Although you'll find plenty of Paris events in August to keep you entertained and busy, the city moves into vacation mode. Many Parisians depart for summer holidays while everyone who remains in the city soaks up the sunshine and enjoys the relaxed ambiance.
Most of the biggest events during August take place in outdoor venues. Look for laid-back activities and fun along Paris "beaches," concerts and other events at the Paris Neighborhood Festival, and almost a whole month of free outdoor movies in beautiful Parc de la Villette.
Get ready to have a memorable time in the City of Lights, and enjoy the long sunny days and fun things to do that makes August a wonderful time to visit Paris.
Please note: The coronavirus pandemic continues to cause the cancellation of a few large events, including Rock en Seine, the biggest summer music festival in France. But the good news is that practically everything else, including concert and show venues, restaurants, museums, and top attractions have now reopened.
Top photo: Paris Plages "beach" on the Seine River's Right Bank
Paris Beaches - Paris Plages
Paris Plages ("Paris Beaches") transforms parts of Paris into fun-filled beaches each summer. The (usually) hot August weather makes being by or in the water especially appealing.
You'll find Paris Plages at several locations: the Seine River Banks in central Paris, the Villette Canal Basin in the 19th arrondissement, and a new area at Trocadéro Garden. With plenty of chairs for relaxing, ice cream stands and bars along the waterfront, and fun activities on land and water, you'll have a good time here!
The Seine River Bank "beaches" focus on relaxation, while Trocadéro features games and activities.
At the Bassin de Villette, you can cool off in the four huge Paris Plages swimming pools, enjoy kayaking and other water sports, play pétanque and table football, and take part in other sports. You'll also find lots of kids' activities, giant games, and libraries. Open: 10am-10pm, and until midnight on weekends.
Dates: Through August 22
Seine River Cruises
August is also the perfect month to experience the city by water on a Seine River cruise. Get a ticket for a daytime sightseeing cruise, a romantic "Illuminations" cruise, or one of these fun experiences:
August Concerts in Paris - 2021
- Candlelight Concert (optional wine & tapas or champagne) - Sainte-Chapelle - August 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29
- Bach by Candlelight: Goldberg Variations - Saint Ephrem Church - Aug 1
- Chopin & Liszt by Candlelight - Saint Ephrem Church - Aug 4, 8
- Gospel Concert - Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church - Aug 7
- Vivaldi's Four Seasons - Madeleine Church - Aug 7, 14, 21
- Candlelight Concert: Chopin, Liszt, Satie - Saint Ephrem Church - August 11, 15, 18, 28
- Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Caccini, & Schubert - Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church - August 14
- Candlelight Concert: Liszt, Satie, Beethoven - Saint Ephrem Church - August 20
- Vivaldi's Four Seasons & Mozart's A Little Night Music - Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church - August 21
- Bach by Candlelight: Solo Violoncello Suites - Saint Ephrem Church - Aug 21, 29
- Chopin by Candlelight - Saint Ephrem Church - August 22, 25
Festivals du Parc Floral: Paris Jazz Festival, Classic in Green, Pestacles, Nocturnes - 2021
From late June or early July, Parc Floral (the Paris Botanical Garden) in Bois de Vincennes hosts four concurrent musical festivals: Paris Jazz Festival, Classic in Green (classical music), Pestacles (a children's concert series for ages 4 and up), and Nocturnes (night concerts of contemperary, jazz, or classical music).
The outdoor concerts take place every Saturday and Sunday on several stages in the park. Almost all of the concerts are free, although the park charges a small 3€) entrance fee during summer and early fall. Check the Festival's website to download a brochure with dates, lineups, and concert times. Quick tip: "gratuit" means the concert is free.
Bring a blanket and a picnic or buy wine and a sandwich at the park's snack bar, and get ready for a relaxing afternoon and evening enjoying the sunshine, flowers, wandering peacocks, and virtuoso musicians.
Dates: June 30 - September 8
Getting there: Bois de Vincennes, located in 12th Arrondissement on the eastern edge of Paris, is easy to reach - just hop on RER A train or Metro Line 1 to the Chateau de Vincennes Metro Station - the park is about a 3-minute walk from the station.
Bonus activities: Arrive early and stroll through Parc Floral's famous gardens, or explore Bois de Vincennes' other attractions such as its spectacular zoo, Lac Daumesnil (rent a row boat!), the aquarium, and 14th century Château de Vincennes.
