The Best Things To Do In Paris In August 2021 – Summer In The City

August is one of the best months to visit Paris. The weather is great and, with many Parisians out of town for les vacances — the annual month-long vacation, the crowds are much smaller. The city becomes your own personal playground and, yet there are still plenty of spectacular events and the reopening of Covid-delayed museum exhibitions.

As Paris opens up following pandemic and lockdown we will continue to update information on the best things to do, places to eat, and the greatest ways to explore and enjoy the city we love. Our love for the City on the Seine and our joy in helping travelers plan their visit remains the same.

Most Popular Activities

The Best Things to Do in Paris August 2021

Bateaux Parisiens VIP Dinner Cruise with Live Music & Champagne

A Paris Insiders Favourite

Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise

It's no wonder this multi-faceted nighttime activity is so popular. It combines cruising along the river while dining on a gourmet meal and listening to live music. We think you'll find that everything in Paris looks better from a bateau at night. Famous landmarks will pass by as you enjoy a multi-course French meal with wine. Choose the 8:30 PM sailing and the Service Privilege option for the best seating, best meal, and the ultimate experience.

Skip-the-Line at the Louvre Museum

Skip-the-Line at the Louvre Museum

There's good reason why the Louvre is the most popular museum in the world.And that's also why there are long lineups. But we suggest you sign up for this marvelous guided tour that leads you past the lines and right to the most famous works of art, also allowing you plenty of time to wander. These tours tend to sell out, so be sure to book early.

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Louvre Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

As things slowly return to normal post-lockdown (fingers crossed!), Paris museum tour availability may be a bit spotty. So, as a back-up, here's another Louvre tour that we've liked.

VIP Twilight Tour – Champagne Cruise + Eiffel Tower

VIP Twilight Tour

Unwind after a busy day of sightseeing with a sunset cruise on the Seine while sipping champagne. Refreshed by the bubbles, you then proceed to the Eiffel Tower for skip-the-line access to the second floor. From the second level you can see Paris at your feet. A little insider tip, you don’t really need to get to the summit to enjoy the magnificent views. Available every day.

Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of Paris with VIP Access

Perhaps the eeriest attraction in Paris, the Catacombs are nonetheless immensely popular. It's a different experience to take a hundred-plus steps deep underground to visit the final resting place of millions of historic Parisians. To avoid the inevitable long lines, book this skip-the-line tour with an expert guide who also explains the history of this dark landmark. Tours run on Saturdays and Sundays in August.

Montmartre Private Evening Tour – Bites & Sights

Montmartre Private Evening Tour

Get off the tourist track and get an Insiders view of Montmartre, one of the most picturesque quartiers of Paris. On this culinary tour, you'll see local landmarks, from the Moulin Rouge to the real-life locations of the classic French film Amelie. Of course, you'll stop along the way for refreshments — think wine, cheese and other French specialties. Read the reviews, they're all glowing. Offered daily.

Why Stand in Line at at the Eiffel Tower?

Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Tour

The Eiffel Tower is the most popular monument in the world and the ticket lines are always long. We don't know about you, but we don't want to spend our time in Paris standing in lines. That's why we strongly recommend skip-the-line activities that bypass the ticket line. This guided tour gets up up the tower quickly to Level 2, for the best views. Also see, Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours…

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Summit of the Eiffel Tower

For the ultimate trippy thing in Paris, get to the top of the Eiffel Tower by opting for this tour. Follow your guide past the lines up to the top — Level 3 — for a panoramic view to beat them all.

Vintage Tour of Paris

Vintage Tour of Paris

Feel like you're starring in your own movie set in Paris of the 1940s. Climb into the back seat of a sleek, black Citroën Traction Avant from the era. Your "gentleman driver" takes you around the historic sites of the city. The view is made even better with the sun roof opened all the way. As we say in our review, this is "retro luxury from another era."

Two Tours in One – Night Bike Ride + River Cruise

Paris Night Bike Tour

Summer is the perfect time for a fun guided cycling tour around the most famous landmarks of Paris, and this 2-for-1 tour delivers. Not only do you visit the most famous sights, you also stop for a cone at Bertillon, the city's most celebrated ice cream shop, and then hop on a river boat for a nighttime cruise along the Seine. A glass of wine is included, of course!

Paris in One Day – Eiffel Tower + Louvre + River Cruise

Paris in One Day

Can you really see Paris in one day? This tour gives it a good try by taking you to three iconic sights for informative tours. At the Louvre museum you skip the lines as your guide leads you to the best artwork at the iconic museum. There's a relaxing river cruise that shows off the best of the city from the Seine. On top of all that (literally) there's a skip-the-line visit to the Eiffel Tower, right up to the very top! Everything is included.

Dinner Cruise + Eiffel Tower VIP

Dinner Cruise on the Seine + Eiffel Tower Visit

Here's one more fantastic night in Paris that includes a dinner cruise and skip-the-line Eiffel Tower visit. On the banks of the Seine you board your dinner boat for a scenic cruise, viewing the iconic monuments of Paris while savoring a classic French meal. Next, combine that once-in-a-lifetime activity with another one! At the Eiffel Tower, where your VIP ticket gets you skip-the-line access to the second floor to enjoy birds-eye views of Paris. Sailings everyday.

