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What travelers should know about Paris 2024 Olympics

By Lacey Pfalz, TravelPulse
Published: November 18, 2023, 5:25am

The Paris 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics are among the most eagerly anticipated global events of next year. Here’s what travelers should know about the upcoming Games.

The 2024 Olympics will be held on July 26 through Aug. 11 throughout the Paris metro area and beyond. An estimated 15.3 million visitors are expected to visit Paris and its surrounding areas during the Olympics, with an estimated 3.3 million of these as attendees. The vast majority of these visitors are expected to be from France (13.4 million), while the city will welcome an estimated 1.9 million international travelers.

The city estimates travelers will spend 2.6 billion euro, or roughly $2.75 billion overall, with 1.9 billion euro being spent at the Olympic Games. International visitors are expected to contribute to 38.5 percent of this spending at the Olympic Games, and 31.2 percent at the Paralympic Games.

TravelPulse interviewed Corinne Menegaux, managing director at Paris je t’aime Tourist Office, to learn more.

Preparing Paris for its largest event

The city has been preparing for the event, the largest one it has ever hosted, in a variety of ways that are expected to change the city forever, from purifying the Seine to allow for the swimming events to take place in the storied river — and even after — to increasing bike lanes to allow for greener transportation to and from the Games.

“Legacy is a very important aspect of the organization of the Olympics and was a prerequisite in Paris candidacy. The Games must have a positive impact on the territory, for its inhabitants and visitors alike,” said Menegaux. “The ambition of Paris in terms of transport is that 100 percent of visitors can go to the competition sites by public transport or active transport (bike for example). There already is a biking network of 1000 km in Paris.

“And in 2024, 100 percent of the competition’s sites will be accessible by bike,” she continued. “The goal of Paris 2024 is that 20 percent of the commute be made by bike. Paris wishes to welcome people with disabilities in the best possible conditions. The 185 kilometers of Olympic lanes will be open to vehicles designed to facilitate the transport of people with reduced mobility.”

City becomes a stage

Paris is viewing its job as a host city very differently than previous Olympic host cities: Instead of building a totally new complex to host the events, its most iconic attractions, landmarks and destinations will become Olympic stadiums and arenas. In fact, 90 percent of the locations for the Olympic Games already exist.

“The Grand Palais will host fencing and taekwondo, the Place de la Concorde will host the new Olympic sports: breakdance, skateboard, BMX, basketball 3×3,” said Menegaux. “At the foot of the Eiffel Tower, beach volleyball competitions will take place, and on the Champs-de-Mars: judo and wheelchair rugby! And of course, the Seine will have a very special place in the celebrations, as it will be the highlight of the opening ceremony and will inaugurate swimming in the river!”

Just outside of Paris, other Olympic events will take place in and near attractions such as the Palace of Versailles, which will host the equestrian games for both the Olympics and the Paralympics. A selection of other events will be held across France from Bordeaux to Marseille, while the second Olympic surfing competition will take place in Teahupo’o in Tahiti.

“It is worth discovering to see Paris differently, outside of the more classic touristic routes. We are also excited to open our new ‘SPOT24’ venue, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. It puts the new Olympic disciplines and urban cultures center stage when it opens in autumn 2023,” Menegaux said.

“A unique, multidisciplinary, and immersive exhibition will honor 3×3 basketball, BMX freestyle, breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing. The aim of the exhibition is to promote Olympism and the bridges between sport, culture and art. SPOT24 will be a place where everyone can live, share and meet: urban, sporting and cultural communities, Parisians, foreign visitors.”

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