9 Paris Olympic Activities That Are Free—No Reservations or Tickets Required

Come as you are, leave when you want.

Flag with the words "Paris 2024" shown flying with the Paris city skyline in the background.

The opening ceremonies of the Paris Olympics kick off on July 26, 2024.

Photo by Svet foto/Shutterstock

The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris will be like nothing that has ever been seen before during a Summer Olympics. Not only will the opening ceremony take place outside a stadium for the first time, but also many of the games are set in the heart of the city. Paris is planning several Olympic firsts for its 2024 games: There will be an even split of male and female competitors, and breakdancing will make its Olympic debut, to name two.

The city pledged, “You can be part of the Games, too,” and it’s proving that mantra by offering low-cost tickets. That pledge includes the €24 tickets to the Parc Urbain that grant all-day access to the Place de la Concorde with sports demos, and DJs, plus loads of free offerings for nonticketed spectators. Although most events require tickets, there are so many free ways to enjoy the Olympic Games around town, from fan zones with live concerts to watching parties on jumbo screens along the Seine.

Experience the excitement of being in Paris for the Paris 2024 Olympics—for free!—at these nonticketed events happening around the city during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

1. Parc des Jeux

  • Where: Parc Georges-Valbon in La Courneuve
  • When: July 26–August 11; August 28–September 8

France’s largest Olympic celebration site kicks off with a giant concert (featuring a secret artist to be announced) to welcome the Olympic flame to the city on July 25. Then it remains open every day from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. during the Olympics and Paralympics. The park will stay open until midnight on the nights of the eight big concerts planned, but otherwise fans can visit there during the regular hours to play and celebrate among more than 70 free activities and Olympic Games–watching opportunities.

Bridge over water with two golden statues on the side

The Pont Alexandre III bridge was built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition.

Photo by Sergii Figurnyi/Shutterstock

2. Paris triathlon

  • Where: Pont Alexandre III, Paris
  • When: There are three triathlon events during the 2024 Olympics: Men’s Individual on July 30, Women’s Individual on July 31, and Mixed Relay on August 5

The stands along the Pont Alexandre III bridge are the only place where visitors will need tickets to cheer on the triathletes, as it’s the spot where competitors will cross the finish line. For everyone else, the sidelines of the event are free and open for all to watch the athletes swim the Seine (1.5 km) before climbing 32 stairs to start cycling (40 km) and then running (10 km) along the quays and the Avenue de Champs-Elysées.

3. Le Corps en Mouvement exhibition

  • Where: Petit Palais – Museum of Fine Arts of the City of Paris
  • When: May 15–November 17

In an exhibition called Le Corps en mouvement, more than 50 works of Olympism are on display at Paris’s Museum of Fine Arts in time for the 2024 Olympics, some dating back to the earliest games. The temporary exhibition celebrates movement, body, and sport, with eight sections dedicated to a different aspect of the games. Some works include paintings by Jacques-Émile Blanche and Léon Comerre, and a “Sport in Vogue” section showcases the arrival of the modern Olympic Games.

4. Paris marathon

  • Where: Between Paris and Versaille
  • When: Men’s, August 10; Women’s, August 11

The men’s marathon has traditionally ended the Summer Olympic Games, but the 2024 Paris Olympics will mark the first time that the games will end with the women’s marathon. This intentional move by the organizers highlights the women runners, who will be seen racing from Paris City Hall toward the Boulogne-Billancourt and down to Versaille before finishing at the Esplanade des Invalides. Aside from the finish line, most spots along the route will be open and free to the public.

Map titled "Road Cycling" showing the streets of Paris and its outskirts

Spectators can see the Olympic road-cycling events during the summer.

Photo Courtesy of Paris 2024

5. Road cycling

  • Where: Between Paris and Versailles
  • When: Time trail, July 27; Men’s, August 3; Women’s, August 4

Feel the rush of the 90 riders speeding past on road bikes as they take off from the Trocadéro and travel toward Versailles and back toward the Butte Montmartre. The route is free for spectators, which includes the 32.5-kilometer time trial that loops around the Bois de Vincennes and ends at Invalides.

6. Champions Park

  • Where: Trocadéro
  • When: July 29–August 10 (except August 2–4)

For most days between July 29 and August 10 from 4 to 11:30 p.m., Champions Park will be open and free to nearly 15,000 spectators to celebrate the day’s winners. The previous day’s winners will parade through the crowds to be among their fans, where the excitement in the air will be met with giant screens showcasing the finals of that day.

7. La Terrace de Jeux

  • Where: Paris’ Hôtel de Ville (4th arrondissement)
  • When: July 20–September 8

Starting with the arrival of the Olympic Flame on July 14 (Bastille Day), the Hôtel de Ville (tip: In France, the term “Hôtel de Ville” is a city hall, not a hotel) will open its forecourt to the public with two giant screens for live watching parties, a main stage for daily concerts and cultural performances, and six areas to try some of the sports. A climbing wall will be on-site, as will activities such as workshops on responsible cooking and Pilates.

White statues of people sitting in front of a building with the French flag on top

Head to the Palais Bourbon to see artwork by artist Laurent Perbos.

Photo by Petr Kovalenkov/Shutterstock

8. Olympism sculpture installation

  • Where: Palais Bourbon at the French National Assembly
  • When: April 2–September 22

There’s no ticket and no need for reservations to see artist Laurent Perbos’s six statues dedicated to Olympism. The statues are on display for all on the steps leading to the Palais Bourbon at the French National Assembly. Entrance to the French National Assembly is free during the Olympics, but reservations are required.

9. Fan zones

  • Where: Arrondissements across the city
  • When: July 26–August 11; August 28–September 8

Paris 2024’s goal to bridge the gap between stadiums and the city has manifested into a series of 26 fan zones throughout Paris’s central arrondissements. Each zones will include giant screens streaming the events in real time and a range of activities, concessions, and venue-specific concerts from both local and international artists. The Square León Serpollet site in the 18th arrondissement will be dedicated to family-friendly programming for children, while the 13th arrondissement’s Parc de Choisy is all about hip-hop culture and hands-on sports activities.

A few other fan zone locations include:

  • 1st Arrondissement: Parc Rives de Seine and Quartier Jeunes
  • 2nd Arrondissement: Fabrique de la Solidarité
  • 4th Arrondissement: Académeie du Climat
  • 5th Arrondissement: Arènes de Lutèce
  • 6th Arrondissement: Palce Saint-Sulpice
  • 8th Arrondissement: Parc Monceau
  • 9th Arrondissement: Mairie
  • 10th Arrondissement: Canal St-Martin and Grange aux Belles District
  • 11th Arrondissement: Mairie
  • 12th Arrondissement: Allée Vivaldi
  • 13th Arrondissement: Parc de Choisy
  • 14th Arrondissement: Centre Sportif Elisabeth
  • 15th Arrondissement: Mairie
  • 16th Arrondissement: Parc Sainte-Périne
  • 17th Arrondissement: Parc Clichy Batignolles Martin Luther-King
  • 18th Arrondissement: Jardins d’Eole and Square Léon Serpollet
  • 19th Arrondissement: Place Stalingrad and Bassin de la Villette (aka Club Paris)
  • 20th Arrondissement: Complexe Sportif Louis Lumière
Kristy Alpert is a Europe-based food and travel writer with bylines in AFAR, Travel + Leisure, TIME, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Food & Wine, and more. She has visited all seven continents—paid rent on three—and takes far too much pride in her spice cabinet.
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