In a beautiful, romantic old city like Paris, warm weather isn’t the only reason to get out and go sightseeing, but it sure is the most effective! With the arrival of summer, native Parisians and tourists alike can be seen outside roaming the streets, doing some casual shopping (just in time for the Paris Summer Sales!), and lounging around lush green parks and the sandy shores of Paris Plages.
The summer season in Paris is also an invitation to travel! You too can enjoy the beautiful summer weather of Paris, and perhaps fancy yourself a Paris local by staying in an authentic Paris apartment. Whether for a whirlwind weekend in the City of Lights or a more extended stay, we’ve compiled a guide to some of the best things to do in Paris this summer and a few showcase furnished apartments to help you fall in love with city. Let’s go!
Connect with Paris outdoors
Of course you can’t miss all of the major attractions and sightseeing spots in Paris, but sometimes the best way to get acquainted with a city is by seeing its natural side. After the blooming flowers of spring have subsided, Paris’s parks become verdant oases full of shady trees, rolling hills, and unexpected outdoor activities like boating, sports like cycling and rollerblading, and even horseback riding and fishing!
If you’ve checked all the classic Paris parks off your list, try a lesser-known gem like the Coulée verte René-Dumont. This modern park (opened in 1993) was constructed on the infrastructure of a decommissioned railway and offers nearly 3 miles of landscaped walkways through charming flowers, shrubs, trees, and sculptures. The elevated park is perfect for a romantic summer stroll and offers a different perspective on Paris than the most trafficked green spaces (though all are still worth a visit!). The Coulée verte is located in the 12th Arrondissement.
Another prime spot for some hot-weather family fun is Parc André Citroën! This artsy, modern park also makes use of repurposed urban space: it was built on the site of a former auto manufacturing plant. The site is home to two greenhouses filled with exotic plants, six themed gardens designed to indulge the senses, and even a hot air balloon in which visitors can actually ride! Kids will also love splashing through the park’s public fountains on a hot summer day. Check out more kid-friendly summer activities in Paris here!
If you’re looking for something a bit more classic and relaxing, getting close to the water may be your best bet. Celebrate (or escape!) the summer temperatures by renting a rowboat in a Paris park! If modernism isn’t your taste, the Bois de Boulogne is a wonderful and historical (it was once the hunting ground of France’s royalty) park to visit in Paris. The park’s lake offers the opportunity to rent a private rowboat for €10 for an hour. Enjoy a picnic or just some quality time with your sweetheart on the lake or in the heart of this tranquil park.
If you can’t get enough of the fresh air in Paris, you’ll love this Bastille vacation rental. This alcove studio has five large south and west-facing windows that let sunlight pour into the apartment. Throw the windows wide open in the summer (as is customary in French apartments) for natural ventilation. You can enjoy preparing fresh food in the tiled kitchenette with wine rack while looking out onto the living room (and there’s even a window in the kitchen area for ventilation). Extra touches like a cable television and decorative fireplace make the space homey, and the elevated sleeping alcove logically sections the space. The youthful area of Bastille is also great for summer, with plenty of nightlife and an open-air market where you can go shopping for fresh produce six days a week!
Summer on the Seine
The Seine River has always been the center of life in Paris, but in the summer it especially comes alive. The cool breezes of the Seine draw people to the riverbanks to walk, run, enjoy a bottle of wine, and just soak in the scenery of Paris. To take advantage of the Seine yourself, you can enjoy free activities like the aforementioned Paris Plages, sports activities like yoga and Tai Chi, and dance classes in the evening. Food vendors and carts and floating restaurants also set up shop for the season.
Finally, what better way is there to experience the Seine than by going sightseeing from a river cruise? Cool off by getting close to the water and see famous sights around the river like the Pont Alexandre, the Pont Neuf (the oldest bridge in Paris), and Notre Dame Cathedral (the only way you may be able to see it this summer, as it is temporarily closed following April 2019’s fire).
If you’d prefer cheaper and more mobile sightseeing, try bicycling along the Seine! The bridges and quays along the river are both bicycle and pedestrian-friendly, and a quiet and scenic way to exercise and experience the city. If you can’t bring a bike with you to Paris, consider renting one through Vélib’ Métropole, the city’s popular bike-sharing system.
