Is It Worth Visiting Paris During the 2024 Olympics?

Paris 2024 Olympic flag against Eiffel Tower backdrop

This summer, the Olympics are coming to Paris. And though these Games have been in the works for years, the city is now getting to crunch time. The Olympic Games will take place at the height of summer, bringing millions of visitors to Paris in the middle of peak tourism season. At a time when Paris would have already been crowded and expensive to visit, the Olympics will push the French capital to the limits of its hospitality.

Maybe you’re planning a trip to Paris that will overlap with the Games even if you don’t plan to attend any Olympic events. Or perhaps you’re wondering if there is still time for you to get tickets and try to get a piece of the action. Either way, here is what you should know about traveling to Paris this summer during the 2024 Olympic Games.

When are the 2024 Paris Olympics?

The 2024 Paris Olympics will take place between Friday, July 26th, and Sunday, August 11th, 2024.

How crowded will it be during the 2024 Olympics?

Paris will be extremely crowded during the 2024 Olympics. While the city regularly welcomes up to 90 million tourists per year, with the majority of them visiting in the summertime, the Olympics alone are expected to bring in 15 million visitors. With many of the Olympic events taking place in the city center, you can be assured that the crowds will be large and difficult to avoid. Even less touristy parts of Paris, like the surrounding suburbs, will experience unusual crowding due to the placement of the Olympic Village and several stadium events.

Can I go to the Olympic Games for free?

The Opening Ceremony will take place along the banks of the Seine the evening of July 26, with an estimated 300,000 spectators. There will be 100,000 paying spectators allowed closest to the water’s edge, where they will be able to view the athletes parading by boat through the city. An additional 220,000 spectators will have access to free admission on the river’s upper embankments. (Information has not yet been released regarding free access to the Opening Ceremony, but we will update this article accordingly when more information is available.)

Several of the Olympic sports will be visible to the public, as they will take place on the Seine or through the streets of Paris. Sports that will be open to the public include marathon running, road cycling, rowing, open-water swimming, the triathlon, canoeing-kayaking, BMX racing, mountain biking, and golf. And while you may not have as good of a view if you aren’t paying for ringside access, this is still a great way to see as many competitions as possible for free.

There will also be “fan zones” set up throughout the city, where spectators can watch the Games on giant screens. These will also be free of charge. Spectators can also watch the Games for free on the many public TV stations owned and operated by France Télévisions.

Can I still get tickets for the Paris Olympic Games?

While some of the Olympic events are already sold out, there are still some tickets available. Ticket prices range dramatically according to each event, with some costing as little as 24€, and others costing as much as 2,700€. Tickets can be purchased here, and new blocks of tickets will continue to be made available. Football, rugby, handball, basketball, boxing, and rowing are just a few of the Olympic sports that still have tickets available. You will need to make an account to purchase tickets, and each account is allowed to purchase a total of 30 tickets.

Can I still book a hotel or Airbnb for the Paris Olympic Games?

While tickets for some Olympic events are still available, finding accommodations for the 2024 Paris Olympics will prove to be a challenge. Hotels in Paris have already seen more than a 300% price increase, and half of all available hotels are already booked. Airbnb prices in the Paris region are expected to see an 85% increase. Even accommodations in nearby suburbs are rare and pricey. While there are still available accommodations, be prepared to pay thousands of dollars for a hotel or Airbnb if you have not yet booked one.

How will visitors commute in Paris during the 2024 Olympics?

The Paris Olympics have been arranged so that all Olympic events can be accessed via public transportation. Visitors will have access to the entirety of the Paris public transportation system, whether or not they have tickets to the Games.

What will the weather be like during the 2024 Olympics?

Paris can get quite hot in July and August, with daytime temperatures in the high 70s (Fahrenheit). Though slightly cooler in the evenings, Paris gets a lot of daylight in the summer, so temperatures may not cool off until the sun sets around 10 pm. Paris is also prone to heatwaves (canicules, in French), and the majority of buildings in Paris do not have air conditioning. (Traditionally, this is why Parisians spend several weeks in the South of France in July and August to avoid the heat.) This means that it will likely be very hot during the 2024 Olympics, and the weather may not be suitable for young children, senior citizens, and those with conditions that may make them vulnerable to heatstroke.

Will visiting Paris attractions cost more during the 2024 Olympics?

Popular tourist attractions like the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Arc du Triomphe will not cost more during the Olympics than they normally do. However, the Louvre did raise its entry fee from 17€ to 22€ as of January 2024, which many believe is in preparation for the Games. Public transportation costs will be nearly doubled during the Olympics, so it will cost you more to get to popular attractions, even if admission prices remain the same. Check out our guide to public transportation costs during the Olympics for more information.

Safety measures to take during the 2024 Olympics

The Paris 2024 Olympics will be conducted under high levels of security, with a force of 10,000 soldiers scheduled to be on duty throughout the Games. There is no need to take additional safety measures, but visitors should be prepared to comply with temporary safety regulations. Visitors in the vicinity of Olympic events may be asked for tickets or identification, and may be subject to body searches. Compliance with security measures will help to prevent any altercations with Olympic security. Visitors should also beware of pickpockets, which may flock to the high-density crowds around Olympic events.

So, is it worth it?

Due to the high crowding and costs, we would not advise you to visit Paris during the 2024 Olympics unless you already have event tickets and accommodations booked. (Unless you are willing to spend thousands of dollars to find a place to stay.) If you already have accommodations booked, but don’t have tickets, there are still event tickets available, and you will also have access to the free public events.
If you’re still set on going to France this summer, consider skipping Paris in favor of a less-touristy destination. Check out our travel guides to the Loire Valley, Gascony, and Normandy for some off-the-beaten-path recommendations.

Catherine Rickman is a writer, professional Francophile, and host of the Expat Horror Stories podcast. She is currently somewhere in Brooklyn with a fork in one hand and a pen in the other, and you can follow her adventures on Instagram @catrickman, or on TikTok @catinthekitchen.

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