Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the “summer of 2020 will be a summer unlike any other”. Personally, I think that may be a bit of an understatement. The cafes, museums, and cinemas may be up and running, and the borders are set to open to international visitors next month, but it will be a long time before Paris is packed with tourists once more. Taking people on tours is my favourite part of Parisian summers, but clearly that’s not going to happen this year. That’s why I’ve been making a list of what I can do instead. It really is going to be a summer like no other, but I’m determined to make the most of it. Below are my top five reasons to be excited for this year’s summer in Paris.
Supporting My Fellow Tour Guides
Number one on this list is supporting my fellow tour guides wherever I can. There’s no way around it. Times are tough for the tourism industry at the moment, especially for guides, and tour companies will be depending on internal visitors for the next couple of months to survive. That’s why I’m taking this opportunity to book myself on all the other tours I’ve wanted to join for years. As previously mentioned, I can’t wait to go on a day tour with Black Paris Tours. I’ve also wanted to join a Women of Paris walking tour for a while now. There’s also pastry classes with Molly Wilkinson and wine tasting with Girl Meets Glass, so there’s lots to explore this summer while supporting my fellow guides at the same time.
Day Trips from Paris
I thought I had explored most of the greater Paris area. However, a friend recently lent me a book full of ideas for day trips that are only one hour outside of the city, and I quickly discovered that I’ve only scratched the surface. Therefore, I fully intend on making my way through this book this summer. Exploring the medieval city of Provins? Yes please! Hiking through the Fontainebleau forest? Sign me up! Eating Chantilly in Chantilly? My mouth is watering already. It’s been a long three months of getting to know my apartment really well. Now I’m ready to explore. Responsibly and at a proper distance from others of course!
Cinema en Plein Air
My favourite event of the summer by far is the Cinema en Plein Air. Until recently, I thought that it would be cancelled this year. However, earlier this month it was announced that the open air cinema would go on as planned, with special measures in place to ensure social distancing. I, for one, am ecstatic, and I can’t wait to spend my evenings watching incredible films under the stars.
La Nuit aux Invalides
This is another event that I thought might be cancelled, but happily La Nuit aux Invalides will be returning as well. Again, with proper social distancing measures in place. Last year’s hit show will be running from July 18th to August 29th, so I’m looking forward to watching 3,000 years of Parisian history unfold before my eyes once more.
Revisiting Old Favourites
Places like the Louvre, Versailles, and the Orsay are popular for a reason. They may be crowded, but they are also stunningly beautiful places to visit. While I’m sad that I won’t be able to tell people the stories of Paris this summer, I will admit to being excited at the prospect of seeing the Mona Lisa without a thousand cameraphones in between us. In order to adhere to social distancing measures, many cultural spaces are reducing their capacity, so hopefully this will be the new normal going forward.
Who’s Excited for Summer?
There are many reasons to be excited for a summer in Paris, even when things are still so far from being business as usual. I’m sure I’ll have lots of stories to tell from my time exploring the city over the next couple of months. Hopefully, these stories will convince you to book a trip to Paris sooner rather than later. As much as I have a feeling I’ll have fun this summer, it’s just not a summer in Paris without guiding. That’s why I can’t wait to welcome you to this beautiful city next summer and beyond.
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.