People may tell you that Paris in the summertime is not a good idea – it will be hot, it will be crowded, and hotel prices will skyrocket – however, even though there may be some truth behind these statements, there’s still quite a bit to love about Paris during the summer months. Today we are highlighting just a few ways to make the most of your visit to the city:
Enjoy the city beaches with Paris-Plages
Paris-Plage began in 2002 as an attempt by the recently elected mayor to create a summer haven for Parisians who couldn’t leave the city. Sand was poured along the riverbanks, deck chairs were set up, and ice cream vendors were called in. Even though no swimming is allowed in the Seine for safety reasons, the event was a hit and it grew from there. Today the Paris-Plages have several locations across the city and you can enjoy concerts, volleyball games and food stands. The Seine-side holiday starts in mid-July and lasts a total of four weeks.
Catch an outdoor movie with Cinéma en Plein Air
When it comes to outdoor cinema, Parc de la Villette is the place to be. Between mid-July to mid-August, the park hosts outdoor movie screenings every Wednesday through Sunday. The films include a selection of drama, adventure, horror, and even classic French cinema. Movies are free to the public, and lawn chairs are available for hire.
Join the dance parties on the banks of the Seine
At the height of summer, the sun doesn’t set till around 10:00 p.m. The long evenings make it incredibly tempting to stay out longer and no place is more popular than the banks of the Seine, where you’ll find people picnicking, promenading, and yes, even dancing. Just follow your ears over to Port Saint-Bernard where different dance circles form to the rhythm of salsa, tango, and merengue. No need to bring a dance partner – Parisians aren’t shy and it’ll be just a few minutes before someone is sweeping you off your feet. It’s a fun way to spend the evening after dinner and a cruise down the Seine.
Make the most of the long summer days with al fresco dining
Long summer days are perfect for eating at little streetside cafes. Whether you want to grab a sweet treat in the form of a café au lait and crêpes au nutella, or you want to feast on a plate full of steak frites there will be no shortage of options. Sampling the local cuisine may even inspire you to take a French cooking class so you can take some of the recipes back home with you.
Pack a picnic and hire a row boat at Bois de Boulogne
When the temperatures start to soar in the city, Bois de Boulogne makes the perfect escape. Located on the western edge of Paris, Bois de Boulogne was once a popular hunting ground for the royals, but these days you’re more likely to find people out for a stroll. It’s the ideal spot for a picnic, and afterwards you can rent a little row boat to take out on the lake. Rates start at 6 Euros for a half hour and 10 Euros for a full hour, though you are free to hire them for longer if your arms can handle it.
What’s your favourite way to spend summer in Paris?