Five ways to keep cool in Paris during the heatwave

With the heatwave set to continue until at least Wednesday, the French capital could be a bit sweaty - here are some of the best places to keep cool.

Five ways to keep cool in Paris during the heatwave
Stay cool this summer. Photo: AFP

1. Go for a swim

The city's leisure centres and swimming pools have now largely reopened – albeit with extra hygiene measures in place – including some open air ones that are perfect for summer including the Josephine Baker pool right next to the Seine in the 13th arrondissement and the Roger le Gall municipal pool in the 12th which has a retractable roof for summer.


There is also the free open air pool in the Bassin de la Villette canal basin in the 19th, which has been proving popular with overheated locals in recent days.


No, sadly you won't be able to swim on the roof of Notre Dame, but there are plenty of other open air swimming spots in Paris

2. Head to the park

Paris boasts a wide selection of beautiful parks which as summer comes become highly sought-after spots to either soak up the sun or pant in the shade, depending on your preference.

Some of the more obvious ones are the beautiful Tuileries next to the Louvre and the Jardin de Luxembourg, but our personal recommendations for beautiful, lively parks with plenty of grassy areas to sit on are the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in the 19th and Parc Monceau in the 8th. 

There's also the Parc de la Villette which over the next few weeks is holding nightly open-air film screenings.

Bag a chair and soak up the sun in the Tuileries. Photo AFP

3. Have an ice cream

There is no shortage of delicious ice cream on offer in Paris, but French newspaper l'express crowned Une Glace à Paris as its top seller after an exhaustive taste test (which incidentally sounds like the kind of job you would want in hot weather. No, we don't know how you apply).

The artisan ice cream maker in Abbesses in the 18th arrondissement offers all the classic flavours plus some more unusual ones including a detox orange, carrot and ginger ice cream and one with caramelised popcorn from €3.90 a scoop.

Paris' artisan ice cream scene leaves Mr Whippy in the shade. Photo AFP

4. Hit the beach

Obviously you can head to the actual beach – here's a selection France's best beaches – but if you have to stay in Paris there is always the Paris plages.

Over the summer the banks of the Seine and the canal-side Bassin de la Villette get a makeover including deck chairs and beach umbrellas, swimming areas, games, activities and – a new development for 2020 – walk-in Covid-19 testing.

Get that seaside experience in the city. Photo AFP

5. Take an impromptu shower

It might not have been what the architects intended, but Paris is liberally dotted with attractive fountains which on a very hot day can be seen serving as temporary cooling-off sports for the seriously overheated.

The Trocadero fountains next to the Eiffel Tower are particularly popular for this, and as the mercury climbs more and more people will be seen splashing around in the lovely cool water.

Also seek out the brumisatuers scattered liberally around the capital, which pump out chilled water vapour.


And as it gets hot you need to keep hydrated, wear a hat if you're in direct sunlight and try to stick to natural fibres for clothes. And try not to go too mad downing that nicely chilled bottle of rosé, tempting as it is … 

The Local advises you to always drink in moderation. Photo Rawpixel/<a 200490484="""" href="Depositphotos 

And it may not be exactly conducive to keeping cool, but don't forget that face masks are compulsory in many areas of the capital.

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South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.