Rugby World Cup, giant concerts, and soon the Olympic Games! The Stade de France, in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), is at the center of all the biggest events organized in France. This Saturday, it hosts the shock match South Africa - Ireland (21 pm).
With its 80,698 seats, the Dionysian enclosure is the largest in the country. It is served by RER B (La Plaine - Stade de France), RER D (Stade de France - Saint-Denis), metro line 13 (Saint-Denis - Porte de Paris) and line 12 (Front Populaire).
Aiming for the right door
On the evenings of major events, given the massive flow of travelers or around the stadium, it is better to get ahead. Savvy spectators can save precious minutes by choosing the right station. The banknotes all indicate the letter of the door through which to enter compulsorily, after having undergone a security check. These doors are distributed from A to Z, counterclockwise. For example, if your ticket tells you to go to Gate N, you'll only be a 5-minute walk from line 13. So, if possible, you might as well avoid arriving by the RER B, located nearly 20 minutes walk, in the middle of a compact and hurried crowd.
Here is what the prefecture of police recommends:
Gates A, B, C, D, E and H (East of the Stadium): take RER B to La Plaine – Stade de France station (10 minutes walk) or metro line 12 direction to Front populaire station (25 minutes).
Gates J, K, L, N, R and S (North of the Stadium): take metro line 13 to Saint-Denis – Porte de Paris station (5 minutes walk).
Gates T, U, X, Y and Z (South-West of the Stadium): take the RER D to the station Stade de France – Saint-Denis (15 minutes walk).
Other tips: make sure you buy your tickets in advance, so you don't queue in front of ATMs. Small reminder: for the RER, the valid ticket is the cardboard origin-destination ticket and not the T+ ticket (only accepted for the metro and bus). The journey to Paris by RER is 3.10 euros, while the metro ticket for line 13 is 2.10 euros (per unit).