The 2024 Paris Olympics is less than a year away. Like the athletes, travelers need to prepare well in advance of the Olympics to make it to the Games. As many as 15.9 million people are expected to visit the Paris area during the July-September period that includes the Olympics and Paralympic Games, according to the Associated Press. Many events are already sold out, and bookings for flight and lodgings are well underway. If you’re thinking about a visit to the Games, you should start your travel planning now to try to secure a gold-medal-worthy experience next summer in France.
“We have been working on itineraries for months,” says travel adviser Martha King of the Avenue Two Travel network. “I am seeing a lot of interest from [multigenerational] families who want to experience the Olympics together.”
Whether you’re considering a big family trip to the Olympics, or just want to fly out there yourself, here’s the latest information on what you need to know about travel to the Games in France next summer, including dates, event venues, game tickets, lodging and other travel essentials.
When and where are the Paris Olympic events?
The 2024 Summer Olympic Games will take place from July 24 to Aug. 11, with the Paralympics being held from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.
Paris will host the bulk of the Olympic events at 25 venues spread around the city and the adjacent Île-de-France region, with marquee track and field events held at the 77,000-seat Stade de France. Eight additional cities throughout France also will host events, mainly for soccer, basketball and other team sport qualifying games. Marseille, on the Mediterranean, is the scenic setting for sailing events. Appropriately, the grounds of Versailles will be the venue for the aristocratic competitions of equestrian and pentathlon. Anti-royalists can enjoy skateboarding, BMX racing and break dancing, new for 2024, at the Place de la Concorde, where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were guillotined in 1793. Even the French territory of Tahiti gets into the act, hosting the Olympic surfing competition.
In an Olympic first, the opening ceremonies will take place on a river! The parade of national athletes will sail along the Seine on July 26 with at least 600,000 spectators able to gather to watch the procession.
Prior to the Games, the Olympic torch relay will run — and sail — from May 8 in Marseille to the opening ceremony in Paris on July 26, with stops at French territories in the Caribbean and South Pacific. Visiting France before the Olympics to watch part of the torch relay could be a fun way to get into the Olympic spirit while on a regular vacation.
How to get tickets for Olympic events
While individual tickets to many Olympic events are already sold out (including track and field), organizers recently made more tickets available. Spectators can purchase tickets via the official Olympic ticketing website. The bulk of tickets remaining on the official site are for team events outside of Paris. If you’re a team handball fan, you’re in luck! Americans do still have the opportunity to buy tickets to watch the U.S. soccer and basketball teams through the preliminary rounds. But since teams haven’t yet been assigned groups or locations, you’ll be buying tickets for random games. On the plus side, group stage soccer tickets begin at just $26.
Another option for purchasing tickets is to reserve “hospitality packages” in luxury suites at stadiums and at private areas in other venues. These packages are still available for track and field and other high-demand events, but the starting price is about $1,167 per person per ticket for a few hours of athletics and Champagne at Stade de France.
Travel packages, which include lodging and ticket combinations, are available for purchase through Olympics partner On Location, simplifying the search for nearby hotels and potentially securing access to previously sold-out events.
For the opening ceremony boat parade, paid seating (most of it is already sold out) will be set up along the Seine’s lower banks and bridges. But spectators can freely line the upper banks of the river or watch some of the 80 giant screen video monitors placed along the 3.7-mile route. Yes, something’s actually free at the Olympics! Or you can still book a premium bridge-top hospitality suite ticket for the event at $12,370, including tax.
Secondary ticket sellers like Ticombo and private scalpers are currently offering re-sold event tickets at premium prices, but purchasers should be aware of potential fraud and future Olympic Committee efforts to block such sales. The official Olympics website says it will open its own reselling platform in the spring.