Beautiful Bordeaux; a sophisticated South-Western French city famed for its wine, and site of one of the greatest Irish victories of all time (well, if we beat Belgium on June 18th that is). Here’s what you need to know about getting there and what to do when you get there.
At a glance
If you are driving from Paris, you have some drive ahead of you. But when you get there you won’t be disappointed, especially if you’re fond of a glass or two of wine. As well as producing 800m bottles a year, it’s a classy city renowned for its architecture – so win, lose or draw, there is plenty to see and do after the match.
Driving from Paris: It’s a 585KM drive via the A10, which should take around five and a half hours.
Ferry: Rosslare Europort to Cherbourg with Stena Line then onto Bordeaux by car via the A10. It’s a 694KM drive, which should take around six hours and 40 minutes.
Alternatively, Cork to Roscoff with Brittany Ferries and then onto Bordeaux by car via the N12 and A10. It’s a 670KM drive that should take around six and a half hours.
Hiring a car?
Baffling rates, confusing fuel and insurance policies and costly penalties: hiring a car in Europe isn’t always straightforward. So if you’ve decided to fly to France and hire a car, here’s a useful guide to hiring a car in Europe, from Liberty Insurance.
The 42,115 capacity stadium is located north of the city, roughly 8KM from the centre. If you’re driving, take exit 4 / 4a / 4b from the A630 towards Parc des Expositions/Bx Lac. There is plenty of parking near the stadium. The stadium is also accessible by tram route C. The city is served by three tram lines and 65 bus routes, and visitors can also use BatCub boats as a shuttle service on the river Garonne, and the VCub hire bike scheme. More information on public transport in Bordeaux here.
Eating and drinking
Bordeaux nightlife is great craic. There are a few roadside fast-food restaurants near the stadium, but overall there’s not much to do around the stadium. Eating and drinking is therefore best done in the city centre before or after the game. There you will find casual bistros, fine dining and excellent café-bars.
Where to stay
There are a number of hotels near the stadium. The ibis budget Le Lac and Campanile Bordeaux Nord are good options for those on a budget, while the Novotel Bordeaux Lac, Mercure Bordeaux Lac, and Pullman Bordeaux Lac are good options if you have a bit more to spend. You will find a wide range of hotels in Bordeaux’ city centre, including Phillipe Stark’s trendy budget hotel, Mama Shelter. Check Kuoni, the official accommodation agency for the tournament.
Fun fact to impress the lads with
French ambassador Jean Pierre Thébault has described Bordeaux as the “most Irish city in France” particularly in the era of the ‘wild geese’ emigrants who fled Ireland for France at the end of the 17th century.
If you’re taking your own car, before you go check with your insurance provider to make sure you have the minimum cover you need to drive in France. At Liberty Insurance, all their motor policies give you the minimum cover you need by law to use your car in any EU country, including France, for up to 93 days.Get a car insurance quote in minutes. And if you missed it, check out their comprehensive guide to driving to the Euros here, covering everything you need to know about driving in France.
Ready for the next match?