As capital of the host country, France, the hotly-anticipated draw for the group stages of Euro 2016 will take place in Paris on December 12th. If you and your friends are wondering where to stay during Euro 2016 then Paris should top the list. Stunning architecture and fantastic restaurants make it one of the world’s most visited and iconic cities – and with its strong accommodation options and fast transport links to the other venues it is certainly the best prepared of all the French cities for the influx of football tourists.
The key games in Euro 2016 will be played in Paris. The famous Stade de France will hold both the opening ceremony and the opening match of the tournament – featuring the hosts, Les Bleus – as well as the tournament’s grand final. Paris already has the infrastructure in place to host a successful tournament, and the boulevards of this beautiful city will be teeming with crowds wearing a multitude of colour once Euro 2016 gets under way.
Our guide to staying in Paris during Euro 2016 covers everything from accommodation to tickets to the official fan zones – so read on to find out more.
Where to Find Accommodation for Euro 2016
Despite holiday accommodation in Paris earning the reputation as being the most expensive in Europe – with prices often rocketing further when dates coincide with major events – you can still find an affordable place to stay with some of the established apartment rentals in Paris. In order to get an idea of which district (or arrondissement) would best suit your needs, check out this blog post which outlines the merits of each Parisian neighbourhood. Alternatively, if you wanted to stay in an alternative city within two hours of Paris, you can read our other blog post on alternative city accommodation options for Euro 2016.
Paris: Easy Access to Each Euro 2016 City
Paris has undoubtedly the best transport links in the country, making it a logical base for the tournament. All of the other major cities in the country are reachable by rail, while many also offer flight options. In preparation for the tournament, the French train company SNCF have announced they will schedule an additional 900 Euro 2016 TGV services. These will enable fans to arrive in host cities anytime from midday to three hours before kick-off. These services will also allow fans to depart on night trains after the final whistle has blown or until midday the following day.
In addition, more than 200 local trains will be integrated to complement the inter-regional offerings, which will provide extra coverage for post-match and late night services. In Paris, transport to both the Stade de France and the Parc de Princes will be extended to its maximum capabilities.
Where to Buy Euro 2016 Tickets
The next allocation of Euro 2016 tickets will be made available by UEFA after the group draw is made in December. The initial UEFA ticket lottery drew over 11 million applicants and each of those tickets have now been allocated. The next ticket allocation round will be made available once the draw has been made. You can apply for England tickets if you are a registered member of the England Supporters Club. You can apply for up to four tickets per applicant, per match. You can also purchase full packages which will allow you to follow your team throughout the tournament. These ticket sales will be made in close cooperation with the various national organisations.
The UEFA ticket portal will open for applications from the 14th December. It is important to note that UEFA are offering ‘Destination Tickets’ – something that would certainly appeal if you have chosen Paris as your destination. With two world-class stadiums less than 10km apart, this ticket allows you to go to two games in one host city. Although ticket touts will almost certainly be in operation during Euro 2016 in Paris, fans will have the opportunity to buy unwanted tickets via the official ticket resale platform in March and April 2016. For those unfortunate enough to not secure a ticket, the official fan zones will offer you the next best atmosphere to watch the games.
The Official Fan Zones in Paris
Preparations are underway for a 120,000-capacity fan zone on the venerable Champ de Mars. This stunning park stretches from the Ecole Militaire to the base of Paris’s most famous monument, the Eiffel Tower. The fan zones, which have become increasingly popular at major sporting events, will bring supporters together and enable them to mingle and cheer on their teams with every match being shown on a giant screen. French DJ David Guetta is scheduled to kick off proceedings with a free concert on June 9.
The fan zone at Champ de Mars will be linked to the fan zone at Saint-Denis by the Paris Foot Tour, which passes Berges de Seine and the Place de le Republique. Along the route will be numerous sporting, cultural and artistic activities.
One of the key events in the lead-up to the tournament in Paris will be the Generation ’98 tournament. This tournament will make light of the coronation of France winning the World Cup in 1998 and will feature teams made up of 18-20 year olds based in Paris. The winners of the tournament will then face the victorious France team of 1998 at the Stade Jean Bouin in May 2016.
A City of Two World Class Stadiums
Paris is a city well-known for romance, cuisine, literary greats and boulevards: Football, up until recent times, has played a backseat role. But following heavy Saudi investment in Paris Saint-Germain, culminating in the highest wage bill in world football, the city now has a team with a daunting reputation.
The Parc de Princes has been home to PSG since 1973 and was formerly the home of the national football team, up until Stade France’s completion in 1998. The stadium is revered in some quarters for its avant-garde concrete bowl design, something which aides the creation of atmosphere, too. Parc de Princes is located within one of Paris’s densely packed neighbourhoods, so it is just short stroll to nearby brasseries, nightlife and accommodation options.
The Stade de France is situated just north of Paris in the suburb of Saint-Denis. The stadium was built in the late 1990s and brought impetus to an area that was hit hard by the decline of heavy industry in the 1970s. Together with the arrival of a metro station, the area today is now youthful and vibrant, yet still retains much of its historical identity with the Cathedral Basilica Saint-Denis and The Museum of Art and History at its heart.
For a stadium so contemporary, the 80,000 seater Stade de France has already hosted a number of enviable occasions, including two World Cup finals in both football and rugby, and two UEFA Champions League finals. The area in close-proximity to the stadium also received heavy investment during construction and has progressed in the years that have passed since. Heavy public investment has turned round the fortunes of what was an ailing industrial area. The regeneration has led to a multi-functional and diverse urban district with a cuisine that echoes the diversity of the area. It is an interesting part of Paris to explore and one that will be lit up during next year’s finals.
The Header Image in this post is kindly supplied by Flickr © Philippe Agnifili