Visiting Paris before, during and after Paris Olympics 2024

Are you planning to visit Paris just before, during or after the Paris Olympics 2024 and wondering if and how the Games will affect your trip? You’re in luck because you’ve come to the right place to get all the information you need about what to expect from your visit during the Paris Olympics.

Don’t worry, the Olympic Games will not bring Paris to a standstill. You will still have a wonderful trip and create beautiful memories. No Olympic Games will stand in the way of that.

Visiting Paris during the summer Olympics is a unique opportunity to witness Paris’s exciting transformation and worldwide spotlight for a few weeks. For some, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be in a city hosting the Olympics. Yes, it will be a different experience visiting Paris during this time but it doesn’t mean that it will be any less special.

I’ll share my knowledge nuggets to help you stay informed about the changes that Paris is undergoing in preparation for the Olympics and which parts of the city the Games will affect more than others. I will update the page as new relevant information comes to light so save this page and share it with anyone you know who is planning a trip to Paris this summer.

Paris during Olympics 2024-champ de mars-the knowledge nuggets
Source: Paris2024.org

When will the Olympics be taking place?

The Olympic Games will run from 26 July to 11 August 2024, and Paralympic Games from 28 August until 8 September 2024.

Where exactly will the Olympics be taking place in Paris?

The events will take place at several competition sites across Paris. Some of these sites are existing venues (such as Grand Palais), and others are temporary sites that the city of Paris will install for the Olympic Games and dismantle afterwards.

Apart from Paris, there will also be events at venues outside of Paris such as Chateau de Versailles. In addition, there will be events at other major cities in France (Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Saint-Etienne, Châteauroux) as well as the French territory of Tahiti.

Let’s focus on the Olympic Games competition venues located in central Paris. There are other venues in Paris, further from the centre, such as Roland Garros Stadium but I am assuming these would not form part of your Paris itinerary. So, let’s focus on what to expect from central Paris.

Seven temporary venues in central Paris will host the Olympic Games. These sites require an assembly phase (from March 2024) and a time for dismantling the site (until early November 2024).

1. Eiffel Tower Stadium

A temporary open-air stadium in the middle of Champ de Mars, located between the Eiffel Tower and the École Militaire, will host beach volleyball and blind football events. The structure will be completely dismantled at the end of the Games.

2. Champ de Mars Arena (also known as Grand Palais Éphémère)

There is already an existing wooden structure at Champ de Mars installed back in 2021, just opposite the École Militaire. During the Olympic Games, the temporary structure will host judo and wrestling events, before being taken down in Autumn 2024 and reused for other purposes.

3. Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris and connects the Tuileries Garden to the Avenue Champs Élysées. There will be a temporary open stage where sports such as skateboarding, breaking, BMX freestyling and 3×3 basketball will take place, right in the city centre. The stadium is a temporary structure and will be taken down after the Games.

4. Invalides

The Esplanade des Invalides is a large green space that links the Grand Palais on the right bank of the Seine, via a bridge called Pont Alexandre III, to the Hôtel des Invalides. This area will see a temporary building structure installed to host archery, cycling and athletics events. The structure will be taken down after the Games.

5. Pont Alexandre III

This is the bridge that links Les Invalides and the Grand Palais which will both become competition venues during the Olympic Games. Temporary infrastructure will be built to allow the spectators to view cycling, triathlon and aquatics events. All the temporary structures on the bridge will be removed after the Games.

6. Trocadero and Pont d’Iéna

Pont d’Iéna is a bridge that links the Eiffel Tower on the left bank to the Trocadero Gardens on the right bank. The bridge will be decked out in temporary installations allowing the public to watch athletics and cycling events. The area around Trocadero will offer a viewpoint to spectators during the triathlon, road cycling, athletics and swimming events.

7. Hôtel de Ville

The Town Hall will be transformed into a Games field for the Olympic marathon event. It will have a temporary installation to act as a starting area for the marathon.  

In addition, grandstands will be installed along the Seine river for the Olympic Opening Ceremony on 26 July 2024. The opening ceremony will be held on the river in the form of a river parade. Nearly 10,500 athletes from 206 delegations will parade on boats in front of several hundred thousand people. The route will start at Pont d’Austerlitz and end at the Pont d’Iéna, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The installation on the lower quaysides will begin in early June 2024, and installation on the bridges from early July 2024.

Paris during Olympics 2024-map of competition venues-the knowledge nuggets
Source: Paris2024.org

Can I drive in Paris during the Olympic Games?

I never recommend hiring a car to drive around Paris anyway, but especially so during the Olympic Games. The public transport system works so well and the city is walkable around most attractions. The Paris police have set up perimeters around the competition sites to regulate motor traffic. Therefore, there will be restrictions on cars going in and out of the perimeters.

Will I still be able to use taxis in Paris during the Olympic games?

