Ten Alternative Places to See in Paris During the 2024 Olympic Games

A trip to Paris is always worthwhile. Whether it's art and culture, food or fashion - the city offers numerous opportunities for exciting activities. The best time to explore the city is from May to September. Warm weather, green parks and lots of people out and about enjoying their croissant or café in the sun. This year, the summer season will be particularly energetic, as the Olympic Games will be held in Paris for the third time. Many tourists are therefore expected in the city. The competitions will take place in different locations, which is a perfect opportunity to discover the city before or after the event. If you are visiting Paris for the Olympic Games this year, we would like to present 10 alternative things to do during your stay besides the sporting events.


1. Visit the Opéra Garnier (Palais Garnier)

Even from the outside, the Opera Garnier, also known as the Palais Garnier, is impressive to look at and is one of the city's most popular sights. Upon entering the Opera Garnier, visitors are immediately transported into a world of elegance, where fairytale decorations in neo-baroque style enchant. The opera can also be visited without attending a performance. Individual or guided tours allow you to experience the fascinating history and architecture of the opera in an unforgettable way.

Opera Garnier

IMAGO / SuperStock I Opéra Garnier


2. View contemporary art at the Bourse de Commerce

The Bourse de Commerce is located in the 1st arrondissement between the Louvre Museum and the Pompidou Center. The building was originally a grain market hall and served as a trading exchange in the 18th century. In 2021, it was converted into an art museum by the renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Since then, visitors have been able to discover a fascinating collection of contemporary artworks by the art collector François Pinault. His remarkable collection includes more than 10,000 works of all kinds, from painting and sculpture to photography, installations, videos, sound art and performances. The works of art come from 350 artists from all over the world. Guided tours in English are also offered at weekends. A visit is definitely worthwhile, not only for art lovers, but also for adventurers and the curious who are looking for an exciting experience.

Bourse de Commerce

 IMAGO / Andia I Bourse de Commerce and the Pinault Collection in Paris.


3. Swim and relax for free at the Bassin de la Villette

The athletic spirit of summer, inspired by the Olympic Games in Paris, surely motivates many to engage in sports themselves. For a refreshing dip on hot days, swimming in Le Bassin de la Villette is perfect, for example. This free outdoor swimming area is popular among both locals and tourists. The swimming area, consisting of two pools and two paddling pools in the canal, was conceived as part of the 'Nager à Paris' project in 2017. The water quality is checked daily, ensuring clean and safe swimming. The bathing area with its sandy beach is only open during the summer months. So don’t miss out!

Bassin de la Villette

IMAGO / PanoramiC I Le Bassin de la Villette is located in the 19th Arrondissement.


4. Strolling through Parisian Parks

For a brief break in the greenery or a relaxed picnic, parks are generally popular destinations. But in Paris, they have become more than just places for strolling and resting - they have become must-see attractions for tourists. Parisian parks are unlike ordinary green spaces. They offer magnificent gardens, beautiful flower beds, impressive statues, and architecturally interesting buildings. Water features often transform them into romantic oases.

There are often other attractions in the park itself, such as the Natural History Museum in the Jardin des Plantes, the Musée de l'Orangerie and the Jeu de Paume in the Jardin des Tuileries, the Musée du Luxembourg in the Jardin du Luxembourg or the zoo in the Bois de Vincennes.

Jardin des Plantes

IMAGO / Mika Volkmann I Jardin des Plantes.


Jardin des Tuileries

IMAGO / Shotshop I Jardin des Tuileries.


Jardin du Luxembourg

IMAGO / Guido Schiefer I Jardin du Luxembourg


Bois de Vincennes

IMAGO / IP3press I Bois de Vincennes.


5. Enjoying the cafés in Paris

If you are ever in Paris, you should not miss out on an authentic French croissant or crêpes. Of course, you can go to well-known places such as the Café de Flore or the Breizh Café. But you will also find numerous other cafés throughout the city where you can try out these delicacies. The great thing is that you can hardly go wrong. The only important thing is that you get a free seat, especially in summer, preferably outside, where you can watch the hustle and bustle of the city and the passers-by on the street.

