Global Traveler

Making History: Paris Opens the Entire City for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games

By Kristy Alpert

For the first time in Olympic history, when the 2024 Summer Olympics kick off on July 26, 2024, they will not do so in a stadium. Instead of an Olympic venue, the entire city of Paris will become the Olympic stadium, hosting the games among monuments, on bridges and on the grounds of some of the world’s most historic sites. The Opening Ceremony will take place on the River Seine, where athletes will drift along on a flotilla of boats as spectators wave them on from the quays and bridges throughout the city.

The slogan of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 is “Games Wide Open,” and, as such, the city is allowing access for anyone hoping to see one of the events. Nearly half of the tickets will be priced at affordable levels, like the Opening Ceremony, which will be accessible to the public for the first time in Olympic history. Most events will have nominal fees for ticketing — including beach volleyball at the open-air Eiffel Tower Stadium or the modern pentathlon at the Château de Versailles — but some of the major events have higher price tags for tickets, such as football and basketball.

The city plans to increase public transportation options during the Olympic season — which lasts July 26–Aug. 11 for the Olympics and Aug. 28–Sept. 8 for the Paralympics — including the possibility of incorporating electric air taxis. Never before has part of the excitement of witnessing the Olympic Games been tied to seeing the creativity that’s turning historic locations into Olympic-worthy venues. A 100-meter floating track will be constructed on the Seine, and the diving platform will tower over the gilded Pont Alexandre III. Traffic will cease as cyclists race around the Arc de Triomphe, and for a brief moment, the très chic City of Light will become the stage for showcasing athletic prowess.

Despite the refocused reason to visit Paris, the city will largely remain true to itself. Cafés will still be for sipping café au lait, and walking along the Siene with a baguette under your arm will be part of the regular backdrop … only in 2024, you’re more likely to be sipping or strolling next to an Olympic athlete.