Saint-Etienne: The Rugby World Cup 2023 supporter's guide

Sport in Saint-Etienne is an institution! A working-class city, the cradle of major French industries, the city has often vibrated to the rhythm of football: from the European epic of 1976 to the ten French championship titles, "Les Verts" occupy a special place in the pantheon of French sport. However, in 2023, it is the oval ball that will be in question. Four Rugby World Cup matches will be held in the bubbling cauldron of Geoffroy Guichard. This is an opportunity to draw attention to an innovative and forward-looking city recognised as a "creative city for design" by UNESCO.

Pick your match

Built in 1931 and renovated several times, the mythical "Chaudron" of Geoffroy-Guichard, with a capacity of 42,152 seats, is the vintage stadium of this Rugby World Cup 2023. 4 matches are scheduled in Saint-Etienne:

Italy vs Namibia - Friday 9 September at 1pm (pool A)
Australia vs Fiji - Sunday 17 September at 5.45pm (pool C)
Argentine vs Samoa - vendredi 22 septembre à 17h45 (pool D)
Australia vs Winner Qualifying Tournament - Sunday 1 October at 5.45pm (pool C)

Tickets can be purchased through the online ticketing (External link) from 13 September 2022 at 6pm. Single tickets will be available for all 48 matches of the competition. Fans can also take advantage of the exclusive pre-sale by joining the Famille 2023 community and benefit from numerous advantages.

Getting around and to the stadium by soft modes

As the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium is located near the city centre, the most motivated fans can reach the stadium on foot from the historic centre in less than 45 minutes. The others will opt for public transport: the bus or the tramway whose frequency of the two lines serving the stadium is reinforced on the evenings of the matches. Practical!
To warm up before the start of the match, it is possible to travel around the city on two wheels thanks to the Vélivert self-service rental service.
To make travelling easier, visitors can buy a City Pass from the Saint-Etienne Tourist Office in order to benefit from unlimited access to the city's transport network as well as access to tours.

Getting around Saint-Etienne by public transport (External link)
Rent a bike in Saint-Etienne with Vélivert (External link)

Watch the game in town...and celebrate the 3rd half

In a city that vibrates to the rhythm of its football club's exploits, following a match in a bar, beer in hand (in moderation), is a must for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the local culture. It is impossible to talk about bars in Saint-Etienne without mentioning the Rue des Martyrs de Vingré, a real "thirsty street" frequented by students and animated until late at night. A few hundred metres away, the Place Jean Jaurès houses the Six Nations bar. With a name that smells of the oval ball and a flamboyant red facade reminiscent of English pubs, this new bar will undoubtedly be one of the must-see spots to experience the Rugby World Cup in town.

Bar Six Nations (External link)

Enjoying local products

In the city centre, the Mazerat-Biltoki market is the new Mecca of Saint-Etienne's gastronomy. Built in 1872, they have regained their effervescence and are once again home to food shops and craftsmen. Here, you can do your shopping, drink a coffee on the terrace and enjoy delicious dishes concocted on the spot with market produce: quality street food to nibble on with your fingertips! Why not try some râpées stéphanoises (grated potato pancakes) accompanied by Sarasson (a cheese preparation made from beaten cottage cheese)? And if you cook, don't miss the fresh homemade pasta from Maison Cornand, a Saint-Etienne institution since 1919. For dessert, push open the door of the Weiss chocolate maker, established in Saint-Etienne since 1882!

For a gourmet and eco-responsible stopover, head to the Cité du Design to discover the Fabuleuse Cantine, an address that transforms unsold food from the surrounding area, mainly local and organic products, into creative cuisine.

Shopping at Halles Mazerat-Biltoki (External link) -
Fall for Weiss Chocolates (External link)

Visit the must-see places in the city

The industrial capital of France in the 19th century, Saint-Etienne is not one to rest on its laurels: singular, creative and innovative, the city has reinvented itself by focusing on bold contemporary architecture under the impetus of the Le Corbusier site, a unique urban ensemble in Europe, before being recognised as a "creative city for design" by UNESCO. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMC) houses the largest collection of contemporary art in France after the Centre Pompidou. The former Manufacture d'Armes is now home to the Cité du Design, where the famous Saint-Etienne School of Art and Design is located. Contemporary art is also expressed at the Ceysson Bénétière gallery, installed in a 1200 m² building with monumental works. The Cité du Design, which is a major venue for the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial, is continuing its transformation: its new face should be visible by 2025-2026 with a new creative and innovative district including a large event hall, exhibition spaces and a hotel.

Visit the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Saint-Etienne (External link)
Visit the Cité du Design (External link) :
Visit the Ceysson Bénétière Gallery (External link)

Explore the surroundings

To stretch your legs between two matches, head for the Pilat Regional Natural Park, a real paradise for hikers and mountain bikers. The highest point of the massif, the Crêt de la Perdrix (1432 m) offers a sumptuous panorama of the Alps. Lovers of wild nature in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes can also discover the Gorges de la Loire Nature Reserve, around the picturesque village of Saint-Victor-sur-Loire: on a mild September day, you can enjoy a sandy beach on the banks of the Loire or climb into the village and discover its medieval castle, which offers a breathtaking view of the river.

Explore the Pilat Regional Nature Park (External link)
Discover the Gorges de la Loire Nature Reserve (External link)
Visit the village of Saint-Victor-sur-Loire (External link)

Finding an accommodation

In Saint-Etienne, a city on a human scale whose stadium is easily accessible by public transport, the ideal place to stay is in the city centre. For example, in one of the recent addresses such as the City Loft Hôtel, a 3-star apartment-hotel with 86 flats located in an Art Nouveau building near the Halles Mazerat and the Museum of Art and Industry. Here, meals are based on local and organic products. You can also take advantage of a City Card included in the "Discovery" package. Further north and even closer to the stadium (30 minutes on foot), there is a new 3* Novotel hotel with 77 rooms in the business district near the station, which is undergoing major changes. Its highlight: a 200m² rooftop where you can have breakfast in the open air.

Stay at the City Loft Hotel (External link)
Stay at Novotel Saint Etienne Centre Gare Châteaucreux (External link)

Getting to Saint-Etienne, near Lyon