France | Paris | Things To Do

How to Stay Cool in Paris

It’s hot, hot, hot right now and Paris! The temperatures have risen to unprecedented highs and there seems to be no end in sight for the summer.

If you aren’t a morning person you may want to consider a change. At least during your time in Paris. Anything you want to do that is outdoors should be in the
very early morning or near the end of the day. During the middle of the day, head indoors to these locations which will be cooler because they have air conditioning or another way to offer you relief.

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Girl in front of Fountain in Paris

Here are my suggestions for what to do in Paris when it’s hot outside.

Museums

This is going to be your best bet! Do things outside in the morning and then head to one of the 130 museums in Paris. The vast majority of them are air-conditioned! Summer is high season in Paris so I highly recommend you buy tickets ahead of time if you can!

Inside Orsay Museum in Paris
Inside Orsay Museum

Here are some of my picks:

  • Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie: 30 Av. Corentin Cariou in the 19th.
  • Delacroix Museum: 6 Rue de Furstemberg in the 6th.
  • Fondation Cartier: 261 Bd Raspail in the 14th.
  • Grand Palais: 3 Av. du Général Eisenhower in the 8th.
  • Hôtel de la Marine: 2 Pl. de la Concorde in the 8th.
  • Institut du Monde Arabe: 1 Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard in the 5th.
  • Louis Vuitton Foundation: 8 Av. du Mahatma Gandhi in the 16th.
  • Maison Européenne de la Photographie: 5/7 Rue de Fourcy inteh 4th.
  • Maison Victor Hugo: 6 Pl. des Vosges in the 4th.
  • Monnaie de Paris: 11 Quai de Conti in the 6th.
  • Musee de l’Orangerie: Jardin Tuileries towards Place Concorde in the 1st.
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs: 107 Rue de Rivoli in the 1st.
  • Musée du Quai Branly: 37 Quai Branly in the 7th.
  • Musée Cognacq-Jay: 8 Rue Elzevir in the 3rd.
  • Musée de Cluny: 28 Rue du Sommerard in the 5th.
  • Musee de la Vie Romantique: 16 Rue Chaptal in the 9th.
  • Musée Guimet: 6 Pl. d’Iéna in the 16th.
  • Musée Jacquemart-André: 158 Bd Haussmann in the 8th.
  • Musée Marmottan: 2 Rue Louis Boilly in the 16th.
  • Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle: 57 Rue Cuvier in the 5th.
  • Musée d’Orsay: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur in the 7th. Did a fabulous Context Travel tour here!
  • Palais de Tokyo: 13 Av. du Président Wilson in the 16th. Be sure to visit the Foto Automat inside!
  • Petit Palais: Av. Winston Churchill in the 8th.
  • Picasso Museum: 5 Rue de Thorigny in the 3rd.
  • Rodin Museum: 77 Rue de Varenne in the 7th.

See a Movie

Just like in the US, movie theaters are away to escape the heat, and maybe reality for a few hours! There are movie theaters all over the city, although there is a high concentration of them in Montparnasse and the Odéon district.

If you do not speak French then look for American or British movies that offer “VO” which stands for Version Originale. It will be in English with French subtitles. If you can speak some French (no matter what your level) consider seeing a French film, it will be good practice and you can follow along with the context – trust me, when it is in the 90s outside, you might not care if you can understand every word!

Go Shopping

There are a number of centre commercial (shopping malls) in the city that are air-conditioned. Large department stores like Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, and Le Samaritane will be as well, and you can get lost for hours in their interiors! Larger bookstores like Fnac are also air-conditioned.

La-Samaritaine-in-Paris
La Samaritaine

Some shopping meccas to check out:

  • Carrousel du Louvre: 99 Rue de Rivoli in the 1st.
  • (Westfield) Forum des Halles: 101 Porte Berger in the 1st.
  • La Grande Epicerie de Paris: 38 Rue de Sèvres in the 7th and 80 Rue de Passy in the 16th.
  • Centre commercial San Lázare: 1 Cr de Rome in the 8th.
  • Passage du Havre: 109 Rue Saint-Lazare in the 9th.
  • Italie 2: 30 Av. d’Italie in the 13th.
  • Centre Commercial Beaugrenelle: 12 Rue Linois in the 15th.
  • Le Parks: 154 Bd Macdonald in the 19th.
  • Vill’Up: 30 Av. Corentin Cariou in the 19th.

