Lyon: The Rugby World Cup 2023 supporter's guide

View of the Saint-Georges district, in Vieux-Lyon, from the quays of the Saône, in Lyon.
With the Rhône river close by, the Saône and the Beaujolais (according to the writer Léon Daudet), Lyon is ideally located between Paris, Marseille and the Alps. The New Zealanders have made no mistake in choosing the former capital of Gaul as their base camp for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Lyon will host 5 matches at the OL Stadium, a great opportunity to discover the districts listed as a UNESCO heritage site and to savour the delicious local products in authentic Lyon "bouchons" with their warm and friendly atmosphere.

Select your Match

The third largest stadium in France with nearly 60,000 seats, the OL Stadium is located at the heart of a vast complex called OL Vallée, which includes restaurants, accommodation and leisure facilities for the whole family. The sports complex will host five Rugby World Cup 2023 matches between several major rugby nations including France:

Wales/Australia - Saturday 24 September, 9pm (pool C)
Uruguay/Namibia - Tuesday 27 September, 5.45pm (pool A)
New Zealand/Italy - Thursday 29 September, 9pm (Pool A)
New Zealand/Uruguay - Wednesday 5 October, 9pm (Pool A)
France/Italy - Thursday 6 October, 9pm (Pool A).

For more information, visit the ticketing website (External link) .

Getting around to and from the stadium stress-free

Located in the east of Lyon, OL Stadium is easily accessible by public transport: from the city centre, it takes 35 minutes to get there by metro and then by tram, which arrives right in front of the stadium. From the Lyon-Part-Dieu station, you need to take another tram line and then finish on foot. From Lyon Saint Exupéry airport TGV station, it is recommended to take the Rhônexpress fast train before taking the tram. Another solution is to share the journey between supporters by consulting the carpooling website dedicated to stadiums, Stadium Go.

In Lyon, you can get around very well on two wheels thanks to the self-service bicycle system Vélo'v. The city is well equipped with cycle paths, particularly on the banks of the Rhône. To admire the monuments from the water, you can take an electric shuttle boat on the Saône inspired by the Venetian vaporettos.
For unlimited access to Lyon's public transport and to museums and tours at reduced prices, you can subscribe to the Lyon City Card for 24 or 48 hours.

Getting around Lyon by public transport (External link)
Getting to the stadium from the Lyon Saint-Exupéry TGV station (airport) (External link)
Cycling in Lyon with Vélo'v (External link)
Getting around Lyon by boat with the Vaporetto shuttle (External link)
Carpooling between supporters (External link)
Visit Lyon with the Lyon City Card (External link)

Watch the game in town and celebrate the 3rd half

To enjoy a beer (in moderation) without missing a moment of the show, do as the Lyonnais do and converge on the pubs of Vieux-Lyon. In the Saint-Jean district, the Smoking Dog and the Antidote are two places that delight sports fans. In the Saint-Paul district, the Wallace seduces with its Scottish pub atmosphere, as does the very Anglophone Elephant & Castle. Another place in Lyon which broadcasts rugby matches is Ninkasi. A local and artisanal brewer since 1997, the company has opened a dozen breweries and festive bars in the city. You can find them in Vieux-Lyon and around the OL Stadium. Oval ball purists can also count on fifteen or so bars that are partners of the local rugby club, the LOU, such as Dog's Bollocks in Croix Rousse, 405 near the Hôtel de Ville or Café Léone near Place Bellecour.

Le Smoking Dog (External link)
L'Antidote (External link)
Le Wallace (External link)
Elephant & Castle (External link)
Ninkasi (External link)

Enjoying local products and French gastronomy

In Lyon, the capital of gastronomy, there are so many local specialities that it will be difficult to try them all, starting with the charcuterie: pâté en croûte, rosette or brioche sausage. Those with a strong stomach will be tempted by grattons, small pieces of candied meat fat, to nibble on as an aperitif. Lyonnais salads (with lardons, croutons, eggs and garlic), pike quenelles with Nantua sauce, or tablier de sapeur (a piece of double fat, marinated in white wine and breaded) are the pride of the traditional restaurants called bouchons lyonnais. The most authentic have an official label such as Daniel et Denise, la Mère Jean, La Meunière or Chez Mounier.

