The 2024 Paris Olympics Insider Guide to Saving Money on Travel

Of the 100 million tickets up for grabs, 45% of tickets sold directly cost less than 100 euros, organizers say.
Sally French
By Sally French 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The 2024 Paris Olympics are a few months away. And if you plan on watching the action in person, make travel plans now.

Here’s your guide to traveling to Paris, snagging tickets and saving money (including watching certain events for free).

How to purchase Paris Olympics 2024 tickets

Across all events, there are about 10 million tickets up for grabs, but purchasing tickets to certain events can be a challenging sport in itself. Some tickets on the official Paris Olympics 2024 website have already sold out.

More tickets will be released regularly in the weeks leading up to the events. As of mid-February, about 2 million tickets are either available for purchase or have yet to go on sale.

Prices vary depending on the event and specific seat. According to Paris 2024 event organizers, 45% of tickets sold directly through them cost less than 100 euros.

NerdWallet analyzed 125 ticket prices in mid-February for 13 sports where tickets were still available. While average ticket prices (based on the least expensive ticket within the venue) were 101 euros (about $109 at the time of writing) based on NerdWallet’s analysis, some sports are far cheaper. Golf had the lowest average ticket prices at 24 euros, or about $26.

Of the 13 available sports at the time of NerdWallet’s analysis, here were average ticket prices by sport, sorted by least expensive to most expensive:

  • Golf: 24 euros.

  • Football: 32 euros.

  • Rugby Sevens: 63 euros. 

  • Water polo: 66 euros.

  • Rowing: 90 euros.

  • Boxing: 100 euros.

  • Canoe Sprint: 108 euros.

  • Handball: 121 euros.

  • Weightlifting: 125 euros.

  • Canoe slalom: 132 euros.

  • Taekwondo: 134 euros.

  • Basketball: 159 euros.

  • Athletics: 224 euros.

The Olympic Games opening ceremony will take place for the first time outside of a stadium. Instead, it'll occur along the Seine. (Concept art courtesy of Paris 2024)

The most expensive Olympic ticket to purchase? As of mid-February, the opening ceremony. Although prices start at 90 euros, when we looked, the cheapest available ticket was 2,700 euros (about $2,925). There is a chance more tickets will be released in the future.

Hospitality and travel packages for the Olympics

If you’re willing to splurge, you might still be able to buy tickets to sold-out events with a hospitality or travel package sold through the official Paris 2024 site.

Hospitality packages are VIP tickets that include extras like access to an exclusive lounge with refreshments and your own hospitality support staff. Travel packages add a hotel room.

But they’re not cheap. For women’s artistic gymnastics, hospitality packages for qualification rounds start at 495 euros (about $540) as of mid-February. The cheapest available packages for women’s gymnastics all-around finals cost 3,750 euros (more than $4,000).

Can I buy Paris Olympics tickets on resale sites?

Buy tickets from third parties at your own risk. It might be best to wait until organizers launch their official resale platform, which is expected in spring 2024.

Free and affordable ways to watch the Olympics

A map of the Olympic Marathon course.

Opt for sports that don’t require a ticket: Not every sport requires a ticket. For example, you could stand along the Olympic Marathon route, which weaves past spots like Hôtel de Ville (Paris’s city hall) and the Seine, for free. Even for a spot at the finish line stands, tickets are relatively affordable, starting at 24 euros (about $26).

Concept art for one of the many celebration zones, where it's free to watch the events on a large screen. (Concept art courtesy of Paris 2024)

Visit fan zones: Head to one of roughly 30 “celebration zones.” These free-to-visit venues at major sites around Paris will include giant screens streaming the events. Many are just outside the stadiums.

Tickets for the Paralympic Games, such as the concept art for wheelchair rugby displayed here, can often be cheaper. (Concept art courtesy of Paris 2024)

Buy tickets for the Paralympic Games: Ticket prices for the Paralympic Games Paris 2024 are generally far lower. The least expensive tickets start at 15 euros (about $16).

Booking 2024 Paris Olympics accommodations

The Paris Olympic venues are spread far and wide, so it can make sense to book lodging near the events you’ll watch.

Don’t wait to book, as Paris hotels are filling up, and many are already sold out.

Even if you’re not entirely sure of your plans, consider booking now to lock in a rate with a flexible cancellation policy.

Prepare for inflated prices

The Waldorf Astoria Versailles – Trianon Palace. (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Of the rooms that are still available, brace yourself for expensive rates. For example, the cheapest available room at the Waldorf Astoria Versailles - Trianon Palace during the night of the opening ceremony costs 1,947 euros (more than $2,100). Meanwhile, the same property costs 203 euros (about $220) on some nights in mid-March.

Consider vacation rentals

Consider nontraditional lodging if hotels are sold out (or just not your style). France is Airbnb’s second-largest market after the U.S., according to vacation rental analytics company AirDNA.

