The Best Activities to Do in Paris During Summer: 14 Ideas to Make the Most of It

It is warm outside, the days are long, and the time has come to take your shorts and sunglasses out of your closet… there’s no doubt then, summer is back! Now is the time to go out and enjoy the warm temperatures outside.

Whether you live in Paris and are staying in the capital city for the summer, or you are here on holidays, there’s a lot of activities you can do during that time, no matter what your wants and needs. You will find in this article a selection of our favourite activities to do in Paris during summertime, something that will make your stay in the capital nice and festive!

14th of July Paris summer
Photo credits: Yann Caradec, FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0

Summary:
The events that take place for a day or a few days
The activities you can do all summer long

 

 

The Events That Take Place For A Day Or A Few Days

 

1) The Fête de la Musique (World Music Day)

World Music Day's stage in Paris
A concert of la Fête de la Musique – Photo credits: Eddy Berthier, Flickr, public domain

Since its creation in 1982, the first day of summer has been rhyming with World Music Day in France. In Paris just like everywhere else, hundreds of concerts are played for free during this night of celebrating. It is the perfect moment to wander about the streets of the City of Light if you are in the area during that day, and let the music played by professionals and amateurs who came to share their passion guide you all around Paris.

Find out about the different bands playing that night in Paris on the Internet – you will most likely find something you like among all of the offers.

This is the best way to begin your summer on a high note!

We like: having a large choice of bands from every musical genre you can listen to for free during the longest day of the year.

When? During the night of 21st-22nd of June.
Where? Everywhere in Paris.

Cost: free.

Visit the official website of the World Music Day in Paris

 

 

 

2) Japan Expo

Japan Expo Paris summer
Cosplayers at Japan Expo – Photo credits: Danny Choo, FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0

If you are a fan of Japanese culture, you have to go to Japan Expo. Just like it has done every summer for more than the past 15 years now, this event dedicated to this country takes place during 4 days at the beginning of July, at the exhibition centre of Paris-Nord Villepinte.

During those few days, you will be able to discover numerous aspects of Japanese culture, like mangas and video games, but also music and even martial arts. Concerts, movie premieres, meetings with artists who came straight from Japan to talk about their culture… Japan Expo seems to be the perfect place for everyone who would like to know more about this country and its culture.

We like: meeting with other fans of Japan to learn more about its culture during an event fully dedicated to it.

When? 4 days at the beginning of July.
Where? Parc des expositions Paris-Villepinte, ZAC Paris Nord 2, 93420 Paris.

Cost: between €12 and €22 for a day – between €56 and €180 for a 4-day pass depending on the category of tickets you choose to purchase.

Purchase your tickets for Japan Expo

 

 

 

3) The Chasse aux Trésors de Paris (Scavenger Hunt in Paris)

The Chasse aux Trésors de Paris has become one of the main events in the capital during summer. It allows people to stride along the city, discovering it in a fun way while looking for clues that will help solve a riddle according to a story that changes every year. Alone or with a group, with children or between adults only, there are different itineraries made for every level of experience, with one in English for strangers who would like to take part in it.

You can either register online or on location on the D-Day. It is completely free and for everyone.

We like: to put ourselves in Sherlock Holmes’ shoes for a day while looking for clues.

When? At the beginning of July.
Where? Several arrondissements in Paris.

Cost: free.

Learn more about the Chasse aux Trésors de Paris

 

 

 

4) The French National Day concert in Paris

14th of July Paris summer
Fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower for the 14th of July – Photo credits: Yann Caradec, FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0

Of course, summer in France means French National Day on the 14th of July. As has been the case for years now, a concert is organised at the Champs-de-Mars, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, so that you can start celebrating even before the sun sets.

Come and listen to the different classical music bands playing for the occasion in a festive and warm atmosphere. This is the best way to wait until later that night, when the so-called fireworks are set off from right behind, on the Trocadéro!

Also, during the day, you cannot miss the famous military parade on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, as well as the firemen’s balls on the 13th and 14th of July, other celebrations organised in Paris during our French National Day.

We like: a festive atmosphere helping us wait until the fireworks display.

When? 14th of July.
Where? Champs-de-Mars, 2, Allée Adrienne Lecouvreur, 75007 Paris.

Cost: free.

