From romantic cruises down the Seine to leisurely afternoon picnics under the Eiffel Tower, Paris shines even brighter in the summer
Summertime in Paris is when the city comes alive. Relaxing afternoons melt into long evenings, when the daylight seems to last forever and the warm air begs you to stay outside for one more drink. Here are the best things to do during your Parisian summer adventure.
1. Parks, picnics and amazing views
We think everything feels a little brighter and sunnier in Paris, so why not take advantage of the warm weather with a long picnic in one of the many stunning parks around the city? Jardin du Luxembourg is known for its expansive lawns, beautiful tree-lined promenades and the picturesque Medici fountain. The park was originally built for Marie de’ Medici in 1611, inspired by her days spent in the Boboli Gardens in Florence, and it’s not hard to imagine yourself as royalty as you stroll through the endless, dazzling pathways.
Cinéma en Plein Air is a beloved annual event by locals and tourists alike. Bring blankets, wine and cheese to Parc de La Villette, which is hidden is an increasingly hip part of Paris, as you lounge on the lawn and watch films on a large, outdoor screen. With a mix of classic films and popular recent releases, there’s a movie for every interest.
2. Wander the local markets
It would be a crime to miss out on tasting the best food Paris has to offer, but we suggest taking a break from the restaurants and heading straight to the source. Le Marché Bastille is the largest public market in Paris home to over 100 stalls filled with fresh French produce and takeaway meals. Wander the aisles and let your nose guide you towards pure, foodie bliss.
Champs-Élysées is a popular spot for shopping well-known brands, but if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, visit one of the oldest flea markets in the city – Saint-Ouen. Feel free to get a little lost as you explore over 2,000 stalls filled with everything imaginable. Some haggling is expected and it’s a great opportunity to practice your French… and you may even leave with a one-of-a-kind souvenir or antique!
3. Romantic boat rides
Days of exploring Paris on foot can easily become exhausting, so we recommend taking a leisurely boat ride down the Seine. You’ll enjoy a new perspective of the city from the water, and you can easily see all of the highlights in the city in an afternoon. There are plenty of options to fit every budget, from large, multi-story boats down to small, private river cruises. If boats aren’t your style, you can still spend a warm afternoon along the water at Paris Plages, a pop-up beach complete with sand and beach chairs.
4. Top-notch rooftop views
What’s better than watching a sunset? Doing so on a chic, Parisian rooftop with a cocktail in hand and a panoramic view of the city! There are tons of rooftop bars around the city, but the ones with the best views are worth the splurge. Reservations are a must, so plan for this special evening in advance. We especially love the views from Terrass Hôtel, Le Perchoir and Monsieur Bleu.
Photo: Olga in Paris for Flytographer
5. Explore the unique neighborhoods
We’re all for a well-planned itinerary, but don’t forget to pencil in “getting lost.” Montmartre is a historical district crowned by the famous and recognizable Sacré-Cœur. The steps in front of this famous basilica offer one of the best unobstructed views of Paris, or climb to the dome for a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity. However, don’t forget to wander through the smaller, cobblestoned streets and charming shops that give this neighborhood its quaint, village atmosphere.
Wherever you choose to explore, choose one day to wake up early and experience the city before the crowds arise. While you’re up, capture the Parisian magic with one of our amazing local photographers.