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How to Keep Cool in Paris During the Heatwave

Tips for Beating the Heat in Paris

If you're visiting Paris this week, you might want to practice the phrase "Il fait chaud" (It's hot)!

It’s la canicule! Another heatwave is hitting Paris this week, with temperatures set to reach record highs. The latest forecast says to brace for 108°F (42°C) on Thursday, July 25th, so here are some tips to help you stay cool if you’re visiting Paris.

The City of Paris has taken several actions to prepare for the extreme heat. Thirteen different parks in Paris are remaining open all night as the temperature is actually 1°C -2°C cooler in the parks than elsewhere in the city, according to Mayor Anne Hidalgo. More than 123 public gardens are also currently open 24 hours a day, so you can go anytime to seek shade.

Some 1200 water fountains and misting systems are installed in the capital so that inhabitants and tourists alike can quench their thirst and refresh themselves when il fait chaud. The Parc Martin Luther King, the Jardin d’Acclimatation, and the Parc André Citröen also have in-ground fountains for children (and adults) to play in and 35 temporary fountains will also be put in place around the capital.

© Julien Haler CC 2.0

Public swimming pools will stay open until 10:30 pm on a rotation system – see Our Top 10 Pools in Paris here – and it will also be possible to take a dip in the Bassin de la Villette. There’s also a high-tech way to stay cool – the Extrema Paris mobile app can point you to one of over 900 refreshing spots in the city.

And this is Paris after all, so you know you can always quench your thirst with a cold drink on a shaded café terrasse or enjoy an ice cream or sorbet to help you cool off.

We also recommend spending time in a museum. Along with les supermarchés, they’re some of the few places with air conditioning in Paris, but unlike the grocery store, at a museum you can take advantage of the AC and get some Culture! Most of the city’s musées have air conditioning, including the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée Picasso, and the Musée de l’Orangerie. And if you don’t mind being surrounded by skeletons, the catacombs stay nice and cool all year round.

Pompidou museum
Centre Pompidou

General Heatwave Health Tips

With rising temperatures come increased health risks, especially for children, the elderly, and those with medical conditions. So, in addition to these Paris-specific plans, we’re reminding you of the basic steps to take in the event of a heat wave.

Remember to drink water regularly and avoid alcohol (oui, that includes wine) as well as drinks that are too sweet or foods that are fatty (and yes, we even mean le fromage). Splash yourself with cool water throughout the day, and avoid strenuous physical activities, especially during the hottest hours of the day (usually 3-5pm). Also, don’t forget to apply (and re-apply) sunscreen, and stay in touch with your friends and family.

Wishing you bon courage for coping with the canicule !

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published June 25, 2019 and has been updated.

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