Watching Euro 2016 in France

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

football2Now that the draw for the Euro 2016 tournament has been made, football fans know which cities they must visit in order to see the matches.

One of the advantages of holding the matches there is that there are air, coach, ferry and train links from the UK and Ireland so prices won’t rise by as much as they might if air was the only option.

England begin the quest in the south east of the country at Marseilles, then Lens and St Etienne.

Wales start in the south west in Bordeaux then meet England in Lens and finally go to Toulouse.

At the risk of antagonising the other French cities mentioned, Northern Ireland seem to have got the best of the locations since they begin the first match on the Riviera in Nice, then go to Lyon and play the last of their final first-round matches in Paris.

IF you are a Republic of Ireland fan then your first match is the French capital at the Stade de France and then the matches will be in Bordeaux and finally, Lille.

All of the sites selected have good transport links with regional flights from many of our airports offering direct flights. Tour operators and clubs will also be laying on charter flights with day return or overnight flights for those selecting a single match.

St Pancras International will be busy on the Eurostar trains to Paris so those tickets might sell out quickly on the day before and the early trains on the day of the match itself. Returning trains after the match and on the following day might also be busy.

For those opting for ferries and onward coach or train journeys, there should be no problems as there is plenty of capacity. The same should apply to Le Shuttle for those opting to drive but remember that parking can be a problem when you arrive.

You could, of course, just sit back and watch in the convenience of your own home or pub but then you would miss the tourist sites that these cities have to offer. And the atmosphere. I was in Paris when the World Cup final was being held and apart from the eerie silence in the streets when the match was being played, the revelry in the bars and cafes (and the fact that I had tricolours smeared on my arms and face at the insistence of my French relatives) was what made it something not to forget.

This time there will be no need for tricolours as Wales is playing

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