Airport Transfers

Airport Transfer

One of our most appreciated pieces of advice is to pre-arrange transportation from the airport into central Paris. We find it's comforting to be prepared and to know what's going to happen when you arrive. An easy and affordable option is to book a shuttle van service right to your hotel. It's the easiest way to do it.

The Best Left Bank Hotels

Top Left Bank Hotels

Who doesn't love staying on the Left Bank of Paris? Since Hemingway and the Jazz Age, the Left Bank has defined the essence of Paris. The Saint-Germain neighborhood is charming, and so are the best of the hotels in the quartier. Let's take a look at our picks of Left Bank hotels, updated for 2021, with new ratings and current prices.

The Best Ways to Visit Versailles from Paris

Things to Do in Paris August 2021

Best of Versailles with Skip-the-Line Access + Grand Canal Lunch

Versailles Walking Tour With Fountain Show

Versailles is a symbol of grandeur and royal decadence. The chateaux and gardens are don't-miss destinations when you're in Paris — and close enough that it's an easy day trip. The only way to avoid standing in the long lines it to go the royal route. Book a skip-the-line tour with a driver/guide to make the past come alive. Includes transportation to and from central Paris.

Half-Day, Skip-the-Line Tour of Versailles

VIP Versailles

If you don't want to spend a full day, another good way to see Versailles is a half-day tour that also includes priority access and an expert guide. This is a small-group morning tour with transportation right from central Paris. If you prefer, you can opt for a private tour, for just you and your group.

Versailles Bike Tour + Skip-the-Line Entrance

Versailles Bike Tour with Skip-the-Line Entrance

We love this summer 2-in-1 activity. Explore the Versailles countryside on two wheels as you glide through forests and pastures, to the local market, to the gardens of Versailles, and past the historic grounds & buildings. You also use your priority-access passes to explore the chateau as long as you like. This makes for a wonderful day, but be sure to book right now!

Versailles + Claude Monet's Gardens in One Day

Monet's Magical Gardens at Giverny

The only thing more popular than visiting Versailles or Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny is visiting them both on the same day. The gardens will be at the peak of the season when this tour takes you first to Versailles and then to Monet's house and gardens. Here you will see his Impressionist world blossom in front of your eyes. On this small-group tour you are picked up in central Paris and driven to both locations for guided tours. Lunch is also included.

The Top Day Trips From Paris

Things to Do in Paris August 2021

Spend a Day in the Champagne Region

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

A Day In Champagne

Focus on the bubbly on a day trip to the famous Champagne region, about an hour from Paris. Get picked up at your hotel and driven through the beautiful wine country to visit the most famous champagne houses. Finish with a guided tasting of the Grand Crus of Champagne. Sample as much as you want — your expert guide is doing the driving! A 4-course lunch is also included.

Loire Valley Chateaux + Loire Valley Wines

Loire Valley Chateaux + Loire Valley Wines

This beautiful Renaissance valley is known for more that just its famous chateaux. The Loire Valley also produces world-renowned wines. This very popular tour gets you into the most famous castles, and also includes a wine tasting of the best varietals from the region. Also included is a multi-course French lunch. It's like two trips in one!

Tour the D-Day Beaches, from Paris

D-Day Tour

Ride through the beautiful Normandy countryside on your way to visit the most important sites of World War II — memorials, landing beaches, and cemeteries. Hard to believe that it was three-quarters of a century ago that the end of that war began on the beaches of Normandy. Lunch is included as is a special tasting session of the region's famous cider.

Visit Historic Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel

Spend a day exploring the coast of Normandy and the fairytale island of Mont Saint-Michel. You visit the Benedictine abbey that becomes separated from the mainland during high tide. Wander along the narrow streets, the shops, and the abbey's ramparts. On your way you drive through the picturesque Normandy countryside. Departures on Fridays, lunch is included.

Monet's House & Gardens in Giverny

Monet's House & Gardens

To concentrate on Monet and his house & gardens in Giverny, choose this affordable small-group afternoon tour that includes pick-up at your Paris address. The gardens will be at their peak of summer perfection as well as the waterlilies at the idyllic pond where Monet painted for 43 years. Also available as a private tour.

The Top Food & Wine Activities

Things to Do in Paris August 2021

The Food & Wine of the Marais

Food & Wine of the Marais

This is a food tour that visitors continue to love — and reward with 5-star reviews. It takes you around the historic Marais neighborhood to visit the top food & wine shops. What do you taste? The best food of France, like cheese, charcuterie, baguettes, chocolate, and the most famous wines. And it all starts out at the oldest food market in Paris.

Cheese & Wine Tasting in a Paris Cheese Cellar

Cheese & Wine Tasting

Paris is the best place to learn about the cheeses of France. On this tour you visit the Marais to descend into a private cheese cellar with an affineur — an expert in aging cheeses. Learn about the proper way to age seven classic French cheeses and how to match them with wines. The small group is limited to 10 to ensure there's more cheese for you!