Celebrate the Liberation of Paris - 77th Anniversary
On August 25 each year, Paris celebrates the anniversary of the Liberation of Paris during World War II, when Free French forces headed by General Philip Leclerc fought their way into Paris and forced the Nazis to surrender, bringing 4+ years of German occupation to an end.
This year marks the 77th anniversary. Usually Paris celebrates with a series of festivities throughout the day. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, events may differ this year (we'll announce updates once they are made) - but this is what you can usually expect:
- 12 noon - A ceremony and flag raising by Paris firemen at the Eiffel Tower commemorates the six pompiers (firefighters) who climbed to the top of this iconic symbol of Paris to unfurl a French flag in 1944 to signal the liberation.
- 3:30pm - 4pm - A celebratory parade featuring vintage 1940s military and civilian vehicles, marchers dressed in 1940s styles, and a jazz band retraces the route taken by Général Leclerc and his liberation forces as they entered the city in 1944. The procession begins near the Porte d'Orléans metro station and marches along Avenue du Général Leclerc to the Denfert-Rochereau metro station, where the band gives a brief concert.
- 5pm - Hotel de Ville - Projections of images of the French Resistance and Liberation of Paris pay homage to those who died and commemorate the men and women who fought for peace, liberty, and human rights in the France Libre Free France Resistance movement. At 9pm, music and dancing begin in front of Hôtel de Ville. If you're in Paris on August 25, stop by to celebrate this important event in Paris history. Free admission
To learn more about the struggles and victories leading up to this momentous event, visit the Liberation of Paris Museum (4 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 14th arrondissement) where permanent and special exhibits provide military, political, and social history of the occupation and liberation of the city. More information: website
Summit Visits at the Eiffel Tower
The clear, sunny days of August are a wonderful time to experience the sweeping views of Paris from the Summit, the top level of the Eiffel Tower. The number of tickets is limited so reserve yours as soon as you know your dates.
New this summer on the 1st floor: a "rooftop" terrace serving casual food, drinks and hand-made ice cream while you enjoy the exceptional views.
Book Your Eiffel Tower Tickets Now
Feast of the Assumption in Paris 2021
The Fête de l'Assomption, a Roman Catholic religious celebration commemorating the Virgin Mary's rise to heaven at Notre Dame Cathedral, takes place on August 14-15 each year. When August 15 falls on a Friday - which it does not in 2021 - you may find many stores and restaurants closed as Parisians take the opportunity to have a 3-day weekend during prime summer weather. Otherwise, most places remain open, even though Assumption Day is a French National Holiday.
Normally, Assumption Day observances begin on the 14th with a 6:30pm Mass at Notre Dame, followed by a vigil at 8:30pm and a procession by torchlight around the Cathedral and along the Seine River at 9:30pm. On the 15th, additional Assumption Masses take place throughout the morning, and then a procession of several thousand marchers and a figure of Mary and Baby Jesus winds around the Parisian streets near Notre Dame until about 6:30pm when another Mass concludes the ceremonies.
Due to the tragic 2019 fire at Notre Dame, other churches are taking turns hosting and leading the Marian Procession for the Feast of the Assumption on the 15th. This year, the procession departs from Notre-Dame de l'Assomption des Buttes-Chaumont Church, with stops at Saint Joseph-Artisan Church (2:30pm), Saint-Laurent Church (3pm), Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church (4pm), and ends in front of Notre Dame Catheddral (5pm).
As a visitor, you are welcome to join the procession if you'd like, or just watch as it goes by. Crowds are not dense, so you can easily find good viewing spots along the route and near Notre Dame.
Paris Walking Tours for August
Get a close-up view of the city's treasures when you go on these special guided walking tours - perfect activity for balmy August days in Paris!
- Pure Chocolate Walking Tour - Explore upscale Paris's Right Bank while you visit master chocolate makers, sample some of the best chocolates in the city, and learn about how to make chocolate as an art form - Book now
Paris Exhibits - Must-See Shows for August 2021
In this landmark joint exhibition between the Rodin and Picasso Museums, each museum mounts a show featuring a comparative view of the two artists and their roles in inventing new forms of representation. At the Rodin Museum, you'll see a close look at the crisis in representative art in the early 20th century, and how Rodin focused on expressionist approaches.
