Paris in the Summer
We love Paris all year round, but when days get longer, the temperatures rise and the sun actually shines, the streets of Paris are all the more magical.
Paris in summer means also the high season in the French capital and the central neighborhoods of Paris usually get crowded with tourists trying to check items off their Paris bucket list. But what if you’ve already been there, done that, and got the T-shirt? Or you just don’t like fighting the crowds?
With so many brilliant events going on in Paris in the summer, it’s very easy to leave the beaten path, head to the most characterful arrondissements of Paris, and enjoy lesser known things to do in the city on a local scale — just like the natives do! To make things a bit easier on you, we’ve picked out favorite things to do in Paris in the summer. From pop-up parties to boozy river cruises, tasty chow to rooftop wonders, here’s a bucket list of Paris outdoor activities and more to help you plan your trip to Paris in the summer.
Paris Summer Weather
How good (or how hot) is the Paris summer weather? Amongst all the Paris seasons, Summer is the best season to visit Paris in regards to the weather. Summer in Paris means longer days, good temperatures (maximums of 23C° to 25C°) and 10% to 13% of chances to have some rain. During the last summers in Paris, there were always a couple of difficult days in July, with temperatures above the average, and when sometimes it was difficult to breathe. These periods are called canicule in French and it is suggested to look for indoor activities, avoid physical activities and sports, and drink lots of water.
Outdoor Activities in Paris
Paris can boast of having the most beautiful museums in the world but when the sun is out everyone’s clamoring to get out in the fresh air. Among all the summer outdoor activities in Paris, these are Parisians’ favorites.
La Fête de la Musique
The Festival of Music on June 21 is always THE event that kicks off the summer in Paris. On the longest day of the year enjoy music everywhere, with free concerts and street performers on every street. With La Fête de la Musique, Paris is truly a moveable feast!
Swing and Drinks at a Summer Guinguette
We love Parisian guinguettes, they are so summer! Traditionally guinguettes were popular drinking establishments, usually located in the suburbs of Paris, which would also serve as restaurants and, often, as dance venues. With the same spirit, Bal de la Marine is a guinguette anchored at the foot of the Eiffel Tower proposing its guests the opportunity to chill and dance throughout the week at the water’s edge in a unique setting and a friendly atmosphere. Other cool guinguettes anchored on the banks of the Seine are Rosa Bonheur Sur Seine (Port des Invalides), and Guinguette La Javelle (Port Javel) while other popular guinguettes such as Rosa Bonheur (Parc Buttes Chaumont) and Chalet des Iles Daumesnil (Bois de Vincennes) are nestled in the most beautiful green spaces of Paris.
Environmentally friendly, cheap, healthy and surprisingly convenient for navigating perilously congested city streets, bikes (and lately also electric kick scooters for adults) are becoming the preferred mode of transport for locals and they are a great way for visitors to explore Paris differently. Canal de l’Ourcq is our favorite bike itinerary in Paris but of course, there are many more!
Picnic on the Grass
Natives inaugurated the picnic season in Paris in the spring and now that they have started to get to like the rosé glasses on the grass they don’t intend to stop until it gets cold. The city has fantastic green spots for enjoying alfresco meals with popular spots like Champ de Mars, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and Luxembourg Gardens. However, if you have the time, head to the northern arrondissements of Paris for a more local experience.
After visiting Versailles Palace and Gardens, enjoy 2h30 of a magical stroll at the rhythm of the baroque music, in the sumptuous French gardens of the Palace of Versailles, set in water and light, crowned by a large fireworks display. This is the magical spectacle that awaits you from June 15 to September 21.
Gay Pride in Paris
Don’t miss the coolest demonstration in Paris this summer, the Paris Gay Pride! Starting on June 29 at Montparnasse the colorful parade will head to Place de la République for the grand finale in front of the Grand Podium.
Watch Films Under the Stars
When the dusk falls, it is movies time on the grass of the Parc de la Villette, in Paris 19. Le Cinéma en Plein Air (Open Air Cinema) is a cultural festival proposing new releases and cult films from France and all around the world, with a different theme each year. This summer the festival’s theme is “the future”, with an interesting list of films from July 17 to August 18.
Fun on the Water
When the sun shines in Paris, there’s no better place to be than by the River Seine or the Parisian canals. L’Été du Canal is the perfect festival for those who enjoy summer and rivers but there are many other river activities to enjoy Paris from the water.
L’Été du Canal
This is an exciting festival set on the Canal de l’Ourcq, from the La Villette Canal Basin to Bobigny. Board one of the river shuttles that serve the east of the Ile-de-France and discover cool summer events on the canal. Workshops, sporting activities, dances, restaurants, concerts and much more! L’Été du Canal lasts all summer long, starting in July (dates still to be defined).
