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.
Top photo: Paris Plages "beach" on the Seine River's Right Bank, (c) Paris Discovery Guide
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Paris Beaches - Paris Plages - 2023
Paris Plages ("Paris Beaches") transforms parts of Paris into fun-filled beaches each summer. The (usually) hot August weather makes being near the water especially appealing.
You'll find Paris Plages at three main locations this year: the Seine River Banks (Parc Rives de Seine) and Trocadero Gardens in central Paris, and La Villette Canal Basin in the 19th arrondissement.
The Seine River Bank "beaches" focus on relaxation, while Trocadéro features games and activities. Relax in deck chairs, visit the many floating theater, restaurants, ice cream stands, and bars along the water.
At the Bassin de Villette, you can cool off in the 4 huge Paris Plages swimming pools, enjoy kayaking and other water sports, play pétanque and table football, and take part in other activities. You'll also find lots of kids' workshops, board games, exhibitions, and libraries.
Open: 10am-10pm, and until midnight on weekends.
Dates: July 9 - August 21
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 - 2023
- Four Seasons & Ave Maria - Saint-Germain-des-Pres Church - Aug 3
- Vivaldi's Four Seasons & Mozart's A Little Night Music - La Madeleine Church - Aug 24
Festivals du Parc Floral: Paris Jazz Festival, Classic in Green, Pestacles, Nocturnes 2023
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 from late June through early September. Almost all of the 32 concerts are free, although Parc Floral 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. Most take place in the afternoon and early evening, except for the Nocturnes concerts which tend to be late at night. The brochure is in French, but the information is easy to figure out even if you only know a few words. Important tip: if you see "gratuit," that 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 28 - September 6
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.
Night at the Invalides (La Nuit aux Invalides): Napoleon...Flight of the Eagle
The spectactular Night at the Invalides outdoor sound and light show returns this summer to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's death with a spectacular new immersive presentation, "The Flight of the Eagle."
For almost an hour, brilliant video projections against the facade of Les Invalides will take you through the Napoleon legend in this retelling of his brilliant career, first as a general and then as Emperor. After the show, you can join an optional candlelight tour into the Dôme Chapel to visit Napoleon's Tomb. You can get show, tour tickets, and if needed, a headset with English translation on the event website. Want to tour Les Invalides, Napoleon's Tomb, and the Army Museum during regular hours? Get your priority entry tickets online before you go.
Dates: July 15-September 6 (to be confirmed)
Times: 10:30pm in July; 10pm in August
Location: Les Invalides at the Army Museum, 129, Rue de Grenelle, 7th arr; RER-C: Invalides
Celebrate the Liberation of Paris - 79th Anniversary 2023
On August 25 each year, Paris celebrates the anniversary of the Liberation of Paris on during World War II.
On that day in 1944, 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 79th anniversary.
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 2023
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 and the number of visitors wanting them is large, so reserve yours as soon as you know your dates.
While you're there: visit the "rooftop" terrace 1st floor where you can enjoy casual food, drinks and hand-made ice cream while soaking up the exceptional views.
Book Your Eiffel Tower Tickets Now
Assumption Procession in Paris
The Fête de l'Assomption, a Roman Catholic religious celebration commemorating the Virgin Mary's rise to heaven, takes place in France on August 15 each year.
Traditionally, Assumption Day observances begin on August 14 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 narrow streets of Ile de la Cité 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 until the great cathedral reopens. Last year, the procession departed 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 ended in front of Notre Dame Cathedral (5pm) - please note, the route may be the same for 2023, but still needs to be confirmed.
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 (actually, they're often sparse), so you can easily find good viewing spots along the route and near Notre Dame.
When August 15 falls on a Friday or a Monday - which it does NOT in 2023 - you may find many stores and restaurants closed as Parisians take the opportunity to have a 3-day weekend during prime summer weather, assuming they haven't already left town for an even longer August vacation. Otherwise, many other places including most museums remain open, even though Assumption Day is a French public holiday. Confusing? Yes, somewhat.
More information: Notre Dame website (in French)
Paris Walking Tours for August 2023
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 city's best chocolates, and learn about chocolate as an art form
- Steet Art Tour - Discover Paris's thriving street art scene on this fascinating walking tour through parts of the 19th and 20th arrondissements
- Medieval Paris Private Walking Tour - Discover life in the Middle Ages in Paris as you stroll along medieval streets past Notre Dame Cathedral, Hotel de Cluny, and Fountain of the Innocents as you learn about about this period's culture, art, and architecture.
Paris Exhibits - Must-See Shows for August
Picasso Celebration: The Collection in a New Light @ Musee Picasso
Exhibition of curated masterpieces by Picasso deisgned to show his work through a contemporary lens; displayed in conjunction with works by contemporary international artists such as Guillermo Kuitca, Obi Okigbo, Mickalene Thomas and Chéri Samba.
