5 Marvelous, Historic Sporting Venues in the Paris Olympics

The 2024 Paris Olympics are set to be played this summer in some iconic venues that have deep historical significance.
Sally French
By Sally French 
Edited by Giselle M. Cancio

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As the 2024 Olympic Games descend upon Paris this summer, the world will witness athletic prowess and sporting spectacle on a canvas of history and architectural marvels.

While the 2024 Paris Olympics will rely on purpose-built venues to host some sports, as well as an Olympic Village and media village, these Olympics are set to feature the city’s heritage.

As is often the case with the Olympics, the venues are spread far and wide, and few are located within walking distance of one another. The Palace of Versailles, for example, is outside the Paris city limits in the Île-de-France region. It’s roughly a 30-minute drive or train ride from other famous Paris landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. Sailing will be held on the other side of the country in the Mediterranean city of Marseille. And one sport will be played on the opposite side of the world.

In any list of impressive and historic venues from Olympic Games, these 2024 Paris venues would certainly be contenders:

1. Château de Versailles

(Image courtesy of Paris 2024)

Location: Île-de-France Sports: Equestrian and modern pentathlon

Many people know the Palace of Versailles as home to the court of Louis XIV. But the place that started as a hunting lodge and has since grown to become one of France’s most iconic destinations (as evidenced by its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site) is soon to be an Olympic site.

This summer, the grounds will be temporarily fitted with an outdoor area to stage equestrian disciplines, plus many modern pentathlon events.

2. Eiffel Tower Stadium

(Image courtesy of Paris 2024)

Location: Paris Sports: Beach volleyball

Beach volleyball spectators will be able to see one of the most famous Paris landmarks. That’s because Champ de Mars, a large park bordering the Eiffel Tower on one side, will become a temporary outdoor arena for beach volleyball. With it, onlookers will be in incredibly close proximity to the famous icon that was built for the World's Fair of 1889.

3. Grand Palais

(Image courtesy of Paris 2024)

Location: Paris Sports: Fencing, Taekwondo

The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées has been one of the grandest event centers in Paris since it was built in 1900. It hosts roughly 2 million visitors annually, with most of the floor space covered by a fanciful glass roof.

It will host fencing and taekwondo this summer. Athletes might find the venue familiar, as the Grand Palais hosted the World Fencing Championships in 2010.

4. Yves-du-Manoir Stadium

(Image courtesy of Paris 2024)

Location: Colombes, France Sports: Hockey

Stade Yves-du-Manoir has a special place in Olympic history as being the only venue in France to host the Olympic Games for a second time. A century ago, the stadium was the site of the 1924 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

Since then, it has hosted major championships for sports including rugby and boxing. This year, it will host the hockey portion of the Olympic Games.

5. Teahupo'o

(Image courtesy of Paris 2024)

Location: Teahupo’o, Tahiti Sports: Surfing

Not every 2024 Paris venue is in Paris — or near it. Surfing is set for Teahupo’o, Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia.

Known for its world-class waves, Teahupo’o has hosted some of the biggest surfing events, including the Tahiti Pro. And although organizers have claimed the event will protect the island’s nature, some people are concerned about the environmental impact on Tahiti.

Among the biggest controversies is one centered around the construction of a new over-water aluminum tower that many worry is damaging the coral reef. Despite a Change.org petition that has generated close to 250,000 signatures, as well as a proposal from the International Surfing Association, the 2024 Paris team has decided to move forward with the installation of a tower, albeit smaller and lighter than what was originally proposed.

Earlier in December, the ISA submitted a proposal that would allow surfing to continue in the Olympics without necessitating construction over the reef, such as through use of drones or cranes.

Budget enough time: If you plan to watch the Olympics in person, plan sufficient time to travel between venues.

Brace for high room rates: Have a plan for booking hotels, as Paris hotel rates are high. On the night of the Olympic opening ceremony, average room rates are up 226% versus the same night two weeks prior. Meanwhile, the average nightly rate for available short-term vacation rentals in Paris during the period of the Summer Olympics is 542 euros (about $591). That’s according to data gathered in mid-January 2024 by AirDNA, a short-term rental analytics company.

To save money in Paris during the Olympics, consider booking lodging outside the city’s core. For example, on the same dates but for rentals located in Paris suburbs, AirDNA found that the average nightly rate was just 266 euros (about $290).

Pack the essentials (but don't overpack): Some travelers may need a visa to enter the country, and other essentials like a portable smartphone power bank can be a lifesaver. But, know what items you shouldn't pack (including what items you can't bring into the venues. For example, you won't be allowed to bring items such as alcohol, professional cameras, laser pointers or even certain containers into the Olympic sporting venues. Check out NerdWallet's Paris packing list for more on what you should or shouldn't bring.

Use common sense: No matter where in France you’re headed, follow the basic rules for smarter European travel. Arrive at the top tourist destinations early, embrace public transit and don’t assume fixtures from home (like air conditioning, free public bathrooms and free water) are readily available.

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

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