Don't leave Paris this summer. There's too many reasons to stay.
Summer has been slow to start, and Paris is set to undergo its annual exodus as swathes of the city's population head out of the city. But here are ten reasons you should consider staying.
1. There's breathing space
(Pure bliss. A row full of Velibs. Photo: RubyGoes/Flickr)
Without doubt the best thing about Paris in the summer is the space.
For the first time all year, you'll have some room to breathe in the French capital. With so many of the locals out of the way, you can easily find a seat on the Metro, it's a piece of cake to find a Velib' bicycle, and you'll no longer have to queue to get a seat on a café terrace. And you won't feel like you're in a chicken pen when you're having a picnic in one of the city's parks or by the Canal Saint Martin.
Someone once said, Paris would be great without the Parisians. While that's harsh on the locals it certainly rings very true over the summer.
Why would you want to join them on the packed beaches of the Riviera?
2. There's a beach in the city
(Parisians flock to the River Seine during the summer. Photo: AFP)
From July 18th, there will be man-made beaches along the River Seine and the Bassin de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement. The annual beach festival will mark its 15th edition this year, and will see tonnes of sand deposited by the water. And unlike in the French riviera, you don't need to worry about the jellyfish.
3. The warm weather
(People sit beside a fountain in the Palais Royal gardens. Photo: AFP)
Yes, many people leave Paris in search of better weather, but that might not be necessary this time around. We've already seen a scorching heatwave bear down on the capital, and recent indications suggest the heat is here to stay. So why head to southern France or indeed southern Europe if all you're looking for is a bit of heat?
4. The open-air film festival
(Cinema-goers enjoy a free show in Paris. Photo: AFP)
It's known as "cinema under the stars" and is now an established fixture in Paris's summer calendar. It takes place at La Villette, in the north east of the city in a big grassy park, which is taken over by families and friends who come with impressive picnics to enjoy a classic film on a giant screen as the sun goes down. This year it runs from July 13th to August 21st. And the best thing about it is that it's free, unless you want to pay a few euros for a deck chair. This year's line up includes some great films including Gravity (on the opening night) and Full Metal Jacket. For more information click here
5. You can leave, if just for a day
(Fontainebleau, around 50 kilometres south of the city. Photo: G-Alain/Flickr)
Why not take the opportunity to use the capital as a base while you explore some of the spectacular day trips on offer near the city? Need inspiration? Why not try out the old favourite Fontainebleau, which features the former home of Napoleon. Or if you're looking to avoid the tourists, why not head east to the picturesque Crécy-la-Chapelle and marvel the beauty of one of the area's best kept secrets. If you'd prefer to head to the coast, remember it's only around two and a half hours' drive to get to the Normandy beaches at Deauville, Villiers-sur-Mer and Cabourg.
6. The Rock en Seine music festival
(Photo: Elen Nivrae/Flickr)
This festival is a staple of the Paris summer, and marks the capital's biggest annual rock festival. This year it runs from August 26th to 28th at the Domaine de Saint-Cloud park to the west of Paris, with a three-day ticket on sale for €119. Iggy Pop and Massive Attack are among the bands to appear this year. For more information click here
7. Your boss is away
(Empty office? Take advantage of it. Photo: Cold Storage/Flickr)
Finally - the boss has taken a holiday. And don't be surprised if it's a long one. If you're the only foreigner in your Parisian office, don't be surprised if you're suddenly left completely alone as all your French colleagues do the same thing as the boss. But, perhaps, this is good news after all, with no one left to watch over your lunch hours like a hawk. After all, there are still heatwave remnants in the air, it's only fair that you take it down a notch or two, non?
8. The end of the Tour de France
(Last year's champion Vincenzo Nibali. Photo: AFP)
Why wouldn't you want to be part of the world's favourite cycling race? If you stay in Paris for the 24th of July, a Sunday, you'll be able to catch the final leg of the race as cyclists power along the Champs-Elysées after their three-week race across huge stretches of the country.
9. You can really enjoy an outdoor drink above Paris
(Fancy actually finding a table at Le Perchoir? You might be in luck. Photo: Anthony Jaueneaud/Flickr)
No one needs persuading to enjoy a drink on an open terrace in Paris but the fact is there is simply no better time than the summer for drinking in the City of Light. And especially if you enjoy watching the sunset over the rooftops of the French capital.
Take turns between the trendy rooftop Le Perchoir, O'Paris above Parc de Belleville, or the best of the lot - the rooftop bar above the Printemps store.
Once you're up there, you can enjoy the view and the sunshine that will stretch far into those long summer Parisian nights. Here are five of the best
to get you started.
10: You can swim in an outdoor pool
Paris Plages obviously has its limits, the main one being you can't actually swim, unless you go and jump in the Seine and even the mayor of Paris says that is not advisable.
But there are options to cool down, not least the outdoor pools around the city And there's some pretty good ones.
The centre aquatique de Neuilly-sur-Seine is great for families and those who want to relax.
There's also the Josephine Baker pool which is actually floating on the River Seine in the 13th arrondissement. And don't miss the Piscine Georges Hermant in the 19th, an Olympic-size swimming pool featuring a massive retractable roof.
And if you are feeling flush then why not head to the historic Molitor pool - the birthplace of the bikini that opened after refurbishment last year.