Learn more about the 14th of July in Paris

 

 

 

5) The finish line of the Tour de France

tour de France
Photo credits: Celso Flores, FlickrCC BY 2.0

The Tour de France is a competition a lot of people in France follow, either on TV or live when the cyclists pass by their city. Just like every year since its creation in 1903, the final ride of the Tour de France ends on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Come and cheer the participants on that final stretch until the finishing line, and congratulate the winners during that big summer competition.

You can get limited VIP platform tickets if you are from Paris and would like to be at the heart of the event, but you can of course also watch the cyclists arrive for free from the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. The racers turn around the place about fifteen times, which leaves you enough time to see them pass by again and again.

We like: being able to support the racers during the final stretch of the Tour de France.

When? At the end of July.
Where? Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris.

Cost: free.

Go to the official website of the Tour de France

 

 

 

6) The Nuits des Étoiles (Nights of the Stars)

Starry night sky
Source: Pixabay

Every year in France, at the beginning of August, 3 nights are dedicated to watching the stars, and mostly shooting stars, as there is a lot during this period.

For those who will be in Paris at that time, we advise you go up the Montparnasse tower, where different activities will be organised for the occasion. Indeed, you will find on the agenda meetings and other encounters with professionals to learn more about what is going on in the sky.

And of course, from up the highest skyscraper in Paris, on its terrace at the top of its 56th floor, you will be able to watch the sky like you never did before, above the capital’s pollution. You will thus be the nearest you can get to the stars to make a wish!

We like: watching the sky from up the top of the highest skyscraper in Paris.

When? 3 nights at the beginning of August.
Where? Tour Montparnasse, 33, Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris.

Cost: from €9.50 to €17.

Learn more about the Nuit des Etoiles (in French)

 

 

 

The Activities You Can Do All Summer Long

 

7) Open-air film screenings

Outdoor cinema at la Villette's park
Photo credits: Flightlog, FlickrCC BY 2.0

You are a fan of cinema, but you don’t want to get stuck inside a dark room to watch a movie when it is warm and nice outside? At the La Villette park, thanks to its open-air screenings, it will be easy to combine the two. In summer, for a whole month from the end of July to the end of August, there are movies screened in the park according to a particular theme.

Come and enjoy the screening of a movie while comfortably lying in a deckchair outside, in the summer weather, without having to spend a penny… because it is all for free!

We like: being able to enjoy the screening of a movie without being locked inside a room and while bringing our picnic with us.

When? A night, from the end of July to the end of August.
Where? Parc de La Villette, 211, Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris.

Cost: free (you have to pay to sit on a deckchair).

Visit the website of the La Villette park

 

 

 

8) The Grandes Eaux Nocturnes in Versailles

Grandes Eaux Nocturnes Versailles Paris summer
The Grandes Eaux Nocturnes show at the Versailles Palace – Photo credits: Yann Caradec, FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0

Even if you can already enjoy the Grandes Eaux Musicales show at the Versailles Palace from the end of March up until the end of October, in summer this show is played even at night. Indeed, from mid-June to mid-September, take advantage of the warm summer weather to take part in the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes, a show where you will discover the gardens of Louis XIV’s palace like you never did before, put into light by water and light shows while you stroll around.

Located less than an hour away from Paris by car, visiting the Versailles Palace and participating in the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes show is for sure an activity you will not want to miss if you are in Paris for the summer.

We like: walking around the palace’s gardens at night while watching the wonderful water and light shows.

When? From mid-June to mid-September.
Where? Gardens of the Versailles Palace, Place d’Armes, 78000 Paris.

Cost:
Full fare: €26.
Reduced fees and group fare (from 30 persons): €22.
(These are the prices for when you purchase your tickets online: it costs + €2 if you buy them on location for the same night.)
Free for children under 6 years old.

Book a ticket for the Grandes Eaux Nocturnes in Versailles

 

 

 

9) Have a drink outside

View from the rooftop bar "Le perchoir"
View from “Le Perchoir” – Photo credit: Sam Nabi, FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0

What better time in the year than summer to have a drink outside? With its long days and the summer heat, you will be able to enjoy your drink until late in the night.

Moreover, you will be able to take advantage of a wonderful view over some of the best monuments in Paris while sipping on your drink thanks to some rooftop bars in the capital. Come running to the rooftop bar Le Perchoir for example, where you will be able to view the Sacré-Coeur cathedral and the peculiar Parisian rooftops while sipping a fine cocktail outside and in an intimate atmosphere.

We like: enjoying the sun and the summer heat while sipping a cocktail and having a beautiful overview of Paris.

