Watching the Games
The Stadium: The gleaming football stadium in Lens, the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, was rebuilt especially for Euro 2016 and my it looks slick. Be one of the 35,000 to witness kick-offs in this architecturally stunning new home of RC Lens. Little known fact; the stadium has the rare capacity to hold almost the entire town, population 36,000.
Public Viewings: Each host city in the Euro Cup has its own Fan Zone where locals and visitors alike can gather and watch the matches on the big screen. The Fan Zone in Lens will be in the main town square at Place Jean Jaurès with a capacity of 18,000.
Sports Bars: To slosh back some pre, post (or both) match beers, stop by the Irish Tavern. Their healthy stock of 16 ales on tap and 50 whiskies is the perfect home from home. They'll be screening the matches too so settle in.
Sightseeing Tips in Lens
The Louvre-Lens: An annexe of the Louvre opened up in 2012 if you're keen for a culture trip.
Explore the Landscape: Lens began as a mining town and the largest peaked slagheaps in the whole of Europe jut out of Lens' scenic landscape. Scale these impressive mounds to get panoramic views of the region.
Activity Park Loisirs d'Olhain: The scenic woodland setting of Parc d'Olhain is blanketed in green and the play parks, swimming pool and mini golf are all top quality and nestled spaciously across the park. The 200 hectare site is dedicated to specialised outdoor activities like mountain biking, orienteering and Nordic walking courses.
Lens Food & Culture
Local Delicacies: Quirky street food mecca Patatam's motto is ‘the potato will prevail'. We couldn't agree more. Get your teeth stuck into potato-based bites stuffed with meat and cheese or go gourmand and sample a salad or lasagne. Right across from Lens Train Station is ‘La LOCO', a chip shop, bar and club straight out of the British high street. Get a few fries plated up with regional cuisine and mingle with the local footy fans who flock to this down-to-earth eatery when a match is on.
Embrace the Culture: For over 100 years, Lens' locals and international visitors have come together from all corners of the globe in warm camaraderie to watch football. The sport is engrained in the culture of this small town and you're guaranteed a warm welcome.
Driving in Lens
The top tip on how to drive in Lens is to branch out into the charming region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais with the comfort of a car. As with most towns nestled in rural beauty, Lens' public transport system is minimal so avoid hanging around and get where you're going fast. There's also no need to purchase safety equipment legally required for taking a British car abroad when you hire with Sixt. Drive through the picturesque inland landscapes surrounding Lens to reach Normandy where narrow winding roads hug the coast and afford spectacular views of the white cliffs of Côte d'Opale.
Fixtures in Lens
11th June- 15.00: Albania VS. Switzerland
16th June- 15.00: England VS. Wales
21st June- 21.00: Czech Republic VS. Turkey
25th June- 21.00: Winner of Group D VS. 3rd in Group B/E/F