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7 reasons why you should stay in Paris in August

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 29 Jul, 2022 Updated Fri 29 Jul 2022 09:53 CEST
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For many, just the mention of the stifling heat and the influx of tourists that take over Paris in August is enough to make them want to leave the city and head for the beach - but Evie Burrows-Taylor argues that there are good reasons to stay in the city.


It's standard practice for thousands of Parisians to leave the city in the summer, and some people even question the sanity of those who stay behind

Nevertheless, others consider August to be one of the best months for the French capital, with many (many) excellent reasons to revel in the joys of spending the last month of summer in the city.  


Here they are:

Extra space

While the obvious tourist spots remain busy with, well, tourists, large parts of the rest of the city are nearly empty as locals flee to the beaches.

Think of everything in Paris that you can't do at other times of the year -- get a seat on a terrace, get a seat on the Metro, find a bit of green space in a park... the list is endless. 

And in August you can do all these things - not to mention enjoy the empty roads for some stress free bike rides around the city. 

Paris plages and other events

During Paris plages, you can enjoy cool lawns, sun umbrellas, deckchairs and palm trees along the River Seine!

You can also take advantage of the (free) open-air swimming pools at Bassin de la Villette in the city's 19th arrondissement. 

And even though it might not feel like the real thing, at least you've got absolutely no chance of getting attacked by a horrible jellyfish, like you might on the Riviera.

There's also the open-air cinema at La Villette and Rock-en-Seine music festival, not to mention the joys of just spending evenings sat on café terraces.

Pace of life

The pace of life in Paris slows dramatically in August, because everyone is away, stress levels are reduced, the Parisians that are left smile at each other and have even been known to exchange small talk. 

Prime people watching

With the City of Light drawing people from everywhere in August you get a sample of the world's cultures delivered to your doorstep. 

August is decidedly peak season for people watching.

The boss is gone

Some may complain about having to work while everyone else is away, but they miss the point.

In August, your boss is likely to be on beach, your colleagues too, so you can get away with doing pretty much 'rien'! 


You can then go on holiday in September, missing the terrible month of la rentrée when all work restarts and the August holidaymakers are suffering from post-holiday blues/grumpiness.

Discover new places

So your usual haunts and boulangerie might be shut. Why not consider it an opportunity to find new places you wouldn't have dreamed of going otherwise and discover some new favourite spots?

August is a great time to get out of your comfort zone and explore other parts of the city, or even just fully explore your own neighbourhood and try out a new boulangerie - you never know, its baguette might be better than your regular bakery.

New friendships

Similarly, it might be annoying that most of your good friends are gone, but this opens up a unique opportunity to hang out with some of the other "stayers" who you might not usually spend time with. 

You'll learn pretty quickly who's left in Paris, and if that means extending your circle of friends then embrace the chance and see the benefits of a revitalised friendship group come September. 



The Local 2022/07/29 09:53

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