AWAY DAYS PARIS
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