Womens World Cup 2019 is upon us, and more than half a million tickets have been sold so far. French supporters may make up the largest percentage of ticket holders for matches scheduled to begin in France in early June, but with U.S. spectators making up 23% of sales, Americans are taking up sports travel in unprecedented numbers. As one of America's five most popular sports behind mainstays such as football and basketball, sports vacations for prestige events like the World Cup are on the rise. So if you're one of the lucky few who are heading to the continent for the Womens World Cup, here are a few ideas of things to do while you're there.
If You're Seeing a Match in Lyon
If you're itching to do something outdoors before heading to the stadium, consider a ride on one of Lyon's pedicab services. Their experts will guide you on a tour of the city's historic sites. Drivers are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and will help you see all of the high points in the city, including the Vieux Lyon and the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere.
If You're Seeing a Match in Paris
If you scored Womens World Cup tickets in the city of lights, obviously there's no shortage of things to do. But if the triumvirate of Louvre/Arc du Triomphe/Eiffel Tower doesn't excite you, why not try something a bit off the beaten path? Paris has no shortage of exciting museums, such as the privately-owned Vampire Museum in Les Lilas, which is dedicated to vampires as mythical creatures as well as stables in popular culture and literature.
If You're Seeing a Match in Nice
While Nice is best known for its breathtaking shorelines, there's no shortage of things to do between time spent lounging on the beach and cheering your heart out at a match. If you need to stretch your legs, Nice has no shortage of bike tours along the shoreline and through historic sites. However, if you're looking for something with a little slower pace, consider taking a stroll through the Cours Saleya Flower Market, an open-air market selling fruit, veggies, and flowers that makes for a lovely sensory experience to counterbalance screaming your heart out at the stadium.
If You're Seeing a Match in Montpellier
Montpellier is a famously sunny street, boasting more than 300 days of sun per year, so if you're looking for a way to beat the heat and see the city, give L'Écusson (Old Montpellier) a try. You'll feel like a local as you wander down the shady, winding streets (handy in the summer sun), allowing you to see historic houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. Old Montpellier is also home to Les Hammes Castellane, a covered market that serves as the hub for outdoor restaurants in the summer.
If You're Seeing a Match in Rennes
Looking for something with a family focus? The Space Sciences museum in Rennes offers events, lectures, and plenty to explore.
If You're Seeing a Match in Le Havre
The Oscar Niemeyer library is a gorgeous building if you're in need of something free to do inside. Have a coffee, take a walk, and enjoy a building unlike any of the libraries we have here in the states.
If You're Seeing a Match in Reimes
Want to treat yourself to a little bubbly? Reimes has private tours of Moët et Chandon and Taittinger with tastings aplenty. Depending on how the match you saw went, the champagne tastings could take on a delightfully celebratory—or conciliatory—tone.
If You're Seeing a Match in Valenciennes
If you're a history buff, Valenciennes has no shortage of things for you to get excited about during your stay. Situated in the heart of historic mining country, Valenciennes has dozens of sites across the town to discover a piece of what happened over the course of two centuries of mining history.
If You're Seeing a Match in Grenoble
Unlike some of the more metropolitan hosts of the Womens World Cup, Grenoble has the option to go truly wild. Indulge your inner adrenaline junkie with a canyoning expedition at Vercors Massif Grenoble, with cliff jumps up to 26 feet.