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Saint-Denis: the second Fanzone in Paris

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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.   Fanzone 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 market 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 Chez Rosette 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

Paris Fanzone in Champ de Mars 2016

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France’s capital is home to some thrilling football matches this summer, so make the most of your trip to Paris with our handy guide. As the capital of France, Paris will play host to some incredible football matches this summer. Expect to see action from the likes of Turkey, Croatia, Romania, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria and Germany, to name just a few. Whether you’re travelling with a group or with family, Paris has a huge mix of sights, from galleries to gardens and theme parks. Home to the iconic Disneyland Paris, you might want to extend your trip and spend some time in this incredible resort. The Champ de Mars at the base of the Eiffel Tower will host the official fanzone in Paris © Image by Flickr user Hugh Millward Fanzone This summer, Paris will boast two football fanzones, with the main event taking place at the Champ de Mars. A beautiful stretch of park at the base of the Eiffel Tour, the Champ de Mars is big enough to hold 120,000 football fans, with plenty of giant screens so that everyone can see the matches taking place. The iconic park will also feature a stage, so you’re sure to catch some entertainment while you’re there. What to do The Louvre If you've come all the way to Paris for the football, you may as well make the most of the city's culture at the Louvre, found smack-bang in the middle of Paris. It's an amazing institution holding some of the world's finest artistic works, the most famous of which includes Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Over the years, the historic palace has been extended with wings such as the steel and glass pyramid and the “Richelieu Wing”. With so many parts to the museum, you'll need to decide what you want to see beforehand, while art enthusiasts can easily spend a whole day exploring! Even if you’re not big on art, Paris’ Louvre is worth a visit. © zoetnet The Latin Quarter Buzzing with live music, history and a great nightlife, Paris' Latin Quarter is famous for inspiring writers and artists over the years for its bohemian atmosphere. It was once the hub of student life in Paris (with Latin being the language most frequently spoken here back in 1257). Even though it's been gentrified over the years, it's still a great place to visit bars, bookshops, cafés and live music clubs. Its main street is Boulevard St-Michel, where you'll find shops and restaurants, while you can grab a post-football beer at a café down Place de la Sorbonne. The Latin Quarter by night is a lively hub of activity. © gadgetdude Where to eat Bouillon Chartier A legend in the Paris food scene, Bouillon Chartier has been serving customers great French food for over 100 years. One reason for its success is the quality of its food and the surprisingly reasonable prices. With so many restaurants in Paris to choose from, for traditional French cuisine this one is a must. Tables are laid in a huge listed building, while dishes include classics such as foie gras and escargot, accompanied by delicious herring, beef tartare and grilled lamb, amongst others. Prepare yourself for rich food and a good choice of French wine – the perfect end to a day of football. Le Coq Rico For more of a bistro, Le Coq Rico is an interesting restaurant focused on all things chicken. Located on the Montmartre butte, as soon as you walk into the restaurant you're welcomed by the smell of roasted chicken, which is enough to get any appetite going! Two or more people can feast on whole chicken with chips, macaroni cheese or seasonal vegetables, while starters include fried chicken wings with spiced cromesquis (a type of croquette). Rediscover chicken at Le Coq Rico in Paris. © Mon Œil Where to drink Monsieur le Zinc Monsieur le Zinc is a fun little bar serving beer and wine on tap, in a contemporary basement space. Customers load a card with the amount of their choice with one of the bartenders, before using the taps (creatively made using old gas pumps) to serve themselves a range of wines and beers. It's a twist on a self-serve bar, giving the customer an independent experience. Harry's New York Bar Historically Paris is known for being the favourite haunt of various celebrities, including footballers, artists and notable figures, with many of them frequenting Harry's New York Bar. Once the bar of choice of Ernest Hemingway, Rita Hayworth and Coco Chanel, Harry's has been serving delicious cocktails in its tasteful wood-panelled room since 1911. Check out the bar schedule for live piano and jazz performances. Be part of history at Harry’s New York Bar. © Frédéric de Villamil Where to stay Courtyard Paris Boulogne A 20-minute walk from the Parc des Princes stadium, which will host five football games throughout the tournament, the Courtyard Paris Boulogne is a spacious and clean hotel, with a distinctly European feel. There's a breakfast buffet and dinner options if you're looking to stay in, and the staff are friendly and welcoming with good spoken English. Travelling to Paris for the football? Use our guide to make the most of your trip. With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle you can get from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes. Make the most of your drive to Paris and the rest of France using our other travel guides

