Paris in August – what’s on and what’s open?
Paris in August is très calme: the locals have all headed south for the summer break meaning there is less noise, less traffic, and Paris is less crowded, except for the visitors!
August is the perfect time in Paris to take advantage of fewer people and visit places that are usually swarming. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and many other tourist attractions are more accessible in August. Actually many believe that Paris in August is one of the ‘best-kept-secrets’.
Although many of the smaller bakeries, butchers, and cheese shops close in August, there will never be a shortage of food in Paris.
In fact, this may be the perfect time to try out that busy restaurant you always wanted to go to. But don’t get caught out! Here is a comprehensive list of what’s open in August (where to eat and drink!) from our friend and colleague Wendy Lyn of Paris is my kitchen. And another reliable list of cafes (where to get good coffee in Paris in August) from our friend Lindsey Tramuta of ‘Lost in Cheeseland’ fame.
Now that you are ‘fed-and-watered’ it’s a great time to see a different side of the city, a time to slow down, take a step back, and enjoy a quieter Paris. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of great events on in Paris in August! Here we bring you some great things to do this month in Paris.
Cinema by moonlight
Paris in August offers the Cinéma en plein air festival. Take advantage of the warm weather by watching a film outside in the beautiful Parc de la Villette. The festival screens international films from art films to blockbusters.
There are films in both English and French and screenings are free. So grab a picnic rug and head down to the park to enjoy a relaxing evening under the moonlight.When: 13 July – 21 August
Where: Parc de la Villette, Terrasse du Parc, 75019 Paris
Métro: Porte de Pantin
La Fête de Ganesh
Since 1996, Paris in August celebrates the Hindu festival honouring the elephant-headed God, Ganesh. Ganesh is the God of wisdom and learning, as well as the provider of good fortune, prosperity, and success.
You’ll feel like you’re in India as the Ganesh Temple in Paris puts on a colourful parade in the rose water and saffron purified streets. The parade features flautists, dancers, and men and women in traditional Indian clothing pulling chariots. Throughout the parade coconuts will be broken to symbolise one offering their heart to Ganesh.
This enlightening parade is one for all ages, so come along and experience a bit of Indian culture.When: 28 August; religious ceremony 9.00am & parade 11.00am – 3.00pm
Where: Le Temple de Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam, 17 rue Pajol, 75018 Paris
Métro: La Chapelle
Rock en Seine
Do you love rock and pop music? Paris in August brings you one of the biggest and most important musical events in Paris. Each year, Rock en Seine invites the most exciting rock and pop bands, both new and old, to a park just outside Paris.
With five scenes the audience can discover exhibitions about rock, as well as sing along to great rock, power pop, electro, and folk music. This year’s line-up includes well-known artists such as: Iggy Pop, Cassius, Wolfmother, The Temper Trap and many more.
Let your hair down this summer and rock out to some great music!When: 26 – 28 August
Where: Domaine national de Saint-Cloud, 92210 Paris
Métro: Boulogne – Pont de Saint-Cloud
Paris in August: a show not to be missed
Taking place at l’Hôtel National des Invalides, La Nuit aux Invalides is a projected sound and light show sharing the history of France over the past 2000 years. From the Belle Époque to the First World War, the images will be projected onto the 250 metre façade of the Cour d’Honneur.
Mondays and Thursdays the show will be screened in English, or if preferred, you can see it in French every other day of the week from 10.00pm, except Sundays .
Come and celebrate France’s history with this visually stimulating show!When: June 14 – 27 August
Where: l’Hôtel National des Invalides, 129 rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
Métro: La Tour-Maubourg
Fun in the gardens
Paris in August hosts the Fête des Tuileries. With 60 attractions and rides including bumper cars, ghost trains, hall of mirrors and wooden carrousel horses, this traditional funfair caters to everyone. Adults can relax, browse the stalls, and enjoy fairground snacks while children will love the trampolines and giant slides.
Entry into the fair is free, however you will need to buy tickets for rides and attractions. The Tuileries funfair is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon with family or friends.When: June 25 – 22 August
Where: Jardin des Tuileries, Place du Carrousel, 75001 Paris 1
Do you think Paris in August is quieter? Do you like to stay in Paris for the summer holidays? Let us know in the comments box below!
1. Another Summer Day in Paris by Stuck in Customs, via flickr
2. Pizza en plein air, Cinema en plein air Parc de la Villette, via flickr
3. Fête de Ganesh, via flickr
4. Rock en Seine, via flickr
5. Paris, Les Invalides, Cour d’Honneur, via wikimedia commons
6. Tuileries Gardens, via freefoto