Visiting Paris in summer
Visiting Paris in summer
To be honest: It’s maybe not the best idea to visit Paris during the peak of summer. It’s the same with Southern European cities (like Rome): all locals will have escaped the city heat already. I guess they make a good point: Enjoy beautiful beaches or lakes instead 😉
Nevertheless, I’ve also spent several days in Paris during summer heat. It being my first time in this famous city, I really enjoyed it!
Gladly, I have a couple of friends living there who gave useful recommendations. Also Dave has already been to Paris in summer, and recently wrote about his favourite place: Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre. Scrolling down, you’ll find my tips for visiting Paris in summer.
Rodin Museum with its garden
Of course, Paris bursts with museums. However, I recommend in particular the Rodin museum while visiting Paris in summer.
It’s surrounded by a huge sculpture garden, with trees providing shade from the sun. You can take your time strolling through this garden and discover Rodin’s sculptures which are spread out all over the garden! Also, due to its size of three hectars, it’s usually not that packed with visitors. Except for the famous “Thinker” – all tourists are standing in front of it and admire the statue from each angle 🙂
Beat the heat in one of the huge parks
Paris also offers the possibility to relax in various green areas like the Luxembourg Gardens or the Champ de Mars next to the Eiffel Tower. My recommendation for you is the picturesque and romantic Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Being one of the biggest parks in Paris, it offers vast green space between the trees on the small hills. Additionally, you will find a lake, a waterfall, a grotto and the possibility to enjoy a view over parts of the city (in particular Montmartre). Moreover, you can always have a picnic here as well.
Summer nights at Canal Saint-Martin
Join the hip crowd and have a picnic on a warm summer night at Canal St. Martin!
I was amazed how many people are having a picnic or sharing a bottle of wine along the canal. My friend and me loved the relaxed atmosphere. There are several little shops around, where you can purchase a bottle of wine yourself. They even open the bottle for you. In case you prefer sitting in a proper restaurant, you will find a lot of choices in this area as well.
I’ve embedded the approximate location on Google below.
By the way, another nice spot to have a picnic with a view is Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre during sunset, as David mentioned in his guest post.
Rent a bicycle and explore
The metro is cramped, hot, and everybody is sweating. You could explore Paris by bike instead! This is…
- … good for tired feet (which we all have after wandering around in a big city like Paris).
- … a nice work out during your holiday.
- … obviously great for spotting Paris’s wonders in each little corner (instead of sitting in the metro).
I would recommend using the bikes of Vélib’. Similar to renting bikes from Citibike stations in NYC, you feel like a true local using this type of transport. Additionally, this system offers a lot of flexibility: You can drop off your bike in any of the 1.800 stations across Paris.
Stay cool in the department store
To cool down, you can visit a climatized supermarket or department store 😉 Don’t just visit any store, but the famous Galeries Lafayette. Although being full of tourists, it’s still worth seeing it:
- The Art Nouveau architecture and decorations are outstanding! In particular the glass dome looks stunning.
- Noteworthy is the observation deck (terrace) in the top of the building. Admission is free. Enjoy the view of the Opera and surroundings.
Consequently, you don’t need to be a shopping addict to appreciate this unique department store 😉
These were my tips for visiting Paris in summer. Of course, you still want to see the main sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame, and so on. Hopefully my ideas were helpful for you as well 🙂
Let me know your recommendations to bear hot summer days in Paris!