Family holiday in Paris

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Plan ahead to get the most from your visit. Paris is known for its bustling streets, chic cafés, rich history and beautiful art. But when visiting with the whole family, you'll need to ensure that everyone's tastes are catered for. Young children can be particularly difficult to please, as many museums involve long queues, especially during the busier seasons, and walking for long periods of time can prove tiring. With this in mind, creating a rough plan at the very least can be really helpful when visiting Paris. A river tour along the Seine can prove to be a relaxing way of seeing the city from a different viewpoint, and it might even be worth checking out the city's local walking tours. Disneyland Paris A trip Disneyland is at the top of the itinerary for many families. Today the park includes many different attractions within both the Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney Studios Park. In Walt Disney Studios, you can see how Disney animations are made, from the classics to the more modern computer-generated creations. Animagique shows stage performances of Disney stories, and even features the flying pink elephants from Dumbo's imagination. Older members of the family will enjoy Aerosmith's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster which blasts you from 0 to 100km/h in less than three seconds! The original Disneyland Park has rides and shows for all the family to enjoy, including the iconic Sleeping Beauty's Castle and the chance to launch into space in Space Mountain. After sunset, catch one of the evening shows and see the castle come alive with fireworks and lasers, as well as some of your favourite characters dancing across its walls. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris If your family is after a more realistic architectural wonder, then a visit to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is a must. One of the most iconic structures in Paris, many enjoy spotting the gargoyles that are dotted along the cathedral's exterior walls, and parents retell the fictional story surrounding it to young fans of The Hunchback of Notre Dame – the story of the deaf bell-ringer, Quasimodo, and the kind-hearted Esmerelda. A beautiful example of French Gothic architecture, the cathedral's features include large stained-glass windows, with the South Rose Window being the most memorable, the South Tower (387 steps to the top!) and an archaeological crypt. Whilst entry to the main cathedral is free, there are some small fees to enter the crypt and climb the South Tower. Food, glorious food! During the busy weekends, hundreds flock to the food markets in Paris to purchase quality local produce. If you're looking to cook your own food during your stay, food markets provide fantastic inspiration in the form of charcuterie, freshly baked breads, cheeses, fruit and veg, butchers and fish stalls. With a mouth-watering selection of foods to feast the eyes (and stomach) on, the Marché Beauvau-Aligre is the perfect spot for an entertaining stroll, but if you want to avoid the crowds then it's probably best to miss out a Sunday visit. One of Paris' most well-known covered markets, here you'll see the wonderful huge cheese wheels and warm treats from the local bakeries that make it a favourite destination for locals and visitors alike. The Rue Mouffetard is another wonderful street market to visit, overflowing with sweet stalls, fresh seafood and yet more delicious cheese! The fairly narrow street market delivers some of the best organic and fair-trade goods the city has to offer, and is dotted with small, inexpensive restaurants, serving up delicious local cuisine. It is possible to fall into the occasional tourist trap here, so be sure to poke your head into a few places before deciding on somewhere to eat. The best day of the week to visit Rue Mouffetard is a Saturday, when you'll still feel the hustle and bustle of a busy market without feeling too overwhelmed by the crowds. Discover the city's greener side The parks of Paris provide quiet havens away from the city centre, and can be a great place for a picnic, or for the kids to have a run around. Parc Monceau is located in Paris' 8th arrondissement, and is very accessible if you have a wheelchair, or are with young children. The original sections of the park were designed by painter and writer Louis Carrogis Carmontelle in the late 18th century. Some of its most beautiful features include a classical Roman colonnade and a mini Egyptian pyramid, and a stroll through the gardens will lead you past water lily-speckled ponds, and benches that line the pathways that weave between informally placed plants and bushes. For those willing to travel a little further out, the Parc des Buttes Chaumont lies to the north east of the city centre. A saunter through these gardens can be more of a strain if you're with children as the park has steeper slopes, but the panoramic city views are well worth it. The park boasts a lake, several hidden grottoes, waterfalls, temples and the grassy knolls are ideal for picnicking. Within the park, you'll also find a suspension bridge and a 98ft tall brick bridge, with a slightly unfortunate nickname (Suicide Bridge). The park is one of unmatched beauty in Paris, and on a sunny day is a must for visitors to the city. Wildlife, science and art Paris is bursting with museums and galleries to visit, and whilst a trip to the Louvre can be the cornerstone of any visit, a walk through the hushed corridors of an art gallery might not be suitable for all ages. The Menagerie due Jardin des Plantes is the zoo located in Paris' botanical gardens, and is a fantastic place to take the family for the chance to see all kinds of animals, from reptiles and spiders, to adorable red pandas, flamingos and orangutans. The Museum of Science and Industry (Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie) is a fantastic interactive experience and stands as Europe's biggest science museum. Educational and inspiring, the museum features an impressive selection of temporary and permanent exhibitions, covering everything from the human brain, to the science of light and colour. 'The Great Story of the Universe' takes visitors through time to discover the theories of how the universe began, and how the laws of physics were established. Lovers of art and culture should head to the Centre Georges Pompidou which has been hailed as the cultural hub of Paris, and contains the largest museum for modern art in Europe – the Musee National d'Art Moderne. Paris is a city like no other, and when travelling by car is roughly three hours from Eurotunnel Le Shuttle's Calais terminal. Book your journey