Yes, taxis will continue to operate, however, I would recommend to use the public transport system. The general expectation is that roads in Paris will be busier than usual. Also, the police force has placed restrictions on where taxis could go within the perimeters mentioned earlier.

Will there be street closures during the Olympic Games?

Yes, there will be temporary street closures taking place several days before the start of the Olympic Games and during the events, in order to secure the flow of spectators around the competition sites. The Ministry of Transport has developed an interactive map, showing the impact of the Paris 2024 Games on public transport. The map allows you to view anticipated street and public transport closures in Paris.

The Olympic Games will host several road events (cycling, triathlon, marathon). As a result, the events will disrupt travel on the roads when they are taking place.

The day of the Opening Ceremony on 26 July 2024 and several days before the ceremony will likely cause the most disruption for visitors. Several bridges will be used during the ceremony and will need to be closed for all traffic. Therefore, you will need to plan ahead how to get from one bank of the Seine river to the other on this day.  

Will there be bridge closures during the Olympic Games?

As part of preparations for the Opening Ceremony taking place on the River Seine, the city of Paris will be gradually closing several bridges to traffic. These include the following bridges:

  • Pont d’Iéna: closed 24 hours a day from 13 July to 26 July inclusive and during competition times from 26 July to 11 August
  • Pont de l’Alma : closed from 24 July to 26 July. Open area with activity/isolated lane closure from 15 July to 23 July
  • Pont Alexandre III: closed to cars, but sidewalks accessible to pedestrians from 17 May to 25 July and from 12 August to 28 August, then from 8 September to 25 September. Completely closed during competition hours, but open to pedestrians outside of these hours from 26 July to 11 August and from 28 August to 8 September 
  • Pont de la Concorde:  closed from 24 July to 26 July. Open area with activity/isolated lane closure 18-23 July
  • Pont Saint-Louis: closed on 21 and 22 July, then on 26 July. Open area with activity/isolated lane closure from 17-20 July and 23-25 July
  • Pont des Arts: closed 22 July and 24-26 July
  • Pont d’Austerlitz: open area with activity/isolated lane closure from 8 – 23 July, then total closure from 24-26 July

On the day of the opening ceremony on 26 July, you will have 4 possibilities to move from one bank of the river Seine to the other: 

  • Sully Bridge 
  • Notre-Dame bridge and the Petit-Pont Cardinal-Lustiger
  • Pont des Invalides 
  • Léopold-Sédar-Senghor footbridge pedestrian bridge 

After 26 July, Paris will reopen the bridges but there are no precise reopening dates available yet.

Will river cruises on the Seine operate during the Olympic Games?

River cruise oeprators expect the sightseeing river cruises to continue to operate as usual until 19 July 2024. Then, there will be no cruises on the river by any tour operator for one week before the Opening Ceremony on 26 July. After 26 July, the tour companies will resume operations as usual but there will be certain parts of the day when no cruises will be allowed. I recommend you to check directly with your chosen river cruise operator at the time of your visit to Paris.

Paris during Olympics 2024 champions park-the knowledge nuggets
Source: Paris2024.org

Will the Paris Metro operate normally during the Olympic Games?

The metro will operate normally throughout the Games. However, the Tuileries, Concorde and Champs-Elysées Clémenceau stations will be closed due to the location of the competition sites. Other stations may close in order to secure road races or for the Opening Ceremony. 

Here are the expected closure dates for the metro stations:

  • Tuileries (Line 1): from 17 June to 21 September
  • Concord (Line 12): from 17 May to 21 September
  • Concord (Lines 1 and 8): from 17 June to 21 September
  • Champs-Elysées – Clémenceau (Lines 1 and 13): from 1 July to 21 September

For a detailed guide to using the Paris Metro during the Olympics, check out my article “Using Paris Metro during the 2024 Olympics“.

Are Paris Metro ticket prices really going up during the Olympic Games?

Yes, it’s true that from 20 July 2024 to 8 September, 2024, public transport prices will temporarily increase for non-residents of Paris and Île-de-France. The price of the metro ticket will increase to €4 per journey. However, Paris has introduced a new “Paris 2024” pass for travellers during the Olympics. The “Paris 2024”* pass is a €16/day package that allows you unlimited travel anywhere in Île-de-France on all public transport networks, and which you can buy here. You can purchase the pass for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 or 14 days. The average daily cost of the pass reduces with the number of days you purchase. For example, a 7 day pass costs €70, which is €42 cheaper than if you were to purchase 7 consecutive individual day passes.

It gives access to all Olympic competition venues in Île-de-France, as well as to the two airports  (Orly and Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle).

Alternatively, you can buy transport tickets before 20 July and load them onto your Navigo Easy pass because any tickets purchased before the Games still remain valid during the Games!

What changes will I see in Paris if I’m visiting in April, May, June or July?

Firstly, it’s important to note that Paris is not shutting down for the Olympics. While there will be certain areas, as explained above, that will be impacted by the construction work, the majority of Paris will be there for you to explore as before.

