August in Paris might seem like a pretty strange place. Everything is quiet and many of the boutiques, restaurants and shops in your area might have signs in the window informing customers that they will be closed for the entire month. Most of Paris has left to find sunshine and beaches. But what about those of us who are still in the city?
Last week we posted our picks for dining in Paris during August, and really, what do you do in Paris besides eat anyway? For those of you who would like to discover the art of the city, you shouldn’t have much of a problem. All of Paris’ major museums stay open throughout the entire month. Avoid the small art galleries, though, as many of them close for a good part of the month.
For shopping, the big departments stores like Galleries Lafayette, Printemps and Le Bon Marche will be open throughout the month. Popular shopping streets like the Champs Elysées, Rue Saint-Honoré and most of the larger shops in Le Marais will be open. It is the smaller boutiques scattered throughout Le Marais and more local areas that you should be careful of. In addition, the concept stores like Merci and Colette will be open for you to collect gadgets and fun souvenirs from the City of Light.
Paris Plages is open until August 19th with tons of activities to get you fit and lift your spirits. The London 2012 Olympic Games will be playing throughout the day on a large screen set up in front of Hotel de Ville. On the beaches along the right bank of the Seine, you can take Tai Chi or dance classes, lounge on the XL beach lounge chairs, run through the mist to cool off or build sand castles on the 800 meters of beach. Paris Plages also extends up to the Bassin La Vilette where McDonalds has created a mini Olympic Games for kids. You can also take boats out into the water or play on the mini BMX course that has been set up.
August in Paris is the best time to take advantage of the green spaces for a great daytime or evening picnic. With the crowds gone, you will have first choice for some of the best picnicking spots. One of our very first blog posts can give you the run-down on picnic etiquette and tips to help you plan the Perfect Parisian Picnic.
As for some evening activities, some of our favorite night spots like Candelaria and Mama Shelter will stay open throughout the month. Others like Frenchie Bar à Vins will be closed until August 22nd and some great outdoor drink spots like Wanderlust on the Quai d’Austerlitz, the Lounge Bar at the Hotel Novotel in the 15th as well as Le Carré Rouge in the 8th will be open all month for some summer drinks.
If drinks aren’t totally your scene, take advantage of the Cinema en Plein Air in Parc la Vilette. Every Tuesday-Sunday throughout August movies are screened outdoors while you picnic and watch or relax in their lounge chairs. Visit the official site for a full schedule of movies.
**Also, note that August 15th is Assumption, a national holiday, and most things will be closed that day.