Beaches open as Olympic city Paris prepares for summer

Alexis Jumeau/SIPA/AP

In Paris, beaches along the Seine periodically reopen each summer. This photo is from 2023.


Lying on a sunny French beach, sipping a cold drink every now and then and jumping into some warm water – this is the French Riviera, after all?

Well, Paris to be exact.

The French capital, Paris, host of the 2024 Olympics, is looking to change the way tourists spend their summer by opening three downtown beaches in July and August, bringing a touch of Saint-Tropez or Nice to the northern urban coast.

As usual, Paris' summer beaches along the Seine will open, but this year two new beaches will open along the Canal Saint-Martin: the return of a classic beach in the cultural district of La Villette, and a newer one. Beach Further ahead.

The Paris city government confirmed to CNN that it was confident the water quality at the games would meet health standards.

Pierre Rabadan, Paris' deputy mayor for sport and the Olympics, said 30 testing stations would be set up along the Seine and its tributaries before it reaches Paris to monitor water quality in real time and quickly identify and address any potential contamination risks.

For those still reluctant to dive into the city's waterways, there are other options: Paris' beaches are the centrepiece of a programme of activities organised as part of the Olympic Festival for tourists visiting the city during the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The move comes as Paris, traditionally one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, faces the possibility of struggling to attract tourists during the Olympics amid concerns about overcrowding and rising prices.

An alternative to the Paris Olympics that everyone can enjoy

The more than two million inhabitants of central Paris have always had a strong sense of pride. WardIt is not uncommon for residents of the 16th Ward and residents of the 11th Ward to harbor subtle prejudices toward one another.

The city plans to capitalize on these rivalries with a “District Olympics,” which will bring together the fastest, tallest and strongest athletes from each borough to finally settle the debate over which district is best, at least in terms of sports.

However, the game is actually open to anyone over the age of 7, which means you don't have to live in Paris to take part – just choose the arrondissement you want to represent. Participants are split into four age groups: 7-12, 13-16, 17-35, and 36+.

From June 22nd to July 13th, Parisians and tourists can compete in seven different sports: Laser Run (a combination of cross-country running and laser pistol shooting), 3×3 basketball, Boccia (a Paralympic ball game), table tennis, 60-metre sprint, breakdancing and 50-metre freestyle swimming.

Whether you just want to party or watch professionals and amateurs play sports, Paris is the place for you.

The Olympic torch's arrival in the French capital coincides with France's National Day on July 14, and the city is celebrating with big parties.

On the day, Parisians and tourists can watch the torch relay at several locations in the city center, including Place de la Colonel Fabien, where a DJ will play the soundtrack, and the Petit Palais, just off the Champs-Élysées, where the music will be provided by French opera group DIVA.

In Paris' LGBTQ district, the Marais, a bingo drag event is held for an appreciation party.

For those who missed the torch in Paris on July 14th and 15th, the flame will return to the French capital for the opening ceremony on July 26th.

This time the torch will be carried along the Canal Saint-Martin to the opening ceremony on the Seine, where it may be possible to view it from one of the new beaches.

Paris is offering runners the chance to follow the exact route of the Olympic Marathon, connecting the city center with suburban Versailles, in what is said to be a first for the event in Olympic history.

The event will take place on August 10th and will feature an additional 10km route for less ambitious participants, passing landmarks such as the Opera House, Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower.

The full marathon is open to anyone aged 20 or over, while the shorter version is open to anyone aged 16 or over. Entries are drawn by lottery via the Paris Olympics app.

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