The 2016 UEFA European Championship is almost upon us and tens of thousands of football fans are set to descend on France. But are you prepared?
An awful lot of people have holidayed in France. It is, by some distance, the destination of choice for more tourists than anywhere else in the world.
With Paris the city of romance, the French Riviera the sunny southern outpost, with wine tasting and much more in between, the country has a lot to offer.
But this summer there will be one dominant activity drawing the crowds in: Euro 2016. With that, here are 7 apps to make your trip that little bit easier.
UEFA EURO 2016 Official App
This is standard, and hardly groundbreaking, but if you want all the Euros news, you won’t go too far wrong with this. You sign up and register the team you’re following and it tailors accordingly.
The downside? The fantasy football game, for some weird reason, doesn’t seem to be included. I’d expect this app to get a whole bunch of upgrades by the start of the tournament. iOS and Android.
LiveScore Euro 2016
Most football fans out there will probably rely on LiveScore, an immensely simple concept that posts up scores, in real time. A few extras like weird running text commentary is included, too, but really it’s all about the scores.
The UI could look a little cleaner, sure, but the fact it’s entirely straightforward, free and takes up hardly any space means it’s hard to get picky with an app that works as well as this. With that, the people behind the app have brought out a separate, tailored Euro 2016 app. For some reason, this isn’t on Android, just iOS.
Fanatix is basically like Twitter, but for football. Sure, Twitter during match days tends to descend into a mess of insulting hashtags between opposing fans, but Fanatix is trying to be a social media site for football fans to share their thoughts.
Most importantly, it’s a pretty good source of what everyone really wants to see when they can’t watch the match on TV: goals. Users can post eight-second long clips onto a stream, which can be curated by a user to select their favourite team. iOS and Android.
Paris Offline Map
If you’re hitting France, you’re probably travelling through Paris – if you’re following Ireland, you’ll most definitely begin there. So, here are one or two very handy apps to help you out. First up is Paris Offline Map. It’s not the fastest operating app, nor the prettiest, but the simplicity here is key.
There is also an iOS alternative that does pretty much the same thing, too.
Visit Paris by Metro
The best way to get around Paris is the Metro (although the City Bikes scheme there is quite excellent, too). So keeping track of when the Metros are running is probably a good thing.
Visit Paris by Metro is the official app of the city’s transport authority. It is fully translated into English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian. It gets timely updates when needed too. Android and iOS.
Offline French Dictionary
This is a basic human need when travelling. You need to speak the language, or at least speak a handful of words of the language. So why not go for a French dictionary, an offline one where possible. On iOS, there’s the French English Dictionary + Freemium. On Android, there’s Offline English French Dict.
If you haven’t booked accommodation for your stay, or you’re thinking of staying on longer than you originally planned, best to have a handheld way of finding a room to bed down in. Airbnb is an obvious app in this regard, with its explosion into the mainstream resulting in plenty of places advertised in pretty much every city or town you’ll frequent in France.
Main Euro 2016 image via IDN/Shutterstock