Any year that sees an Olympics is immediately an important one in the world of sport, and in 2024 the Games are accompanied by football and cricket tournaments, a perennial tennis favourite and unique events in cycling and F1.
Such events, often spread out over a week or even a month, offer an amazing opportunity to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world alongside catching the very best in sporting entertainment.
A cricket World Cup might see you exploring seven of the islands of the West Indies, while anyone following the yellow jersey can experience the dramatic scenery of the Alps during the Tour de France.
Though the Tour misses out the famed landmarks and wide avenues of Paris, it’s no problem as the Olympics kicks off just five days later in the French capital. For something more long-haul, go on an adrenaline-fuelled trip to the F1 amid the glitzy resorts and sparkling Strip of Las Vegas.
Whatever your sport of choice, there’s likely to be an event that also offers unforgettable travel experiences – read on to find some of the best in 2024.
2024 Olympics: Paris and France
The world’s premier sporting event heads to Paris for its 33rd edition. It begins with an opening ceremony along the Seine on 26 July 2024 and ends on 11 August – the days between those dates will see the world’s finest athletes fighting for the ultimate crowning glory across 32 different sports, ranging from basketball to gymnastics. Tickets for events including basketball, handball, football and canoe slalom are still available on the official site, starting at around €24.
Paris is the official host city of the games, with 16 other locations – including Marseille, Bordeaux and even Tahiti – hosting events including football and surfing. The usually bustling City of Light will be especially atmospheric next summer, fresh off the back of a successful Rugby World Cup and revelling in another period of worldwide attention. Not that it is any stranger to that; its top class art galleries, world-famous landmarks and charming neighbourhoods are busy at the best of times, but expect large crowds alongside a buoyant atmosphere, whether you decide to visit the Eiffel Tower, browse along the Champs-Elysees, see the exhibits of the Louvre or simply stroll around Montmartre and the Latin Quarter.
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Euro 2024: Germany
Germany has selected an eclectic range of host cities for the latest edition of the UEFA European Football Championship. The tournament kicks off on 14 June with the final exactly a month later, so consider making the most of a famously efficient rail network to tour several cities over a week or so. The original ticket application window closed on 26 October, though future releases are planned in December 2023 and around April of 2024.
Several of the hosts are within two hours of each other in the north (around Dusseldorf), with Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg and Munich the outliers in the north, east and south respectively. For the ultimate tour, zig-zag along from Berlin to Cologne, briefly crossing down to Frankfurt before making your way to Munich.
Along the way you’ll discover much of what makes Germany a special destination. Berlin’s (in)famous nightlife and Soviet-era east side are in stark contrast to the relaxed beer gardens and traditional squares of Munich, while the enticing medieval remnants of Cologne or Frankfurt stand alongside often sobering landmarks in the capital. Each city has drastically different arts, culture and architecture too, from the street art of the East Side Gallery to the 19th-century grandeur of Neuschwanstein Castle.
T20 World Cup: USA and West Indies
The ninth edition of this biennial cricket tournament will be held between 4 and 30 June in the US and several countries across the West Indies. For fans, it offers a chance to tour the southern US and some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, including Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
There’ll be plenty of white sands and turquoise seas to relax near, but resist the urge to only split your time between the stadia and beaches. Colourful cities such as Bridgetown, Port of Spain and St Johns are full of picturesque harbours, Unesco World Heritage sites and excellent dining options, while a wealth of natural sites, including St Lucia’s Pitons and Florida’s Everglades, offer some of the most striking scenery of any region of the world.
There’s a vast amount of culture and history to explore too, from the rum distilleries and colonial history of Barbados to sites such as Fort Shirley in Dominica or the various capitals’ history museums. Ticket information for the tournament is scarce at the moment, but keep checking the ICC website for the latest updates.
Tour de France: Italy and France
The 2024 edition of cycling’s best-loved event, the Tour de France, is set to be one of the most unique in the long history of this famed race. For the first time, the race will not finish in Paris (due to complications with organising the Olympic Games), instead ending with a time trial, on a route from Monaco to Nice, on 21 July. In another first, the race will begin in Florence on 29 June, with the first three stages taking place in Italy. With Mark Cavendish recently announcing his return to attempt to earn the record for most Tour stages won, 2024 could be a truly historic year for the Tour.
Watching the Tour live allows a high level of freedom due to the absence of tickets and the choice of which stages you make an effort to attend. Plan which stages you watch according to where and what you want to see other than the cycling – prominent Italian cities including Bologna and Turin will feature, though the highlights are often the stages run among the mountains and valleys of the Alps. New for this year, the final stage will highlight a glistening section of the French Riviera before ending in France’s most famed seaside city.
The most prestigious event in tennis takes place in London every summer, as thousands descend on a small section of the capital to watch the game’s best players. It begins on 1 July and ends two weeks later, with the women’s singles final on 13 July and the men’s singles final the following day.
While London does carry a certain tennis-related buzz during this fortnight, the vast majority of the city carries on as usual, meaning that there is a refreshing break from the sport when you aren’t attending. When you’re not at the All England Club, there’s a dizzying variety of landmarks, galleries and sights to see, whether you’re a first-timer covering the must-sees of Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, a culture lover browsing the Tate and catching a theatre show in the West End or a hardened Londoner who’s just paid almost £7 for a pint in Hackney.
The public ballot for tickets to Wimbledon has ended for 2024, but tickets are always available closer to the time and even on the specific day itself if you’re willing to queue. Keep up-to-date with the tournament website for more information.
Formula One Grand Prix: Las Vegas
A unique fusion of high-octane sport and one of the planet’s most over-the-top cities will be tested for the first time in November 2023 as F1 comes to Las Vegas. The 2024 F1 season will also include a race in the famous Nevada city in the US, with a 3.8-mile street circuit that will include a section along the Las Vegas Strip.
Attendees will have the option to purchase tickets for any or all of the three days, and when racing isn’t happening they’ll have the ideal opportunity to experience Vegas’ well-documented leisure activities. Vast resorts and casinos await, with a range of shows and events – from resident musicians to acts such as David Copperfield – and dozens of novelty activities, including a ride on the rollercoaster at New York, New York, a viewing of the Bellagio’s fountain show, a bungee-jump off Stratosphere Tower or a simple stroll around mini-Venice at the Venetian.
Tickets are currently available for the 2023 race, but you can join the waiting list for 2024 – and keep up with any new information regarding the event – on the ticketing site.
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