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Paris in August: the secrets to get the most out of your trip

Enjoy music and cinema in Paris in August, a month that will also provide you with good weather to go out and get to know the city in conditions.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

8 min read

Paris in August: the secrets to get the most out of your trip

Night view of a Sacre Coeu, Paris | ©Andres Garcia

This is one of the busiest times of the year for travel and often one of the most expensive, as it is typical for families to travel from one part of France to go on vacation, or visit family members. However, if you give Paris a chance during August, you' ll soon discover that there are still plenty of attractions and things to do that will make your time in the City of Light fly by.

While there are numerous things to see and do in Paris all year round, the month of August is famous for musical events such as Rock en Seine, or events related to international cinema such as open-air screenings. Plus, it's a month with great weather. So, without further ado, let's get started with this guide.

1. Summer evening show of the Versailles Fountains

Enjoying the Show| ©FranceTourist
Enjoying the Show| ©FranceTourist

It happens only in summer and only on Saturdays between mid-July and the end of August. It is then that the magnificent fountains of Versailles are lit up to the sound of classical music from the time of the Sun King.

I recommend that you find out about the different options for an excursion from Paris to the Palace of Versailles and you will experience it all, including the spectacular fireworks finale in the gardens of Versailles. If you are in Paris in August, you should not miss it.

Book an excursion to Versailles

2. Rock at the Rock de Seine

Saint-Cloud Park| ©Anitsircana
Saint-Cloud Park| ©Anitsircana

Join the Parisian stalwarts who have stayed in town for August, and rock out! The event lasts three days and takes place in mid-August at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, just outside Paris. Started in 2003, there are now five stages, with 65 bands representing rock, power pop, electric and folk music.

You can even set up camp and sleep overnight in the park. What an experience! Of course, you must reserve your campsite online, in advance and have a valid pass.

It is important to know that only those with a three-day ticket will be able to leave and re-enter the festival. The good news is that you can get there by metro on line 10, so it's good to know how to use the metro and get around Paris in general so you don't miss a single minute.

If you are going to Paris for 3 days in August, you already know a way to have a great time during those days, for more information visit the official site.

Book a cruise on the Seine

3. Visit the Silhouette Festival

Silhouette Festival| ©Infoparis
Silhouette Festival| ©Infoparis

The free short film event takes place at the Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge at the end of August. For more information take a look at the event's official website.

Created in 2002, the goal of the Silhouette Association is to promote meaningful short films to a wide and diverse audience. It is now one of the largest outdoor short film festivals in France.

More than 100 films are screened over nine nights with three juries to select the best films in various categories. Opening night begins with a fun outdoor concert. The park is about 30 minutes by metro from Chatelet, center of Paris.

Whether you like movies or not, attending the awards ceremony, opening and closing musicals, and enjoying the good food is enough to lure you to this fair.

4. A beach walk on Paris Plages

Paris Plages| ©ParisInfo
Paris Plages| ©ParisInfo

Paris Plages is a tradition where a beach atmosphere is created on the banks of the Seine River. To give you an idea, 5,000 tons of sand are transported, along with 100 palm trees, and hundreds of beach umbrellas.

The beaches are on the banks of the Seine from the end of July to the end of August. So, if you miss the beach on your summer trip to Paris, you know where to go. Plus, at night you'll have a great view of the illuminated Seine river cruises. For more information visit this website.

There are numerous food and drink stalls, free concerts, dancing, misting stations and tons of fun activities like sand castle building competitions. It is one of the best places to visit in the summer both day and night.

It's a tradition started in 2002 by then-mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who wanted to create a vacation beach atmosphere for the unfortunate Parisians who couldn't get away and go on vacation to some seaside town in France.

5. Take heart at the Peacock Society Festival

Grande Halle de Parc Floral| ©Alexandre Vialle
Grande Halle de Parc Floral| ©Alexandre Vialle

If you're planning to go to Paris in early August, don't miss the Peacock Society Festival, a celebration that mixes electronic music and arts. The event takes place in the Parc Floral, in bois de Vincennes, the largest park in Paris.
The event takes place in the Grande Halle de Parc Floral, a huge historic industrial warehouse large enough and with two large tracks illuminated by magnificent glass canopies.

There are also outdoor spaces, including a relaxation area where you'll find bars and street food trucks. The novelty is the film club with a lab pavilion, documentary screenings and talks. What a blast indeed! The festival also has an official website so you'll always be up to date on prices and schedules.

