Paris in August

City Beaches, Music Festivals, Free Movies

Paris Events for August 2019

August in Paris - Best Things to Do & See

Although you'll find plenty of Paris events in August to keep you entertained and busy, the city moves into vacation mode as many Parisians depart for summer holidays and everyone else soaks up the sunshine and enjoys the relaxed ambiance. 

You'll find most of the biggest events in outdoor venues: laid-back activities and fun along Paris "beaches," concerts and other events at the Paris Neighborhood Festival, almost a whole month of free outdoor movies in beautiful Parc de la Villette, and at the end of the month, Rock en Seine, the biggest summer music festival in France.

As a bonus, you can even catch the final days - and biggest discounts and bargains - at the famous Paris summer sales at the beginning of August.

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.

Paris Beaches - Paris Plages

Paris Plage - sand and beach umbrellas along the Seine River

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 main locations:  Both the Left and Right Banks of the Parc Rives de Seine where deck chairs, umbrellas, sand, grass, and palm trees line both sides of the river, the Esplanade in front of City Hall, and La Villette Canal Basin in the 19th arrondissement where you can float in the huge Paris Plages swimming pools as well as enjoy canoeing, other water sports, and even a zipline along the Quai de Loire.  

Dates:  Through September 2

More about Paris Beaches

Seine River Cruises

August is also the perfect month to experience the city by water on a Seine River cruise.  So many choices!

Summer Sales on Designer Fashions -  Final Days - 2019

Summer sales in Paris - where to find them

The famous Paris summer sales come to an end on August 7.   (check back later for 2019 date)

By August, Soldes signs in store windows all over the city will be announcing final reductions - as high as 70-80%, and occasionally even more.  Although sale items may have already disappeared at some stores, savvy shoppers know that these last few days are when you'll find the biggest bargains.  

Find out more about Paris Summer Sales 2019

Paris Tours for Fashionistas

August Concerts in Paris

The Last Shadow Puppets playing at Rock en Seine
The Last Shadow Puppets playing at Rock en Seine
Photo courtesy of Drew de F Fawkes, Photogigpics, shared via Creative Commons license

Rock en Seine Music Festival - 2019

Rock en Seine Music Festival - Paris

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 on August 24, 25, and 26.  The lineup this year includes The Cure, Royal Blood, Aphex Twin, Foals, Jorja Smith, and many more.

Here's a flavor from last year's 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

Paris Discovery Tip:  Not interested in Rock en Seine?  Visit Parc de Saint-Cloud on another day.  Explore the beautiful gardens, spread out a picnic lunch on the lawn, and enjoy August at its best.

Classique au Vert Music Festival 

Amphitheatre at Parc Floral (Photo courtesy of Classique au Vert)
Amphitheatre at Parc Floral (Photo courtesy of Classique au Vert)

Classique au Vert brings 4 weekends of Saturday and Sunday concerts at 4pm to Parc Floral (the Paris Botanical Garden) in Bois de Vincennes from August 11 - September 2.

You'll hear top musicians performing everything from Chopin to Gershwin to Phillip Glass in the outdoor amphitheater at Paris's largest green space (for context, three times the size of New York's Central Park).  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 sunshine, flowers, wandering peacocks, and superb music. 

Concerts are free, although the park charges a small (2.50€) entrance fee during summer and early fall.  Check the Festival's website for concert times and program.  

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 idea:  Arrive early and stroll through Parc Floral's famous gardens, or explore Bois de Vincennes' other attractions such as its spectacular zoo, Lac Daumesnil, the aquarium, and 14th century Château de Vincennes.

Liberation of Paris Festivities -  74th Anniversary Celebration - 2019

Hotel de Ville - Location for Liberation of Paris Festivities

On August 25 each year, Paris City Hall (Hôtel de Ville) hosts a huge party to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the Liberation of Paris, which ended 4+ years of German Nazi occupation of the city during World War II when Free French forces headed by General Philip Leclerc fought their way into Paris and forced the Nazis to surrender.

From 5-6pm, projections of images and historical events 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 performed by the Paris Chamber Orchestra and dancing begins on the large esplanade in front of Hôtel de Ville.  Admission is free.  If you're in Paris on August 25, stop by to celebrate this important event in Paris history.

