Olympic Day in front of the Stade de France, Saint-Denis

Things to do in Saint-Denis

Welcome to Saint-Denis, a place where historic monuments rub shoulders with sporting legends. Go and visit the town’s multitude of great places, it has much more than just a stadium.
  1. Paris 2024
  2. (Re)discover the districts around the Olympic sites
  3. Things to do in Saint-Denis

As a cultural melting pot, this lively, changing town is all about human interaction and sporting history… Saint-Denis keeps up with the times, juggling with its historic past, modern-day issues and territorial ambitions. Today its development revolves around Paris 2024. The town’s enhancements include an aquatic centre that promises a facelift to the area around the Stade de France. The OPG will be an opportunity to visit the town between events and admire its iconic sites.

The must-see Stade de France

The greatest football and rugby champions have trodden this pitch. The French football team won their first world cup here. Legendary artists, from the Rolling Stones to Beyoncé, regularly take on the challenge to fill the stadium. It is truly a symbol of French sports, a Holy Grail of stars that has made Saint-Denis shine across the world since it opened in 1998.

In 2024, a new event, and a major one at that, will have the grandstand buzzing as excited spectators watch the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Stade de France will host some of the athletics competitions, the para athletics track-and-field events and the rugby sevens matches.

Fancy following in the footsteps of your idols? The Stade de France offers behind-the-scenes guided tours. Prepare to hear some amusing stories. While you’re there, why not visit the stadium’s museum?

Until 31/12/2024
from16 €
Visite guidée des coulisses du Stade de France
Guided behind-the-scenes tour of the Stade de France

Basilica of Saint-Denis

The Saint-Denis basilica, truly a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, has nothing to envy of its cousin, the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. This royal necropolis houses the tombs of many kings and queens of France. You’ll gaze in awe at its beautiful stained-glass windows and sculptures, including the statues of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette engaged in prayer.

Take a guided tour to delve into the fascinating history of medieval France. For greater freedom, audioguides are also available.

Facade Nord Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis 93
Saint-Denis Basilica

Paul Éluard art and history museum

Located midway between the basilica and the Stade de France, the art and history museum invites curious souls to try an alternative experience. Since 1981, the museum has occupied a former 17th-century Carmelite convent, a sanctuary to Louise of France, the youngest daughter of Louis XV.

The museum boasts entire rooms displaying medieval archaeology collections from the former hospital, as well as a permanent exhibition on the Siege and Commune of Paris, and a section devoted to Paul Éluard. Following improvement works, the quality of this museum has even been recognised by UNESCO. During your visit, don’t forget to pop into the garden of the 5 senses.

Musée d&%2523039;art et d&%2523039;Histoire de Saint-Denis
Paul Éluard Museum of Art and History

Street Art Avenue

From the park of La Villette to the Stade de France, look up as you walk along Street Art Avenue. Since 2016, talented graffiti artists take it in turns to brighten up the banks of the Saint-Denis canal with an infinity of colours from their unleashed imaginations. To them, a wall is not a wall, but an invitation to express themselves. Just like the OPG, the creation of Street Art Avenue unites artists from the local region and across the world whose influences and styles are as varied as their backgrounds. The result is a harmonious diversity. This 5-km open-air art gallery is a beautiful and refreshing site to visit.

Do you love a good treasure hunt? When you’ve admired the avenue, go in search of the other frescoes scattered just about everywhere in Saint-Denis.

Roid sous le pont du RER B à Aubervilliers le long du canal Saint-Denis pour la Street Art Avenue
Street-Art Avenue

Saint-Denis market

As any Olympic athlete will tell you, keeping fit depends partly on your diet. If you want to eat healthily, head for Saint-Denis market. This is the Paris Region’s biggest market boasting some 220 permanent retailers. For stallholders, obtaining a space here is like winning a gold medal.

Over 120,000 people come here to shop on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. A descendant of the medieval Lendit fair, the market of Saint-Denis is said to date back more than 1,000 years. It is nicknamed “the world market” and its stalls are packed with specialities from around 50 different countries. You’ll find a huge choice of fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and other foods. Quite often, the hardest part is making up your mind. If you’re an early bird, be there at 8am to purchase produce at its freshest. Unless you’re hoping for discounts, in which case it’s smarter to turn up at the last minute.

Le 6b

Le 6b is a facility where freedom and creativity intertwine. This former industrial site is now a unique venue that reflects the dynamism of the Saint-Denis art scene and has local and international artists in residence. Within its walls, you can peruse the art galleries, watch shows and concerts, or join one of the creative workshops.

Every summer, 2024 included, the outside area is temporarily transformed into a vast beach. This is the ideal dance venue, to escape for a while before going back to cheering on your favourite athletes.

Le 6b à Saint-Denis
Le 6b

La 3ème mi-temps

La 3ème mi-temps is the regular haunt of team sports enthusiasts. But the more the merrier. So, during the OPG, stop off to enjoy the friendly atmosphere of this brasserie, brought to life from day to day by cheering supporters.

Terrasse Brasserie 3ème Mi-temps - Stade de France
Brasserie 3ème mi-temps

Saint-Denis canal

The Saint-Denis canal extends for more than 6 km between the Ourcq canal and the river Seine. It went into service in 1821 on the initiative of Napoleon Bonaparte. Ever since, there has been a constant to and fro of boats carrying merchandise. There are also plenty of cruise boats travelling from lock to lock.

Besides accommodating river traffic, the canal is a lively place in its own right. Its surroundings have been gradually developed, especially along the right bank. Nowadays, it can be followed on foot, on a skateboard, scooter, bicycle or roller skates. What’s more, the Saint-Denis history trail starts near the Stade de France. It features 20 information points that lead visitors via the canal to the Cathedral of Saint-Denis, covering 2,000 years of history along the way.

The athletes’ village

Sport is everywhere in Saint-Denis. After the rugby World Cup in 2023, the department of Seine-Saint-Denis will accommodate the 2024 OPG athletes in a Village that has been strategically designed for conversion into a district. Fancy tracking the progress of the construction site? Or perhaps checking out where your future apartment will be? Guided tours are organised around the 51 hectares of the competitors’ future habitat.

Légion d’Honneur park

Located in the historic town centre of Saint-Denis, the Légion d’Honneur park offers a lovely green setting in which to enjoy a walk and relax. It has everything the children need: a playground and plenty of space for them to laugh and shout at the top of their lungs. In spring, make sure you don’t miss the Tulip festival. At this time of year, the park looks like a rainbow of vegetation. Visitors wander between the flowerbeds as their imaginations run wild.

The park is also home to the old royal abbey of Saint-Denis. Completed during the reign of Louis XV, the building was converted by Napoleon into a Legion of Honour secondary school for girls. It is now attended by sixth-form and higher-education students. And it is open to visitors! Follow the guide through the cloister, chapel and park to relive key moments in the history of this site.

Also to be discovered

  • Copyright image: Only Frane / Rollinger