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Everything you need to know to get around Olympic Paris


The capital is expanding its cultural and sports offerings in preparation for the Olympic Games

Place du Trocadéro in Paris.
Place du Trocadéro in Paris.AP

In 1924, Paris hosted its first Olympic Games. They were inaugurated at the Yves-du-Manoir Stadium, then called the Olympic Stadium, and about 45,000 spectators attended the opening ceremony. It was the first time a logo was used for the Games. A century has passed, and the French capital is once again hosting this sporting event. The games will take place from July 27 to August 11. This time, there will be a majestic ceremony along the Seine, where athletes will parade on boats, in front of over 100,000 spectators.

Paris is preparing to welcome an extra 11 million tourists. The capital, one of the richest places in culture and leisure, has expanded its offerings for the sporting event, although significant transportation congestion and price increases are expected. Here are some of the proposals.

The entire capital will be involved in the sporting event. It will be almost impossible to walk around Paris without Olympic references. Spaces will be set up to watch the events (even without a ticket) or celebrate the medals, with large outdoor screens. The esplanade of the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) will be the welcoming space for fans, with screens and a dining area.

A space has also been designated for this at the Parc de la Villette, at the Club de France, next to the Canal Saint Martin. In total, there will be more than twenty sites throughout the city (Rives de Seine park, Arènes de Lutèce, Parc Monceau...) for sports event enthusiasts to watch the competitions.

For those who want to watch an event live, tickets can be purchased on the official website (tickets.paris2024.org), with prices varying depending on the event, starting from 30 or 40 euros. The Paris 2024 tickets app can be used to manage ticket purchases and resales.

The epicenter of the Games is in Saint-Denis, north of the Parisian outskirts. This is where the Olympic village is located. Screens will be set up at Parc Georges-Valbon and activities such as canoeing and sailing will be available. It is also an opportunity to explore other venues where competitions will take place, such as the Arena La Chapelle stadium (near Montmartre), Parc des Princes, or Roland Garros Stadium. Spaces have also been set up at Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides, and the Grand Palais.

In terms of culture, for those interested in the Olympic theme, there are several exhibitions about the Games. There is an exhibition on the history of Olympism at the Louvre Museum. For this celebration, the iconic museum invites the public to discover the creation of the first Games and their iconographic sources since the late 19th century. Visitors can better understand the political context of their creation and how the event organizers have reinvented competitions from ancient Greece.

As part of the program Paris Museums Celebrate the Games, the city offers a formula that combines cultural and sports walks. During the summer period, tourists are offered two routes to discover the museums of the city of Paris, combining sports and culture. The idea is to travel on foot. One of these routes goes from the archaeological crypt of Ile de la Cité to Victor Hugo's house in Place des Vosges. The second itinerary starts from the Museum of the Liberation to the Museum Bourdelle.

For those who want to avoid the most well-known museums and the sports theme, one of the most sought-after centers today is the Serge Gainsbourg Museum. It opened just a few months ago in the house where the French artist lived. Visits are by reservation only (advance booking is required on the website) and visitors can explore both the house and the museum dedicated to the French singer.

Centre Pompidou. This is one of the classics, but it will close for restoration work next year and will be closed for five years, so it is a good opportunity to visit. Another artistic alternative, somewhat less crowded, is the Bourse de Commerce. Part of François Pinault's art collection, one of the richest men in France, is exhibited in this majestic space, the former Parisian market, which was renovated and opened in 2021 to host contemporary art exhibitions.


Most of the events will take place outdoors, providing an opportunity to see the monuments that Paris offers. The Notre Dame Cathedral remains closed for restoration work following the 2019 fire, but its famous spire can already be admired from the Seine. The Sainte-Chapelle Church and the Conciergerie (where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned) have a privileged location on the river to watch, for example, the passage of the Olympic flame. Both will be open during the sporting period. Additionally, in July and August, musical and cultural events are held, such as Les Nuits secrètes (July 12-14) and Rock in Seine, with open-air concerts (August 21-25).

Prices may soar during the sporting event, so one alternative to avoid overspending could be dining at one of the capital's bouillons: these are classic eateries (dating back to the 19th century) that offer a more affordable menu with typical French dishes. There are about a dozen scattered throughout the city.

For nighttime plans, hotels and shopping centers have terraces where visitors can enjoy Paris from above. The Sun Club Parisien terrace by the Veuve Clicquot champagne brand is one option. From June 5 to September 30, visitors can enjoy this terrace located in the Printemps shopping center.

The Laho Rooftop terrace, at the Austerlitz metro station, offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city. In the Le Marais district, on the tenth floor of the Kimpton Saint Honoré hotel, there is another reference rooftop with views of the most monumental Paris. One of its specialties is barbecue. The Galerie Lafayette in the 9th district is another option. Its eighth floor offers unparalleled 360-degree views of the capital.

For a more refined experience, on the other side of the river, there is the rooftop of the Brach design hotel in the 16th district. It has three terraces with incomparable views of the Eiffel Tower and a carefully crafted cocktail menu. Also, the terrace of the Novotel hotel at Vaugirard metro station.

Public transportation will be more crowded than usual during the weeks of the sporting event, so authorities have recommended that French residents and visitors use alternative transportation, such as bicycles, as much as possible. The city has increased the number of bike lanes, which can be used through rental services, making it one of the best options for getting around. For those who prefer the metro, it is advisable to purchase a transport card (Navigo). The price of a single ticket has doubled (from 2.10 euros to four).

The capital has just inaugurated the section of the extension of the metro line (line 14) to Paris-Orly airport. This line is also automatic, which means that users are protected in the event of transport strikes during the Olympic Games.

In addition, it is important to know that there will be traffic restrictions during the days before the games and on the day of the opening ceremony in the Seine area. Only people with a QR code (because they are residents or work in the area), requested in advance, will be able to access it. Tourists will therefore not be able to access the perimeter on the days before the games.