A literary tour of Paris

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In Hemingway's footsteps "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway was just one of the many writers to find his muse in Paris over the centuries - and whilst many aspiring authors still tinker with their work outside the city's many pavement cafés, just as many tourists are inspired to visit Paris for its rich literary heritage. We've rounded up the best and most interesting bars, restaurants and other destinations, all of which have attracted famous names in French and English literature - just right for a fascinating and evocative city break to Paris. Cafe Procope 13 Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, 75006 Paris' oldest restaurant, the Procope has been continuously open since 1686 - that's ninety years before America declared its independence! French philosophers such as Rousseau and Voltaire frequently dropped in for an exotic drink of coffee, whilst a few years later the restaurant was popular amongst Robespierre and other architects of the French Revolution. These days, however, the Procope steers clear of civil unrest in favour of hearty traditional cooking in beautiful period surroundings. And if you want to soak up some more atmosphere, Voltaire's own desk - a gift from Frederick the Great - has been preserved in one of the side rooms. Maison de Victor Hugo 6, Place des Vosges, 75004 Stately and serene, the Place des Vosges is a beautiful spot for a stroll at any time of the day or night. However, the south-eastern corner of the square holds a particular treat for visitors interested in literature - the grandly named Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée was for sixteen years the home of Victor Hugo, and his apartment has been preserved as a museum. The modest space (which is open Tuesday-Sunday) replicates Hugo's surroundings through the three crucial stages of his life - before, during and after his self-imposed exile during the reign of Napoleon II - as well as preserving the bedroom in which he died in 1885. Two temporary exhibitions are hosted by the museum each year to showcase Hugo's work as not only a writer, but a supremely talented illustrator. Les Deux Magots 6, Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006 Along with its principal rival, the nearby Café de Flore, Les Deux Magots is the archetypal Left Bank café. In its early days it played host to poets including Rimbaud and Mallarmé, but it really came into its own as a hub for two burgeoning inter-war movements in art and philosophy. André Breton presided over the bold young Surrealist artists, whilst existentialist writers gathered under the aegis of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Camus, Picasso and Bertolt Brecht all spent their time and money in Les Deux Magots too, cementing its reputation as a haven for all manner of creative types - although it's no longer cheap and cheerful enough for the current generation of aspiring artists! Shakespeare and Company 37 rue Bûcherie, 75005 Sylvia Beach's legendary English language bookshop and lending library on the rue de l'Odéon was a fixture of the Lost Generation. Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and others all spent time there, whilst James Joyce - whose masterwork Ulysses was first published by Beach - referred to it as Stratford-on-Odéon. The original bookshop closed during the Second World War and was never reopened (according to legend, the final straw was Beach's refusal to sell a German officer her last copy of Finnegans Wake), but its spiritual successor on rue Bûcherie has all the charm of the original and still welcomes penniless writers. Père Lachaise Cemetery 16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris is the city of love, the city of light… but all things pass, and no literary tour of Paris would be complete without a visit to the final resting place of so many of its great talents. Located in the 20th arrondissement, the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise attracts literary pilgrims from across the world, who come to pay their respects to luminaries including Molière, Marcel Proust and Oscar Wilde (whose tomb is now encased in glass to protect it from the lipsticked kisses of his disciples). Visit the grave of Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas, brave the permanent crowd of Doors fans that surrounds Jim Morrison's simple headstone - and then head back to the Rive Gauche for a restorative drink. It's what Hemingway would have done. Getting there and around When George Orwell returned to London from Paris, he travelled third class on a ship from Dunkirk to Tilbury, sharing the saloon with another forty-two impoverished voyagers. Happily, things have improved a lot since 1929! Eurotunnel Le Shuttle can whisk you and your car from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes, and from there it’s a gentle three-hour drive to Paris itself. You can choose to leave your car at a park’n’ride type carpark outside the city itself, or park it in a garage in Paris (although this is likely to cost €18-25 per day). It’s easier to navigate the city by public transport, especially if you’re not used to driving in Paris - but the beauty of taking a car is that you can set your own schedule. And there’s no luggage restriction on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, so you’ll have plenty of space for mementos - books, paintings or perhaps a case of wine - to help keep you inspired when you head for home. After all, Paris is a moveable feast. Book your journey