With such a big event, it’s understandable that the setup phase will begin early on to allow for all the temporary sites and installations to be put in place. In Paris, the setup phase began in March 2024 and will extend until July 2024.

How soon after the Olympics will Paris go back to the way it was?

Since the set up took a few months, clearly the dismantling will also take some time after the end of the Olympic games. It is expected to begin at each site at the end of the last competition and be completed no later than early November 2024, with the total release of public spaces.

What advice would you give for my trip to Paris around the Olympics?

Firstly, enjoy your trip! The Olympics are a unique part of Paris’s history so go with the flow of events. Making your way around the city to visit key attractions is likely to require extra patience, but armed with knowledge about affected locations, you can play your days accordingly.

If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet, do this as soon as possible. If there are any particular museums or attractions that you’d like to visit, book these in advance.

If you’re visiting Paris between 18 and 26 July 2024, then I suggest you read “QR code for getting around during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games“. In summary, a digital pass in the form of a QR code will be required for accessing specific areas in Paris during the Olympic Games this summer. Only residents, workers and visitors to the area (e.g. those holding tickets for the Olympic events or reservations at hotels, restaurants, museums, etc.) can make an online request to obtain the Games Pass (“Pass Jeux”). Read this article to explore which areas of Paris are affected by this pass, and how to apply for it.

Make a note of the resources that would help you to navigate Paris better on arrival. I suggest downloading the Île-de-France Mobilités application to help you plan your journey by public transport.

Check out the websites of the Paris police prefecture and Paris Games 2024 where you can find the latest information that may be relevant during your visit.

Which areas do you expect to be the busiest in central Paris during the Olympics?

The areas where the competition venues are located will be the busiest around the Olympics. As mentioned above, these are Trocadero, Pont d’Iéna, Champ de Mars, Place de la Concorde, Invalides, Pont Alexandre III and Hôtel de Ville.

Which other areas do you recommend to visit in Paris during the Olympics?

There are so many places to see and visit in Paris which fall outside the Olympics zone perimeter that you can still do lots of sightseeing without being close to the competition venues if you choose.

Places like Île de la Cité (home to the Notre-Dame Cathedral), Le Marais, Montmartre, Pantheon, Jardin du Luxembourg, Saint-Germain-des-Près, Arc de Triomphe, La Villette and others have plenty to offer to visitors. Check out my suggested family-friendly Paris Itineraries to help you inspire and plan your visit to Paris.

Will museums and attractions remain open in Paris during Olympics?

Paris remains open for anyone wanting to visit and all the museums and attractions will remain open during the Olympic Games.

Will the Eiffel Tower be open for visit during Paris Olympics?

The Eiffel Tower will remain open. Whether you want to take the elevator or climb, things will be running as usual. Please remember to book your tickets in advance as there will very likely be an increase in demand for tickets during the Olympic Games.

I don’t have tickets to the Olympics Games. Can I still watch them?

Even if you don’t have tickets to the Games, you can still watch some Paris Olympics events for free as they’ll be taking place on the streets of Paris or on the Seine River e.g. triathlon, marathon and road cycling.

Giant broadcast screens across 25 free fan zones set up in different parts of Paris will allow you to watch the Games live. Come and join the Olympics celebrations with other fans and visitors.

Here’s to an amazing summer ahead! Get ready to experience the excitement of the games spreading throughout Paris, with all of France joining in the celebration. Be ready to soak up the excitement because this is an unforgettable moment in Paris’s history that you’ll want to be a part of!

4 thoughts on “Visiting Paris before, during and after Paris Olympics 2024”

  1. Do you know if the Paris Visite Pass will be available during the Games for anyone only wanting Zone 1 to 3 metro travel?

    1. Hello, the Paris Visite Pass will not be available for sale or use between 20 July and 8 September 2024. This pass and all other existing passes will be temporarily suspended during this period and the ONLY pass that you can buy is the newly introduced Paris 2024 Pass. For a detailed guide to using the Paris Metro during the Olympics as well as all the info about the newly created Paris 2024 Pass, check out my article “Using Paris Metro during the 2024 Olympics”. Hope this is helpful.

  2. Anièlle Von Finckenstein

    Hello,
    Any ideas of rooftop terraces / bars that would give a view of the seine for the opening ceremony? 😁
    Thanks!

    1. Hello! While there are plenty of rooftop terraces/bars with a view of Paris, surprisingly there aren’t that many with the view of the River Seine itself, let alone uninterrupted views of the river without anything blocking your view. The ones that come to mind are Bonnie (fairly new restaurant/bar from the Paris Society group), Monsieur Bleu (partial view of the River) and Madame Brasserie (inside the Eiffel Tower itself). Do check directly with the places if they plan to be open / are available on the 26th July (the day of the Opening Ceremony).

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