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kerouac Feb 10th, 2016 09:35 AM

Euro 2016 Football championship
Most people in Europe are well aware of this upcoming event, but people on other continents may not know that France is hosting the UEFA football (soccer) championship from 10 June to 10 July. This will make a HUGE amount of difference to visitors during that period. For example, some hotels have raised their rates by 500%. And of course, in any case hotel rooms (or apartment rentals) will be hard to find.

7 matches will be played at the Stade de France: 10, 13, 16, 22, 27 June and 3, 10 July.
5 matches will take place at the Parc des Princes: 12, 15, 18, 21, 25 June.

The "fan zone" will be on the Champ de Mars next to the Eiffel Tower and is designed for 120,000 visitors a day. There will be big screens there and also at Place de la République and Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad, as well as the esplanade of Gare Montparnasse.

Therefore, anybody visiting then might find conditions to be a bit different from usual. Most of the sports fans will also be doing tourist visits, so you will probably find things a lot more crowded than you had hoped. While price gouging at restaurants and bars is not really a Paris tradition (except at the hooker bars around Pigalle, which are in major decline), it will be important to be vigilant about this, too. Many fans will be "enhanced" by alcohol throughout the day and night, so be careful around them.

Random security is sure to be annoying but also extremely important.

For people going to other cities in France, the following cities will also be in a frenzy on certain days:
Lens, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice, Lille, Toulouse, Lyon, Saint Etienne.

historytraveler Feb 10th, 2016 09:57 AM

Thanks for the update Kerouac. I was aware of the events taking place through out France and made sure I booked our stays early. I didn't know about the specifics such as the use the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower. May have to rethink our visit there. Will check out your link to see which days will be affected.

hetismij2 Feb 10th, 2016 10:27 AM

This tells you who is playing where, when.

At least you won't be inundated with orange this year.

historytraveler Feb 10th, 2016 12:07 PM

Question: Will the "fan zones" and big screens be up just during the games in Paris or through out the series?

hetismij2 Feb 10th, 2016 12:30 PM

The screens will be up full time. They are far too complicated to take down. Besides which there are games during the day in other cities, that people will want to watch in the fan zones.

kerouac Feb 10th, 2016 12:40 PM


kerouac Feb 10th, 2016 10:49 PM


It's possible that I should have titled this thread "Paris Accommodation Nightmare" for more people to find out about the situation.

traveller1959 Feb 11th, 2016 01:18 AM

Certainly. Most Fodorites are not interested in football and do not click on this thread. You may post again under the other headline.

historytraveler Feb 11th, 2016 01:27 AM

Perhaps, I just booked Paris a couple of weeks ago and that was late for me. Usually do it at least 6 months in advance, but I think many Americans feel they can leave it to 6/8 weeks and be fine. In this case that may be a problem.

My problems will be trying to fit a lunch visit to the Eiffel Tower on the 28th which we may have to forget about and getting to/ from Montparnasse Station ( for trip to the Loire Valley ) on the 29th and July 1st. I noticed most of the games seem to be in the evening , so that may help.I'm sure we can figure a way to deal with it. It'll be my granddaughter's first trip to fingers crossed. ;)

traveller1959 Feb 11th, 2016 01:42 AM

You are lucky, historytraveller!

The city will be filled with fans in colourful jerseys and often faces painted and heads decorated in their national colours. You will find the football fans everywhere - at tourist attractions, in restaurants, on the streets.

The Eiffel Tower will be crowded as hell, so make your reservation ASAP (as far as I remember is there a separate elevator for the restaurant).

It will be very lively and colourful. Certainly a memorable experience for your granddaughter.

sfmasterG Feb 11th, 2016 02:46 AM

Alas this is directly during our time there. Could this really be affecting demand for my charming apartments that I want to rent? Seems odd that the same crowd could impact....

This is the OPPOSITE of what I would want in life and certainly in Paris. Love soccer, but giant tv's and hoards of (drunken) crowds... YIKES.

This helps solidify that I won't choose the apartment with the cute balcony but right at the steps of Sacre Coeur for what seems to be a cute enough little unit in Batignoles.