Hotels

Smaller hotels will probably not have A/C. Larger hotels and international chains will. And many of those hotels have beautiful air-conditioned lobbies and workspaces. Just like my advice for using the restroom in the Westin Place Vendôme, walk in with confidence, act like you are staying there, or meeting someone there, etc. Or head straight to the bar and order a coffee or a drink and nurse that baby for an hour!

Le Méridien Etoile interior

Try it at the Le Méridien Etoile (81 Boulevard Gouvion Saint-Cyr) which is across the street from a large convention center. It is so busy with conferences and conventions, and river cruise passengers, you will get lost amongst the crowds.

I also like the Pullman Paris Montparnasse Hotel (which used to be the Le Méridien Montparnasse) which has a meeting center and is very close to the Gare Montparnasse so it always has lots of foot traffic.

Panthéon

Not all the monuments will be cool, and they certainly are not air-conditioned, but the interior of the Panthéon, is the last resting spot for the great writers, scientists, generals, clergy, and politicians who have made the history of France. You may recall its name as the American Josephine Baker was recently placed within its walls.

View of Paris from the Pantheon
View of Paris from the Pantheon

It is light and airy even in the summer. If you have time (and you stay in the shade) it is the best 360-degree view of Paris you can get!

Address: Pl. du Panthéon in the 5th and not too far from where Emily of Emily in Paris lives. The monument shows up often in scenes.

Paris Catacombs

The Paris Catacombs maintain a constant 58-degree temperature. While that may be too chilly in the winter, it is perfect for a scorching summer! It is a bit gruesome as it is an underground site holding the remains of more than six million people.

Paris Catacombs
Paris Catacombs

The tunnel network was built to consolidate Paris’ stone quarries and used as part of an effort to eliminate the city’s overflowing cemeteries. You might not care when the temperatures start to soar! And you won’t be the only one with this idea, so buy your ticket ahead of time!

Address: 1 Av. du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy in the 14th arrondissement. Closest metro is Denfert-Rochereau on Line 4.

P.S. If you are a fan of the Netflix series Lupin, episode 4 of season 2 has scenes in the catacombs (and the metro station!).

Churches

I am not very religious, but I have certainly experienced God-like appreciation for the cool respite I have felt inside the cooling stone walls of the churches in Paris. They are the perfect spot to quietly sit and refresh yourself.

Paris-Montmartre Sacre Couer
Sacré-Coeur Basilica

Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Sainte-Chapelle: 8 boulevard du Palais in the 1st.
  • Eglise Saint Roch: 296 Rue St Honoréin the 1st.
  • Church of Saint-Eustache: 2 impasse Saint-Eustache in the 1st. (Emily in Paris‘s Mindy sings in front of this church in episode 9 of season 2)
  • Paroisse Saint-Paul Saint-Louis: 99 Rue St. Antoine in the 4th.
  • Saint-Louis Church On The Island: 19 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île in the 4th.
  • Église Saint-Gervais: 13 Rue des Barres in the 4th.
  • Saint-Étienne-du-Mont: Place Sainte-Geneviève in the 5th.
  • Abbey of Saint-Germain des Prés: 3 Place Saint-Germain des Prés in the 6th.
  • American Cathedral in Paris: 23 Av. George V in the 8th.
  • La Madeleine: Place de la Madeleine in the 8th.
  • Saint-Augustin Church: Place de Saint-Augustin in the 8th.
  • Saint-Alexandre-Nevski Cathedral: 12, rue Daru in the 8th.
  • Sacré-Coeur Basilica: 35 rue du Chevalier de la Barre in the 18th.

