9 French cities hosting Euro 2016

28th January, 2016
From June 10-July 10, France will be the host of Europe?s biggest football tournament, Euro 2016. It is the biggest sporting event to come to France since the World Cup finals in 1998, with 51 matches taking place over the course of the month. Nine cities throughout France will be doing the honours of hosting the matches ? read on to find out where.


The French capital will be staging the majority of the matches ? 12 in total, including the grand final on July 10. Seven of these games will be held at the Stade de France, built for 1998?s World Cup final, which has a capacity of 80,000. The other five matches will be hosts at the Parc des Princes, the home ground of the Paris Saint-Germain football team, a recently refurbished stadium which seats 45,000. If you don?t have a ticket, don?t fret, as there will be an enormous fan zone by the Eiffel Tower, where fans can gather and watch all the action unfold on a giant screen. Adding to this atmosphere will be concert stages and numerous food areas.


Located on the Mediterranean coast, Marseille will be hosting six of the matches, including one of the semi-finals. Stade Velodrome, which can seat 67,000, will be where the matches are taking place, having had a makeover, which included a roof installation, in 2014. You can also view the matches from fan zones located on the Prado beachfront and near the MuCEM in the harbour area.


Gateway to the Alps Lyon will also be hosting six matches, including the second semi-final. Built especially for Euro 2016, the Stade des Lumieres in the eastern suburbs will host the proceedings, with a capacity of 59,000. 20,000 fans will also be able to watch from the fanzone create in Place Bellecour ? perfect if you don?t have a ticket.


The capital of the Loire department, Saint-Étienne will host four of the matches at its Stade Geoffrey-Guichard, also known by its nickname Le Chaudron (The Cauldron). Outside of the staium, you can also see the action on the esplanade outside the Gare de Chateaucreux, where a big screen will be showing football matches and documentaries, while there?ll also be competitions and games to take part in.


Hosting five of Euro 2016?s matches, wine capital of France Bordeaux has even had a new stadium built for the occasion. The Nouveau Stade de Borddeaux seats 42,000 spectators, and was designed by the Swiss architects behind Beijing?s Bird?s Nest, Herzog & de Meuron. The enormous Place des Quinconces will also be showing all of the matches on a big screen, accommodating up to 50,000 people.


Toulouse?s recently renovated Stadium Municipal, located on the Ile de Grand Ramier, will be hosting four Euro 2016 matches, and was built back in 1938 in order to host that year?s World Cup. Alongside the Allees Jules-Guesde?s big screen displaying the matches, the area will also include mini amateur tournaments as well as a human football table.


Overlooking the Cote d?Azur, the Allianz Riviera stadium, five kilometres north of the city?s airport, will also be hosting four of the matches. Seating 35,000, the venue can be easily reached from the city centre via shuttle bus. There will also be two fan zones in Nice ? the Theatre de Verdure, home to the Nice Jazz Festival, and at a beachside pavilion situated beside the iconic Promenade des Anglais, complete with a sand pitch and several bars.


With a direct Eurostar link, Lille is one of the easiest towns to reach for the tournament, with the 50,000-capacity Stade Pierre-Mauory hosting six of the matches, including a quarter-final. The central Place Francois Mitterrand will also have a 30,000-capacity fan zone.


Perhaps the smallest of the cities to host this year?s tournament, Lens is in fact a seasoned veteran in hosting sporting events, with its Stade Bollaert-Delelis having hosted every major French football and rugby tournament since its inception in 1933. The renovated stadium is just a 10-minute walk from the city centre, and if you don?t have a ticket, the fan zone on Place Jean Jaures will be equipped with a giant screen showing all the action.

If you?re heading to France to see one of the matches, hopefully you?ll have already arranged accommodation ahead of the big event. Fear not if you haven?t, however, as we?ve got a host of last minute villas in France where you?ll be able to relax in luxury and comfort before seeing some top-class international football.

Image: Nazionale Calcio, available under Creative Commons