Getting around Paris

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Escape the tourists and travel like a local in Paris Along with London, New York and a few other global cities, Paris is a must-see destination regardless of your interests. Everybody is either desperate to visit or desperate to go back. But despite its enviable reputation as a hotspot for culture, shopping, architecture, nightlife and sport, the prospect of visiting a capital city can be daunting - especially if you don't speak the language or aren't used to getting around this urban area. Not only is Paris one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in the world - it's also one of the easiest to navigate. Getting around in Paris requires nothing more than a Paris Visite pass, this is a metro map which gives you an idea of where you want to go. Whether you're looking for high fashion in St-Germain, street culture in the Marais or an incredible view from Montmartre, the Paris public transport network will be your first port of call. Getting a ticket For people visiting Paris the best option is a Paris Visite pass, which is either available online or from train or Metro stations. These offer unlimited travel in either Zones 1-3 (central Paris and the inner suburbs) or Zones 1-5 (for those wishing to head further afield or travel to the airport). You can choose a pass valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days to suit your stay. If you're planning a longer and more travel-intensive trip, the Navigo card grants you unlimited travel for either a week or a month - prices start at approximately €20, plus €5 for the card itself, and you'll also need a passport-sized photograph Ways to travel in Paris Metro Like the London Underground, the Paris Metro network is formed of underground train lines that criss-cross the city. Unlike the London Underground, the Metro is fast, cheap and uncomplicated, making it the perfect option for savvy travellers. Composed of fourteen main lines and two small branch lines, the Paris Metro map is surprisingly easy to follow. Each line is simply numbered, and the direction of travel is described by the terminus towards which the train is travelling. Many of the stations are worth a visit in themselves - the Jules Verne-inspired Arts et Métiers, with its gleaming brass and rivets, is especially memorable. Bus There are fifty-eight bus lines operating in Paris, and with the recent introduction of new bus-only lanes on many of the city's busier roads it's a very convenient way to travel. Most bus services run from around 5:45am until 12:30am, with a few night buses covering the early morning. Generally speaking, it's best to be within walking distance of your hotel by midnight if you're relying on public transport. Taxi If you prefer a little privacy while getting around Paris, look no further. The city has more than 15,000 taxis, and with journeys costing around €1/km (depending on time of day) it's an inexpensive way to explore Paris. You can easily spot available taxis when the roof light is switched on and when travelling this light is then dimmed; go ahead and hail one, or ask the reception staff at your hotel to call a taxi firm if you prefer. If you're out and about and can't see a free car, the central taxi switchboard (+33 (0)1 45 30 30 30) is available 24 hours a day. RER If you're staying in an outlying district or fancy getting out of central Paris, the RER network runs larger trains deep into the suburbs. There are five lines named A to E, all of which connect up with the Metro once you're back in the centre. A, B and D all pass through the busy central station of Châtelet - Les Halles, which is a useful starting point if you're planning a Metro journey once you get to town. Vélib Paris is perfect for cycling, and the popular Vélib scheme means you don't have to worry about fitting bicycles onto your roofrack. Vélib, which inspired the similar cycle hire scheme in London, lets you pick up a sleek, unisex three-speed bike from one of hundreds of plug-in points, ride it to your destination and drop it off for the next rider. The first 30 minutes of each journey are free, but if you're planning on riding a lot then a one day pass is just €1.70 and a weekly pass is €8. Top Paris sights to visit by public transport Musée du Louvre Home to France's masterpieces, the Louvre is one of the most richly endowed museums on earth. You can fight through the crowds around the glass pyramid in the Cour Carrée - or travel by Metro and skip straight into the heart of the museum. Head to the Palais Royal Musé du Louvre stop (lines 1 and 7) and you'll see a passageway leading directly to the palace - no crowd-dodging necessary. Basilica Sacré-Coeur If you're feeling energetic, the hill leading to one of Paris' most memorable churches has more than 300 steps - it's the perfect way to justify a glass of beer or a cappuccino at the summit. Otherwise, hop on the Montmartre funicular railway to speed up to the Sacré-Coeur in under a minute, enjoying the view as you climb. Any Paris travelcard will cover your journey. Eiffel Tower, Pont de l'Alma, Place de la Concorde... If you fancy feeling like a real Parisian for an hour or so, catch the 42 bus towards Gare du Nord from the Eiffel Tower. It's a fraction of the cost of a tourist coach tour, and passes by many of Paris' most memorable sights. Keep an eye out for haute couture on Avenue Montaigne, the perfectly appointed Tuileries gardens and the gold statues atop the Opéra. The French Connection Paris is an incredibly well-connected city; but if having the flexibility to make your own plans is important to you, then the ease and accessibility of Eurotunnel Le Shuttle make it an ideal choice. It takes just 35 minutes to transport you and your car from Folkestone to Calais, which is less than three hours from Paris by car. Simply take the A16 autoroute, conveniently located less than two miles from the Eurotunnel terminal, and follow it all the way to the outskirts of Paris. On your way you'll pass through the idyllic Caps et Marais d'Opale natural park and the cathedral city of Amiens - there's plenty to see, don't forget that Paris is waiting for you! Book your journey

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