Parks, Gardens + Green Spaces

During the summer parks and gardens are open later. There are over 400 parks in Paris and over 100 that are open all night and a little more than a dozen open until midnight. Check the park you are interested in to ensure which schedule it follows. In addition, there are many residential squares and green spaces will offer shade, fountains, and relief! Many are wonderful spots for a picnic!

Jardin des tuileries Paris France
Tuileries Garden

Here are some suggestions by arrondissement:

  • 1st: Tuileries Garden / Jardin du Palais Royale / Square du Vert-Galant (15 Pl. du Pont Neuf)
  • 2nd: Square Louvois (69bis Rue de Richelieu)
  • 3rd: Square Saint-Gilles Grand-Veneur Pauline-Roland (9 rue du Grand-Veneur) / Jardins des Archives Nationales (87 Rue Vieille du Temple) / Jardin Anne Frank (14P Impasse Berthaud) / Jardin Lazare Rachline (9 Rue Payenne)
  • 4th: Place des Vosges / Jardin des Rosiers also known as Rosiers Joseph Migneret Garden (10 Rue des Rosiers) / Square Jean XXIII (4 Parvis Notre-Dame)
  • 5th: Jardin des Plantes (57 Rue Cuvier) / Square René Viviani (25 Quai de Montebello) / Tino Rossi Garden (2 Quai Saint-Bernard)
  • 6th: Luxembourg Garden / Square Ozanam (18 Rue Stanislas) /
  • 7th: Champ de Mars (2 All. Adrienne Lecouvreur) / Jardin Catherine Labouré (29 Rue de Babylone) / Square Roger-Stéphane (7 Rue Juliette Récamier) / Esplanade des Invalides (129 Rue de Grenelle)
  • 8th: Parc Monceau / Jardin des Champs-Élysées (10 Av. des Champs-Élysées) / Square Marigny (Avenue Gabriel + Av. des Champs-Élysées)
  • 9th: Square Alex-Biscarre (53 Rue Saint-Georges)
  • 10th: Jardin Villemin (14 Rue des Récollets)
  • 11th: Square Maurice Gardette (2 Rue du Général Blaise) / Truillot Garden (82 Bd Voltaire)
  • 12th: Bois de Vincennes (Rte de la Pyramide) / Parc de Bercy (128 Quai de Bercy) / Coulée Verte René-Dumont (1 Coulée Verte René-Dumont) / Reuilly – Paul Pernin Garden (5 Rue Albinoni)
  • 13th: Parc Kellermann (19 Rue de la Poterne des Peupliers) / Parc de Choisy (128 Av. de Choisy) / Square René Le Gall (Rue de Croulebarbe)
  • 14th: Parc Montsouris (2 Rue Gazan) / Square Lionel Assouad (18 rue de Châtillon) / Square Ferdinand Brunot (12 Rue Pierre Castagnou)
  • 15th: Parc André Citroën (2 Rue Cauchy) / Parc Georges-Brassens (2 Pl. Jacques Marette) / Square Cambronne (2 Rue Alexandre Cabanel) / Square Saint-Lambert (Rue du Dr Jacquemaire-Clemenceau)
  • 16th: Bois de Boulogne (Bd des Sablons) / Trocadéro Gardens (Pl. du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre) / Jardin du Ranelagh (1 Av. Prudhon) / Passy Park (32 Av. du Président Kennedy) / Jardins de l’avenue Foch (Av. Foch near Rue Duret)/ Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil (3 Av. de la Prte d’Auteuil) / Parc Sainte-Périne (Rue Mirabeau)
  • 17th: Square des Batignolles (144bis Rue Cardinet) / Square Epinettes (9 Rue Maria Deraismes)
  • 18th: Jardins Rosa-Luxemburg (63Quater Rue Riquet)
  • 19th: Buttes des Chaumont / Parc de la Villette (211 Av. Jean Jaurès) / Parc du Triangle (211 Av. Jean Jaurès) / Parc de la Butte-du-Chapeau-Rouge (5 Av. Debidour) / Jardin Bergeyre (78 Rue Georges Lardennois)
  • 20th: Parc de Belleville (47 Rue des Couronnes) / Square des Grès (57 Rue Vitruve) / Square des Saint-Simoniens – Ménilmontant (151 Rue de Ménilmontant) / Jardin de la Gare de Charonne (63 Bd Davout) / Jardin de l’Hospice Debrousse (148 Rue de Bagnolet) / Pierre-Emmanuel Naturel Garden (120 Rue de la Réunion)
Women Reading in the Jardin du Luxembourg-Fall
Luxembourg Garden

