The Summer Olympic Games will take place in Paris from July 26 to Aug. 11, 2024, and like all international sporting events they’ll attract a lot of interest, especially since they’re taking place in one of the world’s most popular cities.
So, if you have the Olympics on your bucket list, it’s time to start planning.
The Paris Olympics will be groundbreaking in several ways, starting with the opening ceremony. For the first time in the Summer Games, the parade of athletes won’t take place in a stadium but along the Seine, with a procession of boats for each national delegation. Giant screens and strategically placed speakers will allow everyone to enjoy the magical atmosphere. Holding the spectacle outdoors means that it will be open to everyone. While tickets will be sold for some seating, there’ll be plenty of places along the river where you can watch for free.
The Games will also make use of iconic Paris landmarks, like beach volleyball with a backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. At the same time, the city will play host to the Cultural Olympiad, which includes exhibits, concerts, dance and theater performances.
Have you ever wanted to run — or walk — in the footsteps of Olympic athletes? The Paris 2024 Mass Participation Marathon, on August 10, will allow amateurs to run the same route as the Olympic Marathon, but by night. The race, open to anyone age 20 or older, sets off at 9 p.m. If you’re not quite up to a marathon, there’s also a 10K race that will start at 11:30 p.m. for those 16 or older. And the route will be accessible to disabled participants. Or, you can simply stand along the route and cheer on the runners.
While most events will take place in Paris, there are other sites throughout France where you can catch some Olympic competitions. For example, soccer will be played at six stadiums, including those in Lyon, a center of French cuisine; Nice, along the sun-drenched Riviera; and Bordeaux, one of France’s most prominent wine-growing regions. Sailing will take place in Marseille, along the Mediterranean. Lille, in northern France, a university city with a 17th-century historic district, will host the qualifying rounds in basketball and handball finals.
You could also visit Paris, outside of the games, for a – well – less crowded experience. A great way to explore France is via a river cruise. Dock in the heart of Paris, admiring views of the Eiffel Tower and a replica of the Statue of Liberty from your ship. Experience history firsthand at the Normandy beaches and delight in Rouen’s Gothic architecture. Explore Giverny and the charming house and gardens where Claude Monet lived and worked, the setting inspiring many of his masterpieces. This voyage celebrates history, art, food and customs in France’s most alluring urban and pastoral settings. It’s an experience you can only get by traveling on a Viking river cruise.
However and whenever you decide to visit France, planning ahead is a must. If you’re looking to attend for the Summer Olympic Games, you’re already behind schedule.