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Paris in Summer

Everything you need to know about summertime in Paris
Paris in summer
May 16, 2022
There’s tons of fun to be had by spending the summer in Paris, but it’s best to be prepared. From what you need to know about the weather to the special events of the season, we’re answering all your questions about summertime in Paris.

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If you’re thinking about visiting Paris in the summer, there are a few important things you need to know. Whether you’re wondering when is the best time to go or what you’ll need to bring, we’re covering it all:

When should I go to Paris in the summer?

June is the best time to visit Paris in the summer.

In addition to the weather being milder, there are also far fewer tourists than in July or August. If you don’t like crowds and are looking to enjoy an authentic Parisian experience, avoid visiting Paris in August. That’s when the capital city fills up with tourists and empties of locals meaning many businesses close for the entire month.

Paris river cruise on the Seine.

How crowded is Paris in the summertime?

Paris gets very crowded in the summer, with August being the height of the tourist season. In both July and August, anticipate long lines at most of the main attractions and/or make sure to book a few months ahead if there are any museums or monuments you really don’t want to miss.

A lot fewer people visit Paris in June, but since most locals are still in town at that time (schools in France don’t let out until the first week of July), the city remains far from empty.

People bathing in the Trocadéro fountains during a heatwave in Paris.

What’s the weather like in Paris in the summer?

Summer in Paris can get pretty hot. July and August are the warmest months in Paris with average highs reaching the low 80sF (around 28C). Temperatures are milder in June, when highs hover around 73F (23C) and lows average in the upper 50s F (roughly 14C).

For the past several years, Paris has experienced a couple weeks of canicule, or extreme heat, each summer, generally in July or August (and sometimes both months). Temperatures have hit upwards of 100F (39C) during the recent record-breaking heatwaves.

Something important to note: air conditioning isn’t common in Paris. Most apartments and shops, as well as many bars, restaurants, and even hotels don’t have it. This can make it hard to cool off in summer, but these tips for beating the heat in Paris really help.

Somewhat surprisingly, ceiling fans are also rare in France.

Summer evening on the banks of the Seine.

What should I pack for Paris in the summer?

Comfortable shoes are a must when packing for Paris any time of year, but you might want to keep in mind that flip-flops aren’t popular in France. Sandals, flats, or sneakers are a much better option if you want to blend in with the locals. Another good thing to know is that sunscreen can be fairly expensive in France, so it’s best to bring your own. And oui, you will want some — you’ll be outside a lot and the French sun can be very strong. Don’t forget your sunglasses either!

In terms of what clothes to pack for Paris in the summer, sundresses and skirts are a great option as are shorts and lightweight tops. Parisians don’t typically wear spaghetti strap shirts; they tend to only be worn by tourists.

Regardless of the weather, women will also want to bring a shawl or scarf to cover their shoulders when visiting churches. Typically only Notre Dame enforces this dress code, but it’s not a bad idea to have one with you in case you want to pop into another cathedral and they request you be covered.

Woman looking out from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Have more questions about preparing for a summer trip to Paris? Our local concierge Karina would be happy to have a call with you to help!

What things are there to do in summer in Paris?

There’s loads happening in Paris in the summer, especially for families and fans of music. And the good news is a lot of the events and activities are free!

All summer long: Paris summer music festivals

Every summer the City of Light becomes a city of sounds, with concerts and music festivals happening nearly every weekend (and sometimes even during the week). From the free Festivals du Parc Floral bringing classical music, jazz, and kid-friendly tunes to the Botanical Gardens June through September, to the must-see Fête de l’Humanité which takes place at the end of summer, there are plenty of festivals for fans of all types of music.

Learn more about the different summer music festivals in Paris.

Solidays Paris summer music festival
Instagram @fetedelhumanite

July – September: Pop-up rooftop restaurants and bars

Cool new bars and restaurants set up shop on rooftops around the city. The most buzz surrounds the trendy new pop-up restaurant atop the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. In past years there have also been bars in the 15th Arrondissement at the convention center and in the La Défense district on top of the Grande Arche. We also have a few favorite rooftop bars in Paris open every summer.

June 21: Fête de la Musique

If you’re lucky enough to be in France on June 21st, prepare for a night full of music! The Fête de la Musique, known internationally as World Music Day, is especially fun in Paris, where the city streets host concerts and dance parties as the whole country celebrates musicians and music fans alike.

 
 
Street musicians in Paris during the Fête de la Musique.

End of June – End of July: Summer Sales

The summer sales season in France runs from the end of June until the end of July. During this four week-period, stores all around Paris offer discounts on everything from clothing to home décor. See our recommendations for where to shop the sales in Paris.

July-August: Fête des Tuileries

In the summer, the pretty Jardin des Tuileries transforms into a fairground. Each July and August, you’ll find slides, swings, food stands, and of course a Grande Roue, a giant ferris wheel which gives you amazing views of Paris. It’s free to enter the fair.

Mid-July through Mid-August: Movies Under the Stars

In the summer, several outdoor movie festivals and special screenings happen all around Paris including on top of the Moulin Rouge and at the Parc de la Villette. 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.

Movie nights at the Parc de la Villette

July – September: Paris Plages

Something that locals look forward to each year is the Paris Plages, when the banks of the Seine river become a true beach, with sand, lounge chairs, and pop-up restaurants, bars, and activities for the whole family. You can also swim in the Bassin de la Villette.  

For more fun things to do in Paris in the summer, reserve one of these unique experiences which include everything from guided street art tours and wine tastings, to food market shopping trips and bag painting workshops.


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