Les salles rafraîchies

After the 2003 canicule (heatwave) that killed over 50,000 people in France. Towns and villages all across the country created plans to assist citizens when there is a severe heatwave. One thing that was started was “les salles rafraîchies” (cooling rooms) where people can go and cool off.

These exist in Paris too in 15 arrondissements. There is an app called Extrema that will allow you to find cooling centers nearest to you. This map also has a list of the spaces to stay cool in Paris.

Cemeteries

This may sound a bit morbid, but it is an actual suggestion from the Marie of Paris site! Head to a cemetery, there are usually lots of trees and shaded areas.

  • Père Lachaise Cemetery: 16 Rue du Repos in the 20th arrondissement, the closest metro stop is Père Lachaise on Lines 2 and 3.
  • Montmartre Cemetery: 20 Av. Rachel in the 18th arrondissement, the closest metro stop is Place de Clichy on Lines 2 and 13.
  • Cimetière de Belleville: 40 Rue du Télégraphe in the 20th arrondissement, the closest metro stop is Belleville on Lines 2 and 11.
  • Montparnasse Cemetery: 3 Bd Edgar Quinet in the 14th arrondissement, the closest metro is Raspail on Lines 4 and 6.
headstones in Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery

Fountains and Misters

What better way to stay hydrated on a hot day than with some water from one of Paris’ many fountains? Paris has 1,200 water fountains! And City Hall has increased their measures in an effort to help people stay healthy and refreshed by installing 48 misters around town many of which offer both drinking and misting options for pedestrians. They’re ideal for hot days when you need something to cool down your parched throat!

Fountain Hotel de Ville
Fountain a the Hotel de Ville in Paris

Bring a reusable water bottle I prefer ones that can collapse – like this or this -so that I can just throw it back into my bag) and fill it up for free. Staying hydrated is essential.

I love sparkling water ( l’eau gazeuse or l’eau pétillante), how about you? Well, you can also get that free in Paris from fountains! The first sparkling water fountain that was created is in the Jardin de Reuilly (15 Rue Albinoni) in the 12th arrondissement, and a second fountain is located at the headquarters of Eau de Paris on 19 rue Neuve-Tolbiac in the 13th.

Girl in Fountain in Paris

Fountains (historically, the fountain at the Trocadero is a very popular place for people to cool off, but as of now it is under construction for the Olympics so this is a no-go!)

At the Jardin Nelson Mandela at Les Halles there are 4 new misting pools. The ones at Parc André-Citroën are very popular as well.

The most famous fountains are the dark green cast-iron ones known as Wallace Fountains (Les fontaines Wallace). They are a series of 50 cast iron fountains installed after the Franco-Prussian War left Paris with almost no clean drinking water. Their name comes from their generous donator Sir Richard Wallace who financed the installations.

Wallace Fountains in Paris

The design, created by Charles Auguste Lebourg, is iconic, and these beautiful pieces can be found throughout Paris! They were painted green because, after decades of urbanization, Paris was lacking green-spaces and parks. These cast ironworks remain iconic darlings of Paris’s streetscape. Their rich color catches your attention against any background or setting!

The Wallace Fountains of Paris organization has a great map and does tours!

Public Pools

There are over 40 public swimming pools in Paris! Some are indoor, which is probably a better option when it is extremely hot and some are outdoor, still, a good option if you are looking to get into the water.

