How to Avoid the Paris Olympics

The 2024 Paris Olympics will bring an influx of visitors, transforming the city into a bustling hub of sports enthusiasts. If you prefer to experience Paris in a more tranquil setting, here’s how you can avoid the Paris Olympics hustle and still have a memorable visit.

Where to Stay

Montmartre:

This charming neighborhood, known for its artistic history and stunning views, remains relatively unaffected by Olympic events. Montmartre offers a quaint, vibrant atmosphere without the Olympic crowds. The area is served by two metro stations, Jules Joffrin (Line 12) and Simplon (Line 4), which are not impacted by Olympic closures! 🙌

montmartre avoid olympics

Le Marais:

Steeped in history, Le Marais is an excellent choice for those wanting to stay close to the city’s heart but away from the main Olympic venues. Its narrow streets (not too much traffic), historic mansions, and trendy boutiques make it a delightful area to explore. Not only that, you won’t need to rely on the metro as much while you’re exploring central Paris and the area itself. There are also plenty of museums in the area to visit.

Canal Saint-Martin: This area offers a picturesque setting with tranquil waters, leafy trees, and historic buildings. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a romantic boat ride, far from the Olympic chaos.

What to Do

Visit Local Markets:

Explore some of Paris’s best food markets to experience local life and cuisine away from the crowded tourist spots. Check out our blog on the 20 Best Food Markets in Paris for more details.

Take a Cooking Class:

Escape the Olympic hustle and bustle by taking a cooking class at Cook’n With Class in Montmartre. These classes provide a perfect retreat from the crowded city center, offering you a chance to learn traditional French dishes with our friendly, expert chefs. Located in a peaceful part of Paris, you’ll immerse yourself in the heart of French culture in a relaxed and cozy setting. It’s an ideal way to enjoy yourseelf and avoid the Paris Olympics chaos, turning your stay into a deliciously unique experience!

cooking class avoid olympics

Explore Fontainebleau:

Take a day trip to Château de Fontainebleau, located about 55 kilometers southeast of Paris. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a serene escape with its opulent interiors, stunning gardens, and rich history. It’s a great alternative to the crowded city (and even the crowds of Versailles!).

Jardin du Luxembourg:

Enjoy a peaceful retreat in this beautiful garden, perfect for picnics, strolls, and relaxation. It’s a great way to experience Parisian life away from the crowds. Just remember that the Olympic flame will also pass through here on the 14th July, you can get the whole list of area for the flame’s passage on our post here.

Sainte-Chapelle:

Discover this hidden gem of Gothic architecture with its stunning stained glass windows. Located on Île de la Cité, it offers a tranquil escape from the busier parts of the city.

Catacombs of Paris:

If you’re interested in exploring the city’s darker history, the Catacombs offer a unique and eerie experience. It’s also a great way to get some shade from the July/August sun!

catacombs avoiding olympics

Dining Away from the Crowds

Paris boasts countless dining options, many of which are off the beaten path. Here are some suggestions:

  • Le Petit Keller in the 11th arrondissement offers a cozy atmosphere and delicious, creative cuisine.
  • Chez Janou in Le Marais serves classic French dishes in a charming bistro setting.
  • Le Servan in Belleville is known for its innovative menu and local ingredients.

Getting Around Paris

Metro:

To avoid the Paris Olympics related traffic, use metro lines and stations that are not impacted by the Olympics. For instance, Montmartre’s metro stations, Jules Joffrin (Line 12) and Simplon (Line 4), are not affected by closures. Additionally, lines such as Line 3 and Line 11, which run through less crowded areas, can be reliable alternatives. For detailed updates on which stations and lines might be affected, refer to our Paris Metro during the Olympics guide. For info on which tickets or passes to get don’t miss this guide to metro tickets in Paris, updated for the Olympics.

metro avoiding olympics

Buses:

Paris buses are a convenient way to navigate the city without getting caught in the Olympic crowds. Opt for routes that traverse residential neighborhoods rather than tourist hotspots. The RATP website provides real-time updates on bus routes and schedules and here’s a blog on how to take the bus like a Parisian.

Cycling:

Explore Paris on a bike to avoid crowded public transport during the Paris Olympics. Vélib’ bike-sharing stations are scattered throughout the city, making it easy for you to rent a bike and explore at your own pace. Our guide on cycling in Paris offers tips on routes and bike rentals.

Walking:

Paris is a pedestrian-friendly city with many attractions within walking distance. Additionally, you can walk to explore the city’s hidden gems and neighborhoods that might be overlooked when you use the metro.

Final Tips

  • Avoid Peak Hours: Visit popular attractions early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the largest crowds from the Paris Olympics.
  • Stay Updated: Check local news and the official Paris Olympics website for updates on event schedules and any changes to transportation.

With a bit of planning, you can enjoy a peaceful and authentic Parisian experience despite the Olympic rush. Bon voyage!

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