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European Championships

France: Meet the Cities

As the elite nations in Europe prepare to battle it out for the prestigious European Championship trophy when it all kicks off on the 10th June, take a look at some of the nation's leading cities who will be hosting matches over the course of a four-week feast of European football.

Lyon

Lyon is a food lover’s dream. This beacon of gastronomy has the largest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in France outside Paris, and notable chefs have set up here in their droves. As well as delighting in crisp white table cloths laden with delectable fine dining, no trip to Lyon is complete without pulling up a chair in a rustic bistro and sampling its local specialities, such as the meaty Saucisson de Lyon. 

Stade de Lyon, located within the commune of Decines-Charpieu, represents the permanent new home Ligue 1 outift of Olympique Lyonnais and is poised to host several group games at the tournament alongside a round of 16 and a semi-final tie after construction was finished in January 2016.

 

Lyon from Manchester Airport
Paris from Manchester Airport

Paris

It’s impossible not to be captivated by Paris. From the cascading steps of the Sacré-Cœur to the glowing glass of an art deco bistro, the French capital is steeped in history and style.

A single afternoon brings beautiful architecture, chic boutiques, the finest art and delectable cuisine. Marvel at Monet’s masterpieces at the Musée d’Orsay, gaze up at a flood-lit Eiffel Tower and watch the sun set over the city from the top of the majestic Arc de Triomphe.

Home of the national team's flagship stadium in the 80,000 capacity Stade de France, the capital will play host to various group stage matches, a Round of 16 matche, a Quarter-final match and the Final as the definining closing centrepiece.

Biarritz

Part glam hangout, part surf mecca, Biarritz is a coastal beauty that’s always buzzing. This bastion of old-school French class has enough designer shops, swanky restaurants and high-end hotels to satisfy the most discerning of visitors, while one look at the waves crashing onto the golden beach is enough to see why surfers head here in their masses. A stroll around the headland leads to flatter waters and quieter coves, offering a lovely backdrop for relaxed family beach life. 

Biarritz was the base of the national team's first training camp before preparations began in earnest for their tilt at the title on home soil, while it remains an ideal base for travelling to matches taking place in Toulouse and Bordeaux.

Biarritz from Manchester Airport
Toulouse from Manchester Airport

Toulouse

Affectionately known as 'The Pink City' due to the vast amount of terracotta bricks used among buildings in the city, Toulouse incorporates an expansive urban area ripe for exploration. A lengthy history combines with a recent surge of technological exploration, where the hub of the European aeronautics industry and Europe's largest space centre are housed.

Despite a fondness of the oval ball as opposed to the round, Toulouse will host some pivotal ties in the forthcoming European Championships, with group matches inclusive of Spain and Italy as tournament winning hopefuls, Stadium de Toulouse will likely witness some of the best football played across the nation for the duration of the four-week tournament.

Marseille

Ranking highly on the list of coastal destinations to visit across the globe, France's bustling port city is the Provençal region. Over 1500 years of history and an installation of contemporary museums in the present day after a stretch as European Capital of Culture in 2013 ensures there is plenty on offer to satiate a thrist for knowledge in France's second biggest city.

The 67,394 capacity Stade Velodrome harnesses the fevered passion of the city for the beautiful game, and will host one of the semi-finals during the tournament.

Marseille