Piscine Molitor in Paris
Piscine Molitor, photo credit: Thibault Houspic

Here are some of my picks:

  • Piscine Pontoise: 19 Rue de Pontoise in the 5th arrondissement, metro stop Jussieu on Line 7.
  • Piscine Espace Form Oberkampf: 160 Rue Oberkampf in the 11th arrondissement, metro stop Ménilmontant on Line 2.
  • Piscine Roger Le Gall: 34 Boulevard Carnot the 12 arrondissement, metro stop Porte de Vincennes (Line 1) or Bel Air (Line 6).
  • La Butte-aux-Cailles Pool: 5 Place Paul Verlaine in the 13 arrondissement, metro stop Corvisart on Line 6.
  • Piscine Josephine Baker: Quai François Mauriacin the 13 arrondissement, metro stop Bibliothèque François Mitterand on Line 14.
  • Piscine Keller: 14 Rue de l’Ingénieur Robert Keller in the 15th arrondissement, metro stop Charles Michels on Line 10.
  • Aquaboulevard: 4-6 Rue Louis Armandin the 15th arrondissement, metro stop Balard (Line 8) or Porte de Versailles (Line 12).
  • Piscine d’Auteuil: Route des Lacs à Passy in the the 16 arrondissement, metro stop Pont de Sèvres on Line 9.
  • Piscine Henry de Montherlant: 32 Bd Lannes in the the 16 arrondissement, metro stop Rue de la Pompe on Line 9.
  • Piscine des Amiraux: 6 Rue Hermann-Lachapelle in the the 18 arrondissement, metro stop Simplon on Line 4.
  • Piscine Georges Hermant: 8-10 Rue David d’Angers in the 19th arrondissement, metro stop Danube on Line 7bis.
  • Piscine Pailleron: 32 Rue Edouard Pailleron in the 19th arrondissement, metro stop Bolivar on Line 7bis.
  • Piscine Molitor: 2 Avenue de la Porte Molitor in the 19th arrondissement, metro stop Porte d’Auteuil on Line 10.
  • Espace sportif Pailleron: 32 rue Edouard Pailleron in the 19th arrondissement, metro stop is Bolivar on Line 7bis.
  • Piscine Georges Vallerey: 148 Avenue Gambetta in the 20th arrondissement, metro stop Porte des Lilas on Line 11.

If you read French or just want a beautiful book covering pools in Paris, check out Paris à la nage – guide des piscines parisiennes.

Other Water Sources

Paris Plage was created in 2002 and is extremely popular with residents and tourists alike. Its intention was to allow Parisians to enjoy the city during difficult economic times when they couldn’t leave on vacation. Now it is an institution during summer in Paris. You will find it along the Seine River. Cars are not allowed and the beaches are open from 9 a.m. to midnight daily.

Paris Plage
Paris Plage (Pre-Covid), photo credit: Erasmus Of Paris

There is also a second Paris Plage at the Bassin de la Villette, a free open-air pool in the canal off the Quai de la Loire near Rue de la Moselle, metro stop Riquet on Line 7.

And the Ourcq canal basin off the Quai de l’Oise, metro stop Crimée on Line 7.

On a Boat

The cool Seine river breeze is refreshing on a hot day. You can do a Bateaux Mouche, but I love the Batobus. It does not have as many visitors as the tourist river cruises.

View from the Batobus in Paris

Paris Métro

Not all metro trains are air-conditioned and they can be quite warm. Stations can also get a bit smelly, so proceed with caution!

More Tips + Tricks

Dehydration is a big risk (plus it causes wrinkles!) so make sure not only to drink enough water but to rehydrate often. Sprinkle yourself with cool water throughout the day and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest hours.

Remember to apply sunscreen every hour you’re outside. Try using a sunscreen lotion or oil combination that protects against both UVA rays (which are more damaging) AND free radicals which cause aging skin damage – this will keep your complexion looking its best even after you’ve headed inside.

The warmth of a summer day can make you lose your appetite, which is why it’s especially important to eat. The sun will make you feel faint faster than anything else, and that might cause problems for both physical activity levels as well as mental health! However, you should avoid alcohol (it will dehydrate you) and sugary drinks, and fatty foods.

