Planning a trip to Paris in August? Here's everything you need to know about the City of Light during the “quietest” time of the year, including what to eat, what to do, and what to pack. The Paris weather in August attracts people who like warm temperatures.
People flock to Paris at this time to experience Paris without Parisians! They know that during the month of August, they can partake in coffee or wine-sipping in cafés or explore the major sites (hello Mona Lisa!) that are usually loaded with locals! A large percentage of Parisian residents hit the road themselves for their annual summer holiday (something we discussed for Paris in July as well).
Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Opinions are always my own and I’ll never promote something I don’t use or believe in. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
In June of 1936, the French government passed a law that gave every salaried employee two weeks of paid leave, France was the first European country to do this! So a few weeks later when August 1st rolled around, all eligible employees were off for their first-ever holidays, “les grandes vacances.” In 1950s France, a third week of vacation was added.
Automobiles were now more common, so the French jumped in their cars and got exploring mostly the South (also the time when the original Michelin guide gained popularity to direct motorists to great eating as they traveled around the country). This led to mass tourism which then led to mass traffic jams! By the 1960s a four was added, a fifth in the 1980s, and continued to build to the current 8 weeks (that is not counting holidays too!).
As holidays grew longer, companies had to deal with juggling their employee's time off, so they gave their workers a choice: July or August. “juilletistes” are those who take their vacation in July, and “aoûtiens” are those who take their vacation in August. Many Parisians choose to stay in town in July because there is still a lot happening in the city, others like to get the heck out of dodge! Either way, there are fewer locals, but more tourists.
Visiting Paris in August and it's a lovely time to explore!
What Is Paris Like In August?
This time of year does offer plenty of Parisian-free zones that are ideal for tourists who favor tranquility. There are the Paris parks and gardens (parc floral), open-air markets and events, museums, and charming streets where you can wander around (or take a walking tour) unless it is very hot and you need to cool off.
Summertime in Paris can be a little bit tricky because a lot of smaller businesses (coffee shops, grocery stores, and strangely, even some hotels) are closed. But it doesn't mean the French capital is completely empty! There's a good chance you'll find the city relaxing and quiet, open for exploration of all its hidden gems which may not have been quite as accessible as other times of the year.
One of the main benefits of Paris in August is that the museums and art galleries are open late into the evening so you can take advantage of the long days and visit them after exploring the city all day. (Be sure to check for free admission at many museums on the first Sunday of the month.)
And since Parisians typically spend their summer holidays outside Paris, it's your chance to explore the cuisine – and lively Parisian nightlife (hello Moulin Rouge!) with little competition.
Paris isn't really Paris without its sophisticated Parisians. You may find yourself competing with them for a sunlit bench at your favorite park (especially Jardin des Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens) or café, or the Paris Plages (along the banks of the Seine) but the locals (whether young people or older people) are also the ones who keep Paris alive and vibrant year-round.
And although Paris is always worth a visit, August is enticing. Let's explore some of the best things to do with your time in Paris during this mesmerizing time of year!
Paris In August FAQs
Do things close in Paris in August?
Some locally-owned small businesses do close in August, as that's when Parisians tend to go on vacation. This includes some coffee shops, grocery stores, and other shops, as well as some hotels. But the tourist attractions, chain stores, and plenty of other businesses remain open.
Is the Eiffel Tower closed in August?
No, the Eiffel Tower is open year-round.
Is Paris very crowded in August?
Paris is not as crowded in August as it is in other months, due to most Parisians leaving the city. There's still a fair amount of tourists, as other countries are still on summer break, but it feels much less crowded.
Are stores open in Paris in August?
Chain stores and big department stores remain open in August, while some small shops will close.
Are cafes open in Paris in August?
Many cafes and restaurants in Paris do close in August, so if you're a foodie it's best to plan ahead. But don't worry – there will still be plenty of places to eat, you just might have to try somewhere new!
What can you do in Paris in August?
There are plenty of things to do outside when it's nice out (parks, markets, events) or inside when it is too hot or at night when it cools down (museums, restaurants) This means that even if it is sweltering outside, there are plenty of things to do.
There are a ton of music events (classical music concerts and more), festivals, and open-air cinemas. The museums and galleries are open late into the evening during summertime, so you can visit them late after a day of exploring elsewhere or walk off an early dinner.
Here is a list of the highlights.
Music Events and Festivals in Paris in August
- Paris Jazz Festival is a large festival held June through September in the Bois de Vincennes (more precisely the Esplanade Saint-Louis in front of the Château de Vincennes) in the 12th Arrondissement.
- Les Arènes Lyriques is an open-air concert in the Jardin des Arènes-de-Montmartre (25 Rue Chappe, 18th Arrondissement) with the Arena Orchestra and its lyrical voice choir, called Les Arènes Lyriques.
- Rock en Seine Festival is a 3-day rock music festival, held at Domaine National de Saint-Cloud just west of Paris. In 2023, this festival will be held on August 23, 25, 26, and 27.
Other Events, Festivals, and Experiences
- Liberation of Paris The Hôtel de Ville holds festivities and activities on August 25th honoring the ousting of German forces from Paris.
- Paris Quartier d'ete Festival. This event, also called the Paris Summer Arts Festival, begins in July and runs through August. It includes theater acts, dancing, and even circus performances. Entertainment is found all over the city. For 2023, the dates are July 9 to Aug 14th.
- L’Été du Canal. Running July and August along the banks of Canal de l’Ourcq and Canal Saint-Denis this event is focused on family-friendly activities and gives you an opportunity to paddle on the water! Both canals are located in the 19th Arrondissement. For 2023, the dates are July 8 to Aug 13th.
- Cinéma Paradiso Louvre. Every night during this open-air cinema event you can see a film for free plus pre-film musical entertainment in the Pyramide du Louvre courtyard.
- Parc de la Villette Open Air Cinema. You can enjoy a movie in the park from July 15 through August 16 as a part of this annual festival. There are art films, blockbusters, and many films are in English (look for VO for “version original” or original language). Many bring picnics to make the evening complete.
- The Jardin d’été in the Musée du Quai Branly (37 Quai Branly, 7th Arrondissement) has special summer activities.
- Paris Plage every July and August the city of Paris creates this artificial beach along the Seine.
- Night at Les Invalides The Les Invalides is the monument where Napoleon Bonaparte's body is laid to rest. There is a light show every Saturday night during July and August.
- La Fete Foraine des Tuileries. Fete Foraine translates to “fun fair” and this one is a pop-up carnival in the Tuileries Garden that begins at the end of June and runs through the end of August. The fair includes a giant Ferris wheel, bumper cars, carousels, and rides.
- In a rare loan to France, the “Ramses the Great & the Gold of the Pharaohs” exhibit will run at the Grande Halle de la Villette and will be open any time you visit in August.
More Things To Do In Paris In August
Beyond the live music and festivals that happen only in August, it's also a great time to take advantage of shorter lines at the popular attractions (though keep in mind there can still be large crowds of tourists) and explore. Here are a few of my favorite things to do in the City of Light in August:
Visit Paris's Many Museums
August is a great time to visit the Paris museums as they're open later into the evening, so you can easily visit them in the early evening after your day's adventures. Plus, they're one of the few places that have AC so they can also be a great way to escape the summer heat if needed.
That said, you can still expect long lines, especially at the most popular attractions, so I highly recommend booking skip-the-line tickets when possible. The Louvre has introduced limits on the number of people they allow to visit. They are going to be capping the number of visitors to 30,000 people per day. If you are visiting, I highly encourage you to buy your tickets ahead of time otherwise you may not get to see Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo!
Get Your Photos of the Major Sites
August is far from empty but it is emptier – which means you have a much better chance of snapping photos without random people walking into them. So go grab your photos of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, and any other famous landmarks you want. Depending on the light, early mornings are usually the perfect opportunity for crowd-less photos.
Best Spots Eiffel Tower Photos Ebook
Are you looking for the best spots to take a stunning Eiffel Tower photo in Paris? Look no further! This ebook is designed to be your one-stop guide for taking those breathtaking Eiffel Tower shots throughout the city.
And if you want to go inside any of these major attractions, I definitely recommend booking in advance.