  • Nearest Metros:  Châtelet, Cité, Saint-Paul
  • More information:  Want to know more about the Liberation of Paris?  Visit the Museum of General Leclerc/Museum of Jean Moulin - find out more on their website

Feast of the Assumption in Paris - 2019

Madonna and child statue in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Figure of Mary and Baby Jesus carried in procession

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 2019 - 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. 

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 following vespers at 3:45, 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. 

As a visitor, you are welcome to join the processions if you'd like, or just watch as they go by.  Crowds are not dense, so you can easily find good viewing spots near Notre Dame.

More information:  Notre Dame website (in French)

Paris Walking Tours for August

Marais sidewalk dining

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!

- Marais Walking Tour - Explore this romantic district by strolling along its bohemian streets to see charming galleries, monuments, centuries-old buildings, and fashion boutiques - Book now

- Medieval Paris Private Walking Tour - Discover life in the Middle Ages in Paris on this private walking tour at famous sites such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Hotel de Cluny, and Fountain of the Innocents.  You'll stroll along Medieval streets as your guide tells you about the culture, art, and architecture of this fascination period 800 years ago - Book now

Cinéma en Plein Air - Outdoor Movies at Parc de la Villette

Palais Royal in Paris - fashion photograhy shoot during Paris Fashion Week

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 9:30pm at the beginning of July and 8:30pm at the end).  Theme for 2019:  To be announced

Bring a blanket to sit on, or rent a folding chair for 7€, or 5 for 20€.  And of course, pack a picnic dinner and a bottle or two of wine.

August Cinéma en Plein Air Lineup:
August 1- Sugar Man (English)
August 2- Spring Breakers (English)
August 3- Same Old Song (French)
August 4 - Junior (French) / Mars Attacks!(English)
August 5 - Pierrot le fou (French)
August 8 - Frances Ha (English)
August 9 - Control (English)
August 10 -Devdas (Hendi)
August 11 - La Diable est dans les détails (French)) / Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Spanish)
August 12 - River of No Return (English)
August 15 - Girlhood (French)
August 16 - Toni Erdman (German, English, Romanian)
August 17 - Promised Land (English)
August 18 - Interstella 555: The Story of the Secret Star System - music by Daft Punk (English)
August 19 - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (French)

Dates:  Through August19
Nearest Metro: Porte de Pantin

Paris Quartier d'Été

Want a fun excuse to explore different Paris neighborhoods?  The annual Paris Quartier d'Été Festival (Summer Paris Neighborhood Festival) offers free or inexpensive outdoor music, dance, theater, and clown performances (get a pass to all events for 10€) - more than 70 events in 30 different locations.  The festival continues through August 5.  Check Paris Quartier d'Été for schedule details.

Paris Exhibits - Must-See Shows for August 2019

Exhibit at Centre Pompidou
Tutankhamon exhibit at Villette

Tutankhamon: the Treasures of the Pharoah

@ Grande Halle de la Villette - Through September 15, 2019 - This traveling blockbuster exhibition makes its first stop in Paris with a collection of 150 exceptional masterpieces, many never shown outside of Egypt before and not likely to again.  Tickets are 22€ for adults and 18€ for children; purchase online in advance is highly recommended (Tutankhamon website)
Where:  211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 19th arrondissement
Metro: Porte de Pantin or Porte de La Villette

Paris Museum and Attractions Passes

Get free admission and skip-the-line access to 60+ museums in and near Paris when you have a Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4, or 6 days.  More info

La Fête Foraine des Tuileries

Giant ferris wheel and thrill ride at Tuileries Garden Carnival
Giant ferris wheel and thrill ride at Tuileries Garden Carnival

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, 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.

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 Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping center next to the Tuileries metro station.

When:  Through August 25, 11am to 11:45pm (12:45am Friday-Sunday)
Where:   Jardin Tuileries (Tuileries Garden), 1st arrondissement (enter through the gate near the Tuileries metro station)
Metro:  Tuileries
Admission:   Free - plus whatever you spend on rides and games (most cost between 2-12€)

Silhouette Short Film Festival

Wrap up the summer in Paris at the free outdoor Silhouette Short Film Festival held from August 24 through September 1 at Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge in Paris's 19th arrondissement. 

During the festival's 9 days, you'll have the chance to see 100 different French and international short films in a variety of categories: animation, drama, documentary, experimental, and more.  Each evening's program kicks off at 6:30pm with a workshop, followed by a concert at 7pm.  Films begin at 7:30pm.

Metro:  Pré St-Gervais

More Top Paris Things to Do & See in August

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