Euro 2020: Things you may not know about the 11 host cities

It’s shaping up to be one of the most unique football tournaments in history.

Euro 2020 will actually take place in 2021, delayed for 12 months due to the global pandemic.

No one nation will host the championships – games will be played in 11 cities across Europe, as part of plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the tournament.

Want to impress your family and friends while you watch the matches? BBC Bitesize heads on a whistle-stop tour of the continent to find out one incredible fact about each of the Euro 2020 venues.

Amsterdam

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, has a population of just over 800,000 people. And at least 4,000 parakeets.

Thousands of the green-feathered parrots live in the Vondelpark in the city, but they’re not native to the Netherlands. It’s not known for sure why so many of them settled there, but urban legends say they either escaped from an overturned truck or that a pair of mating parakeets were released into the park.

Locals are divided over whether their presence is a good thing or not. While the birds are certainly colourful, there are concerns over whether they are harmful to native species such as woodpeckers or owls.

Baku

The Azerbaijan capital shares something in common with Amsterdam – the two cities are the only capitals in the world officially below sea level.

While Amsterdam has an elevation of around 2m (6ft) below sea level, Baku is significantly lower.

Sat on the banks of the Caspian Sea, the most easterly city to host games at Euro 2020 is around 28m below sea level – that’s around 92 feet. Baku is the largest city in the world below sea level.

Bucharest

Known as the ‘Paris of the East’ or ‘Little Paris’ because of its similarity to the French capital’s architecture and lifestyle, Bucharest has been Romania’s capital since 1862.

The city is also home to the heaviest building in the world.

The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest costs more than £4 million to run each year.

The Palace of the Parliament took 13 years to build, with construction beginning in 1984. It is 84m (276ft) high, spanning 12 floors and an area of 365,000 square metres (3,930,000 square feet).

There are 1,100 rooms in the palace, but fewer than half of them have ever been used. The building weighs an astonishing 4,098,500,000 kilograms (9.04 billion lbs).

Budapest

The Hungarian capital is home to a particularly unique railway line – one run almost entirely by children.

The Gyermekvasút, or Children’s Railway, is 11.2km (7 miles) long and with the exception of the train driver, is operated entirely by children aged between 10 and 14 years old.

The children spend four months learning about railway life and the line has become a very popular local tourist destination.

Copenhagen

The population of Copenhagen is around 600,000 people and almost half of them commute to work or school every day by bicycle.

The Danish capital is one of the leading cycling cities in the world, with 400km (250 miles) of dedicated bicycle lanes.

Due to the number of people who commute into Copenhagen, it’s thought there are more bikes in the city than people - but there are only 48,000 bike stands, leading to scenes like these.

Copenhageners cycle around 1.4 million kilometres every day – the equivalent of riding around the world 35 times. The city is also home to the world’s busiest bike path with around 40,000 people taking to the Nørrebrogade route, a street lined with shops to the north-west of the centre of Copenhagen, every single day.

Glasgow

While England fans will likely sing “It’s Coming Home” this summer at Wembley, there’s an argument that Scottish supporters in Glasgow have just as many rights to make that claim.

The city played host to the first-ever international football match back in 1872 – so without Scotland, we might never have had a European Championships to look forward to.

The game took place in Partick, Glasgow, on 30 November – St Andrew’s Day – at the West of Scotland Cricket Club. The first match between Scotland and the ‘Auld Enemy’ finished 0-0.

The two nations have met 114 times so far – with the 115th meeting at Wembley during Euro 2020.

London

The London Underground is the world’s oldest underground railway, with a section running between Paddington and Farringdon Street back in 1863.

Around 5 million passengers take to the Tube each day – but there have only been five babies born on the underground in its history.

The first happened in 1924 when Daisy Hammond was travelling on the Bakerloo line. She went into labour and gave birth to a daughter, Marie, in a tunnel near Elephant and Castle.

Over 1.3 billion journeys are made on the Tube each year – and remarkably, in 2019, two of them resulted in babies being born at Warren Street and Baker Street respectively.

Munich

You’re at school, college or university. You’ve just finished one class and your next one is on the other side of the building.

If you’re a student at the Technical University in Munich, no problem whatsoever. Because there, you can zip between the floors on one of two giant slides. They feature in the building which houses the mathematics department and help students get from the top to the bottom floor in seconds.

As well as being good fun, there is a point to the slides. German law states that a proportion of the budget for state buildings must be spent on art – and the slides are considered a giant art installation.

Rome

The Italian capital is a city synonymous with water.

There are over 2,000 fountains in Rome, more than any other city in the world. You can even fill up your water bottle at many of them.

The Trevi Fountain pumps out more than 2.8 million cubic feet (79.3 million litres) of water on a daily basis - but it’s all recycled each day.

Perhaps the most famous fountain in Rome is the Trevi Fountain. The local legend has it that a coin thrown from your right hand, over your left shoulder, into the fountain will ensure a return to Rome. Some 3,000 Euros are thrown into the Trevi each day, with the money donated to a local charity.

Saint Petersburg

In the aftermath of World War II, Saint Petersburg had a problem with rats. The rodents snuck into food stores across the city and ate many of the rations.

Officials enlisted 5,000 cats to deal with the problem – their heroism is commemorated by two bronze cats outside the city’s Eliseyev Emporium, a retail and entertainment complex.

The trend has continued in more modern times – a museum in the city hired 50 cats to keep the rodent population under control as recently as 2014.

Seville

The southern Spanish city of Seville holds a secret code on many of the walls of the city.

You may spot the message “NO8DO” throughout Seville. It means “no me ha dejado” in Spanish – “She has not abandoned me” in English.

The legend goes that King Alfonso X gave the motto to the city because its inhabitants were loyal to him, even when his son tried to usurp the throne. Today, the phrase is still used by locals to show their hometown pride.

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