Enjoy a perspective on Paris that’s just as vibrant as the Seine with a stay in this 2-bedroom vacation rental on Île de la Cité. The apartment is decorated with a collection of eclectic artwork, bright colors, and a bohemian vibe. You can make unforgettable memories with friends (ones you brought along or ones you met on your travels!) in the living room, which is filled with welcoming seating like a bench, several antique-style chairs, and a chaise sofa. There’s room for everyone to sleep too, with two bedrooms with full-sized beds. As an added bonus, the floor-to-ceiling windows can be opened wide to enjoy views of the Seine straight from your apartment!
This area in the 4th Arrondissement is the true heart of Paris, right near one of the most beloved districts, full of authentic Medieval history and charm: Le Marais. With a stay in this charming 2-bedroom, you can be right on the pulse of it all.
Find a summery souvenir at the world’s largest outdoor flea market
Avoid being cooped up inside for even a moment during the lovely Paris summer by taking your souvenir shopping outdoors as well! A stroll through the Puces de Saint-Ouen may be just what a summer trip to Paris calls for. This flea market, the largest in the world, is full of antiques and curiosities at every corner, perfect for tracking down a one-of-a-kind memento from your trip to France. Outdoor markets are the perfect summertime activity. With a stay in a furnished apartment, you can enjoy them to their fullest by preparing the fresh ingredients from Paris’s outdoor food markets in your own kitchen (a feature you won’t find in a hotel!).
Fill your summer calendar with live music in Paris
Another way Paris embraces the summer season is with live music and outdoor concerts! First up on June 21 is Fête de la Musique, a celebration of the summer solstice with a full day of music across the entire city. The celebration encourages musicians of all varieties and levels of mastery to fill streets, parks, museums, and other public spaces with their music. Stroll (or dance) through Paris and find music at every corner, and be on the lookout for special programming.
The Paris Jazz Festival on June 30 thru July 22 celebrates Paris’s jazz scene in the Parc Floral de Paris. The ticketed festival draws thousands of spectators every year, with an eclectic lineup celebrating all varieties and levels of fame in jazz music.
Finally, there’s Paris’s classic popular music festival, Rock en Seine (August 23-25). The festival draws roughly 40,000 attendees per day from all around the world to Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, west of Paris. You will need passes to this event, but it promises to be one of Paris’s biggest parties of the year!
Celebrate summer with Paris’s annual events
Speaking of parties, summer brings a few lively celebrations in its wake! Of course, you can’t miss Bastille Day on July 14. The holiday is somewhat of the French equivalent to an independence day, celebrating the beginning of the French Revolution and eventual democracy for France. The day kicks off with the famous military parade down the Champs-Élysées, and you can expect fabulous fireworks displays around the Eiffel Tower at night.
Another festivity is the Nuits des Étoiles (August 3-5), three nights dedicated to astronomy and stargazing that occur annually in Paris’s most beautiful observatories. Experts will be on hand to meet the public, lead the stargazing, and answer questions. The events are free and open to the public and all ages, a great place to bring the budding astronomers in your family!
There’s more family fun to be had in this 4-bedroom vacation rental near the Champ de Mars! This duplex is located in an elevator building, and its numerous windows offer views of the Eiffel Tower that will dazzle young ones! A stereo system and cable television with DVD player provide entertainment, even on rainy days in Paris. The modern styling of the apartment keeps things fun, the kitchen makes preparing meals for a larger group a breeze, and sleeping space for eight people including double and single beds will help keep the peace. As an added bonus, the owner of this apartment offers guests a special deal on museum passes, helping larger groups save money on admission and devote more time to learning and fun sightseeing (after all, Paris’s museums are unmissable; you won’t want to waste any time!).
Cheer for world-class athletes at a summer sporting event
Finally, this summer in Paris is great for sports fans! France is this year’s host of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and several of the invigorating matches will be played in the country’s capital, including the opening match! The festivities kick off at Parc des Princes in Paris on June 7 and continue until July 7’s final match in Lyon.
Of course, summer also marks the return of one of the most celebrated annual events in Paris and the world; the Tour de France. The nationwide, 3,600-mile cyclist race reaches its epic conclusion at the finish line on the Champs-Élysées on July 28. If you’re in Paris for July, be sure not to miss it!
In fact, why not rent a furnished apartment for a month or more to ensure you get the most out of summer in Paris? With celebrations, music, sports, and the ability to spend a virtually unlimited amount of time outdoors in the fresh air, you won’t want to miss a thing. Prepare to have the ultimate summer in Paris by planning your trip today!