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Car Rental Euro Cup 2016: Soccer & Sightseeing in France

Travelers planning a trip to France in summer 2016 should make a point to attend at least one of the exciting soccer games being played between June 10th and July 10th. Book a car rental Euro Cup 2016 and don’t miss any of the action! The UEFA European Championship is a quadrennial international men’s soccer championship organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), a continental confederation of World Soccer governing body, FIFA.

This year’s UEFA Euro Cup is being held in France, with 24 international teams playing 51 matches in nine iconic French cities, including: Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Etienne, and Toulouse.

To help you fit one of these exciting matches into your schedule this summer, we’ve created a handy guide to visiting France for the UEFA European Championship. In addition to the Euro Cup schedule, we’ve included top tourist attractions, local-favorite restaurants and more for each of the 9 cities hosting the tournament in France.

Click below to jump to an individual city guide

Bordeaux Lens Lille Lyon Marseille
Nice Paris Saint-Etienne Toulouse Driving in France

BordeauxBordeaux, France

Stade de Bordeaux, Match Schedule:

June 11 – 12:00pm: Wales vs. Slovakia
June 14 – 12:00pm: Austria vs. Hungary
June 18 – 9:00am: Belgium vs. Ireland
June 21 – 3:00pm: Croatia vs. Spain
July 02 – 3:00pm: Quarter Finals

Attractions & Things to Do in Bordeaux:

Renowned for creating some of the most prestigious wines in the world, Bordeaux and the surrounding Aquitaine region is the second largest wine producing region in the world, making it a perfect destination for traveling sommeliers and wine connoisseurs alike. In between winery tours, and frenetic soccer matches, Bordeaux provides visitors numerous exciting attractions to explore, including the ancient Roman Victory Arch, the Musee D’Aquitaine, and for shopaholics, the Rue Sainte-Catherine Pedestrian Center.

Restaurants & Eateries in Bordeaux:

Bordeaux’s culinary appreciation extends far beyond just wine. In fact, the region is a cultural hub for local, international, and experimental cuisine, and is widely considered to be one of the best restaurant cities in France. For an up-scale dining experience, like celebrity chef Gordan Ramsay’s Michelin-starred, Le Pressoir d’Argent, visitors should take to the Rue de Saint Remi – considered the official restaurant street of Bordeaux. For more affordable, low-key eateries, numerous local bistros and pubs can be found scattered throughout the city. One popular recommendation among travelers is the Bistrot Glouton, famed for its fusion of gourmet fine-dining and bistro atmosphere.

Click Map for location of Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Airport, Bordeaux Rail-Station, and other attractions/eateries mentioned above.


LensLens, France

Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Match Schedule:

June 16 – 9:00am: England vs. Wales
June 21 – 3:00pm: Czech Republic vs. Turkey
June 25 – 3:00pm: Round of 16

Attractions & Things to Do in Lens:

Nestled in the rolling hills near the border of Germany, and just north of the tranquil wilderness of the Avesnois Regional Park, Lens is a excellent destination to free yourself from the hustle and bustle of city life during the Euro Cup 2016, and escape into the natural world for a day hike to secluded locales and panoramic vistas. Travelers eager to explore French culture are accommodated generously in Lens, where they can browse the many artistic masterpieces housed in the Lourve-Lens, the companion museum to Paris’ famed Louvre.

Restaurants & Eateries in Lens:

Lens’ restaurant scene is known for its ethnic diversity, featuring a variety of culinary styles, ranging from the authentic Mexican dishes and beer found at O Mexicain, to the quintessentially French atmosphere and multi-course gourmet cuisine found at L’atelier de Marc Meurin. For quick snacks on the go, numerous quaint, hole-in-the-wall eateries can be found scattered throughout Lens. For post game celebrations, be sure to check out the nightlife and bar scene surrounding Stade Bollaert-Delelis, where a variety of Irish, English, and French pubs and clubs can be found.

Click Map for location of Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Gare de Lens Rail-Station, Avesnois Regional Park, and other attractions/eateries mentioned above.


