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Paris in August [2021] Quick Guide


2021 France Travel Update


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05/28/21

August is the second hottest month of the year in Paris and also the time when locals go on their annual vacation. Actually, some people start their summer holiday with the weekend of 14 of July. That makes Paris a strange place to be: hot, sun-drenched, and without not much local feeling.  

However, if this is the only time you have to visit Paris, not all is lost! There are many summer events and fun outdoor activities, so if you know what to expect and how to avoid crowds, Paris in August has its charm, and summer evenings are always special.

Fountains Place Concorde

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Is Paris in August Busy? Crowds Forecast

Paris in August is extremely busy!

August in Paris is the high season when most people have holidays , so booking transportation, accommodation, and tickets to the main tourist attractions in advance is paramount.

Hotels, especially good ones with a pool, sell out fast or charge ridiculous prices for last-minute bookings, and it is normal for places such as the Eiffel Tower to have tickets booked out months in advance.

As locals leave for their summer holiday, it’s mainly tourists in Paris who, of course, tend to gather around Paris’ tourist neighborhoods and attractions. A good tip for avoiding crowds in Paris in August is to explore the lesser-known districts of Paris.

Below I list the Paris main attractions you will need advance tickets for and have added links to my favorite trusty providers for your convenience.

Weather in August in Paris

Paris in August is hot and sunny. The average temperatures in Paris are 25C maximum and 16C minimum with an 11% probability of rainfall.

The good news is that it is rare to experience days of canicule (heatwave) in August. Still, it is a good idea to avoid physical activities, protect your head from the sun, adapt your outfits to the temperatures, and drink water continuously.

What to Wear in Paris in August [2021]

What to pack for Paris in August? The month of August calls for summer clothing!

Leave your jeans at home and pack natural fabrics, summer dresses, short sleeve tops, and sandals. Also, it is important to protect your head and eyes from the sun.

We also suggest adding a light jacket or shawl to your Paris packing list for when you want to visit a church as shorts and tank tops are not allowed.

Paris is the city of fashion and chic, and Paris people’s clothing tends to be more dressy than in other European cities, even in the summertime. If you are wondering what to wear in Paris in August, check out our Packing Lists for Paris. We have dedicated articles for men and women that come with our best tips and suggestions for outfits to wear in Paris this year, 2021.

Best Tips for Visiting Paris in August

First-timers in Paris who want to visit the main sights usually find it convenient to purchase a Paris tourist pass. Check out this Paris Pass Comparison to find the best tourist pass for you.

Another good way to save time is to buy single skip-the-line tickets or combo tickets for the top tourist attractions.

Don’t overcharge your daily schedule with lots of sights and activities. Leave some floor to improvisation; you may want to have some breaks during the day if the weather is too hot.

Some trains (the oldest) of the Parisian metro do not have air conditioning so Paris by metro can be challenging in August. Check out our best tips for using the Parisian metro in the summer.

Need insurance for France? Be sure to check France travel insurance rates and coverage with our recommended provider, SafetyWing.

15 AUGUST – PUBLIC HOLIDAY IN FRANCE

On the 15th of August, the Catholic Church feasts the assumption of Mary and it is a public holiday in all France.

This is a day off for French workers and affects the opening hours of public offices and smaller shops.

In Paris city center, around the main tourist sights, you are unlikely to notice the impact on the 15th of August, but public transportation may be affected and be less frequent, and some restaurants may be closed.

The list of top sights opened on 15th August includes the Eiffel Tower, Orsay Museum, Château de Versailles, Centre Pompidou, Arc de Triomphe, Montparnasse Tower, and all the castles near Paris. Also, take extra time to get anywhere on this day and remember that local shops are likely to be closed.

Best Things to Do in Paris in August

If you are visiting Paris in September for the first time, you may want to tick some Paris top tourist attractions off your bucket list. The itineraries below are thought for this and they are planned around the main sights and the most popular neighborhoods in Paris:

Apart from the main attractions and other beautiful sights that you will find in our Paris Travel Blog, these are the things that we recommend to see and do when you visit Paris in August 2021.

CLIMB UP THE EIFFEL TOWER BEFORE SUNSET

Eiffel Tower Paris

The Eiffel Tower is a must-see in Paris but it is a terrible place to visit during the day in August. Go up the Eiffel Tower after 8 pm so get some fresh air and see how the sun sets in Paris, it’s a magical experience!

TIP: Tickets from the Eiffel Tower website can be purchased only 2 months in advance while booking platforms like Get Your Guide allow you to book the same Eiffel Tower tickets even earlier. To be sure you get the date and time slot that you want in August, buy your Eiffel Tower tickets earlier with Get Your Guide.

