Marseille : The Rugby World Cup 2023 supporter's guide

Marseille has more than ever a sporting spirit! The city of Marseille has qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup with a dazzling cast: the 6 matches scheduled at the Stade Vélodrome will place major teams, including France, South Africa and England, at the heart of the fray. The buzzing Mediterranean city is getting ready to vibrate in unison in its historic venue. Here are the instructions on how to take part in the party, from the vintage streets of the Panier to the Pointe Rouge beach, via the unmissable Vieux Port, where you can enjoy a bouillabaisse in the best possible way!

Pick your Match

The Velodrome Stadium in Marseille will host 6 matches of the 2023 Rugby World Cup:

  • England/Argentina (Pool D) - Saturday 9 September, 9pm
  • South Africa/Scotland (Pool B) - Sunday 10 September, 5.45pm
  • France/Namibia (Pool A) - Thursday 21 September, 9pm
  • South Africa-Asia/Tonga (Pool B) - Sunday 1 October, 9pm
  • Quarter-final 1 (Winner Pool C - Runner-up Pool D) - Saturday 14 October, 5pm
  • Quarter Final 3 (Winner Pool D - Second Pool C) - Sunday 15 October, 5pm

Individual ticket reservations open on 13 September at 6pm for members of the 2023 Family Programme and on 15 September at 6pm for the general public. For more information, visit the online ticketing (External link) .

Getting to the stadium and travelling by soft modes

Access to the Velodrome Stadium is direct by bus or metro. However, sportsmen and women can get there by bicycle thanks to the self-service bicycle system offered by the city (Le Vélo station is located near the stadium).
To get around Marseille, nothing could be easier with 2 metro lines, 3 tramway lines, bicycle or electric bike stations, a vast bus network and maritime shuttles running until the end of September. For fans wishing to explore the city, city-passes are offered by the tourist office for a period of 1 to 3 days allowing access to the entire transport network and certain monuments or museums such as the Mucem and the Château d'If.

Getting around Marseille by public transport (External link)
Cycling in Marseille with Le Vélo (External link)
Learn more about the City Pass (External link)
Getting to the Orange Velodrome Stadium (External link)

Watch the game in town...and celebrate the third half

The aperitif, preferably with pastis (only in moderation) or with a glass of rosé, is a must in Marseille, even if it means going even longer on match nights! Among the champions of the broadcasting, the O' Brady bar in the Sainte-Anne district, close to the Velodrome stadium, is very popular with the fans with its walls covered with shirts and flags and its three screens, including one giant one! On the Vieux-Port, the bar tour starts with O'Malley's where you can nibble on a plate of panisses (traditional chickpea flour cake) while keeping an eye on the match and continues at the Shamrock Irish Pub with three giant screens on the terrace. And at the Pointe Rouge, you can do double duty with a view of the Vieille Chapelle beach and the oval ball at the Red Lion, where three televisions and two outdoor screens on big nights regale the assembly.

O'Brady's (External link)
O'Malley's (External link)
Shamrock Irish Pub (External link)
Red Lion (External link)

Enjoying local products

Marseille enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and you can feel it in its cuisine! Starting with the pistou soup combining vegetables, legumes and small pasta, flavoured with garlic, basil and olive oil. The Mediterranean also comes to the table, with fish soup and bouillabaisse, an emblematic dish with a quality charter, to be tasted at the Miramar with a view of the Vieux Port, at Fonfon, a historic address in the Vallon des Auffes port, or in a gastronomic version at the Epuisette where the chef Guillaume Sourrieu (1 Michelin star) also reinterprets the Marseilles "pieds paquets" (tripe and sheep's feet). For a tasty eco-responsible meal, drop anchor at Le République, the first gastronomic restaurant in France to show solidarity. In the chic décor of the former Parisian Café renovated by Rudy Riciotti, the architect of the Mucem, the Provençal-inspired menus of chef Sébastien Richard give pride of place to short circuits. And on the go, you'll love the pizza trucks (invented in Marseille!) and the chichis freguis, doughnuts to be enjoyed exclusively in Estaque!

Le Miramar (External link)
Chez Fonfon (External link)
L'Epuisette* (External link)
Le République (External link)

Visit the city

Like the sailors, we start by greeting the "Good Mother", the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde basilica, in order to familiarise ourselves with the topography of the Phocaean city: from the top of its hill (154 m), the 360° panorama embraces the whole city. On the way back down to the Old Port, head for the spectacular Mucem building, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations built on an old port pier, for a trip to the sources before diving into the history of cave art. A stone's throw away, at the Villa Méditerranée, you can climb aboard high-tech wagons to visit the Cosquer cave museum, a replica of the original cave that sank off the coast of the Calanques. And we embark for good to visit the Château d'If, the mythical 16th century prison immortalised in the novel The Count of Monte Cristo, and the archipelago of the Frioul islands, classified as Natura 2000. Once back on dry land, it is impossible to leave Marseille without making a stop in Le Panier, the cradle of ancient Massilia, and its colourful alleys which have become a spot of street art.

Visit the Mucem (External link)
Visit the replica of the Cosquer cave at the Villa Méditérranée (External link)
Visit the Château d'If and the Frioul Islands (External link)
Explore the Panier district (External link)

Explore the surroundings

In Marseille, all roads lead to the Parc national des calanques, a group of rocky limestone creeks and a biodiversity hotspot with 140 protected animal and plant species and 60 heritage marine species. To the west, you can take in the spectacular scenery on board the Train de la Côte bleue and its panoramic route between viaducts and tunnels, without forgetting your swimming costume: at each stop, there is a beach to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean. For the sporty version, to the east, put on your trainers to walk the 20 kilometres of marked paths that wind through the rock between Marseille and Cassis. Unless you prefer sea kayaking, ideal for taking part in waste collection! In less than an hour and a half by train, you can watch the Uruguayan team train at the Avignon Sports Park, the city chosen for their base camp, before admiring another architectural achievement, the Rocher des Doms. Classified by Unesco, the Palace of the Popes, the largest Gothic monument in the West, can be visited there!

Walking in the Calanques National Park in the off-season (External link)
Travelling along the Côte Bleue by train from beach to beach (External link)
Visit Avignon, base camp of Uruguay (External link)

Finding a place to stay

In a new HQE (High Environmental Quality) certified building in the La Joliette district, a stone's throw from the Docks of Marseille, and 300 m from the tramway and metro stations (20 minutes from the stadium by bus), the Meininger Hotel offers 194 rooms equipped for all types of guests: couples, business travellers or groups of friends (from 1 to 6 beds). The hotel's blue-toned décor is inspired by the calanques and the friendly atmosphere is in keeping with the city's DNA: the hotel even has a petanque court!

Staying at the Meininger Hotel in the centre of Marseille (External link)

Getting to Marseille, in Provence