The Olympic Games of past years have made wonderful use of their host cities’ most recognisable buildings and areas to put on displays of athletic excellence. The wrestling competition at the Rome 1960 Olympic Games took place at the Basilica of Maxentius in the Roman Forum, Sydney 2000 made great use of their famous Opera House for the triathlon, and Athens 2004 took us all back to antiquity by using the same sites from the ancient – and modern – Olympic Games for multiple events (the marathon started in the city of Marathon and finished at the Panathenaic Stadium, while the stadium at the archaeological site of Olympia hosted the shot put).
The upcoming Games of Paris 2024, located in France’s City of Light, will add to this wonderful legacy of iconic Olympic venues through the use of historic and jaw-dropping venues of their own.
From the world-famous Champ de Mars and Eiffel Tower to the stunning beauty of Teahupo’o in Tahiti, here are 10 of the most iconic venues of Paris 2024.
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Stade de France
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Athletics, Rugby Sevens | Capacity: 77,083 | Location: Saint-Denis
The Stade de France is arguably France’s best-known stadium, renowned for hosting multiple games of the 1998 men’s FIFA World Cup, for which it was originally built. Les Bleus famously won their first world championship in this stadium by beating Brazil 3-0 in the final in front of a crowd of 75,000.
The stadium is the largest in France, and has staged numerous sporting events, including the UEFA Champions League finals in 2000, 2006 and 2022, seven matches at UEFA Euro 2016, the 2003 World Athletics Championships, and the 1999, 2007 and upcoming 2023 Rugby World Cup, making it one of only two stadia in the world to have hosted both a football World Cup final and a rugby union World Cup final.
For Paris 2024, the arena – which is also home to the French national rugby and football teams – will stage the athletics and rugby sevens competitions.
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Tennis, Boxing | Capacity: 34,000 | Location: Paris
A legendary sports complex, Roland-Garros Stadium has borne witness to some of the greatest moments in tennis history over the 95 years it has hosted the French Open (such as the classic battle between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova in the 1985 final, or a 19 year old Rafael Nadal winning the tournament on his first attempt).
Named in memory of French aviator Roland Garros, the venue is spread over 12 hectares and has 18 clay courts, including the Simonne Mathieu and Suzanne Lenglen Courts (which will host tennis events at Paris 2024) and the Philippe Chatrier Court (boxing and tennis).
Parc des Princes
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Football | Capacity: 47,926 | Location: Paris
As one of the most successful footballing nations in history, France is full of exceptional stadiums where legends of the beautiful game have plied their craft. Designed by architect Roger Taillibert (the man behind Montreal’s Olympic Stadium), the ‘Parc’ was first built in 1972 and has been the home of football club Paris Saint-Germain since 1974.
In addition to being the home ground of Les Parisiens, Parc des Princes has staged numerous matches for the French national football and rugby teams, as well as major international competitions, including the 1998 Football World Cup and the Euro 2016 Football Championship.
Place de la Concorde
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: BMX Freestyle, Skateboarding, Breaking, 3X3 Basketball | Capacity: 30,000 | Location: Paris
At the eastern end of the Champs-Élyséess sits the largest – and one of the most famous – public squares in Paris: Place de la Concorde.
The Place was a central stage for the events of the French Revolution, but was also the entry point for two major international expositions (the Paris Universal Exposition of 1900 and the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) as well as being the site of national celebrations, including the victory celebrations of the end of the First World War, the Liberation of Paris in the Second World War, and the French men’s national team winning the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
For Paris 2024, the Place will stage the urban sports of the Olympic Games at the heart of the city from Saturday 27 July to Saturday 10 August.
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Football | Capacity: 67,394 | Location: Marseille
Stade Vélodrome, one of two Games venues in the city of Marseille for the Games (along with the Marseille Marina, which will stage the sailing events), was a natural choice to stage a portion of the football competition for Paris 2024.
