The sun is shining, the birds are singing and spring has sprung! What better time to visit Paris? Paris is always lovely but for a lot of people, summer is considered the perfect time to visit because of the warm temperatures (in June, the city hasn’t hit its hottest temperatures, although in my experience that is not always true!), the long days, and the plethora of events. Prices are high (it’s peak season), there are crowds, and sudden afternoon thunderstorms can force you to change your plans, BUT, the flowers are gorgeous, picnics are wonderful, food is sensational, and there are plenty of activities to make Paris in June well worth your time.
This post is being published in June 2020 and Paris is opening up for Americans on June 9th, so unless you are scrambling very few people (from the US) will be traveling to Paris THIS June, but June 2022 IS possible!
Whether you’re planning on taking a quick weekend trip or staying for a while, here are some ideas you can try during this month that will make your visit memorable.
Life in Paris in June
Daily life in Paris during June includes relaxing with coffee, wine, or a good meal on the terraces “a la Parisienne.” Sidewalk cafes and bar patios are everywhere, in every neighborhood, and on rooftops. They are as much a part of the local culture as the depictions in photographs and paintings would have you believe! It is the right time for enjoying the social scene in the outdoor cafes and terraces. One thing to notice is that chairs always face out toward the street or view. This is to encourage the Parisian habit of people watching over coffee, beer, wine, or perrier with lemon.
If you want a more rural version of cafe life, you can visit a guinguette to get the true flavor of the countryside around Paris. Guingettes are 19th-century structures that were used for socializing and music along the river. Guinguettes aren’t as plentiful today as they were in the 1800s, but they make for great get-aways or afternoon escapes. You can find them in Paris along the Seine in the Bois de Boulogne and in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (in the 19th arrondissement). (Or a little further out as you will see in the next section.)
Experience Parisian culture by attending one of many outdoor concerts around the city: try Jardin des Plantes in June if classical music is your thing! It’s also worth noting that Les Trois Baudets restaurant offers an excellent menu and live jazz every evening from Monday through Friday – they even have great views overlooking Saint Sulpice Church.
And then there is nothing more Parisian than a picnic in a park! I’ve written about 9 awesome places to have a picnic in Paris. The parks and gardens in Paris can be a great all-day activity. There are many gardens that offer tours of their grounds by foot or bike as well as providing both indoors and outdoors seating to enjoy with your friends or family. You can find these types of attractions at Parc Monceau, Luxembourg Gardens (don’t miss the green chairs), Tuileries Garden, and others around Paris!
If you’re looking for something that requires a little less planning, head to Parc de Belleville on Sundays and spend time with friends over coffee amongst groves of chestnut trees.
What can you do in Paris in June?
The cool thing about the summer months is that you have all the usual indoor activities and outdoor sites PLUS all the seasonal programming that takes place in the parks, gardens, and streets. Or take in the beautiful scenery of Paris from a boat ride on the Seine or one of the many canals.
The bottom line is, get outdoors! Activities such as swimming, bike riding, boating, canoeing, kayaking are all at your fingertips!
- Check out one of the beautiful public pools in Paris like Piscine Pontoise in the 5th arrondissement (night swimming!), Piscine Josephine Baker in the 13th arrondissement (a pool ON the Seine!). Unfortunately, you won’t be able to feel the sand between your toes at Paris famous “beach” Paris Plage until July/August.
- Get away from the ancient and dive into the new with one of our favorite neighborhoods in Paris: Belleville! This multicultural neighborhood is best known for its vibrant street markets, lively atmosphere, and eclectic music scene. Visit Les Halles de la Villette just down the road, or go shopping at the nearby Sentier district.
- The Marne River has a lot to offer visitors and long, sunny days make for a great time to take a river cruise. Picnics on the soft, green banks of the river make for a picture-perfect day. After all, this is the scene painted in numerous art pieces by Monet, Sisley, and Pissarro.
Music is in the Air
- Fete de la Musique. Music is in the air, literally, during June as this is the month for Fete de la Musique, the annual summer music festival. This festival isn’t like any other because musicians take over the streets, bars, riversides, and squares. They share their music for free so you can walk down the streets and hear any number of amateur performers play a variety of styles. The event takes place on June 21 with an all-night music blitz throughout the whole city. This includes some larger acts as well as amateurs playing throughout the night.
- Les Nuits de Fourvière. Check out the Les Nuits de Fourvière (a series of concerts on Sundays) with more than 700 events, including opera performances, music sessions, DJs’ sets to name but just a few! The series generally takes place throughout the months of both June and July.
- Opera en Plein Air. Opera also finds its spotlight in Paris in June with the Opera en Plein Air (Opera in the Open Air) Festival. Opera players feature classic productions in outdoor venues idyllic to Paris. You can view the program here. Tickets are around $40 and should be purchased in advance as it is a popular event.
- Paris Jazz Festival. No one can go to Paris and not hear jazz. June is the best time to hear it in the open air at concerts during the Paris Jazz Festival at the Parc Floral de Vincennes. This is a park venue east of Paris and accessible by the metro. Tickets can be purchased at reasonable prices and the event makes for the enhanced romantic mood with the summer flowers in bloom and a picnic with wine.
