AS OF 30TH JULY BOTH ULSTER RUGBY AND ERC RUGBY ARE SHOWING THE STADE FRANCAIS V ULSTER MATCH AT VENUE “TO BE ADVISED”.
IT MAY BE PLAYED IN PARIS OR BRUSSELS
A trip to Paris is always worthwhile whatever the reason but if it’s coupled with a rugby game it’s a double win.
Having said that it’s not exactly a rugby hotbed and it can be expensive but if you are prepared to forego your usual four and five star hotels and are prepared to try a few pubs and restaurants off the tourist trail it is possible to have a good time without breaking the bank.
Make an attempt to speak French while you’re there (no matter how bad it is) and you’ll find the locals very helpful.
How to get there.
Aer Lingus and easyJet both fly to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. Once you get there make your way to the RER Train station and make your way into the city centre. If you’re going to be travelling around a lot it’s generally worthwhile to pick up a Paris Metro Pass for the required number of days. Paris CDG requires a 6 zone pass and this can be a bit expensive so unless you’re staying in the outer reaches of Paris it’s generally cheaper to buy a single ticket into Paris and get a 3 zone pass.
If you’re happy to do a bit of travelling either side of your flight then Ryanair flight from Dublin to Paris Beauvais is usually a cheap option. Beauvais Airport is located approximately 80 Km from the centre of Paris. There is no rail service from the airport but there is a bus service. Journey time is approximately 1 hour. Cost is €13.00.
How to get tickets.
It has not been a problem in recent years to get tickets for this match. Ulster Rugby will have an allocation but if you go directly to Stade Francais it is likely that there will be less expensive options available.
How do you get to the ground.
Stade Francais play most of their games at Stade Jean Bouin in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, just across the street from the much larger Parc des Princes. The best bet is to get one of the following metros
- Metro Porte d’Auteuil – line 10
- Metro Porte de Saint-Cloud – line 9
We usually head out to the ground fairly late as there doesn’t seem to be a lot happening out there but there are a couple of nearby bars.
Les Deux Stades – Just down the road to the right of the main entrance. Usually fairly busy and it tends to close up shortly before kick off.
Les Princes – A 5 – 10 minute stroll from the ground. Owned by Christophe Juillet and Christophe Dominici, it’s a very rugby friendly bar, and their meals and drinks are both reasonably priced.
The Club Bar – Just inside the main entrance to the right. It is reasonably priced but the service can be a bit slow as they don’t seem to ever have enough staff on to cope with the thirsty Ulster supporters. Note that this is the only outlet in the stadium that serves alcohol. The Heineken served in stalls around the ground in all games in France is strictly alcohol free.
Where to stay.
As one of the worlds most visited cities there are thousands upon thousands websites advertising Paris hotels. Prices, availability and standards tend to change quite regularly so we’re not going to recommend any we’ve stayed in before.
We tend to prefer somewhere in the 4th or 5th arrondissement but it is well worth your while to shop around for deals. Note that hotel rooms are generally a lot smaller and a lot more expensive than what you get in the UK.
After the match.
It’s well worth hitting the Club Bar for a bit of a sing song after the game. We’ve always found it good crack and the French supporters are usually keen enough to join in. It is one of the least expensive places to drink in Paris and in the past the owner of Stade Francias has set up visiting supporters drinks.
After an hour or so it’s head back into Paris and get lost in the crowds. I do recommend that you travel in fairly large groups (6 – 12) and negotiate the price of drinks when you get into a bar – particularly if it’s one you are going to use frequently during your visit. In most bars we’ve been able to negotiate a substantial discount for drink and after a few rounds most of the owners are happy to throw in a free round of shots or free snacks.
Disclaimer. This guide is about our own personal preferences. Our preferences may or may not correspond to yours. We do not stand over anywhere that we recommend beyond the fact that we have enjoyed them in the past. If there is anything you disagree with or if there is anything you think we should include please contact us here.