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Paris 2024 Olympics Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate guide for the Paris 2024 Olympics

We summarized every detail and tip to help you prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the places to stay, the visa, Hospitality Houses and places to visit, and how to get Internet on-site.

The Paris 2024 Olympics are going to be awesome. The opening ceremony will be memorable for a specific reason: for the first time, it will be held along the river Seine, in the center of Paris, instead of inside a stadium. It means the opening ceremony will pass by sightseeing of Paris like Notre-Dame-de-Paris cathedral, Royal Palace, Louvre Museum, or the Eiffel Tower.

The Paris 2024 Olympics will begin Friday, July 26th, with the Opening Ceremony on the Seine river and end on August 11th with the Closing Ceremony.

Note: We keep this post updated as we receive news from Paris 2024 organizing committee.

  1. Getting to Paris
  2. Where to Stay in Paris
  3. Planning the itinerary
  4. Hospitality Houses, Special experiences
  5. How to get around
  6. Connectivity
Paris 2024 Olympics Seine river show

1. How to get to Paris for the 2024 Olympics

  1. Visa and Travel Authorization
  2. Transportation

1.1 Do I need a visa for the Paris 2024 Olympics?

There are no customs rules for the Paris 2024 Olympics. There is no “Fan ID” like there was for the FIFA World Cup in Russia or Qatar. You need to follow the same rule as every tourist visiting Paris. We explain everything in detail in this post: France Entry Requirements.

Visa-free. Citizens from many countries, such as the US, Canada, Japan, or Korea, can enter France with a visa-free regime. Unfortunately, some others need to apply for a visa before visiting, for example, citizens of China, India, Russia, Pakistan, and South Africa.

ETIAS. ETIAS is the Europe electronic travel authorization, similar to US’s ESTA and Korean K-ETA. It’s unclear whether the ETIAS will be mandatory for the Paris 2024 Olympics. It’s unlikely, but it needs to be officially confirmed.

Paris 2024 Olympics Invalides

1.2 How to get to Paris?

The easiest way to get to Paris is by plane. If you come from Europe, you can also get to Paris by bullet train, especially from Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, or Spain.

Beware of delays during the timeframe around the opening ceremony. The 4 to 5 days before the opening ceremony will be the busiest in Paris. Expect a long queue at immigration. During standard times, you can expect 1 to 2 hours. A few days before the Paris 2024 Olympics opening ceremony, expect at least 4 hours.

1.2.1 Airports

There are 3 airports in Paris: Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, Orly, and Beauvais.

Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport

The biggest is Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, with flights for almost everywhere in the world. The major airlines will get you to Charles-de-Gaulle airport. It is located north of Paris.

It is convenient to get to Paris from Charles-de-Gaulle airport: by taxi (flat-rate), bus, or train.

Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle is the airport you should choose to land at.

Orly airport

Orly airport is the closest to Paris but less convenient than Charles-de-Gaulle. There is no direct train line to Paris, only bus and taxi. It is located south of Paris.

Beauvais airport

The Beauvais airport is the furthest from Paris. It is located in another city named Beauvais. Only low costs airlines land here, like Ryanair. If you plan on arriving at Beauvais airport, you will need to take a Bus for 2 hours to reach Paris, costing about 20€ per person.

1.2.2 Competition venues outside of Paris

Some sports competitions will not be held in the Paris region. You may want to plan a different trip if you are interested in these competitions:

  • Basketball and Handball: the preliminary matches will be held in Lille. The final phase of Handball stays in Lille, while Basketball moves to Paris. Lille is 1 hour north of Paris with the bullet train. But the easiest way is from Bruxelles, the capital of Belgium, with only 35mn with the bullet train. Taking a round trip from Bruxelles may be easier if you plan to watch preliminary Basketball or handball matches. The bullet train takes 1h20mn from Paris to Bruxelles for the return trip.
  • Shooting: competition will be held in Chateauroux, a small city in the empty diagonal. Here, you will be in the deep countryside of France. The only way to get here is by train (about 2h) or bus from Paris. You can take this opportunity to visit one of the beautiful Loire Valley Castles nearby.
  • Sailing: competition will be held in Marseille, south of France. There is an airport in Marseille, so you can get a plane landing in Marseille with a stopover. A direct bullet train from Paris to Marseille takes about 4h.
  • Football/Soccer: competition will be held in multiples stadium across France: Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux, and Nice. Except for Nice, these cities are well connected to Paris with the bullet train.
  • Surfing: competition will not be held in Paris, nor Europe, but in Tahiti, French Polynesia, in the South Pacific. The easiest way to get to Tahiti is by plane from Los Angeles, Hawaii, New Zealand, or Australia.

1.2.3 Save time and money by choosing another city and taking the bullet train

The bullet train connects Paris to other cities in France and Europe. During the Paris 2024 Olympics, plane ticket prices will surge. You can save by taking a ticket to another town and a bullet train. Here is the travel time from other European cities:

  • Bruxelles, Belgium: 1h20
  • London, United Kingdom: 2h20
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: 3h20
  • Frankfurt, Germany: 4h

2. Where to stay in Paris during the 2024 Olympics?

Usually, prices are high for accommodation in Paris in July. During the 2024 Olympics, prices will be even higher. Here are some travel tips to make the best of your trip to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

2.1 The best neighborhoods to stay at during the Paris 2024 Olympics

We have a dedicated post about the best neighborhoods to stay at in Paris here.

During the Paris 2024 Olympics, finding quality accommodation in the best areas will be very hard. You can search in other areas, less touristy, but still convenient depending on the competition you plan to attend.

Outside of Paris, you can search for accommodation on the west and southwest. Cities like Nanterre, Versailles, or Issy-les-Moulineaux are very well connected to Paris.

On the east side, you can stay near Disneyland Paris. It is pretty far away but close to the Rowing and Canoe venues and only 1h away with a direct train to the center of Paris.

In France, the major hotel booking platform is Booking.com. This is where you should book your accommodation to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Paris 2024 Olympics Champs Elysees

2.1 The best hotels in Paris

As per every Olympic, the best hotels in town are already booked years in advance by the Olympic Committee of each participating country.

During the Olympics, many hotel chains change their policies. Your member status privileges may be ignored, the cancellation policy may be strict, or paying with points may not be accepted.

2.2 Short-term rentals, AirBnbs, Vrbo

Avoid new listings. You should stay away from apartments without reviews. Many scammers add their property specifically for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Everything seems fine until you discover on arrival that the property does not exist, you can’t have the keys on time, or there is no mattress. When it happens, you are alone, the platform will not help you, and you lose the money. It can happen on any platform, including Airbnb. Exclusively book properties with reviews where real humans have already confirmed the place exists.

Vrbo. Vrbo is known as “Abritel” in France. But almost nobody uses it. There are few appartements.

Airbnb. The go-to platform in France to find a short-term rental. Most properties are listed on Airbnb.

Booking. You can find some short-term rentals also on booking.com. The same advice applies, only book already-rated properties and avoid new listings.

3. Planning the itinerary

The first thing to consider while planning the itinerary is, of course, the competition dates and venues. You can find the official planning here

Athletics and wrestling will mainly take place during the second week, while fencing, judo, or judo will be almost over at the end of the first week.

Below we will explain in detail some of the best things during the Olympics apart from the competition:

  1. Opening Ceremony
  2. Hospitality Houses
  3. Paris’ sightseeings
Paris 2024 Olympics Map

3.1 Take the time

A usual mistake while planning for the Olympics is trying to do too much in too little time. Do not fall into this trap to enjoy your Paris 2024 Olympics experience fully.

Transportation. Venues can be quite far away, even inside the Paris region area. For example, you will need about 2h30 and 5 different trains to go from the Rowing venue to the Cycling venue. Also, there are often incidents on the Paris Transportation system, and you could easily lose half an hour in these incidents.

Security. There is a lot of security check and waiting times. That’s just how it is. By preparing for these waiting times, you will enjoy the competition better.

Keeping enough margin in your itinerary for the Paris 2024 Olympics will also leave you time for sightseeing (there is always something to see in Paris) or events in Hospitality Houses.

3.2 Attending the Paris 2024 Olympics Opening Ceremony

The Paris 2024 Olympics Opening Ceremony will be the biggest of all times. For the first time, it will not be held in a stadium, but instead in the Seine river, in the center of Paris. An open area like the Seine River is much bigger than a stadium.

About 80.000 people attended the Rio 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony. The Paris 2024 Olympics will blow this number with over 600.000 spectators expected.

Magnificent buildings surround the Seine River, the sightseeing of Paris like the Notre-dame-de-Paris Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, and the Eiffel Tower.

Athletes will be on boats and go from Austerlitz to the Eiffel Tower, about 6km. You can watch the official teaser here.

Ticketed area. About 100.000 tickets were sold for the opening ceremony. These are the best places, on the bridge and lower embankment. The closest and best place to watch the ceremony.

Non-ticketed area. About 500.000 spectators are expected in the non-ticketed area on the upper embankment. Although free, you will need to register in advance to access theses area.

Paris 2024 Olympics Opening Ceremony

3.3 Hospitality Houses

Hospitality Houses are places run by National Olympic Committee or Sponsors. Hospitality Houses are the places to go for fans to make the Paris 2024 Olympics experience even better. Here you can gather with other fans to watch competitions, learn more about the country, and meet with athletes.

Some Hospitality Houses are more party-oriented, others less. For example, the TeamNL House is usually very party oriented. Ireland Supporter’s House is in an Irish pub.

Some Hospitality Houses are opened to the public and free, some need tickets, and others are more restricted. For example, Team USA House will be open for the first time, but you must buy a package beforehand.

Here is a list of Hospitality Houses confirmed or expected for the Paris 2024 Olympics:

  • 🇫🇷 Club France: Parc de la Villette
  • 🇦🇹 Austria: to be announced
  • 🇧🇪 Lotto Belgium House: Salons Hoche
  • 🇧🇷 Casa Brasil: Parc de la Villette
  • 🇨🇦 Canada Olympic House: to be confirmed
  • 🇨🇿 Czechia: to be announced
  • 🇩🇰 Danish Pavilion: to be confirmed
  • 🇩🇪 Deutsches Haus: Jean-Bouin Stadium
  • 🇬🇧 Great Britain: to be announced
  • 🇮🇳 India House: to be confirmed
  • 🇮🇪 Ireland Supporters’ House: O’Sullivan’s bar Pigalle
  • 🇯🇵 Japan: to be announced
  • 🇮🇹 Casa Italia: Pré Catelan (Boulogne Woodland)
  • 🇳🇱 TeamNL House: to be confirmed
  • 🇳🇿 New Zealand House: to be confirmed
  • 🇸🇮 Slovenia: to be announced
  • 🇰🇷 South Korea: to be announced
  • 🇸🇪 Sweden Arena: MOB Hotel
  • 🇨🇭 House of Switzerland: to be confirmed
  • 🇺🇸 Team USA House: Brongniart Palace
  • Pride House: Parc de la Villette
  • Procter & Gamble: to be announced
Paris 2024 Olympics Grand Palais

3.4 What to visit in Paris

Paris is one of the best cities to visit in the world. You should also take the Paris 2024 Olympics opportunity to see the best places Paris has to offer.

  • Notre-Dame-de-Paris: The cathedral has been closed after the devastating fire of 2019. Reparation works should be finished for the Olympics, so you should visit! More information about Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral here.
  • Eiffel Tower: it should be closed during the Olympics.
  • Louvre Museum: worldwide’s vastest museum will be open during the Olympics. Many visitors are expected, so take advantage of our exclusive tips here to visit the Louvre Museum.
  • Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre district: no venues are planned in this area, so things should be opened as usual. These places are very close to Ireland’s Hospitality House. You can pair these visits!
  • Grand Palais: the Grand Palais exhibition hall hosts Fencing and Taekwondo. The Petit Palais, on the other side of the street, will be open and is always free!

See here the best things to visit in Paris.

Paris 2024 Olympics Eiffel Tower

4. How to get around during the Paris 2024 Olympics

It can be hard to find your itinerary in Paris. The public transportation system is big and hard to understand. Use an app like Google Maps or City Mapper to simplify things. These apps are connected to the city’s information system and can tell if a bus is running late or service is halted on a line. You will get the best itinerary depending on the current condition. Problems happen a lot in Paris’s public transportation system.

Metros, Trams, Buses. Tickets for the public transportation system are hard to understand. Outside of Paris, there are multiple areas with different pricing. You can buy tickets at every metro station.

Taxis. There are many taxis in Paris. You can hail them in the street or get one at a taxi station. Taxi stations are in every train station and at several points in the city. They don’t always accept credit cards, so you must pay by cash. Always ask for the meter, except for the airport, because there is a flat fare.

Uber. The leading platform in Paris for hailing is Uber. There are also smaller competitors like Bolt or Free Now. It works as expected; prices are reasonable. The main drawback is the waiting time: you usually must wait about 10mn for the car to arrive.

Google Maps, City Mapper, or Uber will need internet access. Information about internet access and connectivity during the Paris 2024 Olympics is below.

Paris Metro Transportation

5. Connectivity: how to get internet access during the Paris 2024 Olympics

You will need internet connectivité during your Paris 2024 Olympics stay: to post photos on Instagram, to send messages to the family, or to find the itinerary for the next venue.

Free Roaming. You can check with your operator if roaming is free for a short stay in France. That is usually the case with UE operators.

Paid Roaming. You can also buy a package with your operator giving internet access abroad. Usually, the price is very high for a tiny amount of data. It is the easiest option but can cost you thousands of dollars.

Pocket WiFi. Pocket WiFi is a separate device with a dedicated SIM card. The device will connect to mobile networks and share internet access on private WiFi. You need then to connect your smartphone to this private WiFi. You can rent a pocket WiFi for the duration of your stay.Every cost is usually included: the rent and the internet access. You can compare this offer and this offer. The major drawback is the need to recharge this device.

eSIM. eSIM is a virtual sim card that you can download. You can buy an esim for French network, install it on your phone, and get instant internet access. It is very convenient. You continue using your phone the same way. There are many suppliers for esims, and many are not reliable. Sometimes, you only get 3G speed. The most reliable supplier in our experience is Airalo. We always get at least 4G speed everywhere in the world. You can buy an esim with prepaid data for your stay. ESims are the cheapest and best option overall to get internet access during the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The Paris 2024 Olympics for sure will remain an unbelievable experience! These tips will improve your trip by avoiding traps and seizing every opportunity.

Image credits: https://press.paris2024.org

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Louis and Emilie

We once heard visitors in Paris saying that the French are not the most welcoming people. It made us sad. That's why we started this blog! So you can get the best information for your travel to France! Of course, we love Paris. We have lived in multiple areas, from Canal St Martin to right next to the Eiffel Tower. We also explore regions of France whenever we can. Our favorites for a weekend away from Paris are Etretat and Mont Saint Michel. The beautiful French Riviera is a marvelous place to explore for a week.

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