Many streets in Paris are narrow or congested. The mixture of gasoline and diesel with heat is not great and you do not want to inhale that. Avoid the streets during rush hour or the hottest parts of the day.

Apartments in Paris

Rental Apartments (Airbnb, etc.)

If you have an apartment in Paris, it’s a 99% guarantee that you will not have air conditioning.

  • Shut the shutters. This will keep the heat out during the day. You can open them in the evening to get some cool air (if there is cool air!).
  • Buy a fan. Stores like Monoprix or Darty will carry small fans. If it is hot enough it will be worth the small investment and you can “gift” it to your rental property owners.
  • Freeze water bottles. I use this trick when we are camping and it is hot! Take a bottle that you have frozen into bed with you and rest it against your leg (you may need a dish towel so as to not get freezer burn!). Also, if you do buy a fan, place 1 or 2 bottles of frozen water in front of it, it will feel like A/C!
  • Cold water. Take a cool shower before you go to bed. Or soak your feet in cold water before going to sleep.
  • Wear PJ’s. Wear cotton or bamboo pyjamas (or pajamas). They form a barrier between you and the sheets. Also if your freezer is big enough, put your PJs inside of a plastic bag and freeze them until you are ready to go to bed, this works!

DIY Misters + Fans

Head to the pharmacy and pick up a can of either Avène Thermal Spring Water or Evian Facial Spray. They do come in handy! Also, throw a fan into your bag. After my first trip to Madrid, where my family lived for 3 years, I had one constantly, and they come in handy!

Ice cream!

Probably one of the best things to do when it is hot outside is to cool off with ice cream! No guilt, you deserve it! You are getting in a lot of steps while visiting Paris, even if you are in a museum or shopping!

Ice cream in Paris

Paris has truly amazing ice cream, gelato, and other frozen treats and I have created a guide for you with my favorites including vegan ice cream!

Packing for Paris in the Summer

I have a complete packing list for Paris in the summer. In short, bring layers, indoor locations with air-conditioning can be cold, also bring an extra shirt in your tote bag, as you may get sweaty and want to change. Wear a hat! That helps a lot. Men? I’ve got you covered too!

Woman dressed for summer in Paris

I have posts on visiting Paris in the summer in June, July, and August.

If you want to find gardens, museums, ice cream, and more for a specific arrondissement, find it below and check out my guide for that neighborhood!

Paris Arrondissement Guide | 1st2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th | 6th | 7th | 8th | 9th | 10th | 11th | 12th | 13th | 14th | 15th | 16th | 17th | 18th | 19th | 20th 

How about you? Have you been to Paris in the summer? Do you have more tips for keeping cool?


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12 Comments

  1. We plan on doing a lot of these when we’re there in July. We’re coming from Texas so we’re used to the heat.

  2. Paris has been on our bucket list for years! I love being in the heat verses being in the cold so Paris sounds perfect for me!

  3. I would love to visit Paris one day. It sounds like I would need to go during the time it’s a bit cooler outside. But if it’s like summer heat in Texas, I’d be somewhat used to it. Thankfully, you listed so many places to cool off and still do some site seeing.

  4. My family really wants to go and explore Paris! It’s been years since we add this on our bucket list!

  5. There is so much absolutely gorgeous architecture in Paris, it seems! On the outside of buildings and on the inside of them, and superb interior design, so plenty of reason on its own to visit different sites than to try to beat the heat. Not going to lie though, those catacombs look intense, might stick to above-ground, personally!

  6. Just give me the A/C. I don’t care if it’s a museum, a library, a shop, a restaurant…=)

  7. wow! How many ideas for places to visit. I see that there are so many places to visit during hot days of summer!

  8. It can really get super hot in the summer wherever you go. When we travel we make sure to find a cool place somewhere after being outside for a while.

  9. These all look like interesting places to check out. I don’t think I had heard of the Catacombs before; that is certainly quite an intense place to go.

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