Best football stadiums to visit in France

Best football stadiums to visit in France
Two-time World Cup winners France have some of the best football stadiums in the world.

Paris, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Saint-Etienne, and Toulouse are all must-see venues for any sports fan and followers of Ligue 1.

This guide looks at what you’ll need to do if you are driving to one of the stadiums and where you will need to park.

Paris

Name: Stade de France
Capacity: 80,023
Home team: French national team

Driving to Stade de France

If you are heading to the French capital for a game at the national stadium, there are some important tips for all drivers.

If you’re driving through Paris, the stadium is located at the crossroads of the A1 and A86.

Look for the signs stating 'A1 – Exit Two, Stade de France' or 'A86 – Exit Nine, Saint-Denis – La Plaine Stade de France'.

Numbers on French road signs will look like this 'A86 - n°9'.

It is important to note that the stadium has a limited amount parking, so unless you’ve booked a space, it will be very hard to park.

The best option is to park your vehicle elsewhere in the city, and take public transport to the venue.

The venue may also be home to Paris Saint-Germain in the future.

Bordeaux

Name: Stade de Bordeaux
Capacity: 42,060
Home team: FC Girondins de Bordeaux

Driving to Stade de Bordeaux

Based in the south west of France, the city of Bordeaux is a popular tourist destination. If you are heading there from Paris, you’ll take the A10 south and the stadium is in the northern part of the city.

You’ll then need to turn right onto the A630 – and it is then only a short journey to the stadium.

If you are heading to the city from the south, follow the A62 (from Toulouse) or the A63 from Biarritz.

There are multiple options for parking at the stadium, however, these will need to be booked ahead of arrival. There are limited spaces available.

If you are not planning on parking at the venue, there is a park and ride available for around €15 – and is just a short journey to the venue. This can be booked with Transports Bordeaux Metropole.

Alternatively, if you are staying in the city, there are also trams and shuttle buses available from the centre.

Lille

Name: Stade Pierre Mauroy (Decathlon Arena)
Capacity: 50,096
Home team: LOSC Lille

Driving to Stade Pierre Mauroy

This unique stadium can be configured for multiple sports as one half of the pitch can be raised to slide over the other.

If you are travelling to the stadium, then it is advised to take public transport. The yellow and red metro lines both stop at the venue. They are available from the town centre’s main transport hub.

There are also four bus services – Line 18, Line La Carolle, Line B68 and the Handipole Service.

However, if you are taking the car to the stadium. Follow the signs for "Grand Stade" or "Stade Pierre Mauroy".

The stadium is situated just off the N227, M596 and M146 motorways. These are just off the main A1 and A27 motorways in the south east of the city.

Parking opens 3 ½ hours before kick-off, and you will need to look for three parking options for the general public:

  • A2 – Access by Rue de la Volonté
  • C1 – Access by Road M146, going Southeast
  • B1 – Access by Chemin du Trotte-Menu and Boulevard du Tournai

Lyon

Name: OL Stadium
Capacity: 59,186
Home team: Olympique Lyonnais

Driving to OL Stadium

The stadium in Lyon only opened in 2016, but has played host to many international sporting events for the French national teams for multiple sports.

A specific transport pass is available for this venue, which will give access to the stadium shuttles between La Soie and the stadium, and to park-and-ride locations called Eurexpo and Panettes parkings (costing around €5).

However, if you are planning to drive to the venue, follow A46 and turn off at the sign for the ‘OL Stadium’, and look for general parking zones. The stadium isn’t far from the main A road.

When you are travelling through the city towards the venue, look for interchange n°7 – and take the third exit of the roundabout on Avenue Simone Veil. Look for parking zones P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, and P7bis.

If you are looking for another parking zone – P56 – then after finding interchange n°7, take the exit towards Avenue Jean Jaurès and take a right turn.

Marseille

Name: Stade de Marseille / Stade Vélodrome
Capacity: 67,847
Home team: Olympique de Marseille

Driving to Stade de Marseille

If you are travelling by car, then there is a park and ride available throughout the city with La Métropole – Aix-Marseille-Provence.

But if you are driving to the ground, there is a very limited number of parking spaces available.

Head for Rue Raymond Teisseire or Impasse de l'Ola, and follow the signs for parking. This will need to be pre-booked.

Metro and buses do run to and from the city centre – and are a great option for visitors.

Based in the south of the city and only a short trip from the seafront, you’ll enter the city through the A50, D8N or D559 motorways.

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Nantes

Name: Stade de la Beaujoire
Capacity: 35,520
Home team: FC Nantes

Driving to Stade de la Beaujoire

If you are driving to any of the games in Nantes, you need to look out for signs to the stadium or to Route de Saint-Joseph. The stadium is located on the eastern ring road of Nantes (exit 40). Follow directions for Porte de la Beaujoire.

Nantes is a six-hour car journey from Calais, and will take you through the A16, A28, A11 and A87 motorways. The stadium is in the southern part of the city.

However, there are multiple trams and buses available from the city centre, heading to Beaujoire or Batignolles. There is also a direct shuttle service from the airport.

When you arrive at the venue look for signs for S3, PMR, P+R, B1, B2, B3, B4, B1, B2, B3, or B4 for general parking.

Nice

Name: Stade de Nice
Capacity: 35,983
Home team: OGC Nice

Driving to Stade de Nice

If you are driving to the stadium this season, follow routes for Avenue Pierre de Coubertin, and turn right at the signage. Areas P4 or P5 will be the general parking zones.

Driving from Calais to Nice? The journey to the south of France takes about 12 hours – so make sure you are prepared for a long journey.

Head south and join the A8 motorway as soon as you can. This will take you directly to the stadium at junction 52.

For those staying in the city on match days, tram lines two and three ending at Saint-Isidore from the centre will go directly to the stadium four hours before kick-off.

The trams leave from Theirs or Central stations. There is also a direct line from the airport.

Trains are also available on the Provence (stop at Saint Isidore) and Regional lines (stop at Nice Saint Augustin).

Saint-Etienne

Name: Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
Capacity: 42,152
Home team: AS Saint-Etienne

Driving to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard

Based in Saint Etienne, the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard has hosted many sporting events for the French in multiple sports.

One oldest stadiums in the country, it originally opened in 1931.

If you are driving, then head for the Avenue Manual Fernandez, and take the route to Boulevard Roger Rocher. Parking will be signposted, but very limited.

The stadium is a five-hour car ride south from Paris, where you will travel along the A10 and the A71.

Public transport services are plentiful, with trams from the city centre or Saint-Étienne Châteaucreux.

There are also trains available, which can be booked through the SNCF.

A park and ride is available from Clermont-Ferrand and in Lyon.

Toulouse

Name: Stadium De Toulouse
Capacity: 33,103
Home team: Toulouse Football Club

Driving to Stadium De Toulouse

Toulouse is seven hours south of Paris, and is very short car journey to Spain. The main motorway leading into the city from the north is the A20, which stretches for hundreds of miles.

A metro service is available from the centre, where fans can get off at either Arenes (Line A) or Saint Michel (Line B).

There are also trams or buses to areas that are a 10-20 minute walk to the venue. The closest stops are Croix de Pierre or Recollets d’Aste.

There are no official parking spaces available at the stadium.

If you are ever in need of a new way to get to the venue, check out the RAC Route Planner.

Are you heading to any of the venues this year? Or have you visited these in the past? If so, how was the experience and what tips would you give to fellow travellers? Leave your comments below.

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*Price is based on European Comprehensive breakdown cover for a 14-day trip, in a vehicle up to 1 year old.

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