SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

PARIS 2024 OLYMPICS

Hotels, tickets and scams: What to know about visiting Paris for the 2024 Olympics

As excitement mounts for the Paris 2024 Games, many are thinking about how much they should budget, the best places to watch events and how to avoid scams. Here's our guide for Olympic or Paralympic visitors.

Hotels, tickets and scams: What to know about visiting Paris for the 2024 Olympics
People pose in front of the Olympics rings installed in front of the Paris City Hall in 2018 (Photo by LUCAS BARIOULET / AFP)

How can I get tickets?

You may have already secured tickets, but if not there are still some opportunities, including the official resale platform – full details HERE.

The Olympics/Paralympics website is the only official channel for ticket sales, so you should be extremely cautious about any tickets offered for sale on any other websites or forums. 

Where to stay?

Many hotels have already filled up, and the majority of those remaining are charging higher-than-average rates, especially during the first week of the Games.

When choosing a where to stay be sure to plan out the transport options for getting to and from the events you have reserved. Events and matches will take place across the city, but there are also plenty of events outside the city itself such as at the Stade de France, in Saint Denis plus events at Versailles and other communes outside Paris. 

When using rental website, like Booking, some listings might be ‘Hébergement géré par un particulier’. This means that the listing is an accommodation managed by a private individual – not a hotel. 

As for picking a good hotel, you might consider the listing sites above, or you could try searching French sources, like ‘Le Fooding’ which lists ‘stylish B&Bs and hotels’, or Paris ZigZag.

The city’s official tourism site also recommends downloading the “Parisian City Guide from the deco magazine Ideat and the app of the magazine The Good Life, ‘TheGoodSpots’.”

The city also has a large Airbnb offering, and even more are expected to be available during the Games as Paris residents offer up their apartments for short-term rental.

Beware the fact that Airbnb hosts can cancel reservations, though it is “their responsibility to cancel in a timely manner to allow their guest time to adjust their plans,” according to the Airbnb site. Additionally, hosts “may not encourage the guest to cancel the reservation.”

For more information on options for accommodation in Paris, you can consult the city’s tourism website (in English) HERE. Alternatively, you could try other options like LeBonCoin (France’s equivalent to Craigslist) or Facebook Groups, but keep in mind that these are less secure and could be more open to potential scams. 

Fan zones

For those who either chose not to or were unable to secure tickets to Olympic events, there will still be plenty of opportunities to join in the festivities while visiting Paris during the Games.

The city has announced that it will set up 23 free fan zones across Paris. Several emblematic sites across the city will be transformed into fan zones, including the Hôtel de Ville in the 4th arrondissement and the Quartier Jeunes just beside the Louvre Museum. 

READ MORE: MAP: Where to find the free fan zones in Paris for the 2024 Olympics

Two additional fan zones – one near Trocadéro in the 16th arrondissement, to be run by the Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee, and the other at the Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement (to be hosted by Club France), will welcome larger crowds.

At Trocadero, the Champions Park will offer daily events for medallists to meet the public and the ‘Club France’ zone in the north of the city will be the centre for cheering on Team France and meeting French athletes.

What can I expect to pay?

According to Statista, spending one night one in a standard double hotel room in Paris cost on average €146 in August 2021 – but expect that to jump during the Games.

However, as of April 2024, news outlets including Euronews, Forbes and Le Monde were reporting that prices for hotels during the Olympics were falling.

For example, Forbes quoted information from the insurance firm Réassurez-moi that one night in central Paris during the Games cost €1,023 in July 2023, but in April that same booking had dropped to €436 a night.

The business magazine also reported that “as many as 3,000 to 3,500 new listings have been coming online each month”.

Based on the price increases that occurred during previous Games, visitors should still expect rates to jump anywhere from three times the usual prices – which was the price hike London hotels saw during the 2012 Summer Olympics – to even four to six times typical amounts, as seen during the Tokyo Olympic Games, according to Japan Property Central.

According to the EU Consumer Centre for France, you will also want to remember that when cancelling a booking, you will be held to the terms of cancellation already set by the hotel or rental agreement.

Can I stay outside the city? 

With city centre accommodation likely to become extremely expensive, you might want to consider the suburbs.

Paris itself is a very compact and well-connected city, so anywhere inside the city boundary will be perfectly practical to visit the Games.

However, there are also three départements that make up the city’s inner suburbs (Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne and Hauts-de-Seine) which are also a practical travel distance from Olympic and Paralympic venues.

Take a look at the greater Paris area’s public transport map. Within the city, and along the some of the closest suburbs beside the périphérique (ringroad), you will be able to access the city Metro system. 

Paris public transport zones. Map: RATP

There are five zones that make up the Paris region public transport system. Zone 1 represents Paris proper, and Zone 2 represents the immediate suburbs, then Zones 3-5 gradually move further away from the city.

Within the city and the inner suburbs is the Metro, while the outer suburbs are connected via the RER (commuter rail) and Transilien trains, shown on the above map – these trains run at slower intervals than the city Metro system, and depending on where you are located you may need to take more than one to get into the city.

Bear in mind that some events – including athletics at Stade de France and swimming/diving at the aquatics centre – take place in Saint-Denis, which is one of the inner suburbs to the north of Paris. It is on the Metro. 

How safe is Paris? And what about the surrounding suburbs?

In general Paris is a safe city, but it is still a large city and as such has its share of crime.

The areas of France that have the highest recorded crime are – unsurprisingly – the biggest cities. The highest crime areas in order are; Paris, Seine-Saint-Denis (a Paris suburb), Bouches-du-Rhone (which contains Marseille), Rhône (which includes Lyon) and Hauts-de-Seine (another Paris suburb). 

Violent crime targeted at tourists is very uncommon – the most common problems are theft (mostly pickpocketing) and scams.

READ ALSO The 14 scams that tourists in Paris should watch out for

Paris’ suburbs often get a reputation for being poverty stricken and crime ridden. especially those within the Seine-Saint-Denis area. This generalisation is not true of all of the Paris suburbs by any means – in fact, many Parisians themselves have begun moving out to the suburbs in droves in recent years as they seek out more affordable housing.

Locations such as Les Lilas, Bagnolet, Montreuil, Pantin and Montrouge have become popular spots that people are choosing to move to. 

The suburb of Saint-Denis is often stereotyped in this way, while crime levels are higher than French averages, the city also has several parts worth visiting, including its famous basilica. 

During the Olympics, it will also be home to one of two aquatic centres for the Olympics, the athletes’ village and of course the athletics will be at the Stade de France – the national stadium.

READ MORE: What you should know about the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis

Scams

Big events like the Olympics unfortunately attract scammers, so you should be careful to book accommodation only through regulated platforms and only buy tickets through official sites – there are no licensed third-party sellers for Olympic or Paralympic Games, you should get your tickets only from the official ticketing platform.

Once in the city, be wary of scammers seeking to target tourists with some of these common techniques.

Tourist are also often the target of unlicensed taxi operators.

Visitors are advised to always use a licensed Paris taxi (or an Uber or other VTC) and never accept a lift from drivers who approach you at the airport or train station – licensed taxi drivers are banned from soliciting for trade, so only illegal drivers approach passengers.

Certain destinations, like Paris’ airports, also have set rates: if you’re travelling from the Charles de Gaulle airport to the city centre by an official taxi (not Uber), you’ll pay €65 for a trip heading anywhere on the Left Bank and €56 for anywhere on the Right Bank.

If you’re coming in from Orly airport, it will be €36 for the Left Bank and €44 for the Right Bank.

Banner ad

Strikes

The French have gained themselves an international reputation in this area and while it’s still a bit early to say whether there will be strikes (or at least threats of strikes) during the Games, it’s not impossible.

In September last year a deal was reached with the largest union representing French air traffic controllers, who agreed not to strike until Games are over (although smaller unions have continued to insist on their right to strike). However, this does not guarantee that strike action will be avoided throughout the aviation industry, or in other transport sectors.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Will there be strikes during the Paris Olympics?

Holidays during the Games have been banned for many state employees, while extra weekend and late-night work will be demanded for tens of thousands of them.

It’s pretty common for unions to threaten strikes in the run-up to a big event – all part of the negotiating tactics – but that doesn’t always mean that a strike will happen. 

While you probably do not need to worry about whether you will be caught up in any violence, if there is strike action during the Olympic or Paralympic Games, then you should be aware of the possibility that your plane, train, bus or ferry might be delayed or cancelled. 

But just because there is a strike, don’t assume that everything will be cancelled – strikes vary hugely in how much disruption they cause. You can keep up to date about all strike action in France at The Local’s strike tag HERE.

READ MORE: Should you cancel a trip to France when there is a strike on?

Activities outside Paris

You should also keep in mind that not all events will occur in Paris – some events will be held close to Paris such as the equestrian events at Versailles (roughly 20km from Paris and accessible on the RER) while the Vélodrome nationale in the town of Saint-Quentin, about 25km outside Paris, will host the track cycling events.

Further away, handball and basketball will take place in the northern city of Lille, while sailing will be held in Marseille down on the Mediterranean coast.

The surfing competition will not even take place in the same timezone – it will be held in French Polynesia.

READ MORE: Reader Question: Why is the Paris Olympic surfing in Tahiti?

What else should I beware of?

New EU travel rules – you might have heard of new EU travel rules – EES and ETIAS – that require extra border security and online visa waivers for some arrivals in France. It has now been confirmed that these will not be introduced until after the Olympics, reportedly at the request of the French government.

READ MORE: How the EU’s EES and ETIAS border systems will affect foreigners in France

Air conditioning – If air-conditioning is important to you, bear in mind that it is not standard in Paris hotels, and is rare in apartments – if the details of your accommodation don’t state that it is air conditioned (la climatisation), assume that it isn’t.

The Olympics will take in July and August – in recent years, Paris has faced hot temperatures, sometimes going up to 39-40C during heatwave episodes.

Elevators – Although most hotels have them, elevators are not guaranteed in all French apartment buildings. If you book an Airbnb and there is no mention of an un ascenseur (elevator) then assume there isn’t one.

Tourist tax – Also referred to as the holidaymaker tax was first introduced in 2018, and it is proportional to the number of nights spent in a property.

The specific rate of the tax depends on the nature of accommodation, which includes its classification (star rating), as well as the rate voted on by the municipality. For furnished accommodation, municipalities typically set a rate of between one percent to five percent of the nightly price per person, which usually corresponds to just a few euros per trip. 

In Paris, the tax ranges from €0.65 (per night per adult) for the most basic campsites to €14.95 for the highest end hotels (palaces).

For those staying with or hosting friends – If you are a non-EU national, when you enter France, border guards may ask you for proof of accommodation during your stay (booking for hotel, gîte, Airbnb or B&B for tourists, second-home owners may need to provide proof of address such as a utility bill). If you’re staying with friends or family you may need an attestation d’accueil, which is issued by the local town hall if you are staying in a private accommodation. You can learn more about this requirement and if it might apply to you here.

Booking in advance – If you hope to enjoy any cultural activities while in France, you will want to check if advanced booking is available. Several attractions are located directly next to match venues, like the Eiffel Tower which is set to remain open for advanced reservations, except for the date of the opening ceremony. There may also be minor changes, including certain entrances being closed off for the Louvre.

Security zones and QR codes – Tight security during the Paris Olympics and Paralympics means that some areas of the city will only be accessible to people who have a special QR code. More info here.

READ MORE: How to check for Paris Olympics disruption in your area

It’s still early days for Games-related information – keep up with the latest information and developments with our Paris Olympics Guide section HERE.

You can also sign up for The Local’s new weekly newsletter, giving you a practical guide to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Go to your newsletter options to sign up or via the box below. App readers will need to log in on desktop or via the mobile site to be able to sign up. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

PARIS

Apps, reservations and flying taxis: What to know before visiting Paris this summer

If you are visiting Paris this summer, then you know that there will be large crowds in the city on account of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, but there are a few other changes and new services to be aware of.

Apps, reservations and flying taxis: What to know before visiting Paris this summer

France’s capital is expected to welcome 15 million people between late July and early September – considerably more than the 6.2 to 6.4 million visitors who came between July and August in 2023 or the roughly 10 million summer visitors Paris saw in pre-pandemic days.

On top of a larger than normal amount of visitors, there are some other changes that visitors to Paris should anticipate this summer, as well as tools to help make life easier.

Access to monuments and tourist sites

Planning for wait times – This new French website – Affluences – shares in real time the wait times for more than 700 tourist and cultural sites in the Paris region, including the Louvre, Versailles and the Eiffel Tower. It also provides a forecast for the expected wait times throughout the day, as well as the operating hours of the site.

The platform, which partnered with the Paris tourism office, is available online and in app form. You can also see whether or not the site requires a reservation in advance, and it will offer links to take you to their official website.

The company Affluences has been equipping Paris’ major tourist sites with accurate accounts of crowds, to help them manage large flows of people for 10 years, but now their tool is available for the public online.

According to Le Parisien, the tourism company Atout France estimates that it has a 99 percent reliability rating.

Modified hours and disruption – Several popular tourist sites may have altered hours during the Games, and particularly during the Opening Ceremony (July 26th). It would be best to reserve any cultural activities in advance if possible.

As for the Eiffel Tower, despite being next to a venue, it will remain open during the Olympics period apart from the day of the Opening Ceremony (July 26th). However between July 18th and July 25th the Tower is in a security zone so you will require a QR code to enter – more info here. From July 27th onwards no QR code will be required for visitors – the Tower will be in a red zone, which has restrictions on vehicles, but which pedestrians can enter freely.

During the Olympic Games, the Louvre will remain open to visitors, except for July 25th and 26th. However, all visitors from July 1st to September 8th must book a ticket ahead of time. As for the Tuileries Garden, it will be closed on August 28th and throughout the Games it will be in a security zone, meaning vehicular traffic will be severely limited – although pedestrians can still access it.

You can find more info about Olympics related disruption/changes for the Louvre HERE.

When it comes to Versailles, the château, as well as the gardens, will remain open to the public throughout the Games, with normal visiting hours.

READ MORE: Travel deals to take advantage of as prices drop ahead of Paris Olympics

Special taxis 

During the summer of 2024, the city of Paris will debut the ‘Taxi Seine Paris’, a new boat shuttle service launched on June 13th.

It can carry up to six passengers at a time and will cost €145 per trip, or divided by six, a little under €25 a person. 

As of mid-June, there were only 10 Seine taxis, but there will likely be more to come. The taxis will allow passengers to go from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre within 15 to 20 minutes. 

The service can be booked online up to 24 hours in advance, and it will service two stops (the Louvre and Port de la Bourdonnais, just in front of the Eiffel Tower).

As for the flying taxis, there will be some test flights during the Olympic Games. However, they will not be available to the general public initially.

“If we see that they’re not effective and that they make too much noise, then we’ll draw conclusions,” France’s transport minister told AFP.

The vehicle – known as an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) – is more of a small helicopter or even a large drone. It is four times quieter than a typical helicopter, according to Volocopter, and powered by an electric battery. The idea is that the devices will eventually operate like a shuttle service linking the city and its airports.

As for the regular taxis, these will of course be available, but you should read our tips to ensure you take an official taxi and avoid being overcharged. For people with disabilities, transport authorities have promised a fleet of at least 1,000 accessible taxis during the Olympic period.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: How accessible is Paris for people with disabilities?

QR codes and Olympics disruption

From Metro stops to areas around Games’ venues – several parts of the city will either be closed off or placed within a security zone during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

In order to help people in Paris plan for disruption during the Games, the French government has created a website – called ‘Anticiper les jeux’.

It is filled with information – from setting up alerts for possible disruption to checking which Metro stations will be closed and planning your routes while travelling during the Games.

The most useful section is undoubtedly the interactive map which allows you to search for any disruption by area or by a specific Metro line or road. It will also show you whether the address you are looking to visit is within a security zone, in which case you may find yourself needing a QR code.

READ MORE: How to check for Paris Olympics disruption in your area

Increased pricing for transport

Those visiting during the Games will also pay a higher price for public transport.

Between July 20th and September 8th, the price of a single ticket – which can be used on the Metro, buses, RER trains or trams – will go up to €4, in contrast to the €2.15 it costs currently, and purchasing a 10 tickets at once (a carnet) will increase from €17.35 to €32 during the Games.

This does not affect residents with a travel pass or monthly card, or people who buy tickets in advance.

READ MORE: How to avoid public transport price hikes during Olympics

What’s on besides the Olympics?

Paris Plages

Each year, the city creates a seaside resort away from the ocean, with swimming areas, games and plenty of family-friendly activities. In 2024, the Paris Plages will be open from July 6 to September 8th, with some minor changes from previous years, namely the Canal Saint-Martin being the primary relaxation area.

The swimming area at La Villette basin, as well as the usual deckchairs and relaxation areas along the banks of the Seine, will open starting on July 27th, after the Opening Ceremony has concluded. The full programme will be available in the coming weeks on the Paris town hall website.

Exhibits

There are plenty to choose from, but we’ve picked three.

If you are in Paris at the start of the summer, you can visit the ‘Paris 1874, Inventer l’impressionnisme’ exhibit at the Musée d’Orsay, which celebrates 150 years of impressionism. It will remain open until July 14th. More info here.

There is also the ‘Paris!’ free exhibit at the Hôtel de Ville, which gives an overview of the city spanning its culture, major events, tragedies and everything else that makes up its identity. It will be available all summer long, though you should reserve ahead of time.

You might also consider another free exhibit – the ‘Stage Jewels of the Comédie Française’. This exhibit is hosted at the Hôtel de Mercy-Argenteau, located in the 9th arrondissement. You can admire all of the stage jewellery used by France’s best actors and actresses from the 18th century onwards. It will be open all summer, with normal operating hours.

Concerts 

There are plenty of summer festivals and concerts across the country, but mark your calendar for the Rock en Seine festival from August 21-25, with artists like Lana Del Rey, LCD Soundsystem, PJ Harvey and more. 

READ MORE: 26 unmissable summer 2024 festivals and events in France

SHOW COMMENTS