But just as hotels are seeing huge demand, so are vacation rentals. Demand for short-term rentals during the Paris Olympics is 156% higher than demand for the two weeks before the games and rates are 40% higher during the Olympics versus the two weeks prior.

Where should I stay?

Most of the action will occur in the heart of the city, so accommodations near tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower or Grand Palais can make sense. Major hotel chains that may be familiar to U.S. travelers such as Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott have a high concentration of properties in the city center.

If you are planning on attending events at Olympic venues outside of Paris city limits, you can probably score more affordable lodging nearby. For example, average available nightly rates for vacation rentals in the suburbs are $302, according to data analyzed on Feb. 15 by AirDNA, compared to the $619 nightly rates within Paris proper.

Some locations aren’t anywhere near Paris. For example, the football tournament will be played at six stadiums throughout France: Bordeaux, Nantes, Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Nice and Marseille. Check your event tickets to ensure you stay in the right city.

Getting to Paris for the 2024 Olympics

Two main international airports serve Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. The best airlines to fly into France include:

The region has a few other smaller airports, though they primarily serve budget airlines. If you book a budget airline, beware. Some budget European airlines are worth it given the steep discounts, but the extra fees can add up.

To save money on international flights, consider flying from your home airport to other European cities, and then getting to Paris by train or a connecting flight (just leave enough time for that international layover). It also works with award flights to Europe, where availability can be limited.

For example, your home airport might have cheap flights into London. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to fly into London and then hop on the train to Paris. The Eurostar route between London and Paris takes about two-and-a-half hours.

In general, NerdWallet recommends booking international flights two to eight months out.

What are France’s entry requirements for Americans?

Tourist visas are not required in France for Americans staying 90 days or fewer. Vaccinations are not required.

Though, citizens of other countries may need a Visa. The French government website outlines which visitors need a visa and, if so, how to start that application.

Ensure your passport hasn’t expired. For U.S. travelers flying in Europe's Schengen area (which includes France), your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of your entry. If it’s not, renew your passport now.

Getting around Paris

The Paris metro crosses Pont de Bir-Hakeim. (Photo by Getty Images)

Paris is relatively easy to navigate. The city center is walkable, so most tourists are better off skipping the rental car.

For spots too far to walk, public transit is generally reliable and more affordable than a taxi. For example, it costs just under 12 euros (about $13) to go from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris by train, but it costs between 56 and 65 euros ($60 and $70) by taxi.

As far as getting between venues, event organizers say they are working to increase public transport availability. Details are still to come, but plans include increasing capacity and adding shuttle buses between competition venues that are less easily accessible.

But French government officials have said prices for individual public transit tickets will temporarily rise between July 20 and Sept. 8. Valerie Pecresse, the president of the Île-de-France region, said in a video posted to social media that single metro journeys will temporarily cost 4 euros (up from the current price of 2.15 euros).

Tools such as Google Maps can help you navigate public transportation and walking directions. Even if you’ve skipped the international phone plan, you can still download offline maps.

Other ways to save money while in Paris

Always follow the rules for smarter European travel. Here are additional, France-specific tips:

Understand tipping culture: Tipping in France is not expected, so you won’t need to budget for that additional 15%-20% tip at restaurants as you’d likely do in the U.S.

But it’s generally the norm to round up bills for restaurants, coffee shops and taxi rides (so you leave the change as a tip). Tips for workers such as tour guides and housekeeping are also generally appreciated.

Pack essentials: Avoid buying essentials in Paris, as prices might go up. July and August do experience a fair amount of rain, and temperatures can get pretty cool at night, so consider packing a jacket and umbrella. Portable phone power banks can also be a lifesaver as more travel services (including hotel room keys and tickets) go digital. Check out NerdWallet's Paris packing guide to ensure you don't skip the lesser-known essentials.

Take advantage of other summer activities: While most tourists are focused on the Olympics, there are plenty of things to do in Paris in the summer besides that. In fact, this summer might be a golden opportunity to take advantage of all the other music, festivals and outdoor activities.

Use the right travel card: As with all travel, bring the right card to Europe. Choose one that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which can add up to 3% simply because you swiped it outside the U.S.

Travel insurance can be a hugely underrated card benefit, saving you from purchasing a separate travel insurance policy. Travelers looking to level up their experience might prioritize credit cards with Global Entry, NEXUS or TSA PreCheck fee credits. Beyond those perks, consider cards that offer bonus points on travel categories such as hotels, airfares or restaurants.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express are two popular premium travel cards, each of which offers benefits like this to varying degrees and comes with a nice welcome offer.

How the cards compare
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Apply now

on Chase's website

The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Annual fee
Welcome offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn rate

• 10 points per $1 on Chase Dining, hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Chase.

• 5 points per $1 on air travel purchased through Chase.

• 3 points per $1 on other travel and dining not booked with Chase.

• 1 point per $1 on other purchases.

• 5 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 spent per year.

• 5 points per $1 on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.


Intro offer


Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

See more travel cards
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.