France v Ireland: How to get there and get a ticket for less than €180

We have some cheap alternatives for getting to the final match of next year’s Six Nations

Ireland’s Johnny Sexton celebrates kicking the winning drop goal during the Six Nations match between Ireland and France at the Stade de France in 2018. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland’s Johnny Sexton celebrates kicking the winning drop goal during the Six Nations match between Ireland and France at the Stade de France in 2018. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Date: Saturday, March 14th, 2020.

Kick-off time: 9pm, French time.

Given that Ireland are still in the midst of World Cup fever and only the All Blacks dominate the horizon at the moment, it might not be a bad time to get a trip to Paris sorted for the final Six Nations match of 2020, as tickets are currently on sale and, by booking early, you may be able to save a few euro.

It’s Ireland against France in Paris on a Saturday night with the Six Nations title potentially at stake. What’s not to like?

Flights

Most convenient: Even if you’re planning ahead and feel you’re getting in there nice and early you can nearly always be sure that the airlines are still one step ahead, as is the case here if you plan on flying directly to Paris. The cheapest direct flights out on the Friday and back on the Sunday are with Ryanair to Paris Beauvais (more than an hour from the city centre by bus) and they are currently priced at €296 return.

If you want to fly to and from the more central Charles de Gaulle on those same dates you’re looking at €388 return with Aer Lingus. If you fly on the morning of the match and back the following day it’s largely the same at €369 return.

Alternative, cheaper route: There are alternatives. There are always alternatives. Paris is expensive enough as it is when it comes to accommodation, food and drink. If you’re looking to go from Friday to Sunday then you can get return flights with Ryanair to Brussels for just €77, leaving first thing on the Friday and returning on the Sunday evening. From Brussels Airport (make sure it’s Brussels International and not Charleroi) it’s a short journey to the Brussels-Midi train station.

From there, there are more than 20 direct trains a day to Paris, with the average journey time taking less than 90 minutes. While it’s not possible to book the route this far in advance, you will be able to do so in a few months’ time. As a tip, thetrainline.com generally offers the cheapest tickets (there are a few services a day with tickets costing €29 each way), while the website is also all in English and very easy to navigate. So, with €77 flights and a €58 return train journey you’re getting to Paris for less than €140 and saving yourself almost €250 in comparison with going direct.

Getting to the ground

The Stade de France is located north of Paris city centre in the area of Saint Denis – indeed you will go past the stadium if you get the train from Charles de Gaulle in to the city centre when you arrive. The easiest way to get out to the ground is the RER B or D train, which takes less than 10 minutes from both Gare Du Nord and Châtelet.

Tickets

Most tickets for next year’s Six Nations are not yet on sale, but both Italy and France have begun the process for their home matches. Tickets for France and Ireland are available from €40 for a category five seat, €55 for category four, €75 for category three, €95 for category two and €135 for category one and can be bought on billetterie.fff.fr. A maximum of five tickets can be bought per booking.

Trip total

For one person, flying to and from Brussels with train to Paris and category five match ticket included: €175.

– This article is part of a series of consumer-based sports stories. If you have any queries, stories or issues regarding travel, tickets, sport on television or anything else you can email rcroke@irishtimes.com or get in contact via Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke.

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