Euro 2016: What to do, where to go and what to see in Lens at Euro 2016Lens has come a long way. It’s story and that of its home team, Racing Club – French champions in 1998 – is one of urban and cultural renewal. The Red Bulletin reveals how to enjoy the city during EURO 2016
Lens is the second-largest Euro 2016 host city in northern France and the urban centre of the mining area of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie. It suffered extensive destruction during WWI, and again in 1945, but was rebuilt during the thirty-year period from 1945 to 1975 (referred to as the Trente Glorieuses) and was a centre of coal mining until the mines closed in the 1960s.
Beginning in 2000, Lens set about developing its infrastructure, universities, science hubs (such as the science cluster at the university of Artois) and Institutes of Technology. It adopted a two-prong urban policy focussing on the digital economy to expand Internet access and improve public services, and the environment with a differentiated approach to managing its green spaces.
In 2013 the Louvre-Lens museum was opened. The astounding provincial outpost of the Louvre provided a much-needed and lifesaving boost for the city.
The Stadium: Bollaert-Delelis
11 June 15:00
Albania vs Switzerland – Group A
16 June 15:00
England vs Wales – Group B
21 June 21:00
Czech Republic vs Turkey – Group D
25 June 21:00
Round of 16 – WD vs 3B/E/F
Bollaert-Delelis stadium dominates Lens and has been a vital element of the city’s life since it was opened in 1933. The stadium underwent exhaustive renovations to bring it up to Euro 2016 standards, and it now holds 38,233 people, more than the current population of 31,700! Lens is a big football city. Behind every resident of Lens is a “sang et or” (blood and gold) Racing Club supporter that remains loyal through thick and thin.
Head for the centre of Lens for a warm and friendly atmosphere, or go straight to the fan zone stretching from Place Jean-Jaurès as far as rue de Paris. It’s open throughout the competition from 10 June to 10 July.
- City Population: 32,663
- Region: Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie
- Stadium: Pierre Mauroy stadium
- Local Team: Racing Lens
- Capacity: 38,233
- First Match: 11 June 15:00
- Fan Zone: Place Jean-Jaurès
For a drink, snacks and to watch the match.
Try some local food and enjoy drinks or cocktails when you’re not watching the matches
And for something different
The old city of Arras with its baroque architecture is less than 20 km from Lens. Arras is a UNESCO world heritage site for its belfry and citadel.
L’île Fantastique is an exotic garden spread over 3,300 square miles with a selection of palm trees, banana plants, bamboos, fern trees, hardy plants, grasses, shrubs, trees, and rare plants.
The Louvre-Lens has a scientific and cultural agreement linking it to the prestigious Paris museum. It holds semi-permanent exhibitions showcasing some of the Louvre’s collections, as well as other temporary national and international shows.