LilleLille, France

Stade Pierre Mauroy, Match Schedule:

June 12 – 3:00pm: Germany vs. Ukraine
June 15 – 9:00am: Russia vs. Slovakia
June 19 – 3:00pm: Switzerland vs. France
June 22 – 3:00pm: Italy vs. Ireland
June 26 – 12:00pm: Round of 16
July 01 – 3:00pm: Quarter Finals

Attractions & Things to Do in Lille:

Due to it’s close proximity to Belgium and highly active student population, Lille, France is a cultural melting pot of exploratory opportunity, and a near-perfect destination to experience the full-breadth of French culture between Euro Cup matches. Spend a relaxing afternoon strolling the Place du Général-de-Gaulle, gazing upon the lovely historic buildings built in a variety of architectural styles. And be sure to venture into Vieux Lille – Lille’s Old Quarter – navigating the ancient cobblestone streets where you will find myriad designer shops, upscale dining establishments, and the ultra-modern, Cathédrale Notre Dame de la Treille.

Restaurants & Eateries in Lille:

Food lovers and exploratory eaters will find themselves feeling right at home in Lille. Hundreds of patisseries can be found throughout the city, offering everything from small cakes and macarons, to decadent chocolate truffles and biscuits. In terms of restaurant dining, Lille has a number of famous, locally-recommended restaurants to enjoy, including the locally-sourced and inspired French fusion cuisine of L’Assiette du Marché, the traditional bistro fare of La Cave aux Fioles, and the experimental take on classic pub fare at Estaminet Chez la Vieille.

Click Map for location of Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille International Airport, Gare de Lille Europe, and other attractions/eateries mentioned above.


LyonLyon, France

Stade de Lyon, Match Schedule:

June 13 – 3:00pm: Belgium vs. Italy
June 16 – 12:00pm: Ukraine vs. Northern Ireland
June 19 – 3:00pm: Romania vs. Albania
June 22 – 12:00pm: Hungary vs. Portugal
June 26 – 9:00am: Round of 16
July 06 – 3:00pm: Semi Finals

Attractions & Things to Do in Lyon:

Lyon, the second largest city in France, is celebrated for its rich history – displayed through a number of expertly maintained architectural wonders – its diverse gastronomic culinary scene, and vibrant culture. Break away from the energetically celebratory streets surrounding the stadium between matches, and take a step back in time to explore Vieux Lyon, a well-preserved Renaissance area tucked along the bank of the River Saône, featuring numerous architectural wonders dating back to the 15th and 17th centuries. Lyon is also well populated with museums and galleries for the traveling art lover to enjoy, like the modern contemporary art museum, Musée d’Art contemporain, and the WWII resistance museum, Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation.

Restaurants & Eateries in Lyon:

Once called the “capital of gastronomy” by famed 19th century culinary writer Curnonsky, Lyon’s proud culture of culinary excellence has been maintained to this day, with a healthy variety of restaurants, bistros, pubs, and food-karts offering a wide variety of local, and ethnic fare for all price ranges. Stand-outs include: the haute experimental cuisine of Michelin-starred Takao Takano, and the classic French fare and home style environment of Michelin-starred Guy Lassausaie.

Click Map for location of Stade de Lyon, Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport, Gare de Lyon-Perrache, and other attractions/eateries mentioned above.


MarseilleMarseille, France

Stade Velodrome, Match Schedule:

June 11 – 3:00pm: England vs. Russia
June 15 – 3:00m: France vs. Albania
June 18 – 12:00pm: Iceland vs. Hungary
June 21 – 12:00pm: Ukraine vs. Poland
June 30 – 3:00pm: Quarter Finals
July 07 – 3:00pm: Semi Finals

Attractions & Things to Do in Marseille:

For travelers eager to explore a wealth of cultures all in one place, Marseille is the ultimate destination. As one of the oldest cities in France, and largest port on the Mediterranean, Marseille embodies a wealth of interesting historic and cultural landmarks and a widely diverse culinary scene, providing visitors with unique insights into the cities storied past as southern Europe’s cultural melting pot. Outside of Euro Cup soccer matches, take an evening stroll through le Vieux Port (Old Harbor) and watch the local fisherman auctioning their hauls, or take a day ferry to the Frioul Islands and bask in the warm Mediterranean sunset on your journey back during the afternoon. Visitors interested in museum tours will find no shortage of interesting venues in Marseille as well. Explore the recently-opened Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations, and discover the rich history of the region and its inhabitants.

