Summer is well and truly upon us. The heat has arrived, and Parisians have settled into their summer rhythms of holidays and picnics along the banks of the River Seine. Personally, I love Paris in the summer. While I may not always love the heat, I do love the many outdoor activities that come with the abundance of sun. So if you are planning on visiting Paris in the coming months, below are my top five things to do in Paris this summer.
On July 14th, 1789, Parisians stormed the Bastille and the French Revolution began. Centuries later, France marks this anniversary every year in spectacular fashion. Bastille Day is France’s national holiday, and each year the capital city plays host to a military parade and flyby in the morning, followed by an incredible fireworks display off of the Eiffel Tower in the evening. If you are in Paris on July 14th, count yourself lucky. This is one party you don’t want to miss.
Every summer, a not insignificant percentage of Parisians pack up and leave the city to go on holiday. Most of them head for the coast, which means that for the next two months the beaches of France will be packed. But what about those left behind? Not to be outdone, an artificial beachfront has been constructed in Paris every summer since 2002 for those who can’t make it to an actual beach. Enormously popular, the Paris Plages attracts millions of visitors every year, and has now expanded to include a beachfront along the Bassin de la Villette. So don’t forget your swimsuit. Even in Paris the beach awaits!
Cinéma en Plein Air
This is my personal favourite thing to do in Paris in the summer. Over the course of several weeks in July and August, the Parc de la Villette hosts the open air cinema, and I always make a point of going at least once or twice. They always screen an eclectic mix of new and classic films, and the best part about it is that it’s free to attend. So gather some friends, a picnic blanket, and a bottle of wine (or two), and enjoy the magic of cinema under the stars.
Tour de France
The Tour de France is one of the most famous sporting events in the world. This grueling cycling race takes place all over France, but the finale is always in Paris, where the victor rides to glory down the famed Champs-Élysées. If you will be in Paris for the final leg of the Tour de France, don’t miss out on your chance to see the best cyclists in the world race by. It will be an unforgettable experience, I promise.
Rock en Seine
What would Paris be without music? While there are lots of festivals and concerts happening all over the city in July and August, the most famous is the annual Rock en Seine. Held at the Parc de Saint-Cloud in the west side of Paris, this three day festival features six stages, over 75 acts, and over 100,000 spectators. If you’re looking for live music this summer in Paris, look no further than Rock en Seine.
Laura Moore is a professional storyteller who loves history and the many stories that make Paris one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Join one of her signature tours to learn the story of a city.