Click here to buy your Eiffel Tower tickets with Get Your Guide

ENJOY YOUR FAVORITE COCKTAIL FROM THE BEST ROOFTOP BARS

Mama Shelter Rooftop Bar Paris
Photo courtesy: Hotel Mama Shelter Paris ©

This is one of the best things to do in Paris at night in August. Look for the best rooftop bars in Paris and see the city from above with your favorite cocktail in hand. Some of these cool rooftop bars are part of stylish hotels, but they are happy to welcome also non-guests.

JOIN A NIGHT TOUR

Paris is a great city to walk, but for some, it may be hard to walk kilometers and kilometers under the sun. Discover the magic of Montmartre when it is lit up at night on this Montmartre sunset tour, or look for the hidden heart of Paris with this Secret Paris guided tour.

This top-rated Paris Segway Night Tour is a fun alternative for exploring Paris at night.

VERSAILLES FOUNTAIN SHOW

Apollo Fountain - Versailles

Versailles is a wonderful place to see in August (check out our Versailles quick guide). The Versailles Gardens are great to explore in the summer when all the grooves are open to the public for the musical gardens and musical fountains shows.

We especially like the Musical Fountain show, with all the Versailles fountains and other water features spouting to the rhythm of the music.

If you visit Paris in August, the Musical Gardens Show takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, while the Musical Fountains Show (the show with the fountains running) takes place on Saturday and Sunday.

GO TO AN OUTDOOR CINEMA

In the summer, La Villette in Paris 19 turns into an outdoor arena offering delightful opportunities for al fresco evenings in the city. Amongst these activities outstands its outdoor cinema, from mid-July to mid-August 2021, always with an interesting program of films.

Many people like to arrive at La Villette earlier to block a good spot to watch the film, which is usually preceded by a picnic and some glasses of wine.

We will update this article with the relevant link as soon as the program is published for 2021.

EXPLORE OLD MONTMARTRE IN THE AFTERNOON

Place du Tertre - Montmartre

Montmartre is the highest part of Paris and the perfect place to be late in the afternoon to get some fresh air.

If this is your first time in Paris, this Stories of Old Montmarte walking tour covers the main sights of Montmartre. If you already know Montmartre’s main sights, then go off the beaten path with our secret map of Montmartre.

After the walk, look for a restaurant-terrace nearby for an alfresco dinner in one of the most beautiful areas of Paris.

SAIL THE PARISIAN CANALS YOUR OWN WAY

Electric Boat - Canal de l'Ourcq

Marin d’ Eau Douce, located at Canal de la Villette in Paris 19, proposes electric self-drive boats for 5, 7, or 11 people. These electric boats are a fun way to explore the canal as they do not require any kind of boating license.

When you book your boat, consider a picnic option on board for lunch or a pre-dinner French apéritif.

SUMMER FUN AT PARIS PLAGES

Paris Plages

Paris Plages (dates still to be confirmed) is a fun way to relax by the Seine for a couple of hours. There are also other Paris Plages locations in the north, by the canals, with a much more local feeling.

Click on our Paris Plages post for all the locations and the list of events.

GO ON A DAY TRIP

Monet water lily pond

If you are spending more than 2 days in Paris, don’t hesitate to explore beyond the French capital.

Usually, the small towns near Paris are a bit dead in July or August. Our recommendation goes to Monet’s Garden in Giverny to see the famous water lilies. The water lilies start to bloom in July, so you can see the water lilies in bloom plus dahlias, cosmos, and hibiscus.

Another good day trip to do in August is the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy. Enjoy the refreshing sea breeze whilst visiting one of the most important historical sights in France.

Click here for other beautiful day trips from Paris

HAVE FUN AT L’ÉTÉ DU CANAL 2021

Été du Canal - Paris 19

L’Été du Canal is a fun event that takes place in July and August (this year from 3rd of July to 15h August 2021) along the banks of Canal de l’Ourcq and Canal Saint-Denis.

You can have a drink or an alfresco dinner by the canal, dance in a summer guinguette, or enjoy a boat ride or other water activities.

GO TO THE POOL

Piscine Pontoise - Paris 5

In August, a splash at the end of the day is always a good idea! The city boasts unique Art-déco swimming pools, which are also listed historical monuments. These pools, overlooked by rows of open walkways with old-fashioned cabins for private hire, are the perfect opportunity to relax and cool down in a beautiful atmosphere.

We recommend Piscine Pontoise, in Paris 5. This swimming pool is very central plus it opens until 11.45 pm from Monday to Friday.

The Josephine Baker swimming pool is also special. This pool is floating on the Seine River, moored in Paris 13 close to Bibliothèque Francois Mitterrand. This one-of-a-kind swimming experience is even more special in summer when the glass roof opens up to reveal a huge sun deck providing a fabulous view of the Seine.

