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The highly anticipated 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris are almost here, taking place from Friday, July 26, 2024, to Sunday, August 11, 2024. With the world’s attention on the City of Lights, Paris will be busier than usual during the popular, tourist-heavy summer months. RELATED: Going to Europe or somewhere hot this summer? Pack a wearable or portable fan to beat the sweltering heat

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

Preparing for crowds

Paris is expecting an influx of 10 million visitors during the Olympics, adding to its metropolitan population of 11 million. The central area, known as “inner Paris,” houses around 3 million people. Paris is well-equipped to handle large crowds, having been a major tourist destination for centuries. Use a map or a mobile app to plan your daily excursions.

Navigating security zones

There will be a security zone around the Seine and adjoining areas on both the left and right banks. Residents and workers in these zones will need a pass, accessible via phone or a printed version, similar to measures during the Coronavirus pandemic. Numerous closures, like the Place de la Concorde since May 17th, will impact cars, public transit, and pedestrian access. Plan your daily itinerary carefully; walking might be necessary even if a nearby métro station is open due to potential overcrowding.

Staying cool and hydrated

August can be extremely hot in Paris, with stone pavements and buildings absorbing the heat. Bring a water bottle so you can always stay hydrated. Paris tap water is excellent and public fountains provide free, potable water. Air conditioning is not common in homes; check if your Airbnb or VRBO has it. Most hotel rooms have A/C, but not as powerful as in typical US chain hotels.

Smoking and vaping regulations

Vaping stores are plentiful, so there’s no need to bring cartridges if you vape. Although marijuana is illegal, possessing a small amount results in a minor fine. Do not attempt to bring or buy it, as you risk jail or deportation.

Enjoying street art

Paris is renowned for its street art, especially in the Marais and Belleville neighborhoods. Keep an eye out for impressive works on building sides, some of which are collected by serious art enthusiasts.

Transportation tips

During the Games, the Métro/RATP ticket prices will surge from approximately 1.75 euros to six euros per ride. If you arrive in Paris before July 20th, you can buy a Navigo card at current prices and load it up or add it to your phone wallet. Stay updated with the RATP app for the latest changes and prices.


Free Wi-Fi is available in métro and train stations, but not on moving trains. For reliable data, consider a prepaid 30-day tourist plan from Bouygues Telecom, Orange or another local carrier. These plans cost 30 to 40 euros and offer unlimited calls and texts within France and Europe. Storefronts across Paris can help set it up on your phone.

Cultural hotspots

Animé and gamer shops are widespread; explore and connect with new friends. Tattoo shops are also more common in upscale neighborhoods.

Supporting local communities

Many migrants, including families, live in tents in the outer arrondissements. Consider donating clothes to local churches or Caritas, a Catholic aid organization. Paris has a homeless outreach team working to tidy up the city for the Olympics.

Dining and shopping tips

French cuisine is exquisite, but for a quick snack, McDonald’s offers clean bathrooms and free Wi-Fi, with breakfast deals around 2 euros. Wondering if you should leave a tip? According to the Paris Tourist Office, “in Paris, the bill in bars and restaurants includes a service charge, so you do not have to leave a tip. However, if you have been satisfied with your meal and the service you are welcome to do so. A tip in general amounts to 5 to 10% of the bill.

Tax refunds

For purchases totaling at least 100 euros at a single store, the tax refund process is straightforward. Store clerks will complete the forms, and you can scan the barcode at a PABLO kiosk at your departure point from the EU. Choose either a cash refund or a credit to your payment card within a few weeks.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Paris this summer and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere during the 2024 Summer Olympics.


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2 Comments On "Navigating a busy Paris: Essential tips for travelers during the 2024 summer Olympics"
  1. Linda Thalman|

    Dear Johnny Jet, The suggestion that one go to McDo in Paris is one of the most disgraceful “tips” I have ever read on your site and I’ve been following it from the beginning. Shameful. Try a Paris cafe for goodness sake. And just get an e-sim for your phone. And my very best advice: visit Paris AFTER the summer; September and October will be much more enjoyable. Respectfully yours as a LONG time fan. From 35 kms SW of Paris.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Bonjour Linda

      This is a guest post from a reader — not my advice. I agree with you on this front. All the best

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