Ireland v Italy: Wednesday 22 June, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
Lille is a splendid Northern French city with Flemish roots. But on June 22nd it will temporarily turn Irish and Italian, when the two teams battle it out in their last group E game.
If you’re lucky enough to be supporting our boys in France, here’s how to get there and what to do when you arrive.
At a glance
At the other end of the country, Lille is some drive from Bordeaux. Near the Belgium border, Lille is a cosmopolitan city with a strong Flemish flavour. The largest city in the North, it has suffered many sieges through the centuries. If you have time before or after the match, the picturesque Grand Place, reminiscent of Brussels or Amsterdam, and the art museum are two must-sees.
Driving from Bordeaux: It’s an 800km drive via the A10, which should take around seven hours and forty minutes.
By ferry: Rosslare to Cherbourg with Stena Line then onto Lille by car via the A29. It’s a 510km drive, which should take around five hours.
Cork to Roscoff with Brittany Ferries and then onto Lille by car via the A29. It’s a 729km drive, which should take around seven 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 50,000 capacity Stade Pierre-Mauroy is 7km from the city centre, accessible via Metro line 1 (stops Cité Scientifique and 4 Cantons), or line 2, (station Les Près) and then a free shuttle bus to the stadium. Lille has an automated Metro system, two tram lines and an extensive bus system.
More on Lille’s public transport here.
Eating and drinking
You won’t be stuck for a good feed or a few drinks. Lille is famed for its bars and bistros, referred to locally as ‘estaminets’. Head to rues Barre, Bouchers, Basse and Royale.
Where to stay
Lille is small so wherever you stay you won’t be too far away from the action. B&B Lille Grand Stade and the Park Inn Lille Grand Stade are right next to the stadium and get good reviews. The Inter Hotel Ascotel is another decent option only slightly further away. Finally, Stars Hotel Villeneuve d’Ascq and Premiere Class Lille Est are two budget options.
Check Kuoni, the official accommodation agency for the tournament.
Fun fact to impress the lads with
The city only became French when Louis XIV captured it from Spanish rule in 1667.
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.