After an impressive victory earlier this week, the Irish team can look forward to taking part in the 15th UEFA European Championship 2016 in France. This exciting tournament will take place from 10th June until 10th July and a record 24 sides will contest in ten beautiful host cities across the country.
The draw determining which nation will play who and where will take place on 12th December. Each nation will play in three different cities so there’s plenty of opportunity for visitors to experience what beautiful France has to offer.
1. Lille: Lille is the city where traditional and contemporary mix to spectacular effect. This former industrial hub has reinvented itself without losing any of its rich heritage.
2. Lens: The town of Lens-Liévin is enjoying a new lease of life as the home of Louvre-Lens, the first out-of-town museum of The Louvre, which opened in 2012, and a wealth of new cultural and community sites.
3. Lyon: The gastronomic capital of France, Lyon offers outstanding museums and a dynamic cultural life, from the Renaissance Old Town to the brand new Confluence district.
4. Saint-Etienne: A former industrial city famous for its ribbons, bicycles and firearms, 21st century Saint-Etienne is now renowned for its cultural activities.
5. Marseille: France’s second largest city, Marseille has throbbed with life since the Greeks first came ashore in 600BC. Cycle along the coast or catch public transport to visit the famous calanques – rocky inlets with hidden beaches and bright blue water.
6. Saint-Denis: 10 km outside the centre of Paris, Saint-Denis is best known to sports fans as home of the Stade de France. The town’s towering basilica is a must-see too – the last resting place for some 75 French kings and queens.
7. Bordeaux: An UNESCO World Hertiage site, Bordeaux’s incredible restaurants, neoclassical architecture and buzzing culture make it a top destination for holiday-makers.
8. Toulouse: Known as La Ville Rose – the Pink City – because of its brick-built buildings, Toulouse is a vibrant southern city with a cultural scene to match. Stroll the towpath beside the Canal du Midi and take a cruise on the river Garonne on your visit.
9. Paris: The French capital needs no introduction and is home to some of Europe’s best known monuments and museums like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre.
10. Nice: Whatever you’re looking for, Nice has it – in abundance. Travel highlights include watching the sunset from the stylish Promenade des Anglais and exploring the breath-taking Old Town.
The following airlines and ferry companies offer direct travel options from Ireland to France:
All UEFA host cities apart from Lille, Lens and Sainte-Etienne have direct flight connections from Ireland. Lille and Lens are best reached via Paris Beauvais airport and Sainte-Etienne can be reached via Lyon.
For more information on France, visit http://www.france.fr/
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