Excitement is building as France gears up to host the football this summer. Fans from around Europe will descend upon the ten host cities and there will be no doubt be a carnival atmosphere everywhere you turn.

Host countries have to prove themselves as great destinations to pass a notoriously difficult selection process, so even if you weren’t lucky enough to get tickets this time, why not explore a previous tournament location instead for your next city break. All the following destinations combine an abundance of culture and sightseeing opportunities – with a love of football of course!

1960 – Paris, France: Situated on the River Seine, Paris is famous for its landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, which is the world’s most visited art museum. It is also known as the capital of romance with plenty of galleries and restaurants to keep you entertained.

Paris seen from Notre Dame

1964 – Madrid, Spain: Madrid is the cultural, political and economic capital of Spain although despite its modern infrastructure and lively atmosphere, it retains many of its old buildings and charm – perfect for exploring.

Gran via

1968 – Rome, Italy: Rome is a city full of remnants from its ancient past. Built on the ‘seven hills of Rome’, its centre is a UNESCO world heritage site and the city is a must-visit destination for pizza fans too!

Roman Forum

1972 – Brussels, Belgium: As the location of the EU headquarters, there is lots to see in this trendy yet architecturally rich capital. A unique multilingual city, Brussels will keep on surprising you.

Brussels

1976 – Belgrade, Serbia: Nestled on the Danube, Belgrade’s turbulent history has left a fascinating historical trail. Overlooked by the Beogradska Tvrđava fortress, an eclectic mix of architecture is complemented by features such as the huge Kalemegdan park.

BEW2HE Old building roofs in Zemun part of Belgrade, Serbia

1988 – Munich, Germany: As the capital of Bavaria and the home of Oktoberfest, Munich is a place of great reverence for beer lovers. However, the city offers so much more with its true mix of modern and traditional German art and culture.

Munich 2

1992 – Gothenburg, Sweden: Gothenburg is a picturesque port city, noted for its canals and stark coastal areas. Sweden’s second largest city has something for everyone, whether you’re taking in the beautiful scenery or visiting the famous Liseberg amusement park.

Gothenburg view over Linnestaden

1996 – London, England: An iconic city that is embracing the new, with futuristic buildings like the Shard and ‘Gherkin’ building standing alongside Big Ben and Tower Bridge et al. London has been home to many sporting events such as the 1996 Euros and 2012 Olympics.

Big Ben

2000 – Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Rotterdam is an incredibly modern city, with most of its buildings being built post World War II meaning daring architecture, and hip cafés and restaurants wherever you look.

Rotterdam

2004 – Lisbon, Portugal: The Portuguese capital is known for its café culture and its towering castle, Sao Jorge. Visitors to Lisbon are greeted by amazing weather and friendly locals, making it the perfect place to spend a long weekend.

Lisbon, Portugal skyline at Sao Jorge Castle.; Shutterstock ID 217601629

2008 – Vienna, Austria: The Austrian capital is an artistic and intellectual hub. Situated upon the Danube, the city is perhaps best known for its vast palaces, museums and its status as a must-visit for those who love pastries and desserts.

Vienna

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