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Things to do in Paris during the Summer Olympics

Our guide to outdoor summer activities in the French capital.

Make the most of summer in Paris

Paris always shines when the mercury climbs. But the Summer Olympics are sure to add an extra buzz to the City of Light. On top of the spectacular sporting events, there are plenty of outdoor activities to pack in. From sightseeing to parks and picnics, there’s so much more to summer in Paris than just shot puts and sprints.

Outdoor Paris summer activities 

The French capital can really hot up between June and August. So don’t forget those summer staples to explore Paris in the summer time. Make sure to pack your sunglasses, sun tan lotion, a water bottle, and comfy shoes. Then you’re free to enjoy the charms of that famous tower, a park picnic, the Paris Plages, or a guinguette. Getting around the city is simple. There’s a clever transport network of trains, buses, Métros, trams, and plenty of Vélib’ rentable bikes. Or opt for the leisurely scenic route on foot and reward yourself with a sweet treat from a top-notch artisanal ice cream maker (overlooking the Canal Saint Martin, Sucre Glace makes a killer blueberry sorbet).

Olympics in the city 

The Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics will be the French capital’s third Games. The last one was in 1924, and the city plans to celebrate this centenary style. Even Club France at Parc de La Villette will be transformed into a fan zone where you can rub shoulders with athletes. Or you can see urban culture and the Olympics collide at the SPOT24 exhibition. Fancy something a little more active? Quand tout se joue is an Olympics-themed tour of the Pompidou Centre’s permanent collection. Or you can stroll along Le Parcassons – a musical trail at the Cité de la Musique/Philharmonie de Paris.

See the sights: the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame 

Top of your must-see hit list? That’ll of course be the city’s most iconic monument – the Eiffel Tower. For extra drama, visit her in the evening. There’s nothing more memorable than those moonlit views of the entire city.

Next, why not check out another beloved landmark – Notre-Dame de Paris. We bet you remember how shocked the world was in 2019 when it was damaged by a devastating fire. After a quick but careful renovation, this Cathedral, dating back to the 1300s, is back to her former glory. Want to see it all at once? Catch a cruise on one of the Seine’s Bateau Mouche boats.

Go green: parks and picnics 

Parisian restaurants are a bit hit and miss in the summer. Some close early so their staff can enjoy their holidays. Why not take matters into your own hands by whipping up your own gourmet picnic of delicacies from the best food markets in town. Wondering where to lay your picnic blanket? There are plenty of lush spots to choose from. Give grand gardens like the Jardin des Tuileries, Jadrin des Plantes, and Jardin du Luxembourg a go. Or make for les Buttes-Chaumont – Paris’s biggest park.

If want to walk on the wild side to get your green fix, check out the secret-ish Coulée verte René-Dumont. It’s an old railway line that’s been turned into a pedestrianised five kilometre nature walk. Stroll all the way from Opéra Bastille to the Château de Vincennes, and get a glimpse of wild plants, four gardens, and some very cool street art.

Take the plunge: pools and Paris Plages

Ever fancied a dip in the Seine? Well, you might be able to by 2025. In the meantime, three special structures will be unveiled during the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, meaning you can beat the heat while paddling like a pro. Want a stunning view while brushing up on your breaststroke? Then the recently restored Pontoise Art Deco pool is calling your name. Even the changing rooms have heaps of history. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the wet and wild Aquaboulevard aquatic park. It’s full of wave machines, pools, and slides galore. But if you fancy a taste of the seaside in the city, head for the Paris Plages. They throw up a feel-good mix of palm trees, food trucks, oversized pools, and concerts along the Seine.

Nightlife: dancing and movies 

In the summer months, Parisians take their long-standing love affair with cinema outside. There are always regular free open-air screenings in the city’s parks and museums. Cinema sur le Toit x So Film au Bar à Bulles is a Wednesday movie night with an eclectic line-up. It’s perched in the rooftop bar of the Moulin Rouge cabaret, and the view is worth the visit alone. Bring your own popcorn and make sure to book a week in advance.

If taking to the dance floor is more your thing, embrace the local guinguette scene. These bustling bars are for families and singles alike. You can nibble on reasonably priced apéro while dancing the night away to classic and not-so-classic tunes. Our favourite summer stalwarts are the Rosa Bonheur, nestled in the Buttes Chaumont, or the floating guinguette of Jardin Tino Rossi in the 5th arrondissement.

For the kids: Jardin d’Acclimatation and Disneyland® Paris 

Only in Paris could you find a theme park as historic, chic, and family-friendly as the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne. Dating back to the Napoleonic era, it has 42 attractions, 450 animals, and plenty of workshops and restaurants. Fancy brushing shoulders with Marvel heroes and Mickey Mouse? Disneyland® Paris is just 36 minutes away from the city centre by RER train.

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The 2024 Summer Olympic Games will run from 26 July to 11 August, 2024. The Paralympic Games will be held from 28 August to 6 September.

The Summer Olympics are being held at the Porte de la Chapelle Arena, Grand Palais, la Concorde, the Alexander III Bridge, the Hotel de Ville, the Trocadéro, the Invalides, the Eiffel Tower Stadium, the Roland-Garros stadium, the Champ de Mars Arena, the Parcs des Princes stadium, the South Paris Arena, and the Bercy Arena.

The Paralympic Games are being held at the Porte de la Chappelle Arena, the Grand Palais, the Alexander III Bridge, the Invalides, the Eiffel Tower Stadium, the Roland-Garros Stadium, the Champ de Mars Arena, the South Paris Arena, and the Bercy Arena.

The Paris 2024 Olympic opening ceremony will be held on July 26, 2024, with the athletes boarding boats on the Seine. Starting at the Austerlitz Bridge, it’ll travel down the river for six kilometres to the Iéna Bridge before finishing at the Trocadéro.

The Paris Olympic closing ceremony will take place on 11 August at Stade de France. Athletes from all over the world will represent their countries one last time and extinguish the Olympic flame. The celebrations will start again, and a new torch flame will be lit at the opening ceremony of the Paralympics Games on 28 August 2024. It’ll then be extinguished at the closing ceremony on 8 September 2024.

Events will be dotted throughout the city, so you can’t go wrong in any arrondissement. But be sure to take a look at our best places to stay in Paris.

It takes just 2 hrs and 16 minutes to go from London to Paris.

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