Skip to main content

What To Do in Paris in August

Your Guide to What’s Happening in Paris this Month
Sand and umbrellas on the beaches along the Seine for the summer Paris Plages.
Paris Plages 2013 – Peter Haas / CC BY-SA 3.0
July 29, 2023
Sunbathing at Paris Plages, screening movies under the stars, attending classical concerts in a secret spot in Montmartre… August in Paris is all about enjoying the sunshine and spending as much time as possible outdoors.

This post may contain sponsored or affiliate links.

August is peak tourist season in Paris, and while all of the main monuments and landmarks get most of the attention, there are also plenty of local-approved activities and events that you won’t want to miss!

If you’re in the City of Light this month, see the sights, bien sûr, but also make time for some of these authentic ways of experiencing Parisian life. Summertime in Paris is truly something special.

Here’s what’s going on in Paris this month:

Happening Every August in Paris

Things To Do in Paris, August 2023

Happening Every August in Paris

Paris Plages | All Month Long

It might not be the same as a true beach vacation, but every summer the City of Paris does its best to make spending time on the riverbanks feel like a seaside retreat. In July and August, the banks of the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette take on a beachy vibe complete with sand and parasols!

There are also picnic tables, pop-up bars, and concession stands so you can spend all day or evening along the water, reading a book in one of the lounge chairs or enjoying an apéro with friends with your feet in the sand.

Beach on the banks of the river Seine during Paris Plages in summer.
Paris Plages, Photo by Sharat Ganapati CC BY 2.0

Outdoor Movie Screenings | All Month Long

In the summer, several outdoor movie festivals and special screenings happen all around Paris. Most movies are shown in V.O. (Version originale) with French subtitles, so your best bet is to check the program and find an English-language movie if you don’t speak French.

Picnic and a Movie

Every summer, the Parc de la Villette shows movies on a huge inflatable screen on its expansive lawn as part of its Cinéma en plein air festival. You can find the full program here (in French only), but some of the highlights include Parasite, Some Like it Hot, Top Gun, and West Side Story, all in V.O. (Version originale) with French subtitles.

The festival continues through August 20th, so check the program, pack a picnic basket, and head here for a fun, free, relaxing Parisian night out.

July 19 – August 20, 2023
Parc de la Villette, 75019 Paris
Metro Porte de Pantin

Movies Atop the Machine du Moulin Rouge

Every Wednesday from now through August 30th, Paris’s most-famous cabaret is hosting movie nights on the rooftop terrace of its laid-back Bar à Bulles. This marks the fifth year of the Moulin Rouge’s open-air film festival Cinéma sur le toit, with this year’s lineup including films such as Rage by Newton Aduaka and Phil Collins’s documentary Bring Down the Walls.

With limited space, you do need to reserve ahead of time — tickets are free and available for reservation on the Facebook Event Page one week before the screening .

July 12 – August 30, 2023
Bar à Bulles, 4 Cité Véron, 75018 Paris
Metro Blanche or Place de Clichy
Free, reservations required

Movie nights at the Parc de la Villette
Open-Air Movies at the Parc de la Villette

Fête des Tuileries | Through August 28, 2023

The fair continues at the Jardins des Tuileries through August 25th. Head to the iconic Parisian gardens to ride one of the manèges or to enjoy some sweet and fluffy cotton candy, called barbe à papa.

The Ferris Wheel and giant swing offer some incredible views of Paris and some fun photo opportunities too! It’s free to enter the fairground, but you must pay to ride.

June 25 – August 28, 2023
Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris
Metro Tuileries, Concorde, or Carrousel du Louvre
Free entry

Swings at the Tuileries fair
Fête Des Tuileries, 2015 – Steven Depolo [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

August Music Festivals | All Month Long

The summer music season continues this month with more outdoor festivals taking place throughout Paris. Classical music lovers can enjoy one of 10 exceptional open-air orchestral performances in the hidden Arènes de Montmartre as part of the Arènes Lyriques festival every weekend now through August 19, or head to the spacious Parc Floral for free classical music concerts every Saturday and Sunday through September 6.

For those with more mainstream musical tastes, Rock en Seine welcomes Florence + The Machine, Billie Eilish, and more to the Domaine nationale de Saint-Cloud August 23rd-27th.

Find all the details on these Paris summer music festivals.

Les Arènes Lyriques classical music concerts in Montmartre.

The Annual August Exodus | All Month Long

Alright, this isn’t exactly an event, but it is definitely an important thing to know if you’re visiting Paris in August!

August is typically the month where nearly all the locals leave to go on vacation. Many shops and restaurants close during this time, so if there’s somewhere you’re really looking forward to going, we recommend calling ahead of time to make sure they’ll be open.

Learn more about this part of Parisian culture.

Things To Do in Paris, August 2023

Basquiat X Warhol “A Quatre Mains” | Through August 28, 2023

Hurry over to the Fondation Louis Vuitton to catch the cool “Basquiat X Warhol: Painting Four Hands” exhibition before it’s too late!

The exhibition showcases the collaboration between two of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. You’ll get to see over than 150 works from paintings and photographs to drawings and archives.

April 5 – August 28, 2023
Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris
Metro Les Sablons
Tickets: 16€, available on the Fondation Louis Vuitton website

Basquiat X Warhol exhibition this May in Paris at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

La Nuit Aux Invalides | Through September 7, 2023

History buffs and light-show lovers, this one’s for you! Wednesdays – Saturdays now through September 7th, the magnificent Hôtel des Invalides serves as the canvas for a light and sound show retracing the history of Paris, or Lutèce as the city was called in Roman times.

The impressive projection mapping is dazzling, making for an animated and interesting way to learn more about Parisian history. And don’t worry if you don’t speak French — you can rent a headset to listen to the show in English!

July 16 — September 7, 2023
Hôtel des Invalides, 129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
Metro Invalides or La Tour-Maubourg
Tickets: Starting at 18€ for adults
Headsets: 5€

La Nuit Aux Invalides light show
La Nuit aux Invalides © Luc Arden

Créatures, Pop-up Rooftop Restaurant | All Month Long

This is without a doubt the place to be this summer. The temporary rooftop restaurant sitting atop the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is the end-all-be-all of trendy spots in Paris, an elegant, ephemeral vegetarian paradise perched just behind the Opéra Garnier.

You’ve surely already seen this hip new spot all over Instagram, but come to Créatures to experience the stunning views and delicious 100% vegetarian cuisine expertly prepared by Chef Julien Sebbag for yourself before it’s gone!

All Summer
Créatures, 25 Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, 75009 Paris
Metro Chaussée d’Antin, Havre – Caumartin, or Opéra
Mon-Sat 10:00 – 01:00, Sun 11:00 – 01:00

Créature Paris pop-up rooftop terrace on top of the Galeries Lafayette.

Want more Paris tips and tricks from local insiders? Join our free Urbansider Club to receive recommendations in your inbox and save your favorite places to your account!

Urbansider Paris Club logo white.
Want More Paris Insider Insights?
Create a Free Account to Receive More Tips & Picks

Join our free Urbansider Club to access personalized recommendationsdownloadable guides, and a monthly newsletter with the latest from Paris as well as our new top addresses and experiences. You’ll also be invited to our exclusive Urbansider events in Paris.

Leave a Reply