The ultimate guide to the festival of football, UEFA EURO 2016™ [with infographic]

From June 10 – July 10 France will be full of football frenzy as UEFA EURO 2016™ takes place. If you’re looking to take part in the international football festival, then we’ve gathered all that you need to know.

Tickets to UEFA EURO 2016™ were sold out months in advance but if you didn’t get a ticket to any of the matches there is no need to fear as there is still lots of fun to join in on. All of the 10 host cities will be teeming with life and you’re guaranteed a fun-filled football fest outside the stadiums as well!

The basics

UEFA EURO 2016™ is just around the corner and football fans all over the continent are excited as the championship is about to kick off. For the first time ever, 24 top teams will face off against each other over 50 matches until one country emerges victorious, holding the coveted trophy up high. EURO 2016™ will be nothing short of a celebration of the art of football.

This is the third time the European championship takes place on French soil, so you can be assured that they know what they’re doing. Fan zones, events, activities and more await you in each of the ten different host cities all across France. Read on to get a complete overview of what’s in store and check out our interactive infographic below with all the matches mapped out for you.

Be prepared for Paris

Parc des Princes in Paris will be the home of the EURO 2016™ matches and the Eiffel Tower fan zone will be grounds for celebration

© b-hide the scene / Shutterstock.com

Prepare for a party in the name of football in France’s capital! Paris Saint-Germain’s home Parc des Princes Stadium will host five matches. But the city’s biggest celebration will be by the foot of the Eiffel Tower, at the Champ de Mars Paris fan zone. Entertainment, concert stages, football village and a giant screen displaying the matches are all found throughout the zone.

As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll be treated to a concert by French superstar-DJ David Guetta on June 9, where he’ll perform the UEFA EURO 2016™ anthem, on the eve of the tournament. This is a party you don’t want to miss out on so put on your team’s shirt and, literally, get in the zone!

If you’re in need of a place to spend the night make your way to one of Radisson Blu’s Hotels in Paris.

Stadium: Parc des Princes
Distance from city center: 8km
Directions to the Paris fan zone and stadium

Savor the atmosphere in Saint-Denis

Saint-Denis, right outside Paris, will be a top spot to celebrate the EURO 2016™ at the fan zone

© photo_master2000, Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock.com

Only ten kilometers north of Paris lies the town of Saint-Denis, where a grand total of seven matches will be played. It is here the winner will be determined after the final on July 10 at the incredible Stade de France. Until then, there is lots of fun and activities to be had around the city. At the Legion of Honor Park you can watch the games on a big screen or enjoy one of the many concerts during the Saint Denis Festival, which will be held at the same time. Saint-Denis is like another neighborhood in Paris and has all the normal Parisian transport possibilities so you can get to and from the matches with ease.

At the fan zone you can even partake in a Zumba fitness class, play games with local and visiting children or just kick back and relax in the atmosphere. On June 29, ‘The Amazons of Africa’ concert, will be sure to awaken the rhythm within. Saint-Denis is right outside the French capital’s city center, so why not let one of Radisson Blu’s hotels in Paris be your home away from home?

Stadium: Stade de France
Distance from city center: 3km
Directions to the Saint-Denis fan zone and stadium.

Bordeaux is bringing its A-game

If you’re attending games in Bordeaux or just visiting the city you are truly in for a treat. For the duration of the championship an immense fan zone will be found at the Esplanade des Quinconces. Here a rich event program awaits you in one of the largest fan zones throughout France. The big screen will provide you with a great view of all the matches, as well as a rich atmosphere brought to you by the entire city.

When those dreaded match-free days arrive, the Bordeaux fan zone will brighten your day with concerts as well as 91 animation projects, which will not only make your jaw drop but also lighten your mood. It’s destined to be a celebration with five matches being played at the city’s brand new stadium. Just check out the video above and you’ll see why you don’t want to miss out.

If you can’t find any available rooms in Bordeaux, consider making Toulouse your home pitch at the Radisson Blu Hotel Toulouse Airport located only two hours away by train.

