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The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris: How to survive crowded public transport and increased travel costs

Release: March 2024

Olympic Games 2024 in Paris - Metro, fares and closures

The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are undoubtedly the most anticipated event of the year! From July 26 to August 11 during the Olympic Games and from August 28 to September 8 during the Paralympic Games, Paris will be filled with the excitement of numerous sports competitions. It will be an exceptional summer, with many incredible moments, but also a lot of concerns and eye-rolling well in advance of the event.

Local residents are worried about the expected restrictions, construction sites everywhere, crowded roads, and packed metros. Even the bouquinists didn´t want to give way. There is so much to worry about in the run-up to the event.

Many of my friends and acquaintances will be leaving the city for the summer, and some lucky ones will be renting out their apartments, earning money almost as if they´ve won the lottery (some hotel and rental prices in the summer are beyond belief). But despite understanding the fears and imagining how exhausting it will be, the idea of an extraordinary summer appeals to me.

One of the best summers of my life was during the 2006 Football World Cup in Germany, so I´m definitely going to stay and, if I have to, do a lot of walking. That´s my way of embracing the sporting spirit! I´ll attend public viewings, greet the park ranger around the corner in Parc Monceau, walk around a lot, watch people, and find a free spot for a picnic along the Seine, as I do every year.

According to Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), up to 500,000 spectators are expected to attend the Olympic Games every day, joining the daily commuters and residents who use public transport. Since I know the city well, I feel less pressure than visitors who are navigating it for the first time.

While I can´t provide all the information you need here, I can offer some important tips on what to expect in Paris in the summer of 2024.

The overloaded public transport system

No matter how you plan to travel, whether by car or public transport, the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris will impact us all. As mentioned, hundreds of thousands of additional local transport users are expected, prompting the government to encourage all residents to work from home if possible - let´s hope the bosses agree...

In total, public transport in Paris and the Île-de-France region must be able to serve 25 locations, including 13 in Paris and 12 in the nearby and wider suburbs, during the Olympic Games. These locations include for example the Stade de France, the Parc des Princes, the Invalides, the Bourget climbing area, and the Château de Versailles.

Overview of sports venues

Which LINES to avoid during the Olympic Games in Paris?

On the information page anticiperlesjeux.gouv.fr, a map indicates which metro stations will be particularly busy, which will be closed, and which lines will not be affected.

The following lines, which serve many competitive locations, should be avoided as much as possible. These include:

  • Metro: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14
  • Streetcar: T3a, T3b
  • RER: B, C, D
  • Transilien: J (Argenteuil branch), L (direction Versailles Rive Droite), N, P (direction Meaux), and U

Which STATIONS to avoid during the Olympic Games in Paris?

Two stations, in particular, should be avoided at all costs: Gare du Nord station, where metro lines 2, 4, and 5 converge, and the Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre metro station, where lines 1 and 7 meet. Longer waiting times are to be expected, especially during rush hour.



The metro station "Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre", Copyright anticiperlesjeux.gouv.fr

Other metro stations are expected to be very crowded, including:

  • Châtelet-les-Halles
  • Havre-Caumartin
  • Madeleine
  • Saint-Lazare
  • Pigalle
  • Porte de Clichy
  • Porte de Saint-Ouen
  • Porte d´Orléans

Not to forget the metro stations that will be completely closed during the period, such as:

  • Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau
  • Concorde
  • Tuileries

because they are very close to competition sites.

The streetcar will not be spared closures either:

  • Colette Besson (T3b)
  • Porte de Versailles (T2 + T3a)
  • Porte d´Issy (T2)

Cost of Metro Tickets During the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris

How much will metro & co. cost during this exceptional summer in Paris?

To offset and finance the costs associated with transportation during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, IDFM will increase the price of metro tickets and introduce a special package for visitors.

Though most travelers will face a price increase on the network during the Olympic Games, IDFM plans to offer free transport for Games volunteers, approximately 45,000 users.

The metro ticket will increase from the current €2.15 to €4 during the Olympic Games. However, prices for season tickets, such as weekly and monthly tickets, will generally not increase.

In addition, there will be a new pass for the Olympic Games, the so-called Passe Paris 2024:

The Passe Paris 2024

The Passe Paris 2024 allows visitors to travel throughout Île-de-France, making all sports venues, local hotels, and airports (including the OrlyVal shuttle) accessible.

It can be used between July 20 and September 8 and costs €70 for a total of seven days (effectively only €10 per day). Buyers have the option of choosing the number of consecutive days.

This offer can be a good option for out-of-town visitors, but there are a few ways to navigate the seasonal special prices.

How to save on travel costs during the Olympics Games 2024 in Paris?

Residents, in particular, have the opportunity, if they plan ahead, to avoid the rising prices during the summer. But some tourists can also benefit.

Solution 1: Walking and cycling

As simple as it sounds, we will all have to do a lot of walking if we want to escape the packed underground stations. Bike rentals are also an option, although thousands of others will also be using public bikes from vélib & Co.

Solution 2: Buy tickets in advance

If you are in Paris or the surrounding area before July 20, 2024, you can purchase tickets at the old price from any ticket machine or counter.

Solution 3: Rely on a Passe Navigo

The Passe Navigo comes in different versions, with the following variants being considered for irregular public transport users:

  • Passe Navigo Découverte: Must be personalized with first name, surname, and photo. Daily, weekly, or monthly tickets can be loaded onto the pass (costs
  •  €5 to purchase).
  • Passe Navigo Easy: Not personalized, can be lent. Allows several tickets to be topped up, e.g., metro and daily tickets (costs €2 to purchase).
  • Passe Navigo Liberté+: Personal, and requires a French bank account, but has a simple billing system, especially in Paris, and can load weekly and monthly season tickets.

Summary & Tips

In principle, the Passe Paris 2024 is not a bad idea. However, the following may apply to you:

The most flexible option is the Passe Navigo Découverte, often used by tourists, allowing travel throughout Île-de-France for several days or weeks if desired.

If you will be mainly within Paris, walking a lot and occasionally taking the metro, then the Passe Navigo Easy is sufficient, allowing you to load a few metro tickets in advance and, if necessary, day tickets.

If you will be in Paris often and still have your old French bank account from your student days, consider a Passe Navigo Liberté+.

As mentioned, top-ups must be made before July 20, 2024, to benefit from the previous rates. But beware; you can´t top up your monthly pass for July in May during a business trip to Paris...

Passes can be purchased at counters in the (larger) metro stations and train stations, and tickets can also be purchased from ticket machines. Passes can be topped up online, but that´s getting to far

Whatever you decide, Citymapper is a great app for navigating urban areas like Paris.

ÜbersichtsplanMap of the metro, streetcar and RER lines, copyright RATP

A quick word about cars

If you choose to drive, be aware that not only will there be high parking costs, but also many restrictions in Paris and the suburbs where Olympic venues are located.

The Prefecture of Police has defined several security perimeters where private transport will be heavily regulated and affected.

Here is an impression of what to expect during cycling competitions, for example:

Example exclusion zone

Example restricted zone, Copyright Préfecture de Police Paris

Detailed information on exclusion zones

You will need to find alternatives, as in many areas, access for motorized vehicles is prohibited within a larger radius of the venues.


I hope this information helps, and I wish you a fantastic time if you are visiting Paris during the Olympic Games 2024!