From football to art, we take a look at some of the best things to see and do in Saint-Dennis.
Whether you’ve been to France or not, you’re
more than likely to have heard of Saint-Denis, Paris, a
northern suburb in the City of Love, which is home to the famous Stade de France. This summer,
Saint-Denis will welcome visitors from all over the world for football matches
between the likes of France, Romania, Iceland and Austria. As well as the
football, visitors can enjoy ancient basilicas, modern shopping precincts and
more. Read on to find out what Saint-Denis has to offer.
Built in 1998, the Stade de France has long
been a top destination for football fans. Over the years, this magnificent
stadium has hosted some truly exciting matches, including their
World-Cup-winning match in ’98. This year, visitors to Saint-Denis can join the
football fanatics at the Stade or watch the matches from the designated
football Fanzone. The official Fanzone will be held near the Basilica of Saint-Denis,
with giant screens broadcasting the matches throughout the competition. The
whole suburb will be buzzing with a contagious atmosphere, but nowhere will it
be more exciting than at the Stade and the football Fanzone.
The Stade de France will be full of football fans. ©Flickr user Mickaël T.
What to do
Rue Jean Jaurès
Every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, Rue Jean Jaurès
is transformed into a bustling marketplace, with over 300 market stalls selling
everything from tasty treats to antique furniture. Rue Jean Jaurès is next to
the Basilica of Saint-Denis in the centre of town, so it’s the perfect way to
start your day exploring Saint-Denis. Pick up a crêpe and a Café au lait and
browse the many stalls – you’re unlikely to walk away empty handed.
Pick up a crêpe at the local market. ©Flickr user Marco Ooi.
Museum of Art and History
Not too far from the football Fanzone you’ll
find the Museum of Art and
History, one of Saint-Denis’ must-see attractions. The museum, which was
established in 1901, was previously located at the former Hôtel-Dieu, before
being moved to an ancient convent that once belonged to the Carmelites (a Roman
Catholic religious order) in 1981. The museum houses an impressive collection,
including an entire wing that is dedicated to the history of the Carmelites and
a many works by multitalented artist, Francis Jourdain. In addition to the
spectacular artworks and objects, the museum has a lovely garden which has been
designed to stimulate the five senses, with over 30 types of plants.
Where to eat
As you probably know, French cuisine is amongst
the best in the world and the abundance of fresh produce and artisan products
make dining out a real pleasure. There are plenty of great restaurants in
Saint-Denis, so you’ll never have trouble picking a spot to eat. Chez Rosette
is a popular choice, serving up fresh fish, hearty stews and, of course,
delicious desserts. Dig in!
Where to drink
The Frog and Rosbif
For delicious craft beer and tasty grub, The Frog and Rosbif is
the place to be. This centrally located pub has a massive range of in-house
beer, from crisp blonde lagers to dark ales. As well as the large selection of
beers, The Frog and Rosbif serves up American-style food. Think pastrami
sandwiches, mac and cheese and, of course, burgers.
Where to stay
Courtyard Paris Saint-Denis
While there are plenty of hotels to choose
from, the Courtyard Paris Saint-Denis is our top pick. This 4-star hotel has high-speed Wi-Fi,
complimentary breakfast and is only a short Metro ride from the football
Fanzone at the Basilica of Saint-Denis. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets
to the Stade de France, transport is easy for you too – you can walk there in
under 25 minutes!
Get to the football with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.
Drive to the football with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle – it takes just 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais.
For suggestions on where you can stop during your drive from Calais to Saint-Denis, read our driving guide here