6. Enjoy an outdoor movie

Open-air cinema in Paris| ©Marko Kudjerski
Open-air cinema in Paris| ©Marko Kudjerski

Thought big screenings were a thing of the past? Think again. In Paris, every August many movies are shown for free, including classics and more modern films (most of which are shown in the Parc de la Villette). The movies tend to be shown in their original language, so even if you don't understand French, you may be able to see a movie in English!

The best part about attending is that not only is access to the lawn where the screenings take place free and unreserved, but you are also free to bring your own picnic, or even borrow deckchairs to sit and watch the occasional movie in total comfort.

7. Attend the Wonderland Paris Festival for free

Wonderland Paris Festival| ©Quim Esteban Osta
Wonderland Paris Festival| ©Quim Esteban Osta

One of the new free, outdoor activities that visitors to Paris and locals can enjoy in August is Wonderland Paris, a summer festival that will run through early September. From celebrity chefs cooking delicious food to outdoor concerts. Wonderland Paris is located in the 20th arrondissement of Paris and is well worth a visit.

8. Tréteaux Nomades

Montmartre district| ©Ed Webster
Montmartre district| ©Ed Webster

Under the starry skies of the Montmartre district at the end of summer this special festival takes place. The fun event brings together artistic comedy, musicals, poetry and lots of theater.

The event takes place betweenlate August and early September at Arènes de Montmartre. You can expect up to thirty actors on stage and in six different locations with the aim of making theater accessible to everyone. In addition the place is easily recognizable as the atmosphere does not cease from noon to midnight.

As a tip for your stay in Paris, I recommend you to always go early, especially for free access events. For more information I recommend you to take a look at the official website of the event.

9. Paris Liberation Festival

Liberation Party at the Eiffel Tower| ©Yann Caradec
Liberation Party at the Eiffel Tower| ©Yann Caradec

August 25 is a very important day in Paris, where the liberation of France from German occupation is celebrated, there will be several events around the city with a big celebration in the front square of the Hotel de Ville. The celebration of the liberation of Paris is usually accompanied by talks, shows, French flags and food stalls. If you have time I also recommend getting to the Eiffel Tower, you will see flags all over the park below and a light show at night on the Eiffel Tower.

Since August 25, 1944 Paris celebrates the end of the Nazi occupation during World War II. In fact, that date was just the day when the city was finally liberated from the tyranny of Nazi oppression.

In Charles de Gaulle's victory speech, he famously said, "Paris liberated! Liberated by itself, liberated by its people with the support of the armies of France, with the help and support of all France, of the France that fights, of the only France, of the true France, of the eternal France!"

10. Unwind with Classique au Vert

Classique au Vert| ©OTC
Classique au Vert| ©OTC

Classique au Vert is a classical music concert festival that takes place mainly during the month of August at the Parc Floral in the Bois de Vincennes.

If you want to relax a bit, enjoy good music in this magnificent and beautiful park, Classique au Vert is an event you should attend. Watching the sunset to the rhythm of classical music is something that only Parisians and classical music lovers will know how to describe to you.

If you love this music and plan to go to Paris for 7 days or more, I would recommend you to reserve at least one day for this Classique event!

Paris closes during August?

View from the Montparnasse tower| ©Guilhem Vellut
View from the Montparnasse tower| ©Guilhem Vellut

While it is true that part of Paris closes during August, this usually only affects family businesses and smaller restaurants that decide to rest part of this month, visit relatives and change of scenery.

So, if you've heard this somewhere, I can assure you that August is still a good month to get to know the city and make the most of Parisian events, as you've seen in this post.

The weather in August

Sunny day in Paris| ©Regine G.
Sunny day in Paris| ©Regine G.

The average temperature for the month of August ranges between 18 and 24 degrees, which means it's perfect weather for wandering the Parisian streets, plus August sees the most sunshine of the year, which means you'll have more hours of sunshine to enjoy the city.

It is worth noting that in recent years, Paris, France and Europe in general, have seen more and more cases of heat waves. If there is a heat wave during your visit to Paris, then it is important to be prepared: stay hydrated and wear cool clothes.

I would also consider booking a hotel that has air conditioning, as this service in Europe is not always a given, especially in B&Bs and older hotels.

What to wear in Paris in August

Preparing Luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich
Preparing Luggage| ©Vlada Karpovich

There is one word that perfectly describes the French city in August: heat! Bring lots of breathable and light clothing, as well as sunglasses, a hat and plenty of sunscreen.

On the other hand, nights can be a bit cool, so it would be advisable to pack a light jacket just in case, but if you are going to Paris with the idea of visiting the interior of some religious buildings, keep in mind that you may need to cover your shoulders and knees before entering.