France is set to be the flavour of Europe in the summers of 2016 as the country is hosting one of the planet’s most watched football tournament – UEFA Euro 2016! This year, the prestigious competition returns to the country of its origin for the 17th edition of the tournament. Originally conceived by Henri Delaunay, secretary-general of French Football Federation in 1927, the 16-nation tournament finally started in 1960 in France. This year, the UEFA Euro Cup 2016 will include 24 teams instead of 16 and promises to be an exciting one. Hordes of football fans will descend to France to support their respective national teams.
Perhaps, there is no better time to visit France than during the month long competition which kicks off on 10th June and concludes a month later on 10th July. France will be at its glowing best during the Euro 2016 Championships and visitors to the country are guaranteed an amazing experience of mingling with football fans and tourists from all over the world under one roof in the European country. Check out the 10 destinations that are going to host the matches of UEFA Euro 2016!
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Stade de France is the national stadium of France and has wonderful memories for the French, as it was the very stadium which saw the Les Blues crowned as the world champions in 1998 FIFA World Cup. The stadium is located in the commune of Saint-Denis which lies north of Paris and is a 32 minutes’ drive. Since, it is located close to Paris, it also offers an exciting base for sightseeing in the French capital city and don’t forget -the finals of Euro 2016 is also set to be held in Saint-Denis on 10th July as well.
Parc des Princes, Paris
Parc des Princes is one of the most glamorous stadiums in the world and is also home to the reigning French Ligue 1 champions, Paris Saint-Germain FC. The stadium will host four group matches in the tournament among which Turkey vs Croatia 2016 Euro match promises to be an exciting affair. In between the scintillating matches, do check out the Eiffel Tower, a beautiful cruise in the Seine River and catch the world renowned Moulin Rouge show. Paris is certainly going be at it’s best during Euro 2016!
Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens
In the north of France, the beautiful city of Lens will host matches of Euro 2016 at its iconic Stade Bollaert-Delelis. The England vs Wales Euro match on 16th June promises to be an exhilarating game between the traditional rivals. Czech Republic vs Turkey affair on 21st June is another encounter that promises plenty of drama and action. While in town, don’t forget to check out the Louvre-Lens, Lens’ 14 – 18 War and Peace History center among others.
Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
Lille, lies in the north of France and is one of the hosts for Euro 2016 matches. Its Stade Pierre-Mauroy will play host to four games in group stages including the marquee clash of Switzerland vs France Euro clash on 19th June. The stadium is the official home ground of Lille Olympique Sporting Club, one of the most popular French Ligue 1 teams. In Lille, you can visit Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Church of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Maurice, Grand Palace, Hospice Comtesse Museum and Jardin Vauban.
Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon
Lyon located in the confluence of Rhone and Saone Rivers in the country’s Rhone-Alpes region has a rich history of over 200 years which will be its main highlights along with the iconic Parc Olympique Lyonnais. The stadium of Olympique Lyonnais, one of the most successful French clubs in the history, will host four group games and the semi-final tie on 6th July. Watch out for Belgium vs Italy tie on 13th June, a game between two title contenders for Euro 2016. In Lyon, you can also visit Vieux Lyon, Fourvière, Jardin botanique de Lyon, Fontaine Bartholdi, Chapelle de la Trinité, Lyon Cathedral and many more iconic heritages.
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
The city of Saint-Etienne is the capital of Loire department will schedule three games in its Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. Among the three group games, Czech Republic vs Croatia on 17 June seems fascinating. Then there is Portugal vs Iceland as well, a game for Cristiano Rolando fans on 14 June. Apart from football, Saint-Etienne has also got amazing museums. Check out Musee de la Mine, Musee des Verts, Musse d’Art Industrie, Planetarium de Saint-Etienne, Cite du Design, Museum of Modern Art and Musee du Vieux St Etienne.
Allianz Riviera, Nice
Nice, the beautiful city on the classic coast of French Riviera is one the most beautiful cities in the world and is renowned for being one of the best luxury tourism destinations. Nice is going to be at its very best as it’s Allianz Riviera will host four games including one Round of 16 encounter. The marquee game is Spain vs Turkey on 17 June promises to be a memorable game. In Nice a tour of the French Riviera is must. Do visit its charming cities like Cannes, Saint Tropez, Monaco while in Nice do check the Nice Cathedral, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice, Musée Matisse, Musée Marc Chagall and Notre-Dame de Nice.
Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Marseille, the second largest city of France is located in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and is renowned for its scenic landscapes, rich cultural heritages and wonderful Mediterranean climate. Marsaille’s Stade Velodrome will host one Quarterfinal and Semifinal game along with 3 group games. England take on Russia on 11 June while host nation France play Albania on 15 June. In Marsaille, check out Old Port of Marseille, Palais Longchamp, Notre-Dame de la Garde, Fort Saint-Jean, Marseille Cathedral, Musée Grobet-Labadie and Jardin de la Magalone among others.
Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
Bordeaux is one of the most sought after French destinations these days thanks to its UNESCO World Heritage site of the historic old town and its world famous Bordeaux wines. Bordeaux is beautiful, full of chateaus, vineyards, French villages and a historic old town. Stade de Bordeaux is going to host four group matches and one quarterfinal clash in Euro 2016 Championships. Look out for Croatia vs Spain Euro match, a cracker of a game on 21st June. In between, do visit Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Cathedral, Place de la Bourse, Musee d’Aquitaine, Basilica of St. Michael and Jardin botanique de Bordeaux.
Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
Toulouse, the capital city of French department of Haute-Garonne lying on the bank of River Garonne, is a city which packs punch in terms of its culture and heritage. The city’s Stadium Municipal will host three group games and one quarterfinal clash. The best game is certainly Spain vs Czech Republic on 13 June and Italy vs Sweden on 17 June. Enjoy the wonderful games and check out the rich cultural heritages of Toulouse Cathedral, Capitole de Toulouse, Cité de l’espace, Musée des Augustins, Muséum de Toulouse, Musée Saint-Raymond and Basilica of St. Sernin, Toulouse.