European Football Championships, it doesn’t mean something for everyone. Let me guess: Euro for Europe and 2016 for this year… OK, and? Oh… You’re talking about football? Don’t make that face. If, like me, you’re not interested in football, use the tournament as a great opportunity to travel to the various cities where matches will be played, with your beloved (or you best friend, otherwise). Once you’re there, it’s up to you to strategically dodge the matches and to set off in search of unusual activities on offer in the city instead. We’ve come up with a little selection for you. But shhh… You’ve not heard it from us!
And if you wanted to see Paris from a different perspective? A quick drink OK, but on a self-drive boat, yes please! Marin d’eau douce offers an original service that’s a change from Parisian cafes. From the Canal de l’Ourcq, you’ll climb aboard a little electric boat that can seat up to 5 people, and set off to explore the Bassin de la Villette, as far as the Canal Saint-Denis. Perfect for a romantic cruise, or a trip with friends or family… And what about a drink? On request, each boat can be fitted out with a table for a little floating picnic. You’ll have the option to bring your own food, but a packed lunch service is also available.
What? : Marin d’eau douce – Self-drive boats in Paris Where? : Canal de l’Ourcq Metro? : Jaurès How much? : from €38 per hour for a 5-person boat, €47 for 7 people and €54 for 11 people. Website? : www.marindeaudouce.fr Tel.? : 00 33 (0)6 52 05 13 27
It’s impossible to stay in Lyon without visiting its old town. Old Lyon will delight many with its authentic and historic spirit… You’ll also take a little trip back in time wandering its narrow streets… Explore a little… You can also discover Old Lyon from the inside… Enter and lose yourself among the passageways of Old Lyon. There are nearly 200 of them! You’ll be amazed by the staircases, little courtyards and the pink stone that is so characteristic of the city. As you leave, indulge your sweet tooth with the best praline tarts in the city or even a drink at La Tour Rose, unless you decide to stay and sleep there…
Where? Metro Saint Paul Website? http://www.vieux-lyon.org/traboules-vieux-lyon_f02500.htm
Fancy a spot of relaxation with a stunning view over the rooftops of Bordeaux and the Grand Théâtre? Then treat yourself to a little wellness break in the spa of the Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux. The roof terrace of the Nuxe spa is the perfect spot to sip chilled juice after enjoying a fantastic spa treatment in the Bains de Léa.
If you opt for a day’s escape, you’ll also have access to the Spa with its swimming pool, fitness club and rooftop jacuzzi overlooking the city.
How much? Day escape €70 Where? 2-5 Place de la Comédie 33000 Bordeaux When? The Spa Nuxe Les Bains de Léa is open every day from 9.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Website? http://www.ghbordeaux.com/fr/index.php#les-bains-de-lea.php
Nice Car gives you the chance to explore Nice with the wind in your hair. Imagine connected little cars… in the form of smiling sharks the colour of the city’s azure skies! This little audio-guided 3-wheeled vehicle will allow you to explore the French Riviera in a very novel way. It’s fun to drive and you’ll have a great time (without a driver) winding your way around the city on your own, discovering surprises. The GPS will guide you throughout your journey in the language of your choice.
How much? from €35 per hour Where? 2 rue Halévy – 06000 Nice When? Open every day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Website? http://www.nice-car.fr/
Marseille, its port, its little streets, its museums… why not take advantage of staying in the city to visit Le Corbusier’s Cité radieuse? Opened in 1947, this new housing system made its mark on the architectural history of the time with its innovation. The building is open for visits.
How much? xixix Where? 80 boulevard Michelet, 13008 Marseille When? free visits to the building every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guided tours Tuesday to Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.: €10. Website? http://www.marseille-citeradieuse.org/
The little brother of the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Musée Louvres-Lens will amaze you with its semi-permanent exhibitions which give a taster of the Louvre’s collections. This cultural space, built on the UNESCO-listed former mines in Lens, also hosts superb temporary national or international exhibitions.
Where? 99 Rue Paul Bert, 62300 Lens When? The museum is open every day except Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Last entry 5.15 p.m.) Website? http://www.louvrelens.fr/
In the mood for sport? Then the Granhòta leisure and discovery centre in Toulouse awaits!! Urban games are on the agenda so you can explore the old town from an original point of view. Spend two hours exploring the pink city, visiting must-see cultural sites and unusual places. Or would you prefer outdoor leisure and sporting activities? Head for the surrounding area around Toulouse in the Midi-Pyrénées to try canoeing-kayaking, treasure hunts and orienteering, or even climbing.
How much? Urban rally from €9, treasure hunts from €16… Where? 65 Allée Maurice Sarraut, 31300 Toulouse Website? www.granhota.fr Tel.? 00 33 (0)6 30 38 13 30
Fan of contemporary music? Head for the FIL. A mainstay of Saint-Étienne nightlife, this concert venue in the neighbourhood of Le Marais puts on the hottest gigs all year round. The name of this hot spot is a nod to the city’s ribbon industry. It includes a club, a large auditorium, as well as three rehearsal studios and an area for documentaries and training in the creative arts.
Where? Le FIL – 20 boulevard Thiers 42000 SAINT-ÉTIENNE Website? http://www.le-fil.com/
Lille like you’ve never seen it before! Sitting in a 2CV. Tradi’Balade offers 4 original guided tours (30, 45 mins, 1 hour and 1.5 hours) with a driver/tour guide. An experience that is both unforgettable and unmissable, exploring the history and architecture of Lille, brought to life through anecdotes. Nice weather? You can make the most of your old convertible. And if you fancy, you can enjoy foodie treats after the tour (tastings of local products, northern beers, chocolate, artisanal waffles or champagne!).
How much? 3 people: €15/pers. / 2 people: €20/pers. / 1 person: €35 / Free: <7 years / 50%: <11 years Duration: 30 minutes (longer tours are also available on the site). Where? 1 Bis rue des Trois Couronnes Lille. Meeting point: Place Rihour When? Tours every day from 9 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. Website? http://www.tradibalade.com/visiter-lille-en-2cv/
Tel.? 00 33 (0)3 20 51 10 29
Learn about street art! Head for Saint-Denis, a hot spot for urban art, to set off in search of these street artists, who leave their artistic mark on the area. During the tours, you can discover different styles, such as sticker art, traditional or stencil graffiti, or even street poster art and sculpture. The Plaine Commune area has become an open-air museum! Guided walks are often organised by the tourist information office, as well as urban cruises along the Canal Saint-Denis.