Ultimate Rugby Fan Day

Ultimate Rugby Fan Day, Toulouse, France (A)

Toulouse is Europe's ultimate rugby fan destination. Home of the Red and Blacks and champion of France and Europe, this is a city with rugby in its blood! Grab this guide for the complete Toulousain rugby experience. Discover venues owned by players, get directions to the match, grab a pint at some of the best rugby bars in town, eat your heart out at restaurants owned by current and ex-rugby players and find out which bars and clubs are hot.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: Ultimate Rugby Fan Day
Guide Location: France » Toulouse
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 6.0 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Author: Narelle Lewis
Author Bio: Narelle Lewis is an Australian journalist and English teacher. She has been living in Toulouse since April 2005 with her French husband. In her spare time she runs English in Toulouse, a social group for people who can speak English and live in Toulouse.
Author Website: http://www.narellelewis.com
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • De Danu Irish Pub
  • Boutique Stade Toulousain
  • Cafe 64
  • Metro Jean Jaures
  • Restaurant Le J'Go
  • Bar Chez Tonton
  • Bar Basque
De Danu Irish Pub

1) De Danu Irish Pub

The best place to kick off your rugby trip ìs at the Irish pub, De Danu. Owned and operated by ex rugby player, Trevor Brennan, De Danu is a mecca for Toulousain rugby fans and expats. Most days, Trevor himself can be found behind the bar pouring a pint.

Inside the pub, you'll feel right at home thanks to the polished wood bar with brass taps and solid wood furniture. On the ceiling there are flags from around the world and the walls are decorated with autographed rugby photos and jerseys.

The pub is on the corner of the street and opens out onto a terrace. When there's a game on, the bar is so popular you'll be hard pressed to get near the door. But don't worry, there's an outdoor bar for big events and the crowds get so big they end up taking over the road!
Boutique Stade Toulousain

2) Boutique Stade Toulousain

Coming from De Danu, take a short walk down a leafy, tree-lined boulevard to the official Stade Toulousain Rugby Shop.

The building is just off the main boulevard, with a large pedestrian area in front. Not only is it packed with rugby stuff, but it's also an interesting gem of local architecture with its round red brick facade and ornate concrete balconies.

Though the shape of the place on the outside may make it appear small, step inside the modern glass doors and you'll be surprised to find that it's actually quite big.

Here you'll find top quality rugby gear for men, as well as badges, flags, umbrellas, limited edition items and a whole lot more. The women's and kids' store has moved a bit further around the corner on rue des Lois.

Even if you're not after any gear and architecture is not your bag, it's worth taking a quick look at this place, since it's ideally situated in the heart of the area you'll be touring for rugby bars and restaurants.
Cafe 64

3) Cafe 64

A few metres from the rugby shop is Cafe 64, the hottest new bar and restaurant in town. Owned and operated by Stade Toulousain player, Michalak, and opened on 2nd June 2010, this is the place for lunch, tapas at the bar, dinner or even just a beer on the terrace.

The lunch menus are cheap at around 11 euros for two courses and their dinner menu will get your mouth watering with their enticing á la carte selections.

Entrées include good southern French fare like foie gras with fig chutney, and Basque influenced smoked Iberian ham with tomato bread.

Moving onto the mains, saddle up for margret de canard entier, which is a whole duck breast with Basque cherry tomatoes and homemade chips. If you're really hungry, go for the side of beef for two people.

On the lighter side, try the pavé de morue, which is a filet of cod with chorizo and a gratin of potatoes, onion and garlic baked in a herb stock.

If you've got room in your tummy after that, their dessert selection will bring any sweet tooth to their knees.
Metro Jean Jaures

4) Metro Jean Jaures

Are you ready to head off to the game? Then your next stop is Jean Jaures metro.

On match days you can get a free shuttle between the metro and the match stadium.

The first shuttle leaves two hours before the match and the last one 5 minutes before. Getting back, the shuttle runs for up to an hour after the game.

Knowing where to go from the metro is a little tricky because there are two stadiums in Toulouse: one for football and the other for rugby, but Jean Jaures metro is where Toulouse's two metro lines (A and B) meet, so this is the best place to start.

On normal match days, games are held at the rugby stadium Stade Ernest Wallon. The shuttle leaves from Station Barrière de Paris (metro line B). From here, look for signs for "Navette Stade E.-Wallon". It will drop you off at Rue F. Lassalle. A footbridge over the canal and a pedestrian path enable you to reach the stadium.

On big match days, like the Heineken Cup, games are held in the much larger football stadium on Ile de Ramier, which is an island in the middle of Toulouse. The shuttle for this stadium leaves from the station Arènes (metro line A) and takes you directly there. You should look for signs for "Navette Stadium". Since this stadium is close to the city centre, you can also take line B to stations Empalot or St-Michel Marcel Langer where it's a 10-minute walk to the gates.
Restaurant Le J'Go

5) Restaurant Le J'Go

After the game, take the shuttle back to the metro and get off at your starting point, Jean Jaures. From here, walk down the road a few metres to your dinner destination, Restaurant Le J'Go. You should be just in time for post game celebrations. For dinner, remember to book in advance, or you may be standing in a queue for a long time. This place is one of the most popular restaurants in Toulouse for rugby players and fans, especially after a match!

Owned and operated by Parisian rugbymen, Denis Méliet and Fabien Galthié, Le J'Go serves up meals from the Gascony region and has a great bar to boot.

The name J'Go is a play on words. In French, the letter J is pronounced G. Put it together and you've got gigot, which is the French word for lamb, so it's no wonder their speciality is spit-roasted lamb. But there's more to the menu than lamb and you'll find that the seasonal menus are fit for a king.

Inside, the restaurant is split over two levels and has a typical Toulousain style red brick courtyard.

Outside, you'll find wine barrels, bar stools and green umbrellas. If you don't fancy a big meal then the terrace is the perfect spot for a cold beer and tapas while soaking up the post game vibes and rugby player spotting!
Bar Chez Tonton

6) Bar Chez Tonton

A leisurely walk down towards the river is an area called Saint Pierre. This part of town is a great area for bars, popular with students and rugby fans.

The bar that stands out here is Chez Tonton, your destination for after dinner drinks. Tonton translates as uncle, and this small family-run bar is somewhat of an institution in Toulouse.

With its canary yellow blinds and hordes of customers sitting on the terrace, this is unmistakably the best place to start a big night out, so grab a chair.

The thing to order here is Chez Tonton's famous metre of pastis, which is in fact a row of glasses of pastis measuring a metre all up.

Pastis is an anise-flavored drink, very popular in the south of France. It is about the same strength as whisky and is served very cold in a small glass with ice and a jug of water on the side.

If aniseed alcohol is not your cup of tea, you can also get any of your standard bar drinks.

The bar is open everyday from lunch time till late.
Bar Basque

7) Bar Basque

Just across the road from Chez Tonton, the Bar Basque is the perfect stumbling distance for a change of scenery.

Run by rugby fans for rugby fans, Bar Basque has a large open air beer garden, accessible from the street through large red brick arches. Overlooking the beer garden is a giant tv screen where you can kick back and watch a bit of sport.

So whether you want to sit back and watch the world go by, watch a game on the telly or sing your favourite drinking songs, this place is a great spot for a warm summer's night.

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