Nantes : The Rugby World Cup 2023 supporter's guide

With a hundred or so parks and gardens, the banks of the Loire and the beaches of the Atlantic coast nearby, Nantes has everything to please. Its Beaujoire Stadium will host four matches of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. It's an opportunity to leave everything behind and head west to discover a bold and creative city of the Dukes of Brittany. Make the trip to Nantes, we promise you some great surprises!

Select your match

Usually it's the Canaris, the local football team, who take to the pitch at the Stade de la Beaujoire, just a stone's throw from the Erdre, the river which François I said was the most beautiful in France. For the 2023 Rugby World Cup, it is the supporters of the oval ball who will heat up the stands on four occasions:

- Ireland/Tonga - Saturday 16 September 2023 at 9pm (Pool B)
- Argentina/Chile - Saturday 30 September 2023 at 3pm (Pool D)
- Wales/Georgia - Saturday 7 October 2023 at 3pm (Pool C)
- Japan/Argentina - Sunday 8 October 2023 at 1pm (Pool D)

For more information, visit the online ticketing (External link)

Getting to the stadium and travelling hassle free

In 1985, Nantes was the first city in France to re-establish its tramway. This is the best way to get to the stadium, especially since two stops serve La Beaujoire. Cycling is an alternative to consider, thanks to the 600 km of cycle paths and the many Bicloo stations, the city's self-service bicycle hire service. In Nantes, you can also travel on the Loire and the Erdre with the Navibus (bicycles accepted on board) simply by showing a tram ticket. A real pleasure! Fans can also travel to the stadium by boat before going along the banks of the Erdre.

Getting around Nantes by public transport (External link)
Cycling around Nantes with Bicloo (External link)

Watch the game in town and celebrate the 3rd half

In the medieval quarter of Bouffay, in Nantes, Le Rabelais is a beer bar that has an alleyway feel and looks like a sports museum! On match nights, four large screens make all rugby fans happy with a nice choice of pints (to be consumed in moderation). For an "Irish pub" atmosphere, we recommend Gigg's, opposite the cathedral, and to make yourself comfortable, head for the new LAB or Little Atlantique Brewery, a gigantic former oil mill rehabilitated as a committed microbrewery. The craft beers can be tasted in the bar-restaurant. Located on the banks of the Loire with a breath-taking view, the place is accessible by Navibus from Ile de Nantes (Nantes Island) for a little cruise as a bonus.

Le Rabelais Beer Bar (External link)
Le Gigg's Irish Pub (External link)
Little Atlantique Brewery (External link)

Enjoying local products

People with a sweet tooth will be delighted with the Petits Beurres, to be carried in a supporter bag on match nights. Connoisseurs will also appreciate the products of local market gardeners, with lamb's lettuce in the lead, and of course the fresh fish and shellfish coming directly from the auctions of the Atlantic ports. A visit to the large Talensac market will give your taste buds a feast. Among the good locavore and 100% organic restaurants to try, Sain is a restaurant-cantine-grocery shop that we like. In the lively rue du Maréchal Joffre, Samuel and Josselin, sons of organic market gardeners in Guérande, the beautiful city of salt, offer market and seasonal cuisine that is good for the planet and your wellbeing. In a more XXL version, you should also look at the new food hall on the Ile de Nantes.

Gourmet and locavore break at the Sain restaurant in Nantes (External link)
Sweet and savoury pleasures at the Magmaa food hall (External link)

Visit the city

A large wooden and steel elephant, the mascot of the people of Nantes, wanders around the island of Nantes with tourists on his back. You can meet him just a stone's throw away from the extraordinary machines, as if they had come out of a Jules Verne novel, and a giant carousel that makes your head spin. Closeby, a bustling creative district and a Hangar à bananes (banana bunker) on the banks of the Loire, with a bar and exhibition rooms, are also worth a visit (accessible by bike or by navibus). And to see the elegant castles and manors of the 18th century as they flow by, board electric boats on the Erdre at the Ile de Versailles. The peaceful cruise offers a glimpse of the magnificent Beaujoire floral park and its rose garden, next to the stadium.

Exploring the Island's Machînes (External link)
Rent an electric boat with Floating (External link) or Ruban Vert (External link)

Explore the surroundings

To the south, the Nantes vineyards, home of the Muscadet and Gros Plant, can be explored by bike. To the west, on either side of the Loire estuary, the Atlantic beaches: the Côte de Jade and its creeks, the Côte d'Amour and its Belle Epoque seaside resorts such as La Baule, a base camp for Argentina during the 2023 Rugby World Cup. For green and invigorating getaways, Nantes is not short of inspiration. The best idea? Follow the Parcours Estuaire, 60 kilometres along the Loire from the city centre of the Dukes of Brittany to Saint-Nazaire and discover large-scale works of art, sculptures, and amazing architecture by international artists. In the beautiful light of the ocean, this permanent collection can be visited in any season, especially as the sites are freely accessible on foot or by bicycle along the banks of the Loire.

Finding a place to stay

More than twenty hotels in Nantes have been awarded the "European Ecolabel" or "La Clef Verte (The Green Key)" label, which facilitates environmentally responsible stays. In the Longchamp district, a little way from the city centre but well served by the tramway, Le Lieu-Dit, which opened in 2022, is a sustainable concept in tune with the times. It is a hotel (31 colourful rooms with reused furniture and "Palace" bedding), a bar, a pizzeria (tables made from badminton shuttlecocks), a grocery shop (100% local products) and an event hall all rolled into one. As a bonus, breakfast is guaranteed to be "less than 50 km" for its origin, water saving and recovery, biogas, green electricity, zero waste commitment and even an hourglass in the bathrooms to time showers and teeth washing! In short, a hotel with bicycle storage that raises awareness but where you can also truly sleep peacefully.

Staying at the eco-responsible hotel Le Lieu Dit (External link)

Getting to Nantes, in the Pays de la Loire