Navigating Paris During the 2024 Olympic Games: A Guide for Photo Sessions

Bonjour, photography lovers! As we gear up for the excitement of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, Paris is set to become even more vibrant and bustling. Whether you’re visiting for the sports or simply to soak in the city’s charm, it’s essential to know how to navigate the city’s most iconic spots, especially if you’re planning a photoshoot. As your friendly neighbourhood Paris portrait photographer, I’m here to help you make the most of your visit, ensuring you get stunning photos without the stress of unexpected closures or crowds.

Key Locations with Restricted Access

1. Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe: While this avenue is the epitome of Parisian grandeur, expect it to be a hub of Olympic celebrations.

2. Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars: The Eiffel Tower will be a focal point during the Games and most areas will not be accessible, even by foot.

3. Trocadéro Gardens: This prime viewing spot will have very tall bleachers and will be completely inaccessible to anyone with out Olympics tickets.

4. Place de la Concorde: This areas has already been closed down to make way for an Olympic hub for ticket holders.

5. Seine Riverbanks: Although the banks near major landmarks like Notre-Dame will be crowded, the Seine is long and winding. There are plenty of quieter spots along the river where we can create beautiful, reflective portraits.

Alternative Locations for Photos during the Paris Olympics

Maps of Paris zones during the Olympics and what they mean

Days leading up to the Opening Ceremony: July 18 to July 26

This map has been published by the Prefecture de Police in charge of the security for the Olympics. For my non-French speaking friends, allow me to translate:

Opening Ceremony: July 26

Now let’s take a look at the zones during the Opening Ceremony on July 26th. You’ll want to keep this in mind if you’re trying to head to the river to get a glimpse of it.

Unless you have a ticket, it’ll be hard to go to the riverbank to watch the ceremony. It will be really difficult for cars to cross from the Left to Right bank and people will be taking the metro instead, so expect it to be more crowded than usual.

July 26 to September 8

From what I understand, even though there is a 2 week break between the Olympics and Paralympics, the zone will remain closed (mostly because there are many temporary Olympic structures up).

As you can see, Trocadero (the one with the view of the Eiffel Tower) and Champ de Mars will be closed. The Bir Hakeim bridge also has a view of the Eiffel Tower and looks like it will still be open, but expect it to be very crowded. The Alexander III Bridge, Grand Palais and Petit Palais will all be inaccessible, as will Place de La Concorde and potentially part of the Tuileries Gardens.

Interactive Map

The city of Paris has created an interactive map where you can choose the date and time and it will show you which locations will be accessible/inaccessible. It also has a map of the metro stations that will be closed and the ones to avoid, where the wait time between metros can be up to 15 minutes (compared to 2 to 5 minutes usually). Trust me, that’s going to have a huge impact.

Tips for a Smooth Photoshoot

Despite the challenges, the Olympics bring an unparalleled energy and vibrancy to Paris. With a bit of extra planning and flexibility, we can capture stunning portraits that reflect both the timeless beauty of Paris and the unique excitement of the Games. Let’s make the most of this extraordinary time in one of the world’s most photogenic cities!

Looking forward to creating magic with you amidst the Olympic buzz!

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