Eiffel Tower tours will be closed July 18-26 due to the Olympics. For other tours of Paris icons, click here. Eiffel Tower tours will be closed July 18-26 due to the Olympics. For other tours of Paris icons, click here.
By Maggie Blaha March 1, 2024

How the Eiffel Tower Will Feature in the 2024 Paris Olympics

Paris Olympics

Planning a trip to Paris this summer? You’re not alone — an estimated 15.9 million people are expected to visit France during this year’s Olympic and Paralympic games, which will be held from July 26 through September 8, not to mention the 10,500 athletes who will be there competing for the gold. 

Needless to say, you should be prepared to see the City of Lights transformed into one big stadium for every sporting event from breaking (aka break dancing, which will be making its official debut as an Olympic sport) to beach volleyball. Paris’ “games wide open” concept aims to make the excitement of the games accessible to everyone by setting the city’s famous monuments, including the Eiffel Tower, as the backdrop for the events. 

Exactly 100 years since Paris hosted the Olympics in 1924, the city is bringing the games to life in a new way that’s sure to be exciting if you’re there for the events. It could add an extra layer of complexity if all you want to do is climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower (or take the elevator up), but scaling the monument is still a must for your visit. 

Whether you’ll be in Paris to see the games or simply experience summer in the city, we’ve got your guide to visiting the Eiffel Tower during the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games right here.

The Eiffel Tower is going for the gold

Eiffel Tower

Just in time for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, the 20th paint job of the Eiffel Tower — the last one was about 55 years ago — will be complete. Changing the tower’s color from “Eiffel Tower brown” to “yellow brown” started in 2019 but was delayed due to the pandemic, rust, and the presence of lead in the old paint. 

All these issues aside, you’ll get to see a gilded Eiffel Tower if you’re visiting Paris during the games this summer, and likely for many decades to come. It’s also the color the man who built the tower — Gustave Eiffel — originally chose, and it hasn’t been this shade since 1947. 

So it’s nice to think of this €60 million repaint job as a return to the Eiffel Tower’s roots. 

Fun fact: Gustave Eiffel recommended that the structure be repainted every seven years. What would he say if he were alive today and knew that this is only the 20th time it’s been repainted since it opened?

To create the impression of uniformity, the yellow-brown color is applied in three shades, with the darkest at the bottom and the lightest at the top. But don’t think this paint job has been as simple as slapping on a new coat of paint — it’s taken a crew of 55 professional painters to cover 2.5 million square feet with the new color.

Winning athletes will take a piece of the Eiffel Tower home

Here’s an interesting fact — whenever the Eiffel Tower undergoes maintenance, pieces of metal from the original structure are removed and stored in a warehouse. 

So when it comes to letting the 2024 Olympic medalists take part of the Eiffel Tower home with them, it’s not as hard as you’d think.

Metal offcuts from 1889 have been used to make all 5,084 gold, silver, and bronze medals designed by Chaumet, an elite French jewelry house that’s old enough to count Gustave Eiffel and Napoleon’s family as clients. 

Another unique feature of the Paris 2024 medals is the addition of the Eiffel Tower in the design on the back of the medallions. 

Since 2004, all medals feature the Greek goddess Nike flying into the Panathinaikos Stadium in Athens, but Paris organizers managed to get permission to include the Iron Lady in this scene. 

What events will be held at the Eiffel Tower?

Eiffel Tower

Beginning in May, a four-month Olympic celebration like no other will be happening across France. It all starts with the Olympic Torch Relay, when 10,000 torch bearers will carry the flame across 65 French territories and more than 400 cities, arriving in Paris in time for the opening ceremony on July 26. 

While the top of the Eiffel Tower seems like the obvious place to install the Olympic Torch, technical limitations due to the tower’s antennas prevent it from being placed there. Still, the Iron Lady will host the flame until the closing ceremony on Aug. 11. 

The Eiffel Tower will also host the Olympic men’s and women’s beach volleyball and the Paralympic men’s blind football events. A more than 12,000-seat outdoor arena will be located at the foot of the tower, which will give spectators in person and watching on TV a picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower and École Militaire just across the Champ de Mars. 

The architecture firm Populous and engineering group Egis have been in charge of constructing Paris’s Olympic village, ensuring that all 38 venues are built sustainably by using a combination of existing and new structures. 

What about the Eiffel Tower stadium? It’s only temporary and will be taken down without a trace after the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic events officially end, with the closing ceremony of the Paralympic games in September.    

How else will the Eiffel Tower be featured during the Olympics?

Eiffel Tower

Since many of the Olympic and Paralympic games are happening outdoors, the Eiffel Tower will be a constant backdrop. 

The judo and wrestling events at the Champ de Mars Arena and the fencing and taekwondo competitions at the Grand Palais will give athletes and spectators a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower. Road cyclists departing from nearby the Trocadéro Gardens and marathon runners will also get a passing glimpse.  

Are any Olympic events accessible without a ticket?

Living up to its motto “games wide open,” most of the Paris Olympic events happening in the streets and along the Seine River will be free to watch. 

This includes the triathlon, marathon, and cycling events, and even the opening ceremony on July 26, which will take place right on the Seine. Ticket holders will have seats in the stands along the river, but you can watch the celebration on one of the giant screens set up around the capital without a ticket. 

More tips to watch for free: Throughout the Olympic and Paralympic games, you’ll find fan zones set up around the city. These are open spaces equipped with giant screens, so you can stop and watch the sporting events while exploring Paris’s other attractions. 

Will the Eiffel Tower be open during the Olympics?

Eiffel Tower Tour Group

Although it will be flooded with sports fans, Paris will still be Paris for anyone visiting the city for the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Our guided climbing and elevator tours will be running as usual, but be sure to book your spot in advance as we’re anticipating a busy summer season. 

See the Eiffel Tower with a local guide

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What’s the best way to get to the Eiffel Tower during the Olympics?

Olympic organizers are looking to keep Paris’ carbon footprint in check during the games, so many areas will be closed to cars. Instead, visitors are encouraged to walk, cycle, or take the metro. 

Metro prices have increased to €4 per ride, but you can buy a Paris 2024 pass during your trip that costs €16 per day. 

If you prefer getting around by bike, take advantage of the expansion of the Vélib’ Métropole bike-sharing program and the 55 miles of new cycling lanes that have been added around the capital.  

Start making plans for the Paris 2024 Olympics   

Whether you’ll be in Paris this summer for the Olympic and Paralympic games or to see the Eiffel Tower for the first time, you should book your tours and accommodations soon.

Paris may still be Paris during the games, but prices are rising and hotels are filling up fast. Don’t miss your chance to stay in a hotel with a gorgeous view of the Iron Lady, dine in Le Jules Verne restaurant, or take any of our exciting Paris tours

However you choose to visit, you can expect to have a wonderful time. Yes, there will be crowds. Yes, it will likely be hot. But we’re making history here with the first Olympics in Paris in the last century — and that’s incredible! We can’t wait to welcome you while you’re here to experience the tower itself, whether you take the elevator or climb the stairs to the top. 

Having trouble choosing? We wrote a pros and cons guide to taking the elevator vs. the stairs, but in honor of the Olympics, I’d have to say, go with the guided climb if you can’t decide. It’s not quite an Olympic-level workout, but you’ll feel like a champion when you reach the second floor!

Feature photo credit: Nicolas Michaud / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED