Paris 2024 Olympics For Members

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

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
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)

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.


How can I get tickets?

You may have already secured tickets, but if not there are several more opportunities, including another flash sale on Monday, March 4th at 10am (Paris-time) - 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. An official resale site is expected to be available in Spring 2024.

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.

The listing site Kayak (as of late February 2024) judges that average nightly hotel rates during the first week of the Olympic games was around €550 within the city of Paris. However, when looking at other sites, such as Booking, the €500-range is just the minimum. Several 3-star hotels were charging upwards of €1,000-€2,000 per night, according to the platform in late winter.

Outside of the city, for instance in Saint Denis, the location of the athlete's village, the listing site showed median rates for around €100 less per night. However, options were more limited than inside the city of Paris as there are fewer hotels than in the city centre. 

There were still some hotel rooms available in other Paris suburbs, like Saint Ouen, as of late February, but rates for those locations had also significantly increased to minimums around €300 a night.

Based on the price increases that occurred during previous Games, visitors should 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


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.

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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 have now pledged not to strike until the Games are over (although smaller unions are continue to insist on their right to strike). However, this does not guarantee that strike action will be avoided throughout the aviation industry, or on railways or the Metro. 

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.

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. 


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