- Eiffel Tower Advance Ticket
- Centre Pompidou Admission Ticket OR Skip The Line Tickets to Centre Pompidou
- Opera Garnier Entry Ticket OR Palais Garnier visitor ticket OR Palais Garnier’s Secrets Private Tour
Check out one of the beautiful public pools in Paris like Piscine Pontoise in the 5th arrondissement or Latin Quarter (including night swimming!), and Piscine Josephine Baker in the 13th arrondissement (a pool ON the Seine!).
La Beach Parisienne is a beach club at the Chalet du Lac Orée du Bois de Vincennes in the 12th Arrondissement worth checking out.
Sail Down the Seine River
Cruising down the Seine is a great way to see Paris, including many of the famous landmarks, from a new perspective. There are many different options, from quick 1 hour cruises to full dinner cruises. I think the late summer is a great time to take a dinner cruise, as the temperature is just right, but be sure to book in advance!
Take the Kids To Disneyland Paris
Located just outside of the city, Disneyland Paris is a huge attraction for families visiting Paris. One of the major perks is that tickets are cheaper than visiting Disney in the US – and you can easily get there via train if you don't want to rent a car!
- Disneyland Paris 1-Day Ticket
- Paris: Disneyland Paris 1-Day Flexible Ticket
- Paris: Disneyland Multi-Day Entry Ticket
- Paris: Disneyland Tickets and Shuttle Transport
- Paris: Disneyland Paris Ticket with Transfer from Paris
Paris in August Event FAQs
Is Paris Fashion Week in August?
Paris has 5 fashion weeks (Paris Fashion Week – Men Fall/Winter; Paris Fashion Week – Haute Couture; Paris Fashion Week – Women Fall/Winter; Paris Fashion Week – Men Spring/Summer; Paris Fashion Week – Women Spring/Summer) but none of them are in August.
Will the Van Gogh Exhibit be open in August?
The Musée d’Orsay will have a special Van Gogh exhibit featuring Vincent Van Gogh works from the last two months of his life, in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris. It runs from October 3 through Jan 2024.
Will Notre Dame be open in August?
No. It is set to be complete in December 2023.
What can I see at the Petite Palais in August?
The “Sarah Bernhardt. And the woman who created the star.” exhibition will finish at the end of August, so hurry!
Culinary Delights of August in Paris
Paris has a strong culinary tradition and is regarded as one of the best places to eat in the world today. Parisian cuisine is rich and varied, and that includes where you can eat too. The city is home to some of the finest restaurants in the world and that includes its bistros and brasseries, its street food as well as its haute cuisine.
Paris is also a city that has evolved over the years (and still evolving, as illustrated in my friend Lindsey's book The New Paris: The People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement ), and Parisian food culture, in turn, has evolved too. Today, Paris is full of different types of restaurants where you can enjoy contemporary French fare or more traditional Paris cuisine, which tends to be very seasonal.
A lot of restaurants are closed in August, but that will not prevent you from having fabulous meals! I recommend checking out my friend Meg's Paris by Mouth site, she keeps real-time information on what is open and what is closed during the summer months!
What to eat in Paris in August
Eating seasonally is ingrained into the French DNA. Parisians take pride in their cuisine, and seasonal produce is a huge part of it. There are numerous markets and vendors that sell fruit and vegetables, as well as cheeses, and more throughout the city.
Parisians enjoy experimenting with different types of foods from various regions. Parisians will go to extraordinary lengths to make sure they get the very best ingredients for their dishes, and seasonality is important as it ensures getting the freshest products available.
What you will find in season and in restaurants in August:
- Fruits in season: peaches (there are 300 varieties in France!) strawberries (Mara des bois), mirabelle plum, figs, nectarines, blackberries (mûres), blackcurrants (cassis), melons, pears, apples, apricots, and blueberries (myrtilles).
- Vegetables in season: beets (betterave), artichokes, cucumbers, broccoli, fennel (fenouil), oseille, carrots, chard (blette), onion, peas (petit pois), green beans (haricot vert), lentils, girolle and cèpe mushrooms, garlic [white (ail blanc), pink (ail rose) and new (ail nouveau)], red peppers (poivre rouge), potatoes, pumpkin, zuchinni (courgette), leek (poireau), frisée, radish, eggplant (aubergine), cauliflower, watercress, spinach, romanesco, lettuce and tomatoes.
- Seafood is in season: sea bream (daurade), anchovies, mackerel, haddock (aiglefin or eglefin), pollock (goberge), sardines, langoustine, red mullet (rouget), albacore tuna, mussels, herring, hake, and crab.
- Did you know that there are seasonal cheeses (fromages)? It’s true! Try St. Nectaire AOP from the Puy-de-Dôme and Cantal; Ossau-Iraty AOP (sheep cheese) from the southwest, or Langres from the Champagne region. This is the time of year to try enjoy soft rind cheeses such as Reblochon, Chaource, Brillat Savarin, Pont l’Evêque, and of course, Camembert. Also try Banon (goat’s milk), Bûchette, Boulette, Cabecou, Crottin de Chavignol, Epoisses, Fleur du maquis (from Coscia), Fourme d’Ambert, Fontina, Livarot, Maroilles, Roquefort, Saint-Marcellin, and Saint-Pierre.
- Summer is a good time for salads. Try the salade niçoise for a nice seasonal treat. With both potatoes and herring in season, try the popular herring starter. The cold soup Vichyssoise (leek and potato) is great for warm weather. And ratatouille is a very common summer meal as well.
Also a note on what not to eat. Summer is a bad time for oysters, so I would avoid them in restaurants. (The best months for oysters in France are late September through April. Just remember the classic rule of any month with an ‘R' in the name.)
Save on food costs by visiting the local markets and shops.
Paris restaurants can be expensive, and while it’s worth splurging on one good meal, you don’t want to blow your entire travel budget just on food. Luckily, you can find a lot of treats at the local markets (here's the etiquette).
You can also ask the hotel staff, local guides, or locals to recommend small cafes and bistros that they go to. This may save you from “tourist rates” and will definitely have good food. August is wonderful for picnics in the parks. Buy at the local market and head to one of the 9 ideal picnic spots in Paris.
Important Tips For Traveling To Paris in August
A trip to Paris is wonderful but there are some tips to make it even better. Here are a few things to remember:
- Book in advance. It is not as crowded as in other months because fewer locals are in town, but Paris still gets their share of visitors. For popular sites, you should still try to book in advance.
- Plan accommodation! It is high season for hotel rooms, so you will always need to plan ahead for everything.
- Be prepared for traffic jams. If you are going to be on the roads, the worst of the annual traffic jams takes place every year on the Saturday of the week when July turns to August.
- Be aware of store closures. There is one national holiday in France, Assumption Day, so even if a store or restaurant isn't closed for summer vacation, it will likely be closed on this day! Some restaurants and small stores may be closed for their annual vacation.
- Walking may be the best option. It may be hot outside, but some of the metros are NOT air-conditioned so walking might actually be cooler.
- Ask about AC in advance. If you are staying in an Airbnb or similar, be warned that air-conditioning is not a given. You will only find AC in major hotels, stores, etc.
Get my FULL Paris Travel Planner with sheets for:
Trip Overview | Travel Budget | Accommodation Tracker | Transportation Tracker | Activities Planner | Pre-Trip Planning | Places to Visit | Itinerary Overview | Daily Itinerary | Arrondissement Guides | Road Trip Planning | Packing List | Outfit Planner | Expense Tracker | Souvenirs & Gifts List | To do List | January-December Planning Calendar | Paris Bucket List Checklist | and Travel Journal Pages
100 pages! Available for $9.99.
Weather in Paris in August FAQs
Everyone wants to know about Paris weather no matter what the month, but with all the changes in the world, it is so hard to predict a normal weather pattern!
In general, the August weather in Paris is pleasantly hot, not extremely hot. It can get muggy, with average highs reaching into the 80s (28º C). It's not unusual to see some showers or rainy days on occasion, though sunny weather is the norm.
Is Paris hot in August?
August is one of the hottest months of the year in the City of Light. The average temperature hovers right around 78F (60C), though heat waves with high temperatures into the low 100s are possible.
Is Paris rainy in August?
You're far more likely to see sunny days than rainy ones on an August vacation to Paris. That said, the occasional summer storm does occur and it rains approximately 6 days of the month. It's best to always be prepared with an umbrella, just in case!
