What do you think is the most popular question I am asked by tourists (especially British) visiting the Cote d’Azur?
‘What time does the nearest supermarket close?’ or maybe
‘What is the best way to get to Monaco?’ or perhaps
‘What is the bus number from Nice Airport to Antibes?’
NO. None of these – the most popular question I am posed is:
‘Where can I watch the football?’.
There are numerous local bars on the Cote d’Azur that screen sport (notably the betting chain PMU) however they mostly screen horse racing and if there is football (soccer, not American football) it will 9 out of 10 times only be screened if it is a global competition such as the World Cup, a European competition or there is a French team participating (or sometimes an Italian team).
Your best bet for having English commentary is to head to an English/Irish pub, often the French bars have French commentary. Also, English/Irish pubs have UK beers on tap and they will often serve food such as English breakfasts with eggs/sausages/beans, and Steak and Guinness pie. As much as I love French food, you won’t find a Steak and Guinness pie at any French pub. Fact.
So, football fans here is my list of pubs or bars where you are likely to find a football match screened on the French Riviera (especially English Premier League, Champions League, World Cup matches).
You’re welcome 🙂
Le Blue Lady: Very family-friendly atmosphere they have a toy-box to keep little ones entertained during the day, also very popular with ex-pats and yacht crew. Pool table, multiple TV screens for big matches of football and rugby, regular live music. Accessible ground-floor toilets.
The Hop Store: Busy pub in summer with lots of outdoor tables. One of the cheapest pints in town (5€). Toilets located up a couple of steps but otherwise main pub is ground-level and accessible. Two large TV screens inside for big matches. Popular with yacht crew and local patrons.
The Quays: Irish-themed pub, live music regularly. Multiple TV screens so you won’t miss out on a good seat for the matches. Accessible toilets.
Ma Nolans: Close to the Croisette and Palais des Festivals, Ma’s is a chain of Irish-themed pubs here, live music, quiz nights, English breakfasts, football and rugby matches screened live.
Morrisons Irish pub: Irish, of course, and serving Guinness, Kilkenny and Murphy’s Red. Regularly has live music. Main pub is ground-level and accessible, however this pub does get extremely busy and the toilets aren’t accessible if you have restricted mobility as they are upstairs.
The Quays: Located on the old port, a popular place to watch the football.
The Station Tavern: Located across from the Cannes train station, it’s popular with locals and Anglophones. Pool table and 2 big screen TV’s for football matches. They offer daily drinks specials. Can lean towards seediness late in the evening, but OK for football and karaoke.
Parry’s Pub: Nearby to the train station, serves Guinness and screens the big football matches.
JUAN LES PINS
Le Crystal: Whilst it’s more of a cocktail bar than sports bar, this is your best bet other than a PMU for coverage of the football, however commentary can’t be guaranteed as Le Crystal often plays music in the background for patrons. My recommendation is to go to nearby Antibes instead.
MANDELIEU – LA NAPOULE
O’Sullivans: Irish-themed pub, live music, themed parties, Beach BBQ daily in summer. Screens English football including Champions League matches, and big match rugby (Top 14, Bledisloe, TriNations).
Ship and Castle: By the port in Fontvielle, screens all the matches and offers typical English pub food such as fish and chips.
Stars n Bars: Family-friendly bar/restaurant with lots of sporting memorabilia and arcade games.
Ma Nolan’s (at Nice Port): Popular with locals and yacht crew alike, friendly atmosphere and multiple TV screens screening football. Good pub food menu. Designated disabled access toilet (also has a baby changing table).
Ma Nolan’s (Vieux Nice): Outdoor tables and friendly bar staff. Guaranteed to screen most of the football matches as well as rugby. Toilets located downstairs so not accessible for travelers with reduced mobility.
Waynes: Very busy bar screening football, rugby, cricket, golf, tennis etc. Live music every night. Drinks specials and popular with the backpacking crowd.
Gaga’s Bar: Small bar in the Old Town, beers on tap and sporting memorabilia on the walls. Drop in first to double-check they will screen English football as often have French, Italian and other European matches on.
If you have any more recommendations, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
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