11 Feb AA Roadwatch Travel Guide to Ireland V France in the Six Nations
Following Ireland’s clash with Wales last weekend, it’s all eyes on the Stade de France in Paris where our boys in green travel to their second Six Nations encounter. If you’ve been lucky enough to bag a ticket to the big game, we’ve all the details on how to get to the stadium, what to do while you’re in Paris and where are the best places for the pre (and post) match pint.
If you still haven’t booked your match ticket, some are still available on the Stade de France website.
Getting There By CarThe Stade de France is the national stadium of France, situated just north of Paris in the suburb of Saint-Denis. Because of the stadium’s busy, central location, match-goers are strongly urged to get public transport to Saturday’s game. However, if you are taking the car to Paris for the weekend, be sure to check out our top tips for driving in France.
Parking tickets cannot be purchased on match day and any patrons bringing the car to the game will have to purchase a parking ticket in advance on this website.
You’ll use the A1 motorway to get to the stadium and take exit number 2, signposted ‘Stade de France’. After that exit, you’ll use the A86 motorway and exit at number 9, signposted ‘Saint Denis – La Plaine Stade de France’.
Remember that on match days, there is restricted access to the grounds. Only authorised vehicles and/or those displaying a parking ticket will be allowed to park. The stadium’s car parks will open from 8am until 9pm.
Getting There by Public TransportIf you’re opting for public transport on Saturday, you can either take the metro or the RER (metro extension). Both RER lines B and D can be taken from stations Châtelet and Gare de Nord. If you take line B, get off at La Plaine Stade de France and if line D get off at Stade de France Saint Denis.
Metro line 13 also connects the stadium with stations Montparnasse (a 25 min walk), Invalides (a 20 min walk) and Saint-Lazare (a 15 min walk). Get off at stop Saint-Denis Porte de Paris.
Places to Watch the MatchRugby games and fancy French cuisine don’t often go hand-in-hand. Your best bet would be to head to one of Paris’ more informal pubs and bars if you’re looking for a good match-day atmosphere.
The well-known rugby area in Paris is Rue Princesse, also known as the ‘rue du soif’ (translation, Thirsty St), which boasts a number of hearty, fun establishments. If you’re feeling homesick, Little Temple Bar on this street is an Irish-themed bar which is well known for the bustling Six Nations atmosphere and live music. You’ll feel right at home! Another spot that’s sure to tick all the boxes is The Eden Park, which was established by a group of players from the Racing Club de France in 1992.
Rugby supporters often congregate too in the pubs and bars around the Grands Boulevards metro station, where places such as Corcoran’s and Café Oz have large screens showing the game.
Things to DoA tour of the Stade de France is always worthwhile, especially when you’ve young eager rugby fans in tow. The stadium tour includes access to a permanent exhibition featuring the history of the stadium’s construction and important mementos including signed shirts and replica trophies. A guided tour usually lasts about an hour and tickets can be booked on their website, but remember that tours aren’t available on match days.
Although most of Paris’ famous attractions are nestled in the city centre, the suburb of St-Denis itself is very well-known as a pilgrimage centre, the burial site of French monarchy and its magnificent abbey church.