Dates: March 7 - August 27, 2023
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: 77 Rue de Varenne, Paris 7; Metro: Varenne
Paris Museum and Attractions Passes
La Fête Foraine des Tuileries
La Fête Foraine des Tuileries - 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 tempting 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 28, 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)
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
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).
Bring a blanket to sit on, a picnic dinner, and a bottle of wine. Food will also be sold at the site.
This is the schedule from last year - 2023 schedule to to provided closer to the dates:
August Cinéma en Plein Air Lineup:
August 2 - Hand in Hand (French)
August 3- Le Grand Bal (French)
August 4 - The Black Swan (English)
August 5 - The Artist (English)
August 6 - Hello Sadness (English)
August 9 - If It Was Love, According to the Crowd (French)
August 10 - Eden (French)
August 11 - Dancer in the Dark (English)
August 12 - Eyes Wide Shut (English)
August 13- Life is Beautiful (English)
August 16 - Grisgris (French)
August 18 - Beloved (French)
August 19 - High Heels (Spanish)
August 20 - West Side Story (English)
Nearest Metro: Porte de Pantin
Jazz à la Villette
The Jazz à la Villette Festival stages two weekends of superb musical events in Parc de la Villette's major venues: Philharmonie de Paris, Grande Halle de La Villette, and Cité de la Musique. Don't miss this unforgettable experience of hearing some of the best French and international musicians at one of the world's leading jazz fests. There's also a special kids' program. The festival runs from August 30 - September 10. (to be confirmed)
Lineup and more information: Jazz à la Villette website
Silhouette Short Film Festival
Wrap up the summer and welcome early fall in Paris at the free outdoor Silhouette Short Film Festival held from August 25-September 2 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 (also a good place to stay in this area), located just a few blocks away.
Metro: Pré St-Gervais or Place des Fête
More Information: Event website
Rock en Seine Music Festival
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.
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.
Paris Beer Festival
Although wine usually overshadows beer as the beverage of choice in Paris, rising stars among local craft brewers may change your loyalties once you explore what's on offer. There's no better way to do that than stopping by the Paris Beer Festival and savoring the lineups on tap.
The first three days of the festival focus on events hosted by bars, gastro pubs, and breweries located mostly in the Marais, Canal Saint-Martin, and other eastern arrondissement neighborhoods. The last two days take place in Ground Control, a former rail depot repurposed as a popular theater, food, music venue, and community space with restaurants, food trucks, outdoor seating, and shops behind Gare de Lyon train station in the 12th arrondissement, where you'll have the chance to do a lot more sampling.
When: August 20 - September 4 (to be confirmed)
Where: Days 1-3, various locations; Days 4 & 5: Ground Control, 81 Rue de Charolais, Paris 12
Tickets (Sat & Sun only): 5-7€; e-payment only
More information: Event website
Want to visit Ground Control at other times? It's open Wednesday through Sunday (see their website for hours and events)
Les Extatiques Festival at La Défense 2023
The annual Les Extatiques Festival at La Défense, located in Paris's skyscraper-filled business district just beyond the city limits, features new monumental sculptures by eight contemporary French and International artists.
Look for the sculptures along La Défense's Esplanade, a long park-like paved space that functions as an outdoor art gallery (and also hosts La Défense's enormous Christmas Market). You'll find them in the stretch between the Grande Arche and the multi-colored Bassin pool and fountains.
Dates: Through October 1, 2023
Metro: La Défense (about a 5-minute ride from the Charles de Gaulle/Etoile station on Line 1; if you walk down the whole 1 km (.6 m) length of the Esplanade, you'll end up at the Esplanade de La Défense station and can hop on the metro there to go back to Paris - or continue walking for another mile or so to the Arc de Triomphe.
While you're there: Go to the top of the Grande Arche to enjoy skyline views of Paris from the terrace
More Top Paris Things to Do & See in August
More Articles about Things to Do & See in Paris in August
- Arènes de Lutèce - Where to find this hidden Roman Arena in Paris, and things to do once you get there
- Top 10 Paris Attractions - Places and sights you won't want to miss!
- Paris Arrondissement Map & Paris Neighborhoods - "Getting Around Paris 101" - See at a glance where all the top attractions are located!
- Paris Summer Sales - Our top 10 tips for getting the biggest discounts and bargains on Paris designer fashions
- Paris Beaches - Where to enjoy the last few days of summer
Need Reservations? Use this Paris Hotel & Apartment Map
Planning to visit Paris in August? Use this Paris hotel map to find accommodations and make your reservations: