As a travel advisor and the founder of Paris, Perfected, I have been to Paris in every month of the year. I often think Paris in August get a bad reputation because people still assume “everything is closed” but this isn’t exactly the case any more. The world has changed and therefore so has Paris. Do Parisians generally leave the city for August? Many do still, yes. But it also means you can be treated to enjoying more local parts of Paris in a way that has less people.
Every season and every month in Paris has its advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to determine what time of year may be best for you to visit and this post should help if you’re considering going in August.
Paris in August – What to Know
Paris in the summertime is often buzzy and people flock to the outdoors as well as the monuments, museums and attractions the city is best known for. The Parisians often depart in August for les vacances so you’ll encounter more tourists then Parisians in certain locals throughout the city.
Paris in August can be a lovely time to get to know further out, less central arrondissements. Paris not dead in August and the assumption that everything is closed should be avoided. Many parts of Paris remain lively throughout the summer weeks.
When it comes to booking your meal reservations, be sure you have done so in advance. August can be one of the trickier months to find openings given certain restaurants close for a week or two – or more in August.
Paris Weather in August
Paris in August means warm weather and ten hours of sunlight a day which is optimal for maximizing your time and seeing as much as possible.
You’ll enjoy average temperatures of around 75 baring any heat waves brought on by global warming. You may experience some muggy and humid days as well.
Be advised that many places in Paris still don’t have air conditioning. This is especially important to consider when booking your accommodations. A travel advisor can help you find the perfect hotel to stay at that will keep you cool and comfortable when seeking respite from the heat during August in Paris.
Is Paris Crowded in August?
Parisians head out of town on vacation and to their country homes in August. This means the Metro will be less crowded as will some attractions. It also means you can expect less French people around as you navigate Paris. That being said, some of Paris’s smaller museums are absolutely lovely and often uncrowded in August which makes them lovely to explore.
You should expect that major attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and seeing Notre Dame will always remain crowded as they are the most popular destinations for tourists. You’ll also encounter more American tourists in August as they descend upon the city before school starts back up again.
Expect more closures from business owners and restauranteurs. Truthfully though, operating hours in Paris are always a guessing game and I always recommend you look up a place before you go year round, but especially in August!
Things To Do In Paris in August
Every summer, starting in July and carrying through most of August, the Paris riverbanks take on the look of a seaside resort with parasols, deckchairs and palm trees for the annual Paris Plages. You’ll find these at three locations: the Parc Rives de Seine, the La Villette canal basin and the Trocadero gardens. You’ll find a variety of activities at each Plages as well for both kids and adults and you might even get lucky to hear some live music, too.
Seine River Cruise
A Seine river cruise is a beautiful way to see Paris and in August you’ll be even more appreciative of being out on the water and having the breeze in your hair. Be sure to book your tickets in advance if you want to avoid long lines.
If you want to avoid the crowds, you may want to splurge for a private cruise. I have several vendors I work with for my Paris, Perfected clients.
When it gets hot, Parisians ascend to rooftop bars to dine and drink. There are plenty to choose from when it comes to your preferred views and your budget so check out my guide to The 11 Best Rooftop Bars in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower
Summer nights in Paris means the sun is up much longer than the rest of the year and therefore it is good to know that the Eiffel Tower is set to only sparkle once in August 2023 each night. This is also due to the energy crisis in Europe and France’s President and the Paris mayor looking to limit the amount of energy used at popular monuments. This means the Eiffel Tower is turned off by midnight each night sadly.
Enjoy a café terrace
There’s nothing quite like hanging out on a Parisian café terrace to really soak up the Parisian lifestyle. In the month of August it is the perfect time to find a shady spot and order a glass of ice cold rosé or Sancerre.
As the sun finally sets after 10PM, it is an ideal time to walk off your delicious French meal with a long walk home strolling back to your hotel.
Really hot during your trip? Seek shelter in one of Paris’s many museums and utilize their air conditioning to cool off!
You may find some of the more local boutiques and shops are closed up for August with their owners out of town, but there is still plenty of shopping to be done at designer stores and Paris’s best department stores.
How To Dress In Paris in August
What you wear in Paris in August is of course dependent on the weather report leading up to when you are set to leave. Leave the jeans, the flip flops, the athleisure and the short shorts at home and instead opt for a wardrobe of neutral clothes that can be mixed and matched and will allow you to have plenty of stylish yet comfortable outfit options for your time in Paris.
And don’t miss my Seasonal Paris Packing Lists.
Linen pieces for the August heat will be your best friend! I like to pack a variety of linen dresses, linen shorts and linen skirts for my outfits in Paris in August.
Having a couple of summer dresses for warmer days will serve you well. But I’d recommend selecting ones that can be worn with a comfy pair of white sneakers like above or dressed up with the right jacket or shoe.
I love a silk tank for my trips year round. A silk tank can be the perfect layering piece under the right jacket for casual evenings out. The above outfit is a go-to for me in Paris for dinner and drinks. I love this one because it is washable in case you spill during your trip. This one and this one (seen above!) are also favorites in my own personal closet.
Little Black Dress
Planning for a dressed up evening while out in Paris? I always pack a little black dress with me. I typically select one that can be worn with flats like the classic Chanel ballet flats seen above or with a black or kitten heel so I can walk along the Seine or seek out the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night after a memorable meal in Paris.
I love a pair of trousers in Paris year round. I’ll do a linen pair for summer. This drapey pair is also a favorite.
Consider some added sun protection by bringing a straw hat for extra sunny days in Paris. The August sun can be hot and a hat will help you! I like the affordable ones from this brand.
A good pair of comfortable sandals is essential for summer days in Paris. You’ll want a pair your feet are familiar with so you can log a lot of steps! And be advised – leave your flip flops at home!
Straw totes are market staples in France and make for the perfect little summer bag to carry around Paris. Just be sure to add a drawstring bag or pouch inside for your valuables.
A light jacket – despite if it’ll be hot – is essential to bring to Paris in August.
Blazers in lightweight fabrics and summery colors like navy or ivory are ideal for tailored, feminine looks in Paris and perfect for when you experience cooler evenings in August or are inside a well air conditioned building (read: it feels chilly!) I love to pair mine with my favorite jeans. Shop the above look here.
A slinky slip dress is an ideal item for Paris in the summer. It also won’t take up much room in your suitcase. And you can also dress it down with a casual jacket or dress it up in the evening with elegant jewelry and a heel. This one is the one I am wearing above.
Looking for even more outfit ideas? Read my Outfits for Paris in Summer guide. Also, don’t miss my travel essentials if you need help with your Paris packing list. I also recommend you get a set of packing cubes to maximize how much you can bring along on your trip to Paris!
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As I always say, it is wonderful to be in Paris no matter the time of year. You’ll be rewarded for planning accordingly and I wish you a wonderful visit! Paris is always a good idea…