Paris in August – what’s on and what’s open? Planning your Paris trip
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. Also let’s 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 in Paris in August! Here we bring you some great things to do in August in Paris.
What we like to do is help you plan for whenever you’re going to be in France.
So we like to share some brilliant resources which will ensure that you’re always on top of what’s on where and when and here are a few of these resources for:
- General Events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?
- Off the Beaten Track Tours (in French or English) #ExploreParis
- French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris
- French Cinema with English surtitles: Lost in Frenchlation
Now let’s 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 in Paris in August! Here we bring you some great things to do in August in Paris.
A reminder that the 1st Sunday of each month – Free access to many fabulous museums in Paris
It’s Free First Sunday at the following Paris museums (links for the ones that need advance ticket purchase):
- Centre Pompidou, 11h-21h
- Musée de l’Orangerie, 9h-18h
- Musée du Quai-Branly, 11h-19h
- Le Petit Palais, 10h-18h
- Musée de la Vie Romantique, 10h-18h
- Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 10-18h
- Musée Cluny/Musée du Moyen-Âge, 9h15-17h45
- Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, 11h-19h
- Musée d’Orsay, 9h30-18h
- Musée de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, 10h-19h
- Musée d’Archéologie Nationale, 10h-17h
- Musée Delacroix, 9h30-17h30 (reservation by telephone : 01 44 41 86 50)
- Musée de la Libération de Paris, 10h-18h
- Musée Cognacq-Jay, 10h-18h
- Musée des Arts et Métiers, 10h-18h
Until 11 August
Even though we’re in a Pandemic (2020)… the Soldes must go on.
Not that stores need an excuse (or government permission these days) to slash prices to lure in consumers, but if you’re in the market for clothing or accessories in Paris, this is usually a great time to find a good deal if you’re ready to brave the crowds (yes, even during a pandemic). Bring your mask, obligatory in ALL stores. Prices drop even more in the final two weeks, but pickings are slim unless you’re a unique size.
16 August – 20 September – Concerts are free, but there is a €2.50 entrance fee to the Parc Floral.
The Festivals du Parc Floral is back, with the Paris Jazz Festival and the Classique au Vert at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes, 12eme) with classical concerts every Saturday and jazz concerts every Sunday, at 4pm. Picnics allowed.
Until 22 August
Free solo performance, L’Epouse (The Bride) at 18:00 on the Parvis in front of Notre Dame Cathedral today, featuring the actress Rebecca Journo of the Compagnie La Pieuvre. This silent performance “tells about a fallen bride whose language is only a body, a state which constitutes the anchor of a work which seeks transformation, the capacity to become other.”
22 – 29 August – Free entry, open to everyone, see the full program (en français) here.
The 19th annual Festival de Silhouette (short film festival) is reinventing itself this year taking place in several locations in eastern Paris. As always, the festival will promote the best short films of the year with screenings in theaters and in the open air, with the usual workshops, debates, and meetings around progressive/ecological themes.
Until 30 August – Places are free but limited, so reserve your boat ASAP on the website.
Although it won’t be as big as usual, Mayor Hidalgo has assured everyone that Paris Plage will take place again this year, when the banks of the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette are turned into an urban beach with chaise lounges, umbrellas, swimming in the canal, and ice cream stands.
Paris Plage kicks off on 18 July with live concerts by the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, and the Cinéma sur L’Eau, a free evening of open-air cinema on the water, on little boats in the Bassin de la Villette. The screening is the 2018 Claude Lelouche film Le Grand Bain.
Until 23 August – Free entry, reservations required to make sure the event isn’t too crowded.
All films are in the original version with French subtitles. See the program here.
Open-air cinema is back at the Parc de la Villette with La Cinéma en Plein Air on the Prairie du Triangle – (metro Porte de Pantin). Free entry, reservations required to make sure the event isn’t too crowded.
Until 27 August – Sessions take place every Thursday from 5:30-7pm, €10 per person, in a fun and informal atmosphere. Registration is necessary to participate, just call or text 0755396040 for the Thursday you’re interested in attending. More info on the FB page here.
What about learning Afro Zumba for dance sessions at Grands Voisins (74 Avenue Denfert Rochereau, 14eme) with Miraculeux, a musician, DJ and dancer from the Cote d’Ivore.
Until 29 August – Tickets €19-25 (adult price).
La Nuit aux Invalides is an impressive sound and light show in the courtyard of Invalides highlighting the 3000-year-old history of the Lutèce, the Roman city that preceded Paris.
August 29-30 – Tickets are €40 for all eight screenings or €25 for one day of four screenings (shown in chronological order). Reserve tickets here.
Attention Harry Potter fans! The Grand Rex Cinema is hosting a two-day Harry Potter Marathon showing eight films in their original version with French subtitles.
Friday-Sunday until 30 August – For a listing of the events and directions, visit their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/lacitefertile/events/
If you like checking out the newest hotspots in the rapidly-gentrifying Pantin suburb of northeastern Paris, don’t miss the weekly open-air market at the Cité Fertile, a former SNCF railway site transitioning into the future eco-district of Pantin. The market features local producers, artisans, crafts, and foods: “Delicatessen, lifestyle, fashion, illustration, zero waste, kids, well-being, garden … a friendly market that puts forward ecological, solidarity and local solutions to build together the world after – a sustainable world and durable.”
Until 30 August – Open daily at the Jardin des Tuileries. 11am-midnight (free entry, tickets can be purchased for individual rides).
Despite doubts because of the Coronavirus, the festive Fête des Tuileries is still taking place this summer with the Ferris wheel, stomach-emptying rides, barbe-à-papa (cotton candy) and whack-a-mole games.
Hopefully, these resources, venue links, and Tourism offices will help you plan your next visit to Paris
Do you think Paris in August is quieter? Are you ready to plan your next visit to Paris? Let us know in the comments box below!
1. Another Summer Day in Paris by Stuck in Customs, via flickr
2. Chaise Jardins des Tuilleries via @marijabobic