Restaurants & Eateries in Marseille:

Somewhat expectedly, Marseille’s culinary scene is primarily focused on fresh seafood, brought in from the port each day, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only type of food available. Marseille’s Mediterranean port city designation brings people from all over the world, evident through the numerous North African, Italian, and Spanish restaurants found throughout the city. A couple popular eateries in Marseille include: Le Café des Épices, a Mediterranean-fusion eatery credited with bringing bistro culture to Marseille, and Chez Michel, an upscale brasserie known for attracting local celebrities and bourgeois with its one-of-a-kind, authentic rockfish bouillabaisse.

Click Map for location of Stade Velodrome, Marseille Provence Airport, Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles, and other attractions/eateries mentioned above.


NiceNice, France

Stade de Nice, Match Schedule:

June 12 – 12:00pm: Poland vs. Northern Ireland
June 17 – 3:00pm: Spain vs. Turkey
June 22 – 3:00pm: Sweden vs. Belgium
June 27 – 3:00pm: Round of 16

Attractions & Things to Do in Nice:

As one of France’s most popular vacation destinations for travelers from around the world, Nice is absolutely full-to-the-brim with tourist opportunity. After cheering your heart out at a Euro Cup game, take a relaxing evening stroll down the city’s famous waterfront path, the Promenade des Anglais, stopping for a quick bite to eat, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coastline. Art and architecture lovers will also adore Marseille and its many museums and castle ruins including, Musee Chagall, Musee Matisse, the  Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and panoramic views from the cliffside castle ruins of Colline du Chateau.

Restaurants & Eateries in Nice:

Much like its Mediterranean counterpart, Marseille, Nice’s oceanside locale heavily influences its culinary scene, focusing primarily on seafood. Travelers willing to cook a meal or two for themselves should definitely check out the local produce market, Vieux Nice, and other surrounding markets for locally-sourced, fresh produce, bread, and protein. Visitors eager to sample the local cuisine at one of the city’s many popular restaurants should be sure to check out both Jan and Le Fonetic for some of the best traditional French fare in the city.

Click Map for location of Stade de Nice, Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, Gare de Nice-Ville, and other attractions/eateries mentioned above.


ParisParis, France

Parc des Princes, Match Schedule:

June 12 – 9:00am: Turkey vs. Croatia
June 15 – 12:00pm: Romania vs. Switzerland
June 18 – 3:00pm: Portugal vs. Austria
June 21 – 12:00pm: Northern Ireland vs. Germany
June 25 – 12:00pm: Round of 16

Attractions & Things to Do in Paris:

Located on the banks of the River Seine in Northern France, Paris is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and has become the most visited tourists destinations in the world. Aptly nicknamed, “The City of Light,” and “The Capital of Fashion,” Paris is home to a nearly endless number of intriguing attractions, luxury shopping destinations, and world-class restaurants. Visitors to Paris for the Euro Cup 2016, will find no shortage of historic and culturally influential sites to explore between matches. Visitors looking to maximize their time in the city should consider picking up a Paris Museum Pass, affording pre-paid, fast entry to over 70 museums, monuments, and landmarks in Paris, including: Sainte-Chapelle, Notre-Dame, Musée d’Orsay, and many more.

Restaurants & Eateries in Paris:

As one of Europe’s primary culinary capitals, the restaurant scene in Paris is basically all-encompassing, including small family-run eateries, high-end dining establishments, casual bistros, quiet cafes, and frenetic bars and clubs. No matter what your culinary desires may be, Paris will have the best food options available. Second only to Tokyo, Paris is home to more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city, with 79, 1-3 star restaurants scattered throughout the city. Standouts include: Epicure, a haute French restaurant with the rare distinction of three Michelin stars, and Le Cinq, a two Michelin star fine-dining restaurant located in the Four Seasons Hotel.

