There are plenty of great ideas for exploring Paris as the year of the Olympics kicks off. Here are our top 10 activities to fill your free time and tour the capital.
© Thierry Favatier
As everyone knows, Paris will be hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in summer 2024. Before the competition begins, why not explore the most prestigious sports venues? The Stade de France, Roland Garros and the Parc des Princes offer a not-to-miss opportunity to take a tour, both to sports fans and to heritage lovers, who will see a different side to the history of Paris.
To learn more about this major event taking place in Paris, have a look around SPOT24, a hybrid venue devoted to urban cultures and all things Olympics-related. You’ll get more information about the new sports that feature on the programme of the 2024 Paris Olympics (BMX freestyle, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing, 3x3 basketball and breaking) in an exhibition devoted to them: the ‘Olympic Exhibition, sport and urban cultures’. Then sit back and relax in the café, or buy some exclusive ‘Paris je t’aime’ gifts at the shop.
© Blue bike tours
Blue Fox Travel unveils its itinerary for bicycle fans, in a 4-hour bike ride. Discover landmark sights including the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris, the Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, Place de la Concorde and Invalides, and enjoy a meal at the famous market in Rue Cler (in English only). Holland Bikes offers a 3-hour itinerary (English, German and Dutch) that takes you not only to some landmark monuments, but also to an authentic area of Paris, off the beaten track.
© Edouard Eyglunent
Make your own ceramic or glass service, learn all about making beer, coffee, wine or burrata, make your own wallet, jewellery, leather bag or practice the art of kokedama ... the options are endless with WeCanDoo. In workshops lasting from 1 to 7 hours, discover the inner artisan in you.
Art is everywhere in Paris, especially in the streets! As you stroll through the city, be sure to look up and search for unexpected sections of wall to discover many treasures. The must-do activity for fans of street art? The hunt for Space Invaders - little mosaic creatures that are hidden all over the place. You can also take a guided tour to learn more about the history of street art, local artists, and the conventions of this art form. My Urban Experience plunges you into the heart of Belleville where you will find some very fine works. And if all these walks have inspired you, try your hand at a graffiti workshop in the district of Bercy!
© Alessandro Pinna
Music accompanies the start of the year in Paris, with some classic musicals on in Parisian theatres. Among the shows you won’t want to miss are: ‘The Lion King’ at the Théâtre Mogador (until 5 May 2024), ‘Mamma Mia!’ at the Casino de Paris (until 28 April 2024), ‘A funny thing happened on the way to the forum’ at Lido2Paris (until 4 February 2024) and the cult musical ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’ (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), on at the Palais des Congrès (until 7 January 2024). Hurry and buy your tickets!
Fans of Madonna’s high-energy tunes will love ‘Holidays, le musical’ at the Alhambra (until 28 January 2024). And for something even more magical, head to the Great Stables of the Palace of Versailles and get caught up in the magnificent equestrian show ‘La voie de l'Écuyère’ (The Horsewoman’s Way), choreographed by Bartabas (until 26 May 2024).
© Albin Durand
Keep the holiday spirit going by enjoying some good times as a family. Looking for a great way to discover the wonders of Paris? Set off on a bus tour of Paris, a city full of surprises, with the Tootbus Kids Tour.
Who says museums are boring? Not young Parisians and visitors, that’s for sure! To soak up knowledge in an entertaining way, visit the Museum of Magic and Automata, the Cité de l’Histoire, the Museum of Illusions and the Paradox Museum. Plenty of laughter and fascinating facts in store!
And finally, the beginning of the year is the perfect time to treat yourself to a day out at Disneyland® Paris.
© ABACA press Alamy banque d'images
Allow yourself to get carried away by the eclectic programme of exhibitions in Paris as the year begins. What with exhibitions that are ending, and others that are just beginning, the cultural calendar is truly tempting. Go to the Palais Galliera to visit the exhibition devoted to Azzedine Alaïa or to the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris to see the magnificent retrospective of the artist Nicolas de Staël, a leading figure of the post-war period; both events end on 21 January 2024. Head to the Cinémathèque Française before the 28 January 2024 to discover the fanciful world of Agnès Varda, and to the Musée de l’Armée before 29 January to see the exhibition ‘Victory! The Making of Heroes’.
For fans of modern and contemporary art, the must-sees are the Mark Rothko exhibition until 2 April 2024 at the Louis Vuitton Foundation and the exhibitions making up the ‘American Mythologies’ season at the Bourse du Commerce.
And finally, get into the spirit of the 2024 Paris Games with the ‘Cultural Olympiad’ events – cultural and sport-related events taking place throughout Paris until September 2024.
Take to the skies for this New Year! Either aboard the Ballon PanoraMagique de Disney®Village (flyover of the Disneyland® parks for 6 minutes) or aboard the Ballon Generali (10 minutes with a spectacular view of Paris)! And if you're afraid of heights, you can enjoy an equally unusual adventure with Flyview’s virtual reality experiences: flyover Paris, flyover France, relive Notre-Dame …
Walking is another way to discover the capital’s hidden gems. Many ideas for geolocalized walks are available on our website: arty Montparnasse, the heights of Belleville, the most beautiful Parisian courtyards, or by following in the footsteps of famous female figures who have left their mark on Paris.
And if you want to know all the secrets, see hidden corners and hear the most fascinating anecdotes, the best option is to hire a guide. These enthusiastic and interesting professionals create unique, classic or unexpected themed tours, and lead you off the beaten track to help you see the capital in an entirely new light. For example, Paris A Dream organizes foodie tours in districts with a vibrant food scene.
And to navigate Paris with a pocket guide, the app Rewind featuring geolocalized anecdotes enables you to discover several Parisian districts at your own pace through numerous itineraries.
Looking for an outing that is authentic and a bit retro? Tour Paris in a 2 CV ! Enjoy being driven around in one of these iconic vintage cars that have made France famous for years. Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Latin Quarter, the Seine riverbanks, Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower or Opéra Garnier, the cars of 4 roues sous 1 parapluie or Paris Authentic take you everywhere. By day or by night, you can open the convertible top and visit Paris with your hair blowing in the wind. And for an even more original way to discover the city, take a ride in an electric tuktuk with Tuktuk in Paris or by sidecar with Retro-Tour. The eco-friendly tours on bicycle taxis organized by Turtle last from 30 minutes to 1 hour and are available all year round, as the vehicles are equipped for bad weather. Finally, it’s entirely possible to admire the capital’s most beautiful monuments from the sky thanks to Helipass, who organize 25-minute flights over western Paris. A ‘first flight’ certificate is given to participants at the end of the experience.