Dates: Now through January 2, 2022
Tickets: Use a Paris Museum Pass for both museums, choose a Rodin Museum ticket only, or get a combined ticket for both museums; all ticket types also include permanent collections
Location: Metro: Varenne
Paris Museum and Attractions Passes
La Fête Foraine des Tuileries 2021
La Fête Foraine des Tuileries - literally, a "Fun Fair," or carnival - suddenly pops up in Paris's Tuileries Garden toward the end of June for two months of non-stop entertainment. With a giant ferris wheel (hint: bring your camera for great shots of Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower), carousels, bumper cars, "fun houses," gut-wrenching rides for thrill seekers, children's games, and a lot more, the carnival entertains families with kids, teens, and everyone else seeking fun throughout the rest of the summer.
And of course, massive amounts of carvival food will be for sale: cotton candy, waffles (gaufres), crepes, ice cream, fried dough, BBQ, and drinks.
If you're visiting Paris, combine a stroll through Tuileries Garden and the Fête Foraine with a visit to other nearby attractions: the treasure-filled Louvre, Monet's giant Water Lily paintings at Musée de l'Orangerie at the opposite corner of the garden, and the Musée d'Orsay almost directly across the river.
Cinéma en Plein Air - Outdoor Movies at Parc de la Villette - 2021
Free outdoor movies continue at Parc de la Villette through August in the Cinéma en Plein Air festival. A great mix of classic films and recent hits are shown in their original language with French subtitles as soon as the sky is dark enough (sunset in Paris is around 8:30pm at the beginning of August). Theme this year: Queens and Kings
Bring a blanket to sit on, a picnic dinner, and a bottle of wine. Food will also be sold at the site.
August Cinéma en Plein Air Lineup:
August 1 - Frida (English)
August 4 - Vincerre (Italian
August 5 - Amy (French)
August 6 - Harvey Milk (English)
August 7 - Christophe Colomb (French; animation)
August 12- Truman Capote (English)
August 13 - Ali (English)
August 14 - Invictus (English)
August 15 - The Princess of Montpensier (French)
August 18 - Queen Margot (French)
August 19 - I'm Not There (English)
August 20 - The Wolf of Wall Street (English)
August 21- The Last Emperor (English)
August 22 - Amadeus (English)
Silhouette Short Film Festival - 2021
Wrap up the summer and welcome early fall in Paris at the free outdoor Silhouette Short Film Festival held from August 27-September 4 at Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge in Paris's 19th arrondissement.
During the festival's 8 days, you'll have the chance to see numerous different French and international short films in a variety of categories: animation, drama, documentary, experimental, films for young audiences, and more. Each evening's program kicks off at 6:30pm with a workshop, followed by a concert at 7:30pm. Films begin at 9pm, and will also be broadcast at the Holiday Inn Express-Paris Canal de la Villette located a few blocks away.
Metro: Pré St-Gervais or Place des Fête
More Information: http://www.association-silhouette.com
Paris l'Été ("Paris in the Summer") - 2021
Want a fun excuse to explore different Paris neighborhood while celebrating summer in the city?
The annual Paris l'Été Festival (Paris SummerFestival) offers free or inexpensive outdoor music, dance, circus, and performances in all parts of the city, often in unusual places - usually more than 70 events in 30 different locations - and celebrates the city's cultural diversity while mixing avant-garde/off-beat events with more mainstream traditions. The festival runs from July 12 - August 1. Events are free or moderately priced. Don't miss it!
Rock en Seine Music Festival - Cancelled for 2021
Rock en Seine, the biggest summer musical festival in France, brings 3 days of non-stop rock to Paris with 75 popular artists performing on 6 different stages in August.
The bad news: Organizers have cancelled the concert again for 2021 due to health and safety reasons. The good news: Plans for 2022 are already underway.
Here's a flavor from a recent festival: Malik Dhoudi with "Sous Garantie" -
Concerts take place at Parc de Saint-Cloud, a beautiful large park (famous for being the site of Marie Antoinette's rose garden) just outside of Paris and easily accessible on the Metro.
You can get single-day tickets, but a 3-day pass is the better deal. With a 3-day pass (or three 1-day tickets), you can camp overnight at the park for an additional modest fee.
Getting there: Take the Metro to Boulogne/Pont de Saint Cloud. The concert site is a 5-minute walk across the Seine from the Metro station. Entrance to the park is free for pedestrians.
More information & tickets: Rock en Seine website
More Top Paris Things to Do & See in August
Need Reservations? Use this Paris Hotel Map
Planning to visit Paris in August? Use this Paris hotel map to find accommodations and make your reservations: