sports girl summer

How to Travel for the Summer of Sport

From Copa América to the EUROs, and Wimbledon to the Olympics, this summer’s slate of sporting events are raising junior publicist Zoe Allen’s heart rate. She asks, “why watch on television when you could watch in person?”, and if you are luck enough to do so, she’s got an itinerary for you.

As a sports fan, this summer’s slate of sporting events is the stuff of dreams. It promises sweaty pints of beer in bars on Saturday afternoons, early morning kickoff times on the American East Coast, new national heroes and the creation of core memories for those tuning in. But for many, tuning in isn’t enough. Why watch on television when you could watch in person?

Sports tourism is best understood as the specific axis of tourism in which the travel experience of the tourist revolves around either observing as a spectator, or actively participating in a sporting event. It generates around 10% of the world’s expenditure on tourism and has a predicted growth rate of 17.5% between 2023-2030. 

From now until July, soccer fans will be treated to Copa América and the UEFA European Championships– staple international tournaments featuring the game’s biggest stars like Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe. England will play host to two of the world’s most lavish annual sporting events when tennis’ third Grand Slam tournament begins on July 1st and a week later when the world of Formula 1 descends upon Silverstone, a racing circuit located about a two-hour drive north of the famous grass surfaces of Wimbledon. 

When the dust has settled on these marquee moments, the eyes of the world will turn to Paris for the Summer Olympics. According to Condé Nast Traveler, more than 15 million visitors are expected to travel to Paris during the Summer 2024 Olympics, with estimates suggesting the Games will bring in an additional 4 billion Euros from tourist spending alone. 

I’ve always thought that there’s nothing in the world that mobilizes and connects people quite like sports (and I regularly spout my sociological musings about this to anyone who will listen), but its impact on the travel industry certainly proves it. As a full-time hospitality publicist and a full-time sports fan, below are my expert opinions on which storylines to follow and where to visit, should you find yourself swept up in the sports tourism phenomenon this summer.

UEFA European Championships

June 14th – July 14th

Keep an Eye On: The viral German saxophone player, who, in true RHC fashion, brings the party with him wherever he goes. 

Where to Stay: Château Royal Berlin, the splendid boutique hotel perfectly positioned in Berlin Mitte. The works of Eastern European contemporary artists speckle the space, making it feel as much like an art gallery as an inviting hotel. If you enjoy your football with a side of fine art (like me), head to the hotel bar to take in a pint and a painting.

Where to Visit: No football tournament is complete without plenty of excellent drinks, which is why we’re recommending not one, but two bars in Berlin. For all the experiential cocktail lovers, The Alchemist is a multi-sensory, award-winning cocktail lounge located in Potsdam Platz, and Wax On Berlin is the no-frills, no-reservations bar in Berlin’s Weserstrasse, bringing cutting-edge cocktail techniques and a fresh approach to one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods. 

Copa América

June 25th – July 14th

Keep an Eye On: The legendary Lionel Messi, whose performance at this tournament will serve as a great barometer, to determine whether we can expect to see him in the 2026 World Cup. 

Where to Stay: The Joule, the luxury boutique hotel in Downtown Dallas–one of the tournament’s host cities and my hometown–is housed in a Neo-Gothic landmark building originally built in the 1920s. The cultural hub is an oasis for design lovers, art admirers, foodies, cocktail enthusiasts, and appreciators of the uncommon. The Eye, a 30-foot-tall sculpture by Tony Tasset that is part of The Joule’s museum-quality art collection, and The Joule’s 8-foot cantilevered pool that hangs 10 stories out over the street below, are two of its most notable features. Dining hotspots on the property include CBD Provisions, a modern Texas brasserie, and Sassetta, a lively Italian concept, plus renowned cocktail bar Midnight Rambler helmed by award-winning mixologist Gabe Sanchez. 

Where to Visit:Midnight Rambler Cocktail Lounge for creative cocktails and sonic moods. Helmed by award-winning bartender Gabe Sanchez, Midnight Rambler offers a whimsical seasonal menu with refreshments for adventurous palates and traditionalists alike. Its many recognitions include being named amongst America’s “Best Hotel Bars” in 2023 by Wine Enthusiast and being named Best Hotel Bar in 2022 and Best Comeback Bar in 2020 by D Magazine.

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

July 1st – July 14th

Keep an Eye On: Tommy Paul, who recently became the highest-ranked American men’s tennis player at No. 12 in the world. 

Where to Stay: The NoMad London, the elegant hotel located inside the historic, Grade II-listed building famously known as The Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station in Covent Garden. Currently named No.46 in the World’s 50 Best Hotels list, NoMad London celebrates the interplay between grand and intimate, classical and colloquial, festive moments of revelry, and quiet meals that nourish the spirit.

Where to Visit:St. James Bar at the Sofitel London St. James, a cocktail bar located in the heart of London. Their newly launched menu transports guests outside of the city and across the globe through their new ‘A Taste of the World’ menu, which features 18 unique cocktails created to evoke the well-known flavors of each destination’s signature dish or ingredient, from an Old Fashioned inspired by American BBQ to a Gin Sour influenced by Greek Tzatziki.

Formula 1 British Grand Prix

July 4th – July 7th

Keep an Eye On: Sir Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion who will be racing in his final home grand prix in a Mercedes. 

Where to Stay: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, located in Oxfordshire, which is about a 40-minute drive from Silverstone. Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is one of England’s most cherished manor house hotels and just so happens to be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Where to Visit:Escapade Silverstone – a luxurious, 60-residence complex that was the subject of an in-depth feature by our friends at Robb Report last summer, set to open just in time for the British Grand Prix.

The 2024 Summer Olympics

July 26th – August 11th

Keep an Eye On: Simone Biles, who will make her return to the Olympics after pulling out of the women’s team final and four subsequent individual finals at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. The most decorated gymnast of all time will be the subject of her own two-part sports docuseries “Simone Biles Rising,” which will premiere less than 10 days before the Paris Opening Ceremony. 

Where to Stay: Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s Paris, which is the last luxury hotel in Paris to belong to a French family. Located between Avenue George V and the Champs-Elysées, the hotel features 101 Rooms and Suites designed by Jacques Garcia. The enviable location of Hotel Fouquet’s Paris features iconic views over the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe from many of the rooms and suites.

Where to Visit: Brasserie Fouquets, a shining staple of Paris since 1899 for its lively spirit and classic gastronomy. At the crossroads of the Champs-Elysées and Avenue Georges V, its signature red awnings with gold script and elegantly refined decor have become iconic. Designed by 3 Michelin-star Chef Pierre Gagnaire, the brasserie’s menu draws upon local produce, with a good measure of creative flair.