Where to Watch the French Open Without a Ticket

April 13, 2016

No ticket? No problem! France's biggest tennis tournament, held every May, is a grand slam well worth watching. Soak up the atmosphere without being courtside at these top Parisian hotspots.

One of the tennis world's most famous grand slams - The French Open - arrives in Paris this spring. Welcoming the likes of Djokovic, Murray, Williams and Nadal, the world's biggest clay court tournament descends on the French capital for three weeks of nail biting matches and sporting glamour. Over 100,000 spectators attend the event, held at Roland Garros stadium and unsurprisingly, tickets can be as hard to come by as backstage passes to a Justin Bieber concert.

Luckily, Paris offers several alternatives for watching major games. From iconic monuments and outdoor squares to traditional bars and cocktail dens - there are plenty of places to soak up the sporting action (with a few beers too, of course). We've put together our top six spots for supporting Murray - sorry, we mean watching the matches.

Under the Eiffel Tower

People relaxing on the grass in the sun below the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

For a suitably French spot to watch the tennis, why not head to the Eiffel Tower? Under its iconic steel frame, a huge screen is put up to show many of the tournament's matches. Adding to the festivities is a giant tennis ball suspended between the first and second floors of the tower, while lunching Parisans flake out on the plaza below to catch a bit of the action. Pack a picnic and make an afternoon of it - you could even tie it in with a trip to the top of France's most famous monument (just not at match point though).

Nearest metro stop: Champs de Mars

The Moose

Two cocktails with ice and cherries on a table.

Cocktails and tennis? Sounds like a dream team to us - the best place is The Moose on Rue des Quatre Vents. Serving up a jazzy array of cocktails, this Canadian bar shows all the sports you could ask for and often has special offers on during the French Open. If you're feeling peckish there's a great French Canadian menu too.

Nearest metro stop: Odéon

Hôtel de Ville

The large square in front of Hôtel de Ville.

The large square in front of Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) often shows crucial matches and has an outdoorsy festival vibe complete with huge, live streamed TV. Deckchairs are laid out in front of the large screen and it's a popular spot with local employees. Given how open it is, you're best here on a sunny day; don't forget a cold beer or bottle of French plonk.

Nearest metro stop: Hôtel de Ville

The Bombadier

Friends watching a match in a pub and celebrating at a bar with beers.

If you're looking for an English style pub then look no further than The Bombardier in Place du Panthéon. Serving a great range of ales and lagers - this traditional drinking den shows major sporting matches, including the tennis. If Murray's your man and you're looking for fellow Brits to cheer along with, then here's probably your best bet. Good range of pub grub too.

Nearest metro stop: Cardinal Lemonie

The Long Hop

Tables and chairs outisde a cafe or bar in France.

Oozing traditional Parisian charm, The Long Hop is a student friendly bar in the Latin Quarter and a great place to catch a match. There's coffee, wine and beer (all at pretty reasonable prices) plus an alfresco seating area and a delicious menu. If you're here solely for the tennis then arrive early - it's dinky inside and often fills up quickly during important games.

Nearest metro stop: Maubert Mutualité

Roland Garros Grounds

A groundsman tidying and sweeping a clay tennis court with a net.

If you haven't nabbed tickets for Philippe Chatrier (centre) or Suzanne Lenglen (first) courts then you can still watch from the stadium itself. Ground passes are available (for considerably less money than seat tickets), giving you access to Roland Garros. Once in, you can watch the matches from large screens, try and get your favourite player's autograph or simply soak up the atmosphere. Hurry though, once the tickets are gone, they're gone.

Nearest metro stop: Porte d'Auteuil or Michel-Ange-Molitor

Siobhan Brewood-Wyatt After a Masters in Comparative Literature, Siobhan worked for several big-name travel companies before joining travioor. She has been hooked on travel since her teens and her biggest adventure is booking flights from Rome to Rio after a few too many beers.