Stade Vélodrome has been the home of Marseille’s professional football team (Olympique de Marseille) since its construction in 1937, and has also hosted matches for the French national teams and all of the major competitions organised in France since the first half of the 20th century: the 1938 and 1998 Football World Cups, the 1984 and 2016 European Football Championships and the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Fencing, Taekwondo | Capacity: 8,000 | Location: Paris
The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées (commonly known as the Grand Palais) is a spectacular complex in the heart of Paris. Built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900, the Palais is renowned worldwide for its magnificent nave and glass roof, and is listed as a historic monument by the French Ministry of Culture.
Today, the building operates as a museum, art gallery, exhibition and concernt hall and, on occassion, a sports venue. The 2010 World Fencing Championships were held at the Palais, and it was used during the final stage of the Tour de France in 2017 as part of the promotion for Paris’ 2024 Summer Olympics bid; the riders rode through the Palais en route to the Champs Élysées.
Champ de Mars Arena & Eiffel Tower Stadium
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Beach Volleyball, Judo, Wrestling | Capacity: 8,356 / 12,860 | Location: Paris
The Champ de Mars is one of the most instantly recognisable public greenspaces in the world, nestled between the Eiffel Tower to the northwest and the École Militaire to the southeast. The lawns were formally used as drilling and marching grounds by the French military, but in 2024 the area will host various events of the Olympic Games.
The Champ de Mars Arena – a 10,000 sqm temporary building located opposite the École Militaire – will stage the judo and wrestling competitions, while the beach volleyball athletes will have arguably the best view of any Games athletes for their matches; they’ll be competing in the open air right next to Paris’ Iron Lady: the Eiffel Tower.
Esplanade des Invalides
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Archery | Capacity: 8,000 | Location: Paris
The Esplanade des Invalides is a huge open lawn area on the north side of the Hôtel des Invalides – a complex of buildings relating to the military history of France. The complex, which was built during the reign of Louis XIV in 1687, contains museums, monuments, a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans – the building’s original purpose (hence the English translation: “house of invalids”). The tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte is located in the Dôme des Invalides.
In 2024, this famous site will play host to the archery competition and operate as the finish line of the marathon.
Château de Versailles
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Equestrian, Modern Pentathlon | Capacity: 15,000 – 40,000 (depending on event) | Location: Versailles
The Château de Versailles – also known as the Palace of Versailles in English – was home to the court of King Louis XIV, and would become the epicentre of French royalty up until the French Revolution. In 1883 the site became a national museum open to the public and was the first French site to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979.
A temporary outdoor arena will be set up on the Etoile Royale esplanade to the west of the Grand Canal, at the heart of the Palace’s gardens, to stage the dressage, eventing cross country and jumping competitions, as well as the modern pentathlon events (excluding the fencing ranking rounds).
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Surfing | Capacity: 600 | Location: Teahupo’o, Tahiti
Teahupoʻo is a village on the southwestern coast of Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia ( an overseas collectivity of France), located in the South Pacific Ocean. Apart from its outstanding natural beauty, Teahupo’o is famed for having one of the most spectacular waves in surfing.
The decision to stage the surfing competitions in Teahupo’o aligns with Paris 2024’s goals to spread the Games across France, and engage French overseas territories and their communities in the Olympic Games.
Paris 2024 sport disciplines: Hockey | Capacity: 15,000 | Location: Colombes
Stade Yves-du-Manoir is a unique venue for Paris 2024, as it is the only one will host Olympic events for the second time in its history. First opened in 1907, the stadium was renovated for the Paris 1924 Olympics, where it was utilised as the primary arena for the Games; it hosted the athletics, some of the cycling, some of the horse riding, gymnastics, tennis, some of the football, rugby, and two of the modern pentathlon events (running, fencing). The venue also hosted the final of the 1938 FIFA World Cup between Italy and Hungary (Italy prevailing 4-2 to win their second world title).
Now used for rugby, football and athletic events, Stade Yves-du-Manoir will stage the hockey competition of Paris 2024.