Other Events/Seasonal Sensations
- Summer Sales! Known as the soldes d’été (June 23-July 20) this is one of the two annual sales seasons allowed. There will be sales everywhere and on literally everything!
- We Love Green festival is an eco-friendly pop-up village in Bois de Vincennes (in the 12th arrondissement) that has a series of concerts and DJs and is powered by 100% renewable energy that takes over a weekend in June.
- Paris Pride Parade. La Marche des Fiertés has been going on for 40 years! The parade starts at Place de la Concorde and ends at Place de la Republique with after-parties going until the early morning.
- French Open tennis tournament takes place throughout May and June every year in the Roland Garros stadium in the 16th arrondissement.
Culinary Delights of June in Paris
And if your taste buds need satisfaction after all these activities, don’t miss out on trying some of these seasonal foods only available during the summer months! The cuisine in France is as diverse as it gets with great ingredients from all over the world being represented. The mild early-summer weather welcomes fresh produce into the markets within easy walking distance of every arrondissement no matter which you stay in.
- Salon de la Pâtisserie de Paris is an annual trade show at Porte de Versailles in the 15th arrondissement. It is dedicated to all things baking!
- Qué Gusto runs a series of events for lovers of Mexican food. From brunches to tastings, June is usually a big month for them. Check their website for specific events.
What to eat in Paris in June
June is strawberry season, they’re only available until July are definitely worth making time for – either savor them by themselves as an afternoon snack or add them into a dessert and enjoy with friends and family over dinner! You will see pastries like the strawberry millefeuille; the strawberry cake, the Fraisier, strawberry macarons, or cream puffs (choux à la crème) with strawberry cream. And don’t forget strawberry ice creams and sorbets!
- Fruits in season: strawberries, cherries (cerises) especially Bigarreau, Burlat, Coeur de boeuf, Reverchon, Guigne and rouge des Vosge; abricots, peaches, red currants, and melons.
- Vegetables in season: green and red peppers (poivre vert, poivre rouge, chard (blette), fennel (fenouil), artichokes, cucumbers, beans (fèves), spinach, and tomatoes.
- Seafood is in season: octopus, trout, cod, cockles (coques), and crab, especially spider crab (araignée).
- Did you know that there are seasonal cheeses (fromages)? It’s true! Try Valençay from Centre-Val-de-Loire, Fleur du maquis from Corsica, tomme de Savoie, Comté and livarot, or Langres (very strong!).
Summer is a great time for salads. Try the salade niçoise for a nice seasonal treat. The cold soup Vichyssoise (leek and potato) is great for warm weather. And ratatouille is a very common summer meal as well.
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 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. May 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 to remember
A trip to Paris is wonderful but there are some tips to make it even better. Here are a few things to remember:
- If you plan on participating in the sales, you might think about bringing a second bag or suitcase. Make sure you keep your receipts and think about de-taxing (‘Détaxe’ tax refund and duty-free) at the airport or at large department stores (BHV Marais, Bon Marché Rive Gauche, Galeries Lafayette, and Printemps Haussmann) where they have specific counters set-up. If you live outside the EU and want to take the time to complete the paperwork and wait, you can have VAT deducted from the purchases. Here is a great article on the topic.
- With the good weather, you will be doing a lot of walking in Paris. Make sure to pack comfortable travel 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!
- It may be hot outside, but some of the metros are NOT air-conditioned so walking might actually be cooler.
- 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.
- It will be crowded. Book museums, tours, and restaurants in advance!
What to Pack
The weather in June is (usually) perfect – not too hot and not too cold. Bring a light jacket or vest if there’s any chance of rain (June can be one of the rainiest months)! Since you’ll want to have as much fun as possible outside while visiting Paris, don’t forget to pack a hat or umbrella, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Pack an extra pair of shoes for walking around town because Parisian streets are notoriously uneven and can be difficult to navigate with high heels on.
When it comes to bags, it’s important to pack light since you will likely be carrying your bag for most of the day. A cross-body tote is perfect for this type of trip, as it can easily go from daytime outfit to nighttime attire and still look fashionable. I always bring foldable bags of various sizes for shopping and food.
Read more suggestions in my What to Wear in Paris: Tips for Packing for Paris in the Summer (+ Packing List!) post.
Is June the best time to visit Paris?
Paris makes for an awesome June destination. Culture, from music to movies, is often offered for free in the city during the month. Art and food always abound and summer blooms make for a colorful experience. June is the pinnacle of all things Parisian!
Why Visit Paris in June? The best reasons include beautiful flowering plants that look like they’re from another planet; picnics with friends or family; enjoying one of many outdoor music performances. Paris has so much to offer that makes it special – what are some things about this time of year that make you love it more than any other season?
It’s time to pack your bags for one of the most romantic cities in the world. Paris is calling and it has a lot to offer- from incredible food, architecture, culture, and more.
Have you ever visited Paris in June? What was your experience? Did you go to any events? Do share!
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