Paris in August

Beaches, Festivals, Outdoor Movies

Paris Events for August 2020

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, and almost a whole month of free outdoor movies in beautiful Parc de la Villette.

Please note that some events are cancelled this year due to the coronavirus, such as Rock en Seine, the biggest summer music festival in France which usually takes place toward the end of the month.


As a bonus this year, 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.

Top photo:  Paris Plages "beach" on the Seine River's Right Bank

Paris Beaches - Paris Plages

Paris Plage - sand and beach umbrellas along the Seine River
Paris Plages: "Beach" along the Right Bank of 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 two main locations: the Seine River Banks in central Paris and the Villette Canal Basin in the 19th arrondissement.  Both areas offer plenty of chairs for relaxing, ice cream stands, and bars along the waterfront.

Along the Seine River Banks, look for plenty of games for all ages and special activities such as tai chi lessons.  Hours:  10am-6:30pm.

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 31

More about Paris Beaches

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 - 2020

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 - 2021 - Dates TBD

More Paris classical concerts in during August

More Paris rock, pop, jazz, rap, & other concerts during August

More concerts throughout the year

Day Trip to Mont Saint Michel in August

Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint Michel - photo credit: Okamatsu Fujikawa

September is the perfect month to visit Mont Saint Michel, the magnificent medieval abbey rising from a tiny island just off the Atlantic Coast between Normandy and Brittany.

Comfortable private coach transportation from Paris makes it possible to visit Mont Saint Michel in just one day, while seeing the beautiful French countryside along the way.  During August, you'll have lots of daylight and usually wonderful weather for your excursion.

Here are two of the most popular day trip choices:

Find out about other exciting Day Trips from Paris

Paris Jazz Festival - 2020

Jazz concerts take place every Saturday and Sunday for 4 weekends at Parc Floral (the Paris Botanical Garden) in Bois de Vincennes, normally starting in late June or early July - but the festival starts late this year and takes place at 4pm on August 16, 22, and 30. 

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 jazz.  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 - they vary each weekend - but generally take place in the afternoon and early evening. 

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.

Celebrate the Liberation of Paris - 76th Anniversary - 2020

Part of a display about the Liberation of Paris at the Musée de la Libération de Paris
Part of a display about the Liberation of Paris at the Musée de la Libération de Paris

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 76th 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 happen) - 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 Reopen at the Eiffel Tower - 2020

Pop-up food market at the foot of the Eiffel Tower

The Summit level recently re-opened at the Eiffel Tower.  The clear, sunny days of August are a wonderful time to experience the sweeping views of Paris from the top - although the number of tickets is still very 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.

Find best ways get Eiffel Tower skip-the-line priority access - why waste time standing in line?

Book Your Eiffel Tower Tickets Now

Classique au Vert Music Festival - 2020

Lake at Bois de Vincennes
Lake at Bois de Vincennes

Classique au Vert brings 4 weekends of Saturday and Sunday concerts at 4pm (6pm on August 27) to Parc Floral (the Paris Botanical Garden) in Bois de Vincennes from August 15, 23, 27 (6pm), 29, and September 5, 12, and 19.

You'll hear top musicians performing everything from Mozart to Gershwin to Phillip Glass to Spanish fandangos 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, performers, 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.

Summer Sales on Designer Fashions -  Final Days

Summer sales in Paris - where to find them

The famous Paris summer sales come to an end on August 11.  

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 2020


Paris Tours for Fashionistas

Feast of the Assumption in Paris

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 2020 - 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 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.

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the tragic fire at Notre Dame, the Cathedral remains closed while repairs take place.  Most other Catholic churches around the city will offer Assumption Masses.  Nearby suggestions: Église de la Madeleine (8th arr), Église Saint-Eustache (1st arr), and Église Saint-Germain des Prés (6th arr).  We have NOT been able to confirm that an Assumption procession will take place in Paris this year. 

More information:  Notre Dame website (in French)

Paris Walking Tours for August 2020

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!

