The smallest of the nine host cities, Saint-Étienne is France’s only UNESCO City of Design and home to an eclectic collection of museums, art galleries, and design emporiums. Football fans will know Saint-Étienne for its legendary team, who have won more championships than any other French team, and the iconic stadium—“The Cauldron”—is now hosting five of the Rugby World Cup pool matches.
Hemmed in by regional parks, day trips from Saint-Étienne mean escaping to the countryside, whether venturing into the French Alps, wine tasting in the Rhône Valley, or a hike in the Pilat Regional Park. Further east, Switzerland and Italy lie within a short drive, and lakeside Geneva tempts day-trippers over the border
MATCH DAY MENU
IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE DAY…
Take your pick of Saint-Étienne’s museums (the Cité du Design and the Museum of Art and Industry are our favourites), snap photos of the street art installations as you explore the city centre, then stop for lunch at a terrace café on Place Jean-Jaurès. In the afternoon, swap urban cool for mountain vistas with a hike in the Pilat Regional Park.