9 Places to See the Summer Olympics Without Setting Foot in Paris

For sports fans, Paris will be the center of the universe this summer — and with 15 million Olympic and Paralympic visitors expected, it will feel like it, with crowds and high prices. But Paris isn’t the only Olympic site in France: Nine destinations outside the metro region are also hosting events, giving travelers a way to catch some action without getting caught up in the crush.

In places like Bordeaux, Marseille and even Tahiti, you can watch top athletes compete in soccer, basketball, sailing and surfing. (Tickets have been added in batches, so if the ones you want aren’t available, keep checking the ticketing site, If all else fails, the official resale platform opens on May 15.)

And when you’re not watching sports, you can take advantage of museums, parks, design centers, and fresh food and wine options. In Nantes, you can even ride a mechanical elephant.

Here are some ideas for planning your own alternative Olympic trip.

The colorful facades of the Grande Place in Lille, a city near the Belgian border that is hosting basketball and handball events.Credit…Aliaksandr Antanovich/Getty Images


Basketball: July 27 to Aug. 4; tickets from 50 euros ($54).

Handball: Aug. 6 to 11, tickets from €45.

Back to top button