You Could Still Go to Paris This Summer… Even with the Olympics

Paris 2024 flag flying over the city.

The Paris 2024 Olympics, which will take place between July 26 and August 11, will put a global spotlight on Paris, drawing a whopping 15 million visitors to the French capital for a stunning array of events and competitions. But, in an ironic twist, the Games may scare off many of the city’s would-be tourists, who fear running into high hotel prices and busy crowds. Though France, which has been the most-visited country in the world for decades, is sure to beat its 2023 visitor count (47.5 million), the summer tourist season in Paris might see a bit of a dip right before and after the Olympics, as travelers look to less chaotic vacation locations. As a result, booking a trip to Paris this summer still isn’t entirely out of the question.

Paris Hotel Prices and Availability Summer 2024

France’s hotels have been left in a somewhat precarious position in regards to the Olympics. The French hospitality consulting firm MKG reported only 64% occupancy of Paris hotels during the Games as of April. And while prices for that period are more than double what they were during the same time last year, they have been slipping over the past few months. Part of this is due to the great surge in Airbnb offerings, as Parisians have jumped to list their apartments for rent to cash in on the moment. Airbnb has noted an increase in Paris listings from 70,000 at the end of 2023 up to 130,000. These houseshares, also initially priced high, have seen similar price drops.

The owner of Patrick Hayat Hotels in Paris told Le Monde in April that 30% of their initial Olympic bookings were canceled, and other hoteliers have seen similar losses. In large part, this is due to widespread cancellations by the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee, who had pre-booked hotels en masse for athletes and employees, before changing tack and leaving hotels in the lurch. Paris isn’t the only French city playing host to the Jeux Olympiques, or “JO” as they are referred to in French. Lille in the north of France will host basketball, and Chateauroux in the center of the country will host competition shooting. Marseille in the South of France will host the Olympic sailing events, and soccer matches will take place throughout France, in cities including Nice, Nantes, and Bordeaux. Other Olympic events will take place in the immediate suburbs of Paris, including Saint-Denis, Le Bourget, Nanterre, Versailles, and Vaires-sur-Marne. (There will even be surfing in Tahiti, which is part of the semi-autonomous French territory of French Polynesia.)

Booking accommodations throughout France has posed some issues. Thousands of rooms in Chateauroux were canceled at the end of last year by Olympic delegations, followed by thousands more in Lille at the beginning of this year. Because of the unique nature of these booking arrangements, the hotels were not compensated at all for the sudden change, and many have since struggled to fill these rooms, particularly at their elevated prices.

The Accor hotel group, which is an Olympic partner, has 650 hotels in the Paris 2024 host cities, including Paris as well as other nearby locations where Olympic events will take place. Accor will operate the Athletes & Media villages, for which they have set aside more than 16,000 beds in over 90 buildings. According to the hotel group, one-third of their hotels in the host cities are contracted with the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee, so the group was “unable to share information on these [hotels].” But as for the other 400 or so Accor hotels in Paris, a 70% occupancy rate was reported during the Games themselves. They also noted positive booking trends in other Olympic cities, including Lille and Chateauroux. While Accor noted that, “The weeks before and after the Games (June – September) are also historically quite busy in Paris,” they did not offer additional specifications about summertime availability this year.

Currently, 164 Accor properties in Paris and its immediate suburbs have availability the week before the Olympics begin, and 261 have availability the week after they end. For the Olympic dates, 85 hotels show availability… though the majority of them are listed at more than $1,000 per night. Even in the immediate weeks before or after, prices are far lower, with plenty of options for the same or comparable hotels even lower than $100 per night.

Joël Blinn, the Director of Sales & Marketing at Fauchon L’Hôtel Paris, told us that while the hotel expects to sell out in advance of the Games, it still has some availability. (Though, with rates starting at 1495€, these rooms aren’t exactly accessible to everyone.) He also noted that “Bookings overall have been up over previous years, and this includes for the weeks before and after the Games.”

Though the majority of visitors to Paris will be coming from within France, many of them are opting to stay with friends and family or commute in for the Games, rather than pay exorbitant rates for a hotel.

Flight Prices to Paris Before and After the Olympics

Currently, while flights for the exact dates of the Olympics (flying in on July 26, and out on August 11) are higher than usual, flights the week before and after are exceedingly reasonable, as are some flights even within the Olympic window. As of writing (May 20), you can fly in on August 12, the day after the Olympics, and out the 19th, for as little as $411. And flights for the week before (flying in July 18th and out July 25th, the day before the Olympics start) are as low as $533. These are comparable to flights both earlier and later in the season.

Should You Travel to Paris Before the Olympics?

Overall, traveling to Paris before the Olympics is totally doable at this point in time. Flights and hotels are available and reasonably priced. Visiting Paris after the Olympics poses an even better deal, though one would imagine the cleanup from the Games might have an impact on your stay.

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