Another Six Nations campaign is only a matter of days away for the Irish rugby team, and this year Joe Schmidt and co. face two trips away from Dublin as they take on France in Paris on the opening weekend (Saturday, 3rd February) and England in the final game of the tournament (on Saturday, 17th March). So, with a trip to Paris to take on Les Bleus just around the corner, here are six things you should consider doing if you are planning a Six Nations weekend break to Paris.
Six Things to do in Paris for Six Nations Weekend
1. Explore the Jardin du Luxembourg
Paris is home to several picturesque gardens and parklands, but if you’re looking for an early morning stroll before heading off to watch the match, look no further than the Jardin du Luxembourg. The second-largest park in the city, you can easily spend a few hours strolling through these stunning gardens. Established in the 17th Century, these beautifully landscaped garden contain hundreds of statues, monuments and fountains, providing plenty of great photo opportunities as you go. The gardens are also located within walking distance of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Panthéon building in the city’s Latin Quarter.
2. People Watch at the Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris, and come match day it is awash with colour as French and Irish fans mingle before, during and after the game. With the Champs-Élysées nearby and Tuileries Gardens to the east of the square, you are well placed to explore some of the popular sights and sounds of Paris when you’re done people watching at the Place de la Concorde.
3. Experience the Seine Boat Tour
Whether it’s by land or water, on foot or four wheels, there are lots of ways to explore the many iconic sights and sounds of Paris (and even the many hidden gems in the city). Why not explore the city at your own leisure by enjoying the popular Seine Boat Trip, where you can hop on and off at sites at your own leisure? With nine stops along the way, the boat trip not only allows you to enjoy the sights along the River Seine, but you’ll also stop at some of the city’s most famous tourist spots including the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, the Hôtel de Ville and the Louvre Museum.
4. Discover the Works of Picasso
Located on Rue de Thorigny, the Picasso Museum in Paris is home to arguably the finest collection of art from Spanish artist Pablo Picasso anywhere in the world. While the Louvre has some stunning collections, the Picasso Museum is much easier (and quicker) to get into, while the first Sunday of every month it is free to enter – good news if you’re visiting Paris for the rugby on the first weekend in February. With thousands of pieces on display, prepare to be amazed by Picasso.
5. A Trip to the Eiffel Tower
High on the list for many when visiting Paris, if you’re arriving in the city for the 6 Nations, or even planning an early Valentine’s break to the city of love, be sure to pencil in a visit to this iconic 1,000-foot building. Climb atop the Eiffel Tower and marvel at a view like no other in Paris, and if you enjoy dining with a view, the tower is home to two popular restaurants, although booking in advance is required.
6. Watch a Top 14 Rugby Game
While the French Top 14 rugby league is taking a short break for the first week of Six Nations fixtures, a domestic rugby game is something to consider catching when visiting Paris. One of the country’s most prominent rugby sides plays out of the city (Stade Francais), with their stadium – the Stade Jean-Bouin – located next to the much larger Parc des Princes which is used for international rugby games. Soak in the atmosphere of match day near these stadiums, and enjoy a tour of both stadiums to get an idea of the impact of rugby in this sports-mad city.
What Are Your Top Tips For Visiting Paris?
Are you a regular visitor to Paris for Six Nations rugby? Share your top tips for exploring this wonderful city with us below. Where are your hidden gems and which Irish pubs in Paris are the best to soak in the atmosphere during match day?
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