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 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 processionby 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.
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
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
Coding the World
@ Centre Pompidou (Rue Saint-Martin, 4e), June 15-August 27 - Fascinating exploration of the history of digital code in art as seen in works by a variety of artists since 1960. Exhibit included with museum admission of 12€; free admission when you have a Paris Museum Pass Location: Rue Saint-Martin, 4th arrondissement. Nearest Metros: Rambuteau, Hôtel de Ville, Châtelet. RER: Châtelet les Halles, lines A, B, D
@ L'Atelier des Lumières, through Nov 11- Monumental floor-to-ceiling digital images accompanied by original music in Paris's new immersive Digital Arts Center, open only since April in a former iron factory. Tickets 14.5€ at the door and online (L'Atelier website) Where: 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11th arrondissement Metro: Rue Saint-Maur
Impressionists in London
@ Petit Palais, June 21-October 14 - See magnificent works produced by French Impressionists while in self-imposed exile in prosperous London during the late 19th century. Show tickets about 10€. (Free admission to Petit Palais' permanent collection) Location: Petit Palais, 8th arrondissement Nearest Metro: Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau
Margiela, The Hermès Years
@ Musée des Arts Décoratifs, March 22-September 2 - Get a close-up look of the famous Belgium fashion designer's own creations compared with his ready-to-wear designs for Hermès, complete with accessories. Open Tuesday - Sunday; 11am-6pm and until 9pm on Thursdays (temporary exhibitions only). General admission 11€; includes this exhibit Location:107 rue de Rivoli, Rohan and Marsan wings of the Louvre, 1st arr Stay nearby:Hotels near the Louvre Nearest Metro: Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre More info: http://madparis.fr/
Beyond the Limits
@ The Grand Hall at Parc de la Villette, May 15 - September 9 - An immersive experience at the frontiers of art, science, and technology. Open daily 10am-7pm, and Saturday until 10pm (last admission at 8:30pm). Tickets 14.90€. Location: Parc de la Villette,19th arrondissement
Nearest Metro: Porte de Pantin More info:La Villette Website
La Fête Foraine des Tuileries
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
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