Stadium: Stade de Bordeaux
Distance from city center: 8km
Directions to the Bordeaux fan zone and stadium.

Lots of life in Lille

Lille is a perfect place to spend your days during the UEFA EURO 2016™, especially the fan zone

©  IDN / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to the easy-going north, and Lille. You’re definitely in for a treat as you join thousands of other fans at the Henri Matisse Park, close by the train station, in celebration at the city’s fan zone. Cheer on your favorite team as they battle their foes or enjoy some of the entertainment found in the zone, while enjoying the rich and vibrant city in between matches.

Lille will be hosting some of the most exciting games this championship and you can expect a unique atmosphere at the 25,000-capacity fan zone. For some post-match grub you can grab a tasty bite from over 900 restaurants in the city, where you’re destined to find something to suit your taste buds.

Stadium: Stade Pierre-Mauroy
Distance from city center: 7km
Directions to the Lille fan zone and stadium.

Larger than life in Lens

Lens is the perfect place to celebrate the UEFA EURO 2016™, whether you're at the fan zone or at the stadium

© RC Lens

Loving life is no difficulty when you’re in Lens for the championship. At the Place Jean Jaurès fan zone you can join 18,000 fans to watch the match on a big screen or sink your teeth in some delicious street food. Pop-up bars will also be onsite to quench your thirst. The fan zone itself sits in the center of town, near the stadium.

Lens is home to one of the most popular football teams in all of France, the Racing Club de Lens, and they boast incredibly dedicated fans. Their home stadium of Stade Bollaert-Delelis can seat 41,229 people, which is 4,000 more than the entire city population. So be prepared to enter a city where football is the center of attention but who could complain? That’s why we’re all here!

Consider staying at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels if you want to watch the games in Lens. Just hop on the Eurostar from Brussels to Lille and grab a connecting train to Lens, the journey will take a mere 1.5 hours.

Stadium: Stade Bollaert-Delelis
Distance from city center: 2km
Directions to the Lens fan zone and stadium.

Live it up in Lyon

Celebrate the UEFA EURO 2016™  in Lyon, where you can indulge in the great atmosphere at the fan zone

© fstockfoto / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to the 2000 year old ‘City of Lights’, Lyon. Place Bellecour is the center of celebration where the city will be laying out multiple opportunities to be entertained, amused, fed and you can experience a wide range of emotions as the matches rage on the big screen. The fan zone is divided into three parts; one for watching the games, one for eating and spending time with your friends, and ‘The Village’ with VIP sections, hospitality stands and ‘Fan Embassy’ areas. Super Victor, the official EURO 2016™ mascot, was even designed by a Lyon-based company so the city has already made its mark on the championship.

Lyon is also ready for kick off with many things to do in between matches, such as the Streetfootballworld Festival 16 where 500 young people from over 80 countries come together in solidarity to enjoy football. The players were chosen because of their commitment to changing the world through football. The city is truly living it up throughout the championship, so get ready to immerse yourself in the fantastic atmosphere. Spending your days celebrating football is what it’s all about after all. See you there!

Stadium: Stade de Lyon
Distance from city center: 12km
Directions to the Lyon fan zone and stadium.

Marseille makes its mark

Enjoy the sun and prime fan zone location by the beach in Marseille, a perfect spot to enjoy the UEFA EURO 2016™

© mediapictures.nl / shutterstock.com

Pack your football shirt and swimsuit, because it’s time to celebrate the EURO 2016™ in Marseille. The second largest city in France boasts an impressive 300 days of sunshine a year so you are in for a bright celebration. Marseille is hosting a quarter and semi-final, and as a melting pot, it is only natural that it will be bustling with life.  One of the many qualifying rounds that will be played here is Poland – Ukraine, which will be an exciting match to follow.

With a city as sunny and bright as Marseille, guess where the fan zone will be found? On the beach of course. Only a short distance away from the Stade Vélodrome you’ll be treated to big screens, big crowds and a great atmosphere. Sun + football = good times!