Cafes_People_ParisIMAGO / Mika Volkmann I People relaxing outside at a Café in Paris.


Cafe de Flore Paris

IMAGO / Pond5 Images I People sitting outside at Café de Flore.


6. Shopping in the oldest department store Le Bon Marché

It is common knowledge that Paris is the undisputed capital of fashion, with an endless selection of fashion stores, brands and boutiques. Among the highlights of this fashion capital are the Parisian department stores, which embody the glamor and trends of the city. While the renowned Galeries Lafayette department store is undoubtedly the most famous, other impressive department stores should not be overlooked, often neglected by international tourists, although they are well worth a visit.

One such insider tip is Le Bon Marché. It is the oldest department store in the world and is now one of the most important shopping addresses in Paris. Here you will find a variety of luxury and non-luxury brands, household goods and food. The department store also offers free events and exhibitions in collaboration with various artists who enrich the cultural offer. A visit to Le Bon Marché promises not only a first-class shopping experience but also an insight into the diverse cultural scene of Paris.

Le Bon Marche

IMAGO / Pond5 Image I Oldest Department Store Le Bon Marché in Paris


7. Buy fresh food at the "Marché des Enfants Rouges" market

The picturesque side streets of the trendy Marais district hide a real treasure: the "Marché des Enfants Rouges" market. This charming marketplace opens its doors from Tuesday to Sunday and offers an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, delicious fish, tender meat, fragrant bread, tempting cheese, colorful flowers and unique culinary specialties lovingly presented by various traders.

But that's not all! The market is also home to cozy restaurants and food stalls that promise a delicious lunch with their delicate offerings. The market is often surrounded by a vibrant and cheerful atmosphere that magically attracts visitors from all over the world.

Marche des Enfants Rouges

IMAGO / Andia I Fruit Stand at the market "Marché des Enfants Rouges" in Paris. 


8. French dining at Le Relais de l'Entrecôte

With three locations in Paris, Le Relais de l'Entrecôte restaurant is a place you should definitely try for lunch or dinner. It is world-famous for its unique menu concept. This Parisian bistro has only served one dish since 1959. Start with a delicious leaf salad and walnuts. The main course is a tender steak, perfectly prepared and accompanied by its famous sauce, served with crispy, wafer-thin fries. You will be served by waitresses in elegant black uniforms. It is true that a queue outside this popular restaurant is almost inevitable. But we assure you that the patience is more than worth it, because a visit here is an incomparable culinary experience not to be missed.

Le Relais de l'Entrecote

IMAGO / ABACAPRESS I The restaurant Le Relais de l'Entrecôte in the Saint-Germain district of Paris.


9. Overlooking Paris from the Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre

Although the artists' quarter of Montmartre is very touristy these days, a trip there for the breathtaking view over the city is always exciting. You can already enjoy a magnificent view from the Montmartre hill. But for those who want to see even more, it's worth climbing up to the dome of the Sacré-Coeur church. Along the way in the neighborhood, numerous cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and crepe stands offer opportunities to linger and cherish while waiting for the view.


IMAGO / IP3press I People walk up the staircase, which was decorated for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, to the Sacré-Coeur.


10. Search for vintage treasures at the worlds largest flea market 

Another fascinating adventure in Paris is a visit to the flea market Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. With over 3000 stalls covering an area of 12,000 square meters, it is the largest flea market in the world and one of the most visited attractions in all of France. It's no wonder that organized tours of this market are offered. The flea market is divided into different sections, including antiques, second-hand clothing, high-quality furniture, and artworks. So, plan your visit carefully to ensure you have enough time to discover all the treasures that this legendary market has to offer. You may even find a rare vintage find or two to take home as a special souvenir and for the memory.

Marché aux Puces de Saint-OuenIMAGO / Zoonar I One of the many antique stores at the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market in Paris.


We hope that alongside the excitement of the Olympic Games, you will also find time to explore Paris and perhaps try out our suggestions. Of course, the classic sights such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Champs-Élysées or Arc de Triomphe should not be missed. However, it can also be tempting to try out alternative activities. If you want to start looking forward to Paris visually now, take a look at our Paris collections.




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