leisure  > Sports


There are both non-profit and commercial sports organisations for most types of sports in most cities, towns and regions in Germany. The sports association ("Sportbund") can provide information on the sports played in your area. It also often offers cheaper fitness activities for employees to use after work. Private "fitness studios" and "sport studios" also offer their members a wide-range of activities. Members pay a monthly fee and can then use any of the equipment in the studios, take part in courses and use all the facilities such as the sauna.


Football is Germany’s national sport and was once described by a football commentator as the "only real and vibrant national culture". Germany won their first World Cup in Switzerland in 1954. It was celebrated across the country as the "miracle of Bern". Germany’s premier league, the "Bundesliga", was formed in 1963. Millions of Germans follow the fortunes of the top 18 teams for nine months of the year. The highlights of the season are the championship title celebrations and the often tearful relegations to the second division. In 40 years of "Bundesliga" football, Bayern Munich has lifted the title 16 times. The German champion in 2004 was SV Werder Bremen.