As for cheeses, you can enjoy the famous Saint-Marcellin du Vercors from Mère Richard or La cervelle de Canut made from faisselle and fresh cream finely seasoned with chives and shallots. Sweet tooth are not left out! Here, the pink praline is phenomenal! Head to the unmissable Chocolatier Voisin to taste the pralines and Coussins de Lyon (chocolate ganache on marzipan). At Pralus, you can taste the Pralulines, these delicious brioches with pink pralines that both young and old love.

For a taste of Lyon's menu, head to the Halles Paul Bocuse wwhich brings together 56 traders and craftsmen from the food industry. The best of Lyon's gastronomy, all in one place! Two other "food courts" are worth a visit: Food Traboule, in Vieux Lyon, and the Food Society, in the Part-Dieu shopping centre. Enjoy your meal!

A few gourmet addresses :
Brasseries Paul Bocuse (External link)
Brasserie Georges (External link) , for sauerkraut and Norwegian omelettes.
Chocolats Voisin (External link)
Pralus (External link)
Halles Paul Bocuse (External link)
Dénicher un bouchon lyonnais (External link)

Visit the city

Visiting Lyon in a few hours or a few days is like wandering through an open-air museum on a human scale while travelling through 2000 years of history. You start by climbing the Fourvière hill, to admire the spectacular and panoramic view over the city and enter this great 19th century basilica before going back in time to the Lugdunum museum, housing the Roman theatres. On the way back down, we wander through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (External link) , a Renaissance district listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, discovering the traboules, in the footsteps of the Canuts. You can then explore the collections of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, observe the deconstructivist architecture of the Musée des Confluences and discover the history of the Lumière brothers, inventors of cinema, at the Institut Lumière. For the shopping itinerary, it is around Place Bellecour, the largest pedestrian square in Europe, that you should go before going up from square to square until the Opera signed by Jean Nouvel. On the way, push the door of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu, a haven of peace in the heart of the city. Not yet satisfied? Why not stroll through the rose garden in the Parc de la Tête d'Or (the golden head park), have a drink on the slopes of the Croix-Rousse, dance in one of the barges on the banks of the Rhône or cross a footbridge over the Saône at sunrise?

Explore the surroundings

A popular destination for the people of Lyon, the town of Annecy, the well-named Venice of the Alps, and its lake with its translucent waters, is ideal for sporting activities in the off-season, a breath of fresh air in just 2 hours by train. Closer to Lyon, one can be tempted by visits to the vineyards! The Tourist Office offers many ideas for turnkey escapades to discover the vineyards of Beaujolais or the Côtes du Rhône. Beautiful stones, cheeses and architecture and for a day, you can escape to Tain-L'Hermitage, in the Rhône Valley: walk through the terraced vineyards planted on hills overlooking the Rhône, discover the Chapoutier cellar before exploring the Cité du Chocolat Valrhona. In a few minutes by bike, you can cross the river to discover Tournon-sur-Rhône, the Ardèche twin of Tain-L'Hermitage, its pretty castle and its cobbled streets.

Escape to Annecy, in the Alps (External link)
Walking in the vineyards around Lyon (External link)
Explore the Beaujolais (External link)
Awaken your senses in the Rhone Valley (External link)
Visit the Valrhona Chocolate City (External link)

Finding a place

For those who wish to stay as close to the stadium as possible, don't hesitate to choose the 4* Kopster Hotel with its 140 rooms, located in the leisure centre OL Vallée, at the foot of the OL Stadium. Around fifteen restaurants and numerous activities complete the complex to keep the family or friends busy before kick-off. You can go bowling, have a go at an Escape Game, visit a street art gallery or the football club museum. It's quite a programme!
If you miss the city lights, opt for a timeless interlude at the Intercontinental Lyon Hôtel Dieu, a place steeped in history that combines architectural beauty, contemporary design and gastronomic encounters.

Stay at the Kopster Hotel, in the OL Vallée (External link)
Stay at the Intercontinental Lyon Hôtel Dieu (External link)

Getting to Lyon