Is there AC in Paris?
Paris weather August = hot! Air conditioning is not as common in Paris (or most places in Europe) as it is in the US and Canada. You'll really only find AC in major stores, some hotels, and most major museums (like the Louvre Museum, Musée d'Orsay, the Orangery Museum, etc).
What to Pack for Paris in August
It can be tough to pack for Paris in the summer. Paris is a typically very hot city which means you want to be cool when you are outside, but if you step into a museum or shopping center you may face chilly air-conditioning. And some restaurants and a lot of small stores likely don't have A/C. So as always, my best advice for you is to pack layers.
I recommend packing summer clothes that are made from light material and won't wrinkle easily when you pack them in your suitcase. I bring a light sweater and a few scarves; it's Paris after all! Sunglasses and hats are a must. Shorts will be deeply frowned upon at some of the fancier restaurants.
Paris is a city of texture, so don't be afraid to dress up your outfits with layers or accessories and that can be a fun thing to shop for too!
With the good weather, you will be doing a lot of walking in Paris. Make sure to pack comfortable travel shoes or walking shoes. Resist the urge to bring flip-flops, they are a no-no. Plus the streets are dirty and the sidewalks aren't any better, good luck with the dog poo and ugh dirty feet by the time you are done walking anywhere!
Read more suggestions in my What to Wear in Paris: Tips for Packing for Paris in the Summer (+ Packing List!) post.
Is August the Best Time to Visit Paris?
Paris in August is a special time to visit Paris. It's the perfect time for people who prefer their vacations not to be as crowded or touristy. That means little competition for the best Parisian restaurants and their menu prices often include half-price bottles of wine. It's also one of the last times before school starts (in early September) when Parisians and Parisian insiders take advantage of Paris itself.
Should I visit Paris in July or August? Both months are good for visiting Paris, so it depends on what you want. July in Paris sees slightly cooler temperatures, lower hotel prices (usually), and almost everything is open – but that also means bigger crowds. August is a bit hotter but with fewer crowds and some of the restaurants/shops on your bucket list may be closed.
You should definitely consider planning a trip during August, it's one of the best months!
Have you ever visited Paris in August? What was your experience? Did you go to any events? Do share!
I am married to a French man, lived in France for 3 years, and have been to Paris more than 50 times. I am always a tourist so the information, tip, and tricks I share are created to help you!
Like it? PIN it!
- Look for fares using sites like Skyscanner or Expedia.com.
- For France (Paris) coming from the West Coast, I typically fly Air France or United. From the East Coast, I typically fly Air France or Delta.
- If you travel frequently, consider investing in a Priority Pass for airport lounge access. Not only will you have a spot to relax before your flight and charge your devices, but you can eat and drink for free (without paying crazy airport prices!)
- I use Expedia.com, Booking.com, and Hotels.com to find lodging. Always check the reviews on TripAdvisor before booking!
- For rental car agencies, try Rentalcars.com. When traveling in Europe, I use AutoEurope to make reservations. They find the best rates and allow you to compare different car rental agencies. I typically book with Sixt.
- For transportation from the CDG airport to anywhere within Paris, consider pre-booking with Get Transfer. It is one way to be stress-free and you can request an English-speaking driver.
- Tours + Atractions
- I book tours with companies like Viator and GetYourGuide. Both have a wide variety of activities for every travel style. Other companies to look at include Tours by Locals and Withlocals.
- If you’re visiting a city with multiple attractions, be sure to check out a discount pass, such as CityPASS or Go City.
- Context Travel is another option and they offer more educational-based activities.
- If you are looking to buy tickets to attractions, check out Tiquet.
- Don't Forget Travel Photos
- One of my favorite things to do is to get photos taken of me while on vacation. Flytographer is a great option with photographers all over the world.
- Peace of Mind
- It’s important to have some type of travel insurance to cover any unforeseen accidents, illnesses, threats, or cancellations. I always travel with insurance and would recommend SafetyWing, SquareMouth or Travelex Insurance are good options.
- Should you have any trouble with flight delays to the extent you feel you deserve compensation, I encourage you to check out and use AirHelp. I used them and for 1 claim I got compensated (transparency: a 2nd claim did not, but I was still glad I tried!).