Summer In Paris Travel Guide

No matter how many times travel experts tell people to try to avoid visiting popular cities like Paris during the high summer travel season, there will still be gazillions of people for whom there really isnt another viable option for their vacation. And if you find a travel expert who tells you to skip a trip altogether rather than go in the summer, let me know so I can slap them.

In other words, even though visiting Paris in the summer isnt necessarily what Id recommend, a summertime trip to Paris is still going to be glorious and this goes without saying better than no trip to Paris at all. Whats more, you can minimize some of the discomfort associated with a peak season trip to Paris, too. Well go over some ways to do that in this article.

Getting to Paris in the Summer

Although youll find flights to Paris throughout the year, unlike some destinations that have almost entirely seasonal traffic, you will still find more frequent flights to Paris in the summer months to meet the higher travel demand. Unfortunately, more flights doesnt mean cheaper prices in this case airlines know that this is the most popular season, so the fares are raised accordingly.

If summer is the only time you can book your trip, be prepared to pay more for airfare to Paris than you would if you were traveling in any other season. Summer visitors on a budget have to be even smarter about doing their research before booking a flight, and that usually means starting to look at airfare prices sooner than for trips at other times of the year.

Id suggest setting email fare alerts with your airfare booking engine of choice as early as February or March there are often springtime sales that extend into the early summer months, but if you start looking in May theyll most likely be gone.

The other option for saving on an airline ticket to Paris in the summer is to look at visiting in August as opposed to June or July. Its typically the hottest month of the year, and the one when more things may be closed because its the national holiday month in France when locals head out of the cities and hit the beaches but of the summer months it tends to be the cheapest.

Summer Weather in Paris

Summer in Paris can be downright sticky-hot. August, as mentioned, is generally the hottest month of the year, but July can be steamy, too. If youre looking at averages for Paris weather, you may think its not going to be that bad and it may not be the year that youre traveling. But in recent years Paris (along with much of the rest of Europe) has experienced serious heat waves in the summers with temperatures and humidity levels soaring. So when youre trying to figure out what to pack for your Paris trip, be sure to check the actual weather forecasts and not just the averages in your guidebook.

Its always a good idea to follow the lead of the locals when it comes to things like attire and daily habits, since they know whats best in their city, but I think its even more important in a Parisian summer. The locals arent rushing around in the heat of the mid-day, and neither should you. Be ready to slow down in the summer, and dont forget to drink plenty of water.

Things to Do in Paris in Summer
French Open
You dont have to be a huge sports fan to know about the French Open, one of the bigger tennis tournaments of the year. It usually begins in May, but if youre visiting Paris at the beginning of June it might still be going on by the time you get there. Getting tickets can be a costly affair (especially last minute), and it may cause hotel prices to go up for hotels close to the tournament, so keep that in mind for your own trip.

Paris Plage
If Paris cant go the beach in the summer, let the beach come to Paris thats the idea behind Paris Plage. Originally intended to give Parisians who couldnt afford to go to Frances beaches in the summer, its become a fun and popular escape for locals and visitors alike. (Dont be fooled into thinking this is the kind of beach where snorkeling gear and a waterproof digital camera are going to come in handy, but its kind of fun if youre in Paris in August.)

Summer Sales in Paris
Shopping in Paris is a great pastime no matter what month it is, but the official sale periods in France are strictly governed so there are only two times of year when shops put on sales. If youre lucky enough to visit during the summer sale, you might want to bring an empty suitcase with you.

Bastille Day
Frances biggest national holiday is Bastille Day, and being in Paris on July 14th is great fun even if youre not French. Its one of the few days when the Champs-Elysees is closed (for the big military parade), and there are fireworks at the Eiffel Tower that night. Many things around Paris will be closed on the 14th, including banks and most attractions, but there are enough holiday events taking place that you should be well entertained.

Tour de France
Although bike racing isnt as big a sport in the United States as it is elsewhere in the world, American cyclists like Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond have made it so most Americans at least have heard of the Tour de France. This annual 3-week race through France happens every July, and although its only the final day thats in Paris (again shutting down the Champs-Elysees) youll no doubt find bars and cafes with TVs tuned to the coverage every day.

Foire Saint Germain
Paris has several spring and summer fairs that are typically meant for locals but are fun for visitors, too the Foire Saint Germain in the lovely Saint Germain des Pres neighborhood generally starts in May and goes through July. Its a street fair with music, antique sellers, and (of course) food.

Paris Cinema Film Festival
The Paris Cinema Film Festival doesnt have the history of some other festivals around the world, but its already fairly popular and can be a fun opportunity mingle with locals and see some movies you can bet wont come through the multiplex in your hometown.

Outdoor Movies at Parc de la Villette
Another summer event movie lovers might be interested in is the series of movies shown at Parc de la Villette outdoors. Tickets are cheaper than the film festival, and the outdoor movies let you soak up the summer weather as well as allow for picnic refreshments.

Fete de la Musique
Paris isnt cheap, so free activities are always welcome. This annual music festival is held on the longest day of the year the summer solstice and youll find music performances in cafes and even outdoors throughout the city, all of which are free.

Gay Pride Parade
You absolutely dont have to be gay to enjoy the spectacle of Paris Gay Pride Parade and if youd rather avoid the whole thing, be sure to find out what day its happening and what the route is. Crowds are usually plentiful.

by Andrei Popescu Link to site

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