AWAY DAYS PARIS

Soccer 360 - - 90th Minute -

Paris, a pop­u­lar hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion for those who seek cul­ture, art and gas­tron­omy over lazy beach days, open bars and all you can eat buf­fets, has al­ways been one of those cities that many yearn to visit in their travel bucket lists.

How­ever, dur­ing the past decade, the glo­ri­ous French cap­i­tal has opened its doors to a new breed of tourist, the trav­el­ling football fan. Lo­cated on the west out­skirts of the city on the Rue du Com­man­dant sits the Parc de Princes, a 48,000 seat­ing UEFA cat­e­gory four football sta­dium, home to Paris Saint-Ger­main, one of the con­ti­nent’s fiercest football clubs.

Although the club, founded in 1970, does not boast the his­tory of Manch­ester United, Ju­ven­tus or Barcelona, the likes of Ge­orge Weah, Do­minique Ro­cheteau and Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic have passed through the club, of­fer­ing ex­cel­lent pedi­gree, while the cur­rent crop is led by Ney­mar, Edin­son Ca­vani and Kylian Mbappe, three of the great­est for­wards in the mod­ern game.

But the football on of­fer is not the only de­li­cious treat in Paris. In­de­pen­dent bak­eries can be found on al­most ev­ery street, cre­at­ing their own takes on world­wide favourites like crois­sants and pain au cho­co­lat, while if you are brave enough, a strange but pop­u­lar op­tion is avail­able in choco­late and pis­ta­chio es­car­got. Dur­ing the win­ter months, France’s na­tional dish is read­ily avail­able, named Pot-au-Feu, a rus­tic stew con­sist­ing of steak, veg­eta­bles and spices.

How­ever, it’s not just dur­ing win­ter that Paris can be chilly, with lows of 10 de­grees Cel­sius ob­served dur­ing the sum­mer months, while stand­ing atop of the Eif­fel Tower dur­ing at any time of year of­fers a freez­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. But, the de­li­cious com­pli­men­tary Cham­pagne takes the edge off, and the daily fire­work dis­plays brighten up the cold night sky.

If you are afraid of heights, the city’s chief land­mark is not the only thing to see in Paris. The Lou­vre of­fers ex­ten­sive art gal­leries and is home to the Mona Lisa, the Sacre-Coeur is a beau­ti­ful chapel with his­tor­i­cal, po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious im­por­tance to the city. You can even pay trib­ute to a rock mu­sic god, as the Doors’

Jim Mor­ri­son was laid to rest at the Pere Lachaise Ceme­tery.

For trav­el­ling football fans, Paris’ unique charm and end­less list of ac­tiv­i­ties can still keep you oc­cu­pied be­fore and af­ter kick-off, and if the stars on the pitch aren’t enough for you, celebri­ties such as Jay-Z, Bey­once and Leonardo Dicaprio have been seen in the stands of the Parc de Princes on oc­ca­sion, giv­ing the Parisian club a unique pull which the likes of United, Barca and Juve can­not match.

With pro­gres­sion in the Cham­pi­ons League be­com­ing the main aim of PSG, the city will be host­ing more away days than ever in the coming years, and although the trip may be long and ex­pen­sive, Paris presents an away day like no other. With so much his­tory and cul­ture in France’s cap­i­tal city, a simple trip to watch your team play could be­come the trip of a life time.

The iconic Eif­fel Tower is far from the only at­trac­tion worth see­ing in the French cap­i­tal

Ney­mar is the head­line at­trac­tion in the Paris Sain­tGer­main team

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