CHECK OUT THE TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS IN AUGUST IN PARIS 2021

Best Way to See the Louvre in 2 hours

When it is too hot outside, a temporary exhibition in an air-conditioned museum is always a good idea, especially if you have already visited Paris’s main attractions.

Napoléon, l’Exposition at the Grande Halle de la Villette, from 14 April 2021 to 19 September 2021.

Dalí, l’Énigme Sans Fin (Dalí, the endless enigma) at Atelier des Lumières, from 12 February 2021 to 2 January 2022.

The World of Banksy: the Immersive Experience at Espace Lafayette Drouot (44 rue de Faubourg Montmartre, Paris 9), from 1 June 2021 to 31 December 2021.

L’Heure Bleue (Peder Severin Krøyer) at Musée Marmottan-Monet, from 19 May 2021 to 26 September 2021.

Gaudi, Architecte de l’Imaginaire at Atelier des Lumières, from 19 May 2021 to 4 July 2021.

The Paris of Raoul Dufy at Musée Montmartre, from 19 May 2021 to fall.

Picasso-Rodin, a Giants’ Dialogue, mega exhibition in two sites – Musée Rodin and Musée Picasso -, from 19 May 2021 to 2 January 2022.

Paris Vu par Henri Cartier-Bresson (Paris seen by Henri Cartier-Bresson) at Musée Carnevalet, from 15 June 2021 to 31 October 2021.

NEED MORE IDEAS FOR YOUR VISIT TO PARIS IN AUGUST 2021?

You may also want to have a look at our guides to Paris in July and also Paris in September, you can enjoy most of the proposed activities also in August.

Where to Stay in Paris in August

As you make your bed, so you lie. Find the right accommodation in Paris – whether it’s a hotel or guesthouse, holiday apartment, or private apartment. We have them all! Book your accommodation by using the interactive map below.

We recommend Booking.com for booking your hotel in Paris. They have a wide variety of accommodation of all kinds and good rates. In addition, they propose the option to cancel for free, most of the time up to 24 hours.


SLEEP WITH EIFFEL TOWER VIEWS

If you have the budget, why not treating yourself with the pleasure of waking up with an amazing Eiffel Tower balcony view?

Some of the best hotels in Paris also come with awesome views of Eiffel Tower, especially beautiful during its night show!

Check out the best hotels with Eiffel Tower Views

The good news is that a cozy room with Eiffel Tower views is not exclusive to the best hotels in Paris. If you are looking for a more local experience, there are also beautiful, fully equipped apartments to rent with amazing Eiffel Tower views

Check out the best apartments with view of Eiffel Tower


HOTELS AT LE MARAIS IN PARIS 4

Le Marais is a central neighborhood in the Seine’s Right Bank perfect to set your base in Paris, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. It is beautiful, well connected by the metro, and with many beautiful cafes and restaurant options.

Click here for the best hotels in Le Marais in Paris 4

HOTEL DE JOSEPHINE DE BONAPARTE, Paris 4, $$$$

Located in a former convent, this charming hotel is inspired by Napoleon’s wife, Joséphine de Bonaparte. Its unique decorated rooms are elegant and romantic and its cozy saloons are the perfect place for a last glass of wine.

Click here for the Latest Prices


HOTEL FRANCE LOUVRE, Paris 4, $$$

Hotel France Louvre is a typical Haussmaniann-style hotel located in Le Marais. The rooms are small but cozy, all elegantly furnished in Louis XIV style. Some of them have lovely views over Hôtel de Ville and Tour Saint Jacques.

Click here for the Latest Prices


HOTELS AT SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRÉS

The neighborhood of Saint-Germain, in the Left Bank, is a great place to put your luggage down in Paris, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. It is picturesque, central, with many entertainments, beautiful cafes and restaurant options.

Click here for the best hotels in Saint-Germain

XRELAIS CHRISTINE; Paris 6, $$$$

This hotel is set in a 16th-century private mansion in the heart of Saint Germain-des-Prés. Its rooms are unique, designed in different styles. Guests can enjoy elegant common spaces, a garden, a spa, and a fitness center.

Click here for the Latest Prices


HOTEL CHAPLAIN PARIS RIVE GAUCHE: Paris 6, $$$

This chic and modern hotel is located only a few meters from Luxembourg Gardens is one of the best mid-range hotels in Saint-Germain. The rooms are fancy and colorful. We especially like its chic dining area and floral courtyard, where you can take your breakfast or a drink.

Click here for the Latest Prices

We hope you enjoyed this Paris in August 2021 quick guide and it helped you plan your August in Paris. Bon voyage!

Click here for more Paris travel tips

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