What other advice to avoid these crowds?

flanneruk Feb 11th, 2016 04:33 AM

"The city will be filled with fans in colourful jerseys and often faces painted and heads decorated in their national colours"


The influx is essentially about one football match every two-three days over a five week period. The stadia concerned will hold no more than they do whenever PSG is playing at home, or whenever there's a major football or rugby international (close to weekly during the season).

Unlike the Olympics (which reduced the number of tourists in London anyway), the Euros don't involve events at unusual locations, or supporters from anywhere over 90 minutes away by plane. But, like the Olympics, part of the reason hotel prices soar are the industrial quantities of hangers on (officials, journos, etc) who need posh accommodation in the country's most expensive city, and consequently reduce the space available for conventional tourists.

Paris is a real city, and the scale of fast intercity transport to get British, Dutch, German and Italian fans home the night of the match is now infinitely bigger than it was the last time the Euros were centred on a similar-scaled city (1996, in London).

The impact on daily life will be no greater than that of Euro 1996 in London.

Which was utterly imperceptible. Except for those with nothing better to do than go looking for middle-aged men staring at a big screen.

traveller1959 Feb 11th, 2016 08:14 AM

1996 is 20 years ago. Things have changed since them.

>>The stadia concerned will hold no more than they do whenever PSG is playing at home<<

There will be many more fans in the city than the stadium holds. Fans will gather in fan zones in front of large screens, in cafés and bars which will provide screens.

I speak from experience: During the World Cup of 2006 whole Germany was filled with fans from all countries. You met the fan groups everywhere - in trains, at airports, in the pedestrian zones, in the entertainment districts etc.

There are many more fans travelling than the stadia can hold. Many fans stay for two weeks or so with tickets for maybe only two games. Even outside the stadia, they know to enjoy themselves.

And the EURO is at least as attractive as the World Cup. We have now 24 participating nations and 51 games. Many fans will make the EURO 2016 a holiday.

I am afraid that not many Dutch fans will be in Paris.

BTW, the games start at 15:00, 18:00 or 21:00.

hetismij2 Feb 11th, 2016 08:23 AM

The Dutch will probably invade Germany instead :)

It will certainly be odd not to hear all the neighbours cheers and groans during matches. Nothing but silence from them. DH on the other hand has England to cheer on, plus Wales and Scotland, so it will be a non stop football fest here. I think I shall take the camper away for a month, but not to France.

buckeyevet Feb 11th, 2016 07:17 PM

I'm wishing I would have known about the football championships before we booked our flights and accomodations. It will be our first trip to Paris, and now I have visions of wild football fans and large screens harming my idyllic thoughts of a stroll around the Eiffel Tower.

sfmasterG Feb 11th, 2016 08:09 PM

I think it needs to be a February Tuesday at 5am to have a stroll around the eiffel tower be quietly idyllic.... and I'm no expert...

But easy enough to find some happy spots to stroll far from the crowds. Just nice to be prepared...

historytraveler Feb 11th, 2016 08:40 PM

Yes, being there during the football games is not an ideal situation for tourists. Luckily, I've been to Paris a number of times so reworking our itinerary a bit. We'll only be there a day and a half, but it looks like we may have to drop a tour of the Eiffel Tower. The additional security ( necessary and welcomed ) will still add to the problems of getting around. I hope flanneruk's assessment has some degree of accuracy.

traveller1959 Feb 12th, 2016 04:07 AM

buckeyevet, historytraveller and

I am afraid that flanneruk has no clue what will be happening in Paris.

Make the best of it. You will have the chance to participate in the largest European super fest! Paris will be filled with joyous, colourful, dancing, singing, celebrating people from all over Europe (except Netherlands). It will be fun!

On Champ de Mars, below the Eiffel Tower, the City of Paris will create a fan zone for 120,000 supporters IN ADDITION of those who go to the stadium:

Besides, there are many other places where supporters will gather.

If you want to get a visual impression how it will look like click on the picture on this website which shows the fanzone in Berlin:

BTW, although the EURO 2016 will be in France, in many other European cities there will be large screens and fanzones during the games.

kerouac Feb 12th, 2016 10:53 PM

On the bright side (for people who like that sort of thing), the <i>Grande Roue</i> at Place de la Concorde is remaining in place this year due to the football event.

kerouac Feb 15th, 2016 02:27 PM

Keep in mind that there will be a lot of last minute cancellations as various teams are eliminated.

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