Why we Love Paris in August
August in Paris is the only time of the year where you really feel like you have the City of Light all to yourself. The Parisians pack up their bikinis, kids, and dogs, and head to the countryside or down south to the beach. Many restauranteurs and most boulangeries close up for the month, leaving a few select choices for us to enjoy, ultimately making our decision of where to eat out next much easier! Some people are reluctant to spend their summer holiday in Paris during August, and we can understand why people may feel that. However, for our last post of the summer before August vacations, we are going to give you several reasons of why we believe August is the best time to visit the beautiful capital and convince you that it is actually the most special time of the year to be here.
August is the time of year where the Parisians flee to their summer houses, and take their families away for vacances, which means that Paris becomes a haven of tranquility and relaxation. The streets feel much calmer, you have all the space in the world to choose your picnic spot in the parks, and roads are clear for you to velib your way throughout the city. You will not find yourself stuck in traffic, or squished up against the commuters in the metro, but rather, have enough space to sit, breathe, and travel across the city in peace. The general pace of the city slows down, and people continue to enjoy their long lunches at the local corner bistro, walks by the river, and aperos en terrasse after finishing work early.
August is often the best of the summer months in Paris and although this year we’ve been lucky enough to have a canicule already, we are hoping it will continue throughout August. When there are fewer people riding the metro, and picnicking at the park, and you’re not fighting your way through the sweaty crowds, the heat is actually very welcomed. The blue skies act as the perfect backdrop to the city, and the holiday-like weather means you do not have to leave the city to get your tanning fix! Some of our favourite spots to enjoy the Paris sunshine are at the Parc des Buttes Chaumont with a good book, or canal side at the Bassin de la Villette where you can drink from one of the many bars lining the water, or play pétanque on the reserved pitches.
3. Outdoor cinema (otherwise known as Cinema en Plein Air)
A warm summers evening, a bottle of wine & snacks at the ready, and a great film to watch with your friends or your lover, what more could you want? Every summer from the end of July, throughout August, Parc de la Villette turns into an outdoor movie theatre. A different movie is screened each night from Thursday – Sunday, including French films, American blockbusters, and a selection of international movies from around the world. Check out the full program here, and be sure to arrive in good time to nab the best spot to set your self up for the night! Our top choice for this month is Les Noces Rebelles, showing on Friday 11th August.
4. Paris is still open
For those who say that everything shuts down in Paris in August, you are truly mistaken. It may be true that some of the higher-end neo-bistros, independent boutiques, and artisanal markets close down for summer break, but there are still some great local bistros, flea markets, and coffee shops that remain open for service. You could even end up discovering new little gems that you wouldn’t have had the patience, or the time, to visit before. You are also much more likely to grab a spot outside where you can enjoy a glass of rosé, at any time of the day (which is another great thing about August!), and watch the world go by.
Side note : this is also the month to shop along rue Rivoli, and at the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, as you’ll have most of the shops to yourself!
5. Parisian Summer Events
At this time of the year there are a lot of “pop up” summer events that are happening throughout the city, and some of them are even free! Most notably the famous Paris Plage, which takes over the bank of the Seine and the Canal and transforms into a mini beach, where you can almost imagine looking into the sea whilst sipping on a cocktail (almost!). One of our favourites is the Été du Canal, along the Canal d’Ourq, where there are many summer activities to choose from, including ; renting boats, swimming, dancing, playing pétanque, and much more. If dancing is your thing, then head down to the banks of the Porte Saint Bernard and join in with the dancing which changes style every evening! Otherwise, try out the newest hot spot for foodies, music lovers, and sun seekers at La Javelle.
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