It’s official. After a tense round of semi-finals, it’s France and Portugal who are going head-to-head in the EURO 16 final on Sunday.
Just like their talented teams, both nations have a rich cultural heritage and an ability to captivate crowds. In fact, the Foreign Office estimates that 17 million Brits visit France every year, and around 2.6 million headed to Portugal in 2015 alone.
Both of the European nations’ capitals are some of the oldest and most exciting in the world, scoring highly as business travel destinations for their extensive transport networks and varied venue options.
We’ve rounded up our key business travel facts and recommendations for both cities:
- Charles de Gaulle, 25km North West of central Paris, is on line B of the RER express train network and the journey to the city centre takes 25-30 minutes. A taxi takes a similar amount of time when traffic is free flowing – but expect to pay €50 to 70
- Paris Orly International Airport is less well connected, and you need to take a bus or light train to connect with the RER system. Most business visitors take a taxi from the airport, 17km south of the city centre. This normally costs around €40-55 depending on traffic
- Paris’ public transport system is comprehensive. The metro has 303 stations on 14 lines, while the RER express network has 257 on five lines. Single journeys by metro, RER, bus or tram in the city are circa €1.70 and a day pass starts at €6.80. Paris is also home to the world’s largest communal bike scheme, Vélib’
- For a good compromise between space and cost, the Helzear apartment-hotel, in the 14th arrondissement near to Montparnasse station, is a great choice. Fourteen apartments cluster around a shady courtyard and the decor is modern and clean. A one bedroom apartment with kitchenette and free wi-fi costs from around €228, if booked well in advance
- For luxury, the Peninsula Paris was the first European property of the group known for its iconic Hong Kong hotel. The hotel competes the <a href="http://www look at this now.fourseasons.com/paris”>Four Seasons George V, for the upper end of the business market looking for a very central hotel
- For easy access to La Défense business district or the Center of New Industries and Technologies (CNIT), the Novotel Paris La Défense is a good mainstream business hotel. It’s comfortable and reasonable value for a four-star hotel, from around €195 a night
- Both TAP Portugal and Ryanair operate direct flights between Manchester and the Portuguese capital Lisbon. From London Heathrow, there are direct flights with TAP. Easyjet operates from Luton and Monarch also flies from Gatwick
- Lisbon has an extensive public transport network, and use of its metros, buses and trams is one of the most cost efficient and flexible ways to discover the city. The metro is generally the fastest way to get around, and complete information can be found at metrolisboa.pt. Taxis are also a reliable option and are fairly inexpensive, although drivers are allowed to charge up to 50% for extra luggage
- The luxurious Bairro Alto Hotel is in Lisbon’s creative hub, between bohemian Bairro Alto and cosmopolitan Chiado. It celebrates art and design throughout its restored 19th century building
- The Dom Pedro Palace is located in the heart of the city, offering 20 meeting rooms and is just 7km away from Lisbon International Airport
- Hotel Olissippo Oriente is situated in a lively business district. The contemporary hotel offers plenty of amenities, and is just a four-minute walk from the nearest metro station