Sail through the Parisian Canals in your own way
With Marin d’Eau Douce’s electric boats, you are the captain onboard. Enjoy sailing Canal de l’Ourcq while exploring a lesser known neighborhood of Paris. Add a picnic on-board and some rosé and you are set for a great day in Paris
Swim some laps in an Art Déco Swimming Pool
There’s no better way of ending your Paris explorations under the sun than with some refreshing laps in a swimming pool. Paris has some unique Art Déco pools classed as Historical Monuments where swimming is much more than a sport, it’s also a feast for the eyes! Legendary swimming pools like Piscine Pontoise in the Latin Quarter in Paris or Piscine Butte-aux-Cailles in Paris 13, are public pools with day ticket around 5€ while other ones, like Piscine Molitor, form part of exclusive clubs.
One of the most popular activities in Paris amongst visitors is a night cruise along the Seine River to admire the city’s historical monuments dotted along the route: Musée d’Orsay, the Conciergerie, Les Invalides … and of course the Eiffel Tower! Choose a cruise with the dinner onboard and you are set for an unforgettable night in the City of Lights.
Outdoor Games to Play in Paris
Because fun and play should not end with childhood. From traditional pétanque to fun treasure hunts, enjoy natives’ favorite outdoor games and give a local twist to your days in Paris.
Play Pétanque Like the Locals
First timers in Paris are always amused by the sight of natives playing pétanque. The French national game is the ideal summer pastime with friends, usually combined with some drinks during or after the game. Pétanque game might seem strange to outsiders, but once you play you’ll be hooked! Arènes de Lutèce is arguably the most famous and well known among fervent boules players in Paris but most of the parks in Paris and many squares also have their corners to play pétanque. If you are in town, don’t miss the Gourmet Pétanque Trophy, from June 25 to 28, 2019. Once again, the Paris Yacht Marina is hosting this event where pétanque tournaments are organized as well as gastronomic workshops, wine tastings, and many other animations.
Parisians love treasure hunts because they are a great way to explore a totally new area or see a familiar territory in a completely new light. Plus they are fun! Get a unique view of Luxembourg Gardens in Paris with our Luxembourg Gardens Treasure Hunt. Throughout this brain-teasing expedition, you will learn about one of the most famous parks in Paris and its first owner, Queen Marie de Médicis, whilst looking for her hidden, sometimes quirky, treasures and completing fun challenges to reach Queen Marie’s final and most precious treasure.
Do you want to visit the most popular park in Paris differently? Join the Tuileries Garden Quest and help a lost soul find the way back to his final resting place. Through the history of the Tuileries Gardens and some interesting, sometimes quirky, facts you will find the name of the lost soul and their statue in the Tuileries Garden. The statue will tell you where to find the soul’s resting place, so he can rest forever.
Food and Drink in Paris
Built in the 18th century by Trudon, the sommelier of King Louis XV, these 600m2 of ancient vaulted cellars are today a place dedicated to French wine. Let yourself be guided by a sommelier and discover all the secrets of wine through your 5 senses close to the Louvre Museum! Themes such as terroir, aromas, primary flavors, and bottling will be discussed while tasting 3 different wines. A unique way to discover the French vineyards.
Café Festival & Expo
During two days, on June 23 and 24, Café! Festival & Expo, arrives at Centquatre – Paris as the first event in France devoted exclusively to specialty coffee. Designed to promote coffee, its actors and its know-how from the plantation to the cup, the festival offers real sensory experience. Producers, roasters, baristas, equipment manufacturers: more than 80 exhibitors are waiting for you.
Head to a Rooftop Bar
Longer evenings mean zipping up to Paris’ rooftops to see the capital bathed in sun. And when the sun sets down there are few better ways to enjoy Paris than from above, cocktail in hand, admiring the Paris skyline and gazing across the lights and landmarks that define the city. Check out the best rooftop bars in Paris (some of them on the top of exclusive hotels with Eiffel Tower views) and get the most out of the city of Paris at night.
Get lost in the newest Demory Biergarten
If you’re more of a feet-on-the-ground, pint-in-hand kinda person, you are going to love the Demory Biergarten. Located a stone’s throw from the Ourcq Canal, Demory-Paris transforms the courtyard of its brewery into a green Berliner Biergarten just a few meters from the vats! In a summer guinguette atmosphere, with food, pizza, DJ sets, lives, exhibitions, and vernissages, Germans in Paris and beer lovers in general, will find their Paradise. On the list, the 10 references of the brand Demory-Paris at low price from May 24 to mid-October 2019!
Favorite Self Guided Walks this Summer in Paris
If you visit Paris in the summer you won’t be probably in the mood for museums or indoor activities. But in the City of Lights, history and culture are everywhere and you can learn many interesting things about the city just by walking the streets of Paris.
The Promenade Plantée (also known as Coulée Verte), located in the 12th District of Paris, is one of the most beautiful Paris walks and a good way to escape the hassle of Paris (and its hottest hours) without leaving the city. This off the beaten path hike links Bastille Square to Porte Dorée and Bois de Vincennes, following part of the ancient railway (La Petite Ceinture de Paris) which stopped working in 1969. This 4,5 km nature walk car-free is a world apart, crossing tunnels, trenches, and long bridges.