When? All summer long.
Where? Le Perchoir, 14, Rue Crespin du Gast, 75011 Paris.

Cost:
Cocktails: from €12.
Half-pint: €5.

Visit the Le Perchoir bar’s website

 

 

 

10) Take a Swedish Fit class outside

It’s summertime and the weather is good; you want to start doing some sports, but you are tired of doing such activities as going for a run? Why not try a Swedish Fit class? Free classes are available all summer long everywhere in the parks and gardens of Paris during that time.

The Swedish Fit is a type of activity that everyone can do. It makes us work all of our body without having to strain our muscles too much, and always in a nice atmosphere.

This is a good way of enjoying the good weather outside while exerting yourself. There are classes organised for every level of practice – all of this with fun and enjoyment of course!

We like: being able to do some physical activity made for everyone outside.

When? All summer long.
Where? A lot of parks and gardens in Paris (visit the official website of the club to learn more about it).

Cost: free.

Learn more about the Swedish Fit sports club

 

 

 

11) The Fête des Tuileries

Tuileries' rides
Photo Credits: Erasmus of Paris, FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0

All summer long, from the end of June to the end of August, a funfair is set in the Tuileries Gardens. It is the second biggest funfair of all Paris, right after the Foire du Trôle, which takes place in the Spring.

On the agenda of those two months of fair: 60 rides of all sorts and for all ages, including the famous big wheel, things to eat for the foodies, and even some concerts and other festivals organised during that time.

You can therefore say it is a fun way of enjoying summertime by being outside!

We like: the numerous attractions you can try with your friends or family.

When? From the end of June to the end of August.
Where? Jardin des Tuileries, 113, Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris.

Cost: free entry (charge for rides and food services).

Learn more about the Fête des Tuileries

 

 

 

12) The Nuit aux Invalides

Invalides' Night show
Photo credits: Gzen92, Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 4.0

The Nuit aux Invalides starts when the sun sets and is a night show that takes place in the Cour d’Honneur des Invalides all summer long, from the end of June to the beginning of September.

Thanks to this show, depending on the theme (which changes every year), you will be able to learn more about the history of the Invalides through 3D projections and other sound and light effects, all of this with a 360° view over the building – an activity you can do with your whole family.

Then, once the show – which lasts for about 45 minutes – is over, you will be able to enjoy a visit to the Dôme in the summer heat, if you feel like it.

We like: being able to rediscover the history of France through a show in 3D and with a 360° view.

When? From the end of June to the beginning of July, from Wednesday to Saturday as soon as the sun sets.
Where? Cour d’Honneur des Invalides, Place Vauban, 75007 Paris.

Cost: from €18.99 for a standing spot in a second-class category (possibility of reduced fees).

Visit the official website of the Nuit des Invalides

 

 

 

13) Rent a permit-free boat

Boat La Villette Paris summer
Boat in the Bassin de la Villette – Photo credits: Benoît Prieur, Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

You always dreamed of enjoying a ride on a boat you can sail by yourself? Thanks to Marin d’eau douce, it is now possible.

Whether it is for one or several hours, rent a boat and have a ride on part of a 24.9-mile itinerary of waterways. No need for a permit, these electrical boats are easy to sail and will allow you to enjoy some wonderful time sailing under the sun and the cool breeze of the river combined.

We like: making the most of the summer heat on board a boat we can sail by ourselves.

When? All summer long.
Where? Bassin de La Villette, 37, Quai de la Seine, 75019 Paris.

Cost: from €40 for a 5-person maximum boat – €50 for a 7-person maximum boat – €70 for a 11-person maximum boat (prices increase with the number of hours you rent it).

Rent a boat now with Marin d’eau douce

 

 

 

14) Paris Plage

Paris Plage summer
Paris Page – Photo credit: Sharat Ganapati, FlickrCC BY 2.0

Paris Plage has to be the most famous summer activity in Paris. It is one of the unmissable things you can do during that time when you are in the City of Light.

Whether it is for swimming or simply basking in the sun on a deckchair, there are plenty of facilities for you to use for free on the Seine banks, so that you can leisurely enjoy the summer heat.

Such a thing will make you believe you are on a real beach next to the sea without having to go far!

We like: feeling like we are on the beach while in fact still being in the capital city.

When? From the beginning of July to the beginning of September.
Where? Parc des Rives de Seine, 75004 Paris – Bassin de La Villette, 37, Quai de la Seine, 75019 Paris – Parvis de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris.

Cost: free.

Learn more about Paris Plage