Click Map for location of Parc des Princes, Charles de Gaulle Airport, Gare du Nord, and other attractions/eateries mentioned above.


Saint-EtienneSaint-Etienne, France

Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Match Schedule:

June 14 – 3:00pm: Portugal vs. Iceland
June 17 – 12:00pm: Czech Republic vs. Croatia
June 20 – 3:00pm: Slovakia vs. England
June 25 – 9:00am: Round of 16

Attractions & Things to Do in Saint-Etienne:

Just southwest of Lyon, the quaint city of Saint-Etienne is a perfect destination for Euro Cup 2016 travelers to escape the frenzied sporting atmosphere of France’s larger European Championship host cities, and find some relaxation. Many interesting museums can be found in the area, including the Museum of Modern Art, and the Musee d’Art et d’Industrie – dedicated to the region’s historic contributions to industry and design, and creating an “indispensable link between past, present, and future of Saint-Etienne.”

Restaurants & Eateries in Saint-Etienne:

As the birthplace of famed French Chef, Pierre Gagnaire – often described as the standard-bearer of the fusion cuisine movement, Saint-Etienne is a hidden culinary gem, with a multitude of restaurants, bistros, and pubs that cater to all tastes and interests. For a taste of truly authentic fare, be sure to check out Cornand et fils, a local grocer, established in 1919, famous for its home-made pastas, and worldly-inspired sauces. Another must visit culinary destination in Saint-Etienne, is A la Table des Lys, a traditional French restaurant with a variety of set menus depending on budget, and taste profile, as well as an encyclopedic wine list.

Click Map for location of Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Étienne–Bouthéon Airport, Saint-Etienne Rail Station, and other attractions/eateries mentioned above.


ToulouseToulouse, France

Stade de Toulouse, Match Schedule:

June 13 – 9:00am: Spain vs. Czech Republic
June 17 – 9:00am: Italy vs. Sweden
June 20 – 3:00pm: Russia vs. Wales
June 26 – 3:00pm: Round of 16

Attractions & Things to Do in Toulouse:

Built upon an ancient Roman settlement and nicknamed “La ville rose” (the pink city) because of the many pseudo-Roman red brick buildings found throughout the city, Toulouse is a historic destination with a number of interesting attractions to keep your attention between European Cup soccer matches. As one of Europe’s richest cities during the middle ages, over 50 palatial mansions – called hotels – have been expertly restored to display the city’s former wealth and glory. One pristine example of such mansions is the Hôtel d’Assézat, a 16th century converted Renaissance hotel housing the Bemberg Foundation art gallery. Travelers interested in architecture should be sure to make a stop at the 11th century, Viollet-le-Duc designed Basilique Saint Sernin, and Les Augustins – a former monastery turned art museum – both pristine examples of European architecture.

Restaurants & Eateries in Toulouse:

Owed to its close proximity to France’s innovative culinary capital, Gascony, Toulouse enjoys a strong reputation as the gastronomic hub of Southeast France, and boasts a number of regional specialties such as duck confit, foie gras, and a white bean stew called Cassoulet. Adventurous eaters intent on expanding their palettes should be sure to reserve a table at Michel Sarran, a world famous, two Michelin-starred restaurant known for their creative menus, unique pairings, and sophisticated feel. On the more affordable end of the spectrum, without sacrificing quality, is Tratto Mizzica, a local-favorite Italian Bistro famous for its southern Italy specialty dishes.

Click Map for location of Stade de Toulouse, Toulouse–Blagnac Airport, Gare de Toulouse-Matabiau, and other attractions/eateries mentioned above.


Soccer & Sightseeing in France with Auto Europe

Experience France like never before during the European Championships with a car rental Euro Cup 2016 from Auto Europe. Participate in the high-energy celebration of the world’s most popular sport and cheer for you favorite international soccer teams, then after the games embark on numerous sightseeing adventures though Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Etienne, and Toulouse. When you’re ready to hit the road for some soccer and sightseeing in France, give Auto Europe a call, toll-free at 1-888-223-5555 to book your French rental car, international airfare, and hotel accommodations. Auto Europe works with all the major car rental suppliers in Europe, and guarantees the best rate on all car rentals in France.

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