The 2018 World Cup final will be played on Sunday between France and Croatia and the French nation is absolutely ecstatic. If you’re lucky enough to be on French turf during this historic weekend, there’s a whole list of lively places where you can kick back and enjoy the 21st World Cup.
Paris is the liveliest place to be in France during the World Cup since it’s the capital city. During the semi-final, more than 20,000 people gathered at the City Hall to watch the match upon a giant screen, sparking an incredible sense of community within the crowds.
Now that France has made it through to the grand final, after France’s victory against Belgium on Tuesday night, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has confirmed that a giant screen will be erected underneath the Eiffel Tower at the Champ de Mars.
If you’re planning to attend the biggest party that Paris has hosted in decades, then make sure to arrive well in advance as there will be tens of thousands of people trying to find a good spot. There will also be security checks before you’re allowed to enter the fan zone and queues, likely.
It’s worth being prepared for the fact that, once the game has finished, all the metro stations around the Eiffel Tower will be almost impossible to use because of the crowds. With this in mind, you could plan to call a taxi or order an Uber instead, preferably in advance.
There’s also Rennes, the capital of the region of Brittany in northwestern France, which is celebrating the World Cup final in full force. Like Paris, the city has installed a giant screen on the Charles-de-Gaulle plaza, where up to 25,000 people will be able to enjoy the match.
After the semi-final victory, the streets erupted with celebration and so, the capital city isn’t the only place to go wild. You’ll still need to arrive early though, with gates opening from 2:15 pm on Sunday (the final starts at 5 pm).
One of the most unique places in France to marvel at a giant outdoor screening of the final would be in Caen, Normandy. The city will broadcast the match on a 30 m² screen in Ornano Park, near The Ladies’ Abbey in Caen (l’Abbaye aux Dames de Caen) on Sunday at 5 pm.
The historic landmark offers an awe-inspiring backdrop to a historic occasion. After all, this is the first time France has reached the final since 2006. The park will be open to the public from 3:30 pm.
If you prefer to be inside to watch the match, with food and drink on tap, then there are many venues you can choose from.
It was a heartbreaking near-miss for England when they were beaten by Croatia on Wednesday night. But England fans can still come together and cheer on the winning teams during the final and the best place to do that would be at one of the fully-fledged English pubs that have set themselves up on French soil.
Admittedly, they’re a little hard to come by in France, given the abundance of French brasseries, but if you’re in Paris, then The Lions is a great bet, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement. The Bombardier, located in the famous Latin Quarter, offers another quintessentially English pub experience, where you can sip a range of traditional draught beers and Cask Ale.
Lyon is one of the most popular French cities at this time of year, after Paris, and King Arthur is a well-loved English pub. Their award-winning beers are brought straight from the Eagle Brewery in Bedford, England and shipped to France.
Wherever you choose to watch the World Cup final, inside or out, there will be incredible celebrations across France if they end up beating Croatia.