After spending a day basking in the sun and enjoying football you can kick back and relax at the Radisson Blu, Marseille Vieux Port by the beach.

Stadium: Stade Vélodrome
Distance from city center: 4km
Directions to the Marseille fan zone and stadium.

Nothing but Nice

Nice is a top spot to enjoy the UEFA EURO 2016™ celebrations. Head to the fan zone if you haven't been able to get a ticket to the matches and soak in the great atmosphere

© Soloviova Liudmyla / Shutterstock.com

Another sunny seaside host city is Nice, where you can soak up the sun as well as get in a great mood at the fan zone. At the open-air theater at Albert 1er garden you can find two big screens, media center, restaurants and a wide range of entertainment. With a capacity of approximately 10,000 people, it’s destined to be another great spot where you can celebrate with your fellow football fans. Why not head to the fan zone to watch Spain battle Turkey on June 17?

Head down to Quai des États-Unis and experience the activity area, right by the beach. Here you can play or watch beach soccer, foot volleyball and engage in various other activities. You’ll also find the fan embassy and a branch of the national sport museum here. Both of the areas are easily accessible by public transport or if you’re walking, so there’s no excuse to not head on over.

The celebration in Nice is something you don’t want to miss and you can stroll to the fan zone from our Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice or why not enjoy the French Riviera even more? Then make your way to our Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso, Cannes where you can relax after a day in the name of football.

Stadium: Stade de Nice
Distance from city center: 12km
Directions to the Nice fan zone and stadium.

City-wide celebrations in Saint-Etienne

Saint-Etienne is a city bustling with life both on and off the pitch, as it has tons of events available for the UEFA EURO 2016™, both at the fan zone and throughout the city

© katatonia82 / Shutterstock.com

Are you ready for Saint-Etienne? You better be, as it is certainly ready for you. The entire city will be football-crazy and there are activities and events around every corner. Different well known squares will be transformed into themed Fan Villages. One will feature kid’s playground’s, another dedicated to emerging artists while other villages will be home to skateboard and street basketball contests and much, much more. Saint-Etienne is truly aiming for the stars with their planned events.

Like any host city they have their own Fan Zone at Parc François Mitterand, where you can enjoy concerts with both international and French headliners or just watch as your favorite team battles against their rivals on the big screen. This might just be one of the best spots in all of France to enjoy the EURO 2016™.

Stadium: Stade Geoffroy Guichard
Distance from city center: 4km
Directions to the Saint-Etienne fan zone and stadium.

Take to the streets in Toulouse

The Pink City of Toulouse is a great city to experience the UEFA EURO 2016™ celebrations. Check out our guide to the events

© katatonia82 / Shutterstock.com

Toulouse is reaching for the stars as the European capital of aeronautics and innovation, and it is no different when it comes to being a host city. Allée Jules Guesde will be the center of spectator attention in Toulouse while the EURO 2016™ championship is underway. Here you’ll find the fan zone where you can watch the matches played on Stadium Municipal de Toulouse, with famous sights like the Grand Rond, Jardin des Plantes and the Royal Garden surrounding you. The match between Italy and Sweden on June 17 will be a great one to watch at the fan zone.

Rejoice with your fellow fervent supporters at the fan zone or wander around town to explore all it has to offer. It is nicknamed “The Pink City” due to the pink terracotta bricks used in many of its buildings, which is a beautiful sight. Perhaps you want to challenge the locals to a game of beach football? Then the sandy pitches by the banks of the river Garonne is where you need to be.

You can easily access Toulouse and all it has to offer during the championship with a stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel Toulouse Airport, a perfect fit for both short and long stays.

Stadium: Stadium Municipal de Toulouse
Distance from city center: 3.5km
Directions to the Toulouse fan zone and stadium.

Whether you’re visiting one or several cities during EURO 2016™, you’ll now be ready to maneuver your way around the different host cities with this guide to the championship. We hope you have a great time in France and please share any tips or recommendations below.

Top image © photo_master2000 / shutterstock.com

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