- 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

- Steet Art Tour - Discover Paris's thriving street art scene on this fascinating walking tour through parts of the 19th and 20th arrondissements - 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

Paris Exhibits - Must-See Shows for August 2020

Rooftop angel - Petit Palais
Rooftop angel - Petit Palais

Revolutions 1966-1970: 5 Years that Changed the World

@ Grande Halle de la Villette - Through August 23, 2020 - An exploration of the end of the 1960s through the lens of 5 "revolutions," and how they shape today's world.  Tickets 15-18€ for adults and 5€ for children
Where:  211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 19th arrondissement
Metro: Porte de Pantin or Porte de La Villette

James Tissot: Ambiguously Modern

@ Musée d'Orsay, June 23 through September 13, 2020 - Retrospective show focused on Tissot's paintings in the artistic and social context of the late 19th century.  Free admission with general admission ticket
Location: 1, Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 7th arrondissement
Getting there: Metro: Solférino; RER C, Gare du Musée d'Orsay station; Batobus:  Musée d'Orsay stop

More about Musée d'Orsay

Monet, Renoir, Chagall - Journeys Around the Mediterranean

@ Atelier des Lumières - February 28 through Dec 31, 2020 - Immersive video/digitized exhibition of Monet's, Renoir's, and Chagalls's masterpieces accompanied by original music.  Tickets must be purchased online on the L'Atelier website
Open:  7 days/week
Where:  38 Rue Saint Maur, 11th arrondissement
Metro: Saint-Maur

The Advent of the Artist

@ Musée du Louvre, Through August 17, 2020 - Explores how anonymous craftspeople evolved to become recognized artists during the Renaissance and became recognized as heroes in novels and legends.
Location:  Rue de Rivoli, 1st arrondissement
Closed: 
Tuesdays, January 1, May 1, and December 25
Tickets: 
17€ (purchased online); includes special and permanent exhibits; free for under 26
Stay nearby:  Hotels near the Louvre
Nearest Metro:  Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre, Pyramides
More info:  https://www.louvre.fr

Interested in a Louvre Museum guided tour?  Find out how to choose one

In the Drawing Room

@ Petit Palais, June 16 through October 4, 2020 - Selections from the prestigious Prat collection of French drawings from three centuries - Callot to Seurat - representing significant landmarks in art history.  Show tickets 11€. (Free admission to Petit Palais' permanent collection)
Location: Petit Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, 8th arrondissement
Nearest Metro: Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau 
More info:
  www.petitpalais.paris.fr


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.  (Access to special shows may require additional ticket.)  More info

La Fête Foraine des Tuileries 2020

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, "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.    Not all attractions will be available for 2020 - but you'll still find lots of fun things to do here.

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. 

When:  Through August 30, 11am to 11:45pm (12:45am Friday-Sunday)
Where:   Jardin Tuileries (Tuileries Garden) between the Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde, 1st arrondissement (enter through the gate near the Tuileries metro station)
Health precautions for 2020:  A maximum of 5,000 people will be allowed at any one time.  Gel stations will be available.  You are strongly advised to wear a mask at all times, and they will be compulsory for certain attractions
Metro:  Tuileries
Admission:   Free - plus whatever you spend on rides and games (most cost between 2-12€)

Cinéma en Plein Air - Outdoor Movies at Parc de la Villette - 2020

Reflecting ball at Parc de la Villette
Reflecting ball at Parc de la Villette

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:  films featuring nature as an almost-character.

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 2 - Little Big Man (English)
August 5 - Trip to the Pyrenees (French)
August 6 -  Grizzly Man (English)
August 7 - Thelma and Louise(English)
August 8 - Le Chant de la Mer (French; animation)
August 9 - Le Mort aux Trousses (English)
August 12 - Piano Lessons (English)
August 13 - Leave No Trace (English)
August 14 - A True Story (English)
August 15 -  Once Upon a Time the Revolution (English)
August 16 - Out of Africa (English)
August 19 - Lady Chatterley (French)
August 20 - Brokeback Mountain (English)
August 21- Arizona Dream (English)
August 22 - Lord of the Rings - Return of the King (English)
August 23 - Le Grand Bleu (English)

Dates:  Through August 22
Cost:  Free, but you must make reservations starting on Monday for each week on the park's website this year (yes, this is new) due to crowd size restrictions
Nearest Metro: Porte de Pantin

 

Silhouette Short Film Festival 2020

Wrap up the summer and welcome early fall in Paris at the free outdoor Silhouette Short Film Festival held from August 22-29 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 7:30pm.  Films begin at 9pm.

Metro:  Pré St-Gervais
Admission:   Free
More Information: http://www.association-silhouette.com

Paris l'Été ("Paris in the Summer") - 2020

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 29 - August 2, and all events this year are free.  Don't miss it!

Check Paris l'Été for schedule details.

Rock en Seine Music Festival - CANCELLED for 2020

Rock en Seine Music Festival - Paris
Performers at Rock en Seine - Photo credit: Deepskyobject

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 date and lineup for this year will be announced later.

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

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 in Paris at its best.


More Top Paris Things to Do & See in August

More Articles about Things to Do & See in Paris 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:

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