Paris 2024 Summer Olympics: How to plan the perfect trip, from best hotels to how to get tickets

Paris is gearing up to host the 2024 Olympics (DPPI Media)
Paris is gearing up to host the 2024 Olympics (DPPI Media)

The countdown has begun and, in under a year, the best athletes in the world will compete for much-coveted Olympic medals. The 2024 Summer Olympics feel particularly symbolic as they also mark the centenary of the last time Paris hosted the Olympic Games. Even if you haven’t been able to get tickets, numerous places will be showing the Games on giant, outdoor screens, so everyone can soak up the atmosphere. Parc Georges-Valbon and the upper banks of the Seine are both due to have free screenings.

This is France, so entertainment, far from being confined to sport, spills over into the arts. Olympiade Culturelle lists all the Olympics-themed events in the capital and the country at large, including everything from exhibitions and theatre performances to street dance.

Paris will be shining brighter than the Eiffel Tower at sundown, but how can you experience this historic moment? Here’s the lowdown on how to get your hands on tickets, getting around and where to stay during the world’s biggest and most prestigious sporting event.

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How to get there

It’s difficult to argue with Eurostar, easily the most efficient way to travel from central London to the heart of Paris. Trains between London St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord run pretty much every hour, taking just over two hours.

If you’re on a budget, check out FlixBus. The low-cost coach service takes significantly longer (nine hours), but tends to be the most economical option.

Eurostar is the most efficient means of travelling to Paris from London (PA Archive)
Eurostar is the most efficient means of travelling to Paris from London (PA Archive)

Flying is an option of course, but consider whether it’s necessary, particularly if you live close to London. It might initially seem like the cheapest, easiest option, but you still need to factor in the time-consuming procedure of getting to and from the airport at both ends, not to mention the additional cost which creeps in – Charles de Gaulle to central Paris costs €11.45 (£9.80), and from Paris Bercy it’s even higher, around €14 (£12).

Omio compares the cheapest and fastest routes and includes trains, buses and ferries as well as flights.

How to buy tickets

More tickets are being put on sale regularly. To stay up-to-date with when ticket sales are taking place, create an account on Paris 2024 official ticketing (you’ll need this account to buy tickets regardless). Sales are limited to a maximum of four or six places per buyer, and many events are already sold out. Ticket prices start from €24 (£20.60) – yes, really! – and while it can be difficult to get tickets at that price, it’s far from impossible; I managed to nab tickets for several events for just €29 (£24.90) apiece.

A mock-up of the Champions Park at the Trocadéro (Florian Hulleu)
A mock-up of the Champions Park at the Trocadéro (Florian Hulleu)

A lot of the most sought-after tickets are available only on a ballot allocation system, but on the official ticketing page you’ve got plenty of events being sold freely, and not just in Paris. Although the bulk of events are happening in the capital, there’s plenty to see in other French cities including Marseille, Lyon and Nantes, and even overseas departments.

Only buy your tickets through the official site – no other platform is authorised. The official resale platform will open in spring 2024. Any site other than is likely to be a scam.

Tickets for the official opening and closing ceremonies are also for sale, but they currently start from *deep breath* €1,100 (£943).

Where to stay

Urban-chic MOB House is on the doorstep of the famous Saint Ouen flea market, but crucially, is less than half an hour’s walk from Stade de France, where the athletics and rugby will take place.

Leafy Hotel Cabane is a true oasis in Paris’s 14th arrondissement, with light wood rooms that will have you feeling a million miles from the city. Paris Expo (handball, volleyball, table tennis and weightlifting) is a 30-minute walk.

Boutique manoirLa Villa Escudier is the chicest place to stay for visitors heading to watch the tennis at Roland Garros. The 350m2 rose garden is a suntrap.

How to get to the sports venues

Download CityMapper to plan your way around Paris. This application gives real-time updates on delays and line closures. The Metro is the easiest way to get around, but be aware that it’s always stuffy and overcrowded in the summer, so the Olympics are only going to exacerbate that. Take water and perhaps an electric hand fan. CityMapper also shows you bus, tram and overground routes.

If you’ve got time, walk. Paris is a city made for flâneurs; the atmosphere is going to be crazy, and it saves you from going for your own gold medal in Sardines as an Olympic sport underground. For events that are further apart, consider taking a Vélib’ bike (a 45-minute journey costs just €3 (£2.40).

Paris 2024 (Paris 2024)
Paris 2024 (Paris 2024)

Special bus services will also be running during the Olympics. Île-de-France Mobilités has partnered with the Games to put on services between the various stadiums. has a helpful map of all the sports venues.

Best things to do when you’re not at the Olympics

Take a dip

The Seine may be undergoing a record clean-up job, but would you want to swim in it? Head to Piscine Josephine Baker in the 13th arrondissement instead. The 25-metre-long pool looks right over the Seine, so you can unleash your inner Michael Phelps with a view.

Visitors can swim by the Seine at the Josephine Baker pool in Paris (Helen Coffey)
Visitors can swim by the Seine at the Josephine Baker pool in Paris (Helen Coffey)

Watch the skateboarders at Place de la République

For the first time ever, skateboarding will feature at the summer Olympics in 2024. To see amateurs and old-timers alike performing their tricks, head to Place de la République, which has featured in many skateboarding videos. The futuristic-looking skate spot in the middle was provided by Volcom. Head to Bidoche, a restaurant hidden in a butcher’s shop, for lunch afterwards.

Get back to nature

For a city of its size, Paris is surprisingly lacking in green spaces. While none of the urban parks are likely to allow you to truly escape the crowds during the Olympics, Bois de Vincennes is as good a bet as any. It’s the second largest urban park in the city, after Bois de Boulogne, with an impressive Medieval château, an urban farm and several lakes.

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