Saturday, July 13, 2024

Is the Eiffel Tower open? Your Paris Olympics travel questions, answered

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How much will it cost to go to the Paris Olympics 2024?

Prices are typically a little higher in Paris than in Auckland according to European fintech company, Conotoxia, which found supermarket items reasonably comparable while eating out and grabbing a coffee was more expensive.

A litre of milk will cost $2.5 and 12 eggs cost $8.40 but a mid-range meal for two is $125-134 and a cafe coffee is $7.70.

Grabbing a bite, a place to stay or transport will only get more expensive when the Games are on in Paris, with some hotels and rental apartments doubling, tripling or quintupling their prices, the New York Times reported.

Think €400 to €700 per night for a basic double room at a chain hotel, compared to the typical €90 to €200.

What will be free is the NZ House at the NZ Olympic Team HQ at Marriott Champs-Élysées. Here, Kiwis who don’t have a ticket to the live events can relax with some free wine and watch our athletes on the screen while enjoying the atmosphere.

The city is expected to increase prices during the Olympics. Photo / 123rf
The city is expected to increase prices during the Olympics. Photo / 123rf

Best Paris Olympics accommodation?

If you’re yet to book accommodation in Paris, you’re cutting it close even without the Olympics. However, websites such as still have hotel rooms, apartments and other accommodations available for two people staying a week from July 26 to August 1.

There are several places available for $300 per night and some that cost more than $2000 but most accommodation tends to be priced between $450 and $750.

The cheapest place to stay in Paris during the Olympics would likely be outside the city centre, where properties are cheaper or much larger.

Meanwhile, the best palace to stay in Paris depends on a traveller’s priorities. Sports fans attending many events may want to stay near the venues while culture-lovers could prefer something in the city centre. Others may wish to stay near the Olympic Village, located 6km northeast of the CBD, across the towns of Saint-Denis, Saint-Ouen and l’Ile-Saint-Denis.

Fortunately, there are still hotels and motels with availability. Photo / File
Fortunately, there are still hotels and motels with availability. Photo / File

How busy will Paris be in July 2024?

Between 6.2 and 6.4 million tourists visited Paris in July and August 2023.

It’s difficult to say exactly how many visitors will flood into Paris during the Games but predictions suggest up to 3.1 million visitors with Games tickets will be in Paris, not counting the millions that could be visiting but not watching the Olympics.

Some Parisians have announced plans to escape the city before the Games begin to avoid the crowds and supposed inconvenience.

Is there public transport in Paris during the Olympics 2024?

Several bridges, metro and train stations in Paris will close a week before the Games and certain bus routes will be diverted around security perimetres.

For help planning routes around Paris, download Île-de-France Mobilités’ mobile app, named “Transport Public Paris 2024″. Available in English, the app includes a route planner, traffic updates and a ticketing system.

On the app, visitors can also purchase an unlimited transport pass, which allows people to travel to all Olympic and Paralympic venues during the Games. The pass will cost €70 for a full week or €16 for a single day. Passholders can make unlimited trips using all modes of transport provided by Île-de-France Mobilités between competition venues, fan zones and Paris’ two main airports.

An example of the official Games transport application launched by Île-de-France Mobilités. Image /  Île-de-France Mobilités
An example of the official Games transport application launched by Île-de-France Mobilités. Image / Île-de-France Mobilités

The pass can be purchased via the app or from ticket machines at RATP and SNCF Transilien stations.

There will also be 10 free shuttle buses running between six competition venues far from public transport networks. Travellers do not have to book a spot and can simply hop on and off at the stops, which include: The National Golf, the Château of Versailles, La Colline d’Élancourt, Roland Garros, Parc des Princes and Stade nautique de Vaires-sur-Marne.

Shuttles will run every minute from 2.5 hours before an event to 2 hours after according to Île-de-France Mobilités.

Do I need a visa to go to the Paris Olympics 2024?

Assuming your France holiday isn’t longer than 90 days, you don’t have to worry about visas.

New Zealanders do not need a visa to visit France and can vist visa-free on holiday or business for up to 90 days per 180-day period. However, to enter the Schengen area (which France is a part of) you must have a return or onward travel ticket and passport with at least three months validity from the date of indented departure, according to SafeTravel.

Can I visit the Eiffel Tower during the Olympics 2024?

The Eiffel Tower will be open during the Paris Olympics 2024 aside from three key days; July 14 and the morning of July 15 (for Bastille Day fireworks) and July 26 for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.

Visiting the Eiffel Tower will be a little different the week before the Olympic Games too. During this time, pedestrian and car access will be “heavily restricted” along the Seine, according to the official Eiffel Tower website.

Additionally, visitors must present proof of a timed reservation, made using the official online ticket platform, before entering the tower. E-tickets are now available for purchase online but if they sell out you can buy a free ticket to access the ticket desk on the day of your visit and buy a pass there.

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