Couple faisant un selfie à Paris avec la Tour Eiffel en arrière-plan

Cultural itinerary in Paris Region: on the 2024 Olympic marathon trail

Follow the 2024 Olympic marathon itinerary through Paris Region via a cultural, fun and festive version. Amongst monuments, museums, shopping and all types of leisure activities, the power of your curiosity will be put to the test.
  1. Paris 2024
  2. Paris Region in the footsteps of athletes
  3. Cultural itinerary in Paris Region: on the 2024 Olympic marathon trail

An emblematic Olympic event, the marathon traditionally brings the competition to a close. A tradition that will be maintained in 2024, but with a slight twist. Contrary to previous years, the women’s marathon will take place after the men’s marathon. This committed decision echoes the official marathon itinerary. Paying tribute to the women of the French Revolution, it will follow part of the October 1789 march itinerary. A journey that resulted in driving Louis XVI out of Versailles.

In 2024, there is no king to overthrow, but there is a gold medal. While we wait for D-day, shall we follow in the footsteps of these courageous women? No revolution or race on the programme, but enriching discoveries and good memories for children and adults alike.

L’Hôtel de Ville, where it all begins

October 1789. Paris was hungry. Fired up by the king’s inactivity, the Parisian women met up in front of the Hôtel de ville. Two centuries later, this historic place still hosts certain events, but otherwise festive ones. For example, the Fnac Live, a festival which takes place every year in late June. The line-up is generally pop, electro and suitable for all. The Hôtel de ville also hosts pop-up exhibitions in the Saint-Jean room or in the Paris Rendez-Vous space. They are always free.

The tour Saint-Jacques

The remains of the Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie church, this stunning Gothic-style tower is the starting point of the Camino de Santiago. Just as mysterious as its gargoyles, the Tour Saint-Jacques has inspired numerous legends over the centuries. To find out more about its history, make the most of a guided tour with the MagmaCultura agency.

Tour Saint-Jacques
Tour Saint-Jacques

BHV Marais

One of the Parisian shopping temples is hiding behind this acronym. Stationery, fashion, DIY, tools, home and garden decoration… In the aisles of the Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.

Façade du BVH Marais depuis la rue%252C Paris
BHV Marais

Explore Paris along the Seine

Without any outcome at the Hôtel de Ville, the Parisian women headed towards Versailles. And the river Seine accompanied them. Still following in their footsteps, the Olympic runners will come across some must-see Parisian monuments which were not all present in 1789.

A cruise on the Vedettes du Pont Neuf

The Pont Neuf’s construction began in 1578, and it is the oldest bridge in Paris. Innovative for its time, it was the first stone bridge in the capital, and the first to be decorated. To see its 384 badges closer up, hop onto one of the speedboats, which leave from next to the Île de la Cité. The cruise will take you to the west of Paris, where the Louvre, the musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel tower await you.

Vedettes du Pont Neuf
Vedettes du Pont Neuf

Visit the Louvre museum

This building, built over several centuries, was the residence of the French monarchy, until Louis XIV decided he preferred Versailles. Transformed into a museum shortly after the Revolution, it is now home to nearly 35,000 works of art. And the answer is no, you won’t be able to admire them all. According to the museum, if you spend 15 seconds in front of each work of art, you would need 146 hours of visiting time. It is therefore recommended that you plan to spend 4 hours there and to plan your itinerary.

Until 31/03/2024
from23.60 €
musée du Louvre expo Le Trésor
Musée du Louvre entry ticket

Stroll through the Tuileries Garden

Demanded by Catherine de’ Medici to embellish her Tuileries palace, this park is a spectacle of perspectives. Redesigned by Le Nôtre, the Tuileries Garden is designed around a central axis which links The Place de la Concorde to the Carrousel du Louvre. Here, a wander quickly turns into a cultural walk, amongst statues of Rodin or Giacometti, and the Orangerie or the jeu de Paume museums which border the garden.

Jardin des Tuileries
Garden of Tuileries

A detour via the Place de la Concorde

Before 2024, the Place de la Concorde is having a makeover. Soon, an open stage will be set up on this historic site, where skateboards and BMX bikes will aim to go higher than the Obelisk of Luxor. Which actually got its tip back in June 2023. When it arrived in 1830, it was already missing.

The modern art museum

Housed in the East wing of the Palais de Tokyo](/en/palais-de-tokyo), the museum of modern art has a collection of over 11000 works from different trends. Some great artists are represented: Picasso, Braque, Picabia, Léger, Modigliani, Klein… The temporary exhibitions are accompanied by a contemporary programme where young 21st century creators and trends are highlighted.

Musée d&%2523039;Art moderne de Paris
Musée d’Art moderne de Paris

The storming of the Eiffel tower

The Eiffel tower stands proudly on the marathon runners’ itinerary. They can admire it from the Trocadéro gardens. And you? Aim for the summit for a breathtaking view. And if you’re afraid of heights, the second floor also has a beautiful panoramic view.

Tour Eiffel
Eiffel Tower

The Parisian Statue of Liberty

Climb aboard a Batobus of Paris to test one of the city’s alternative methods of transport. On your way, you’ll come across numerous historic monuments, including the famous Île aux Cygnes Statue of Liberty.

