With Euro 2016 about to kick off, millions of fans from all over Europe will be descending on France to enjoy the tournament and support their country. While the host nation will be hoping to repeat their last tournament win in Euro 2000 in that iconic blue and red kit, many people will simply be heading to France to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a few drinks in the summer sun. With so much to do in one of Europe’s most famous countries, and so many locations hosting games from the competition, we’ve decided to put together a quick guide to some of the tournament’s host cities.
No matter which country you’re supporting, you’ll find a suitable location to watch the games and enjoy a sun-filled break in one of France’s beautiful and historic cities.
The beautiful and famous city of Marseille will host both a quarter final and semi-final tie, as well as England’s opening game against Russia on June 11th. This city has seen an enormous number of urban renewal schemes in recent years, and it is now home to a plethora of boutique hotels, designer shops, chic restaurants and a ton of culture. Euro 2016 matches will be played in the Stade Velodrome in the South-East of the city, but for those looking for a post-match drink or a day of shopping and stunning food, head to Central Marseille to make the most of the atmosphere.
Lens will host group games (including the highly anticipated England vs. Wales match) as well as one last 16 tie. Known to be one of the friendliest places in France, this former coal-mining town is usually overlooked by European tourists in favour of bigger cities such as Paris. It’s a beautiful and extremely welcoming destination however, and is only an hour from Paris by TGV. Home to an annexe of the Louvre and a huge variety of beautiful cafes and restaurants, Lens is a superb choice for anyone looking for a less raucous destination for their Euro 2016 trip.
A popular choice with wine drinkers, Bordeaux will play host to Wales vs. Slovakia and Belgium vs. Ireland, as well as one quarter final tie. An elegant and dignified city, Bordeaux is an intoxicating mix of the old and the new, home to the beauty of the medieval quarter and some of the most famous designer hotels and top-quality restaurants in France. It’s also a fantastic destination for the Euro 2016 tournament, with Bordeaux’s nightlife renowned all over Europe – and of course there’s the wine, with the region famous the world over for being home to some of the biggest Chateaux in the industry.
Around 40 miles south west of Lyon, Saint-Etienne will play host to group games and one last 16 tie in the Stade Geoffrey Guichard. Full of architectural delights, beautiful parks and contemporary art museum (with works by the likes of Matisse), Saint-Etienne is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a more cultured stay for the Euro 2016 break. Be sure to check out The Smoking Dog for your post-match drinks, as it’s one of the most beautiful places to drink in the city.
An obvious choice for holiday-makers, Nice will also play host to one last 16 tie, as well as the obligatory group matches. Capital of the Cote d’Azur, Nice curves round the Bay of Angels and has a reputation for beauty and glamour, as well as a thriving nightlife. You’ll find stunning weather, beautiful boutique hotels, incredible shopping and a wealth of stunning restaurants and places to grab a drink – be sure to check out The Old Town for your post-match evening activities.
Likely the most obvious destination for Euro 2016 travelers, the French capital really needs no introduction. Home to a range of group games, two last 16 ties, a quarter final match and the final, Paris is one of the world’s most beautiful cities and already a hugely popular destination for holiday-makers. Full of famous monuments, film sets, attractions, cultural institutions, incredible shopping and some of the world’s finest restaurants, Paris should be a key stop on any itinerary this summer. You’ll find no shortage of hotels, from budget accommodation to designer luxury, and the nightlife in Paris is second to none in Europe. Wherever you choose to stay, you’ll find something to your liking in one of the globe’s most visited cities.