It’s Relaxation Central
August spells vacation for most of the country, particularly the French capital, which is transformed into a big, lazy, sun-soaked playground. With tourist season well past its July peak and a sizable chunk of Paris’ stone-faced locals migrating somewhere closer to the equator for the holidays, the city all but empties out. What remains is a Paris awash with remarkably relaxed and cheerful people, as well as a handful of laid back Spanish and Italian visitors. The downside to all this blissful mellowness? Most restaurants and many businesses are on holiday too.
La Canicule (It’s Heatwave Time!)
Summer likes to go out with a bang in Paris, and August consistently brings temperatures sometimes even as high as 100 degrees, and always high enough to question why you’d need to go anywhere else to get your Fahrenheit fix. The heat is all the more bearable too since the streets aren’t quite so crowded, and while there may be cheaper places to go to get that sun tan your after, where else can you go to get the wealth of culture and food that Paris can offer?
It’s Paradise on Wheels
If you can avoid the congested freeways leading out of the center, Paris’ wide roads provide a perfect opportunity for a great driving experience. Most of the year, hordes of black cars are constantly swarming the roads, so much so, it’s easy to forget just how picturesque some of them really are— and if you’re into that sort of thing, how much fun it could be to drive around the city. It’s an equally great time for cyclists, and the long boulevards and avenues are arguably just as fun to pedal down as they are to drive on, especially with how accessible and cheap the public ‘Velib‘ bicycles are across all areas of the city.
For a few weeks, the banks of the Seine are garnished with sand and various other ‘beachy’ ornaments, making it a unique blend of city and seaside. This is probably the most well-known summer exclusive in the City of Light, and it is definitely not something to miss. The possibility of a quick switch from the capital’s shops and restaurants to a comfy deckchair overlooking the Seine with warm sand between your toes is surely too good to pass up.
Paris’ mairie organizes, along with lots of other independent companies, a whole host of great and often free events ranging from mini-festivals to open-air cinemas. Whether it’s the Rock en Seine, a festival on the city outskirt that boasts the likes of Iggy Pop on its roster, or DJ sets on the sand at La Plage du Glazart, there’s something for everyone in search of some lively and social goings on. And events like l’Été du Canal de l’Ourcq, where you can enjoy the water on boats and inflatables, and the truly magnificent Cinéma en Plein Air de la Villette even offer something for those who want to experience big events while still being able to kick back and relax.