Visiting Paris for the France Rugby World Cup 2023? This host city is not only home to the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, where ten matches, including the grand finals, will be held; it’s also one of the world’s most iconic capital cities and brimming with unmissable attractions. Plan a few days before or after match day to experience Paris and follow our insider tips to take in all the highlights.
Your France Rugby World Cup Itinerary: Paris
Day 1: Parisian Icons
Paris has enough iconic sights to fill an entire week, so there’s no time to waste. Start with a walk down the “world’s most beautiful avenue’, the tree-lined Champs-Elysées, stopping to marvel at the Arc de Triomphe, the Presidential Palace, and the Grand Palais and Petit Palais art museums.
Stroll around the vast Place de la Concorde and the adjoining Tuileries Gardens before making your way to another Paris icon, the Eiffel Tower. A visit to the top of the tower is a must for first-time visitors, but be sure to take in the views from outside, too—the Champ de Mars and the Trocadéro Gardens on the other side of the river afford the most memorable views.
Boat cruises along the Seine River set out from the port by the Eiffel Tower, and a lunchtime cruise is the ideal way to combine sightseeing and fine dining. Look out for the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Pont Alexandre III bridge as you float through the city.
In the afternoon, ride the metro to Montmartre to explore Paris’ bohemian village. Climb the dome of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica for a view over Paris, watch the buskers and street artists around Place du Tertre, then stick around into the evening hours to experience some of Paris’ best nightlife. Or, for an unforgettable night out, book tickets for the Moulin Rouge and experience a foot-stomping French cabaret.
Day 2: Match Day Sightseeing
Make an early if you want to beat the crowds at The Louvre—this is not only the world’s largest art museum; it’s also one of Paris’ most visited attractions. With more than 38,000 works on display, you won’t have time to see it all, so narrow your visit down to highlights such as the Venus de Milo, the Egyptian Galleries, the Richelieu Wing, and, of course, Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic Mona Lisa.
Afterwards, cross the Pont des Arts (famous for its ‘love locks’) to the Left Bank, where you can explore two of Paris’ oldest neighbourhoods, the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-
Prés. Browse the bookstores and patisseries of the Latin Quarter, and pick up some hand-made macarons to enjoy in the nearby Jardin de Luxembourg park.
Stop to admire the grand Panthéon or pay a quick visit to the Musée d’Orsay art museum before catching the metro to Saint-Denis—direct trains run from nearby Les Invalides. Factor in time to swing by the medieval Saint-Denis Cathedral en route to the legendary Stade de France.
Day 3: Versailles and Monet’s House
A trip to Paris isn’t complete without a visit to the King of all French châteaux—the magnificent Palace of Versailles. Head inside to see King Louis XIV’s bedrooms, the royal suites, and the dazzling Hall of Mirrors.
Designed by André Le Nôtre in the 17th-century, the royal Gardens of Versailles are equally impressive, so leave yourself plenty of time to explore the ornamental gardens, fountains, tree-lined avenues, and Orangery. Additional tickets are required to visit Marie Antoinette’s Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, and it’s worth timing your tour to catch the Musical Fountain show.
Combine a morning visit to Versailles with an afternoon tour to nearby Giverny, home of France’s most revered Impressionist artist, Claude Monet. A visit to Monet’s House gives you a chance to peek into the artist’s home and studio, but the real highlight is the garden, with its famous water lily ponds.