Paris 2024 Olympics: How to plan a last-minute trip, from Games tickets to accommodation | UK News

Paris 2024 Olympics: How to plan a last-minute trip, from Games tickets to accommodation | UK News

As the Paris Olympics draw closer, the hype is increasing – and it’s only going to build from here. 

If you are kicking yourself for not bagging tickets when they first went on sale, all is not lost.

There are still ways you can get to Paris to see the Games.

Sky News talks to a travel expert to bring you all you need to know about securing your last-minute trip.

Can I still get tickets for the Olympics?

Yes, it is still possible to get tickets for the Games.

More than 250,000 tickets went on sale on 17 April to mark 100 days until the opening of the Games.

This is the last ticket sale, but tickets are still available for dozens of events.

The first sale involved a lottery and timeslots to buy packs of tickets for events.

In the final stretch of ticket sales, things are a lot simpler.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and you can see the availability for different events in real time on the website.

While a lot of the final tickets on sale are pretty pricey, there is still the chance to bag a bargain.

Almost 20,000 tickets were put on sale for €24 and it is still possible to get tickets to see football for this price.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are ticket and hospitality packages available that will set you back hundreds of Euros.

What about the Paralympics?

The Paralympic Games will take place from 28 August to 8 September and there are still tickets available from €15.

The booking works the same as for the Olympics – first-come, first-served, with the remaining tickets now available on the website.

Avoid the scammers

Don’t get caught out by scammers – make sure you only buy tickets through the official Paris 2024 ticketing website.

It’s not too late to book – but don’t wait

While the start of the Games is fast approaching, it’s not too late to plan a trip – but you should “get booking ASAP”, Jessica Dante, travel expert at Love and London, tells Sky News.

The Eurostar is not as “wildly priced” as you might expect, she says, with return fares available for the first week of the Games for under £200 – and the same is true of budget airlines.

But, Ms Dante cautions, “that will invariably only continue to go up” – so book soon rather than hold out for a last-minute deal.

Paris 2024 Olympics: How to plan a last-minute trip, from Games tickets to accommodation | UK News
Image:
An athletics track floating on the Seine in 2017. Pic: Reuters

Could there be last-minute deals on accommodation?

Don’t bank on it, Ms Dante says.

“I’m always in the camp of just book something so you have it. If something else pops up closer to the time then fine, you can try to make a switch if you’ve got something that you can cancel.

“But there’s also the chance that something might not pop up that’s going to be in your price range as well.”

While there could be a small wave of accommodation deals open up as people cancel, a lot of accommodation will be non-refundable at least a couple of weeks before the Games, so any cancellations are likely to still be fairly far in advance, she says.

Tips for booking accommodation

There is still “decent availability” for hotels, she says, although some popular spots are already booked up.

Unsurprisingly, cost has a lot to do with location – so look away from central areas and places close to Olympic locations if you are looking to save money.

“The flip side of that is it then means that you’re probably going to have to deal with taking the metro and you’ll have to pay for the inflated cost of the rides.”

The price of metro tickets will almost double during the Games, from €2.10 (£1.80) to €4 (£3.40).

But the surcharge on public transport is unlikely to match the price difference on a more central hotel. Ms Dante advises looking at suburban areas or the outskirts of the city.

What about staying in another town?

Staying in another town entirely and travelling to Paris for events is one option.

But you should consider the pros and cons carefully, Ms Dante says.

There is a looming threat of train strikes. The CGT public servants union has announced plans to strike during the Olympics, which could mean many transport workers walking out.

If you are staying outside Paris, that could scupper your plans to easily travel into the city.

Even if there are not strikes, trains into Paris are likely to be crowded, Ms Dante says.

“You do have to kind of balance that and just be prepared that you might have some difficulty.”

Passengers walk in the Part-Dieu train station during a railway strike, in Lyon, central France, Wednesday, July 6, 2022. A strike by railway workers demanding higher pay amid cost of living increases is interrupting train service in France. National railway company SNCF said about one in four high-speed trains was canceled on Wednesday. It says regional service such as suburban trains in the Paris region is experiencing disruptions. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
Image:
Train strikes could be called during the Olympics. Pic: AP

Read more:
Paris 2024 Olympics: Everything you need to know
The Team GB athletes to watch at the Olympics

Can you go to the Olympics and avoid Paris entirely?

The Games may be headlined as Paris 2024, but there are events taking place across the country – and the surfing is even in Tahiti.

The cities of Lyon, Saint-Etienne, Nice, Bordeaux, Nantes and Marseille will host events.

The Olympic ticketing site allows you to filter available events by location, so if you are keen to give Paris a miss you can seek out what is happening in other places.

“They’re going to be a little bit less popular than stuff that’s right in the centre of Paris, so I think that’s a really good option,” Ms Dante says.

Consider the Paralympics

The Paralympics often gets overshadowed by the Olympics, but it’s a great option if you want to experience the Games, Ms Dante says.

“It’s going to be a little bit less crowded, the pricing will be better, probably a little bit more of a relaxed experience.”

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Is it worth going to Paris if you don’t have tickets to the Games?

Maybe there are no tickets left in your price range, or your favourite event is sold out – is it worth planning a trip to Paris anyway?

“Definitely,” according to Ms Dante. “This whole summer it’s going to be really buzzy there.”

A lot of locals will leave the city, she says. It’s French tradition in the summer, but the exodus is likely to be even bigger this year as Parisians flee the crowds – meaning some areas could end up being quieter than normal.

Attractions away from the main Olympic sites could also be quieter than normal, she says.

How to make the most of your trip

If you are keen to combine cultural activities with sporting ones, consider booking a guided tour to big attractions, Ms Dante advises.

That way, you have got your ticket secured and the tour guides will be up to speed on any road closures or access changes that could make your visit more tricky.

Also keep in mind that there will be a lot of security measures in place and getting around the city will take longer than normal.

As the Paris Olympics draw closer, the hype is increasing – and it’s only going to build from here.  If you are kicking yourself for not bagging tickets when they first went on sale, all is not lost. There are still ways you can get to Paris to see the Games. Sky News talks to…

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