Boulogne-Billancourt

At the 11th kilometre, the marathon itinerary moves away from the river Seine. It goes through Boulogne-Billancourt by following Avenue du Général Leclerc. The athletes won’t be going through Bois de Boulogne, but we recommend the detour. This green space — which is bigger than Central Park — was the former hunting grounds for the kings of France. Today, dogs and guns have been replaced by more peaceful activities: jogging, fishing, pony rides, canoing, and cultural walks.

When leaving the woods via the south, you’ll come across a museum with a famous name. In the Belmondo family, I would like… Paul, the grand-father! Here, we are referring to one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century. Housed in the château Buchillot, the Paul Belmondo museum brings together his most touching and timeless pieces of work.

Continue towards south Boulogne-Billancourt, head towards the Albert-Kahn museum. Within its walls, 2300m2 of permanent and temporary exhibitions await you. They will take you on a journey through more than 60 countries, according to the autochromes and films collected by the founder Albert Kahn’s team. Conclude your visit in the museum gardens. From its Japanese sakura to the Colorado spruces, this area is a botanic version of a round-the-world trip.

Sèvres

Versailles is getting closer, but there is still a way to go, and a few wonders are yet to be discovered. Passing through Sèvres, you’ll come across its factory. A building which is just as historic as the art that it protects. Porcelain of the highest standard of quality is produced here. The place is also a museum. Nearly 55,000 articles, which are just as precious as they are ancient, are exhibited.

We can also buy more recent works of art. To do so, make an appointment in the Showroom de Sèvres. Caution! This is not somewhere where you can buy a simple travel souvenir. Becoming the happy owner of a Sèvres porcelain article means getting close to the fineness and beauty of a 300-year-old savoir-faire.

Near the factory, you’ll find the Jardin des métiers d’Art et du Design (or JAD). In the 2600m2 of this area, cabinet-makers, sculptors, craftspeople/upholsterers, textile or olfactory designers allow their imagination to run wild. And of course, you can access their creations. And more! With the cultural programme, meetings, workshops and courses, the more curious amongst you will be inspired by the JAD artists.

Finally, before leaving Sèvres, stop at the maison des Jardies. Two great men spent some happy days in this former winegrower’s building: Honoré de Balzac and Léon Gambetta.

The climax of the marathon: Versailles

Ah Versailles! For the women of the Revolution, the goal has been achieved. For the marathon runners, it is not time to slow down. The Olympic Gold medal isn’t hiding inside the château. But for you, the stopover is obligatory, as numerous activities are available.

Chateau de Versailles
Château de Versailles
Art & culture
Emblematic of the pomp and splendour of Louis XIV’s reign, this most superlative of palaces offers visitors an incredible immersion in the history of France.
Carrousel
Equestrian Academy of Versailles
Unusual Art & culture
Installed in the former royal stables at the Château de Versailles, Bartabas’s Equestrian Academy presents exceptional shows of horsemanship that will mesmerise the whole family.
Arboretum de Versailles - Chèvreloup
Arboretum de Versailles - Chèvreloup
Nature & outdoor Strolls
Located north of Versailles, the Arboretum is one of the largest living tree museums (200 hectares) with more than 2000 species and varieties of trees from the Himalayas, the Caucasus, China…
Calèche et chevaux à Versailles
Les Calèches de Versailles (horse-drawn carriage rides)
Strolls Leisures
Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city of the Sun King to discover its charming neighbourhoods and beautiful sights, by day or by night.

Issy-les-Moulineaux

The tour is almost finished, but the visits are far from over. In Issy-les-Moulineaux, just outside Paris, here are five places to stop off:

Parc Départemental de l’Île Saint-Germain
Nature & outdoor
A bustling spot in the middle of Paris, the Parc Départemental de l'Île Saint-Germain represents a victory for the environment over urbanisation and industrialisation.
L'Île restaurant
L’Île
Gastronomy
Just a few minutes from Paris, the restaurant L’Île, with its terrace and conservatory, lies at the heart of the Parc de l’Île Saint-Germain, between the city and the countryside.
Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer
French Playing Card Museum
Unusual
The Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer – or French Playing Card Museum – is the only venue of its kind in France. Head to Issy-les-Moulineaux southwest of Paris to see it for yourself! Outstanding collections from the 15th century to modern times!
Tour aux figures de Jean Dubuffet
Jean Dubuffet’s Tour aux Figures
Unusual Art & culture
CURRENTLY CLOSED - Head deep into the Parc Départemental de l’Île Saint-Germain in Issy-les-Moulineaux to see the Tour aux Figures, a gigantic sculpture and listed historical monument by Jean Dubuffet that opened back in 1988.

The finish line at the Invalides

Back within the walls of Paris. The final kilometres are representative of the first: historic. Keep it up, the finish line is just around the corner.

The marathon runners will come close to the Hôtel national des Invalides. Take a detour to dive into French military history. The Army Museum is home to over 500,000 military objects, one of the biggest collections in the world.

Still in the Hotel, the musée des Plans-Reliefs brings together the military models which were so precious to former military strategies. These miniature reconstitutions have a journey all over the Kingdom of France in store for you.

Finally, to end the itinerary: the Dôme des Invalides. Since 1861, this chapel has been home to the tomb of one the most renowned conquerers of all time: Napoleon 1st.

Also to be discovered

  • Copyright image: CPR / Ooshot / Cuéllar