How to save money on the Paris Métro during the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics

How to save money on the Paris Métro during the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics

A trip to the French capital is never going to be the most low-budget holiday, but 2024 looks like it will be particularly pricey.

With around 30 million visitors a year, Paris is already one of the world’s most popular destinations, but this is set to be a bumper year for the French capital: 15.3 million people are expected to visit during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which take place from 26 July to 8 September.

Visitors are likely to find that many prices are inflated all summer. Here is what to expect, and how to mitigate the effects.

Which fares are increasing?

From 20 July until 8 September this year, Métro fares are going up.

A single metro ticket will almost double from €2.15 (£1.85) to €4 (£3.40).

Similarly, a carnet of 10 tickets will be €32 (£27.40) rather than 17.30 (£14.80).

The Olympic rings display outside Paris city hall in Paris, France, on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. The Summer Olympics will take place next year between July 26 and Aug. 11, mostly in the French capital although some events will take place in Marseille and Tahiti.??Photographer: Andrea Mantovani/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Paris is set to receive millions of visitors this summer (Photo: Andrea Mantovani/Bloomberg via Getty)

A ticket from Roissy Charles de Gaulle or Orly airports into the centre of town will go up to €16 (£13.70) from €5 (£4.30).

Daily and weekly passes will no longer be available. They will instead be replaced by a “Paris 2024” pass which will allow travel through all zones of the network, including to and from airports.

These will cost:

  • €16 (£13.70) for one day
  • €30 (£25.70) for two days
  • €42 (£36) for three days
  • €70 (£60) for a week

Monthly and annual passes will not increase in price. Neither will the student Imagin’R pass or senior passes.

The Liberté+ pay-as-you-go card will also stay the same.

Why are prices increasing?

Additional public transport options are to be put in place to minimise crowding and deal with the additional 15 million visitors that are expected to descend on the City of Light for the Games.

“During the Olympics and the Paralympics, the Ile de France region will dramatically increase its transport offer. It is out of the question that the residents support that cost,” the region’s president, Valérie Pécresse, said on social media.

“The Paris 2024 pass will allow visitors to travel through the whole Ile de France region. It is a fair price,” Ms Pécresse said in a video.

Transport minister Clément Beaune also explained that “the prices will go up so that the Olympics are 100 per cent accessible by public transport”.

“Public services have a cost and pretending otherwise is a lie. If it’s not the visitors who pay, it’s going to be the taxpayer.”

How can I save money?

Ile-de-France Mobilités has advised those who live in Paris but do not use a travel pass to buy their tickets in advance of the increases. This will allow them to save money and to avoid long queues.

If travellers are there prior to the 20 July deadline, they too could stock up on paper tickets to use during their stay. You can also purchase Métro tickets on the Eurostar train, and if you travel before 20 July, you can secure the lower prices.

Tourism board Paris je t’aime has also confirmed that it is possible to buy the Paris Visite Pass in advance and use it during the Olympic Games. This allows travel on Métro, RER, tram and bus for the duration of your choice.

What about attractions and hotels?

Tickets for the Louvre, home of the Mona Lisa, have risen by almost 30 per cent to €22 (£19), the museum’s first rise since 2017.

Although it did not cite the Olympics as the reason for the rise, it does coincide with Paris 2024.

The Louvre said the higher tariff would help it deal with higher energy costs and fund free entry to certain people such as those aged under 18, teachers and journalists.

Price rises have not been announced for other popular attractions, but are not cheap. Adult tickets for the Eiffel Tower cost €29.40 (£25.20), the Arc de Triomphe is €16 (£13.70), and the Musée d’Orsay is also €16.

A report by the Paris tourism office from November also showed that hotel prices would rise by a whopping 314 per cent over the summer of 2023.

The Louvre museum in Paris is one of the biggest museums in the world and houses works of art such as the Mona Lisa. The building is a historic monument.
The Louvre museum has increased prices by almost 30% (Photo: Julian Elliott Photography/Getty/The Image Bank Unreleased)

According to the Paris tourism office, the average cost of a night in a hotel in the Paris region was €169 (£145) in July 2023, which is expected to soar up to €699 (£599) in July 2024.

“The rise amounts to 366 per cent for two-star hotels and 475 per cent for three-star hotels,” it said.

However, Frédéric Hocquard, Paris’s deputy mayor for tourism and night life, suggested a potential way to avoid these punitive charges.

“We want popular Games, and it can’t be popular at €700 a night,” he told Reuters. “What is going to happen is that people will take a hotel room for €200 a night in Nantes, Lille or Rennes and commute by train and they will save money this way.

“At the London Games, the prices were too high and the occupation rate of hotels went down 12 per cent… The way it is going, we’re going to feed the Airbnb beast.”

The official hospitality provider for Paris 2024 has been contacted for comment.