Americans visiting Paris will love this self-guided walk follows the steps of Hemingway in Paris visiting the places he loved and he used to visit with his friends. This walk is a great way for exploring Montparnasse and other lesser known parts of the Quartier Latin of Paris while reading about Hemingway’s life in Paris, always a moveable feast. With this walk, we cannot promise to escape the hassle of Paris but if it is too hot outside, you can always have a break in Hemingway’s favorite American Bars and Parisian Cafés for a beer or two.
Family Events in Paris in the Summer
Paris is a kid-friendly city, with lots of activities designed especially for children and cool summer festivals and events where mum & dad can have as much fun as the little ones.
Funfair of the Tuileries Garden
This is a must family activity in Paris in the summer, with carousels and rides for all ages. Starting from June 23, it’s two months of fun at the Tuileries Garden!
Urban Beaches in Paris
Plenty of temporary beaches pop-up around Paris throughout the summer. The most popular one is Paris Plages, where the riverbanks of the Seine and La Villette canal basin take on the look of a seaside resort with parasols, deckchairs, and palm trees. A little bit further, Porte de la Villette hosts the Glazart Beach 2019, the first open-air club in Paris for festive nights, feet in the sand under the stars!
La Nuit des Étoiles
The Night of the Stars, by l’Association Française d’Astronomie, is a popular family event which reaches this year its 17th season. During one weekend, from 2 to 4 August, the nights are packed activities such as stargazing events, astronomy workshops and easy introductions to this fascinating world.
Exhibitions in Paris during Summer 2019
For those interested in arts and culture, Paris is always a good idea because there are always many interesting exhibitions with something for every taste — plus they are an excellent plan B for those summer days of rain in Paris.
Banksy at Musée du Graffiti
No time to explore the best Street Art in Paris 13? Le Musée du Graffiti, in the 2nd Arrondissement of Paris, will host the best of the famous British street artist Banksy from June 1st, 2019. Save the date!
Other interesting exhibitions in Paris in the Summer
The Calder-Picasso exhibition will still be on at the Musée National Picasso until 25 August. People interested in the arts of non-Western civilizations. can explore the wonders of Oceania at the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac until July 7. Visitors wanting to explore Immersive Art will have a blast at Atelier des Lumières, the first center of Digital Art in Paris currently proposing a wonderful exhibition about Vincent Van Gogh work and Japan.
Paris Music Festivals Summer – 2019
For many of us, summer means Music Festivals. There are so many Music Festivals in Paris that can be hard to differentiate them and know which is right for you. That’s why we’ve decided to make things a bit easier on you, and sum up the best Paris Music Festivals in a few sentences.
Solidays (21- 23 June)
This music festival welcomes around 200,000 people who come to enjoy concerts, entertainment, and other activities. Apart from its musical and festive side, this event is also about solidarity – hence the name – in the fight against Aids, the virus which still affects millions around the world. You can check the program here.
Opera Open Air (14 June – 7 September)
When it is too hot for an opera at Opera Garnier in Paris, relax and enjoy live opera outdoors. Every summer, a well-known director puts on a great opera from the classical repertoire which is performed in fabulous open-air settings such as Château de Vincennes, Château de Fontainebleau or Les Invalides. This year the Opera chosen is Tosca by Puccini.
Paris Jazz Festival (6 – 28 July)
Set in the beautiful Parc Floral, Paris Jazz Festival blends great jazz with nature. Founded in 1994, the Paris Jazz Festival is one of the great events in its genre in Paris and Ile de France region. The Festival hosts the best of the French and Parisian jazz scene as well as major international jazz players. You can check the full program here
Rock En Seine Festival (23 – 25 August)
If you are a rock lover in Paris in August, head to Parc National de Saint-Cloud for one of the best and most popular music festivals in Paris. Enjoy the live concerts across the four stages where all styles of rock are represented, from Punk to Metal, via Pop-rock, New-Wave, and Britpop. You can check the program of this 17th Edition here
Get out of town
With so many interesting sites around Paris, we won’t blame if you want to block one day or two of your Paris Itinerary to get out of town and explore what the Parisian region has to offer with a Paris side trip. From beautiful French châteaux to small towns, historical sites or even the beach a little bit further, there are great day trips from Paris or fantastic weekend getaways from Paris very easy to reach by train or on a guided tour.
What to wear in Paris in Summer? Summer in Paris comes with some hot days! You can definitely leave your jeans at home and look for more fresh fabrics. Paris Summer fashion consists of items like nice blouses or t-shirts and skirts or a couple of dresses to wear in Paris.
Great for your Summer Paris Outfits
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Summer dresses for Paris
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Accessories like stylish sunglasses or a nice bag are a must, and you definitely want to complement your Parisian outfit with a nice hat to protect you from the sun. Despite the warm Paris summer weather, you will always want to add a light sweater or cardigan in your day bag in case it gets colder at night. Consider and anti-theft travel bag or an anti-theft backpack for your Paris explorations.
Have you visited Paris in July, August or September? What is your favorite activity during Paris summer?
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