Chocolate & Pastry Walking Tour of Saint-Germain

Chocolate and Pastry Walking Tour

If wine and Paris go together, what about Paris, chocolate and pastries? Is it a wonder that visitors love this guided walking tour? Get behind the scenes of traditional French desserts, including regional specialities. Along with plenty of sampling of course! And don't worry, any calories will be burned off by the walking.

Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch

Seine River Gourmet Lunch

Cruise along the Seine while enjoying a classic 3-course French lunch aboard Bateaux Parisiens. Soak in the views of the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Musée d'Orsay as you choose from an a la carte menu with wine. The extras? Live entertainment and a glass of cool champagne to start your adventure. Choose the Service Privilege option to guarantee a window seat.

Small-Group Gourmet Food Walking Tour

Gourmet Walking Tour

You know that Paris is a food capital, but you'll discover why on this walking tour. Visit and sample tastings at small speciality shops in an iconic neighborhood with a food-expert guide. Boulangeries, cheese shops, charcuteries, foie gras merchants, a street market — there's a lot to experience and a lot learn about French food.

The 10 Tastings Private Food Tour

The 10 Tastings

In one of the hottest food districts of Paris, the Aligre market in the 12th, walk with your expert gourmet guide to the best food shops. Taste your way through ten of the most iconic foods of France — from baguettes to chocolate to cheese. The fun kicks off in the vibrant street market at one of the most popular oyster bars in the city. Even better, this is a private tour for just you and your guests.

Romantic 9 PM Dinner Cruise with Paris Seine

Dinner Cruise with Marina de Paris

Paris Lesson #1 — the best place to experience the beauty of Paris is from a boat on the Seine. Lesson #2 — it's even better with a glass of champagne and a three-course French meal served to you on a luxurious bateau. Lesson #3 — it's hard to improve on this dinner cruise with window seating for the very best views. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays.

Market Tour & Classic French Cooking Class

Market Tour & Classic French Cooking

Have you ever dreamed of taking a cooking class in Paris? This popular class guides you (under the tutelage of a Paris chef) through the creation of an entire French meal — entrée, plat, et dessert. At the end of the cooking, sit down and enjoy what you've made. Be sure to choose the option that includes a guided tour of the local markets to meet butchers, fishmongers, and produce sellers as you gather the fresh ingredients for your class.

What's On At the Museums

Things to Do in Paris August 2021

Picasso – Rodin

Picasso – Rodin

This stunning and much-anticipated exhibition will run concurrently at both the Musée Picasso in the Marais and the Musée Rodin in the 7th Arrondissement. It will graphically demonstrate how the two artists, individually and jointly, heralded a turning point in modern art.

• Musée Picasso & Musée Rodin
• Ends January 2, 2022
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The Olmecs and the Cultures of the Gulf of Mexico

The Olmecs

Learn about the fascinating Olmec civilization and the little-known world of other pre-Columbian cultures of the Gulf of Mexico. The exhibition sheds light on this Mesoamerican civilization with rare items, shown for the first time outside Mexico.
• Quai Branly
• Ends October 3, 2021
Information

Augustin Rouart: Painting as legacy

Augustin Rouart

See an impressive collection of Rouart's major works along with pieces by Maurice Denis.
• Petit Palais
• Ends October 10, 2021
Information

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Petits Papiers du 20e siècle

Paul Destribats (1926-2017), was an avant-garde collector and scholar. This exhibition showcases 12,000 of his leaflets, posters and documents that have been donated to the Kandinsky Library.

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Precious Objects from Elsewhere

Since ancient times, carnelian, lapis lazuli, ebony, and other precious materials have circulated along trade routes. This exhibition highlights these precious materials as well as exotic animals who have traveled between the continents since the Middle Ages.

  • Louvre, Petite Galerie
  • September 22, 2021 to July 4, 2022

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Soutine/De Kooning

In this exhibition you can see works by Russian painter Chaïm Soutine (1893-1943), alongside those of Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), the American Abstract Expressionist. The exhibition explores the impact of Soutine's painting on the American painter. At the end of 2021.

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Colombet/Monet – Painting Like the River

This dual-artist show follows the life and work of contemporary French artist Vicky Colombet who, like Monet, sees something new in landscapes, a surpassing of places. Displaying works by these two painters who each saw something different in the scenes they painted is truly a special event. Staging the event at the world's foremost Monet museum is perfect.

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The Blue Hour

Discover the works of Danish painter Peder Severin Krøyer (1851-1909). The exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Musée Marmottan-Monet and the Skagen Museum, under the High Patronage of Queen Margrethe II.

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Henri Cartier-Bresson – Revoir Paris

For its first exhibition after the long closure and renovation, Musée Carnavalet has partnered with the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation to highlight the works of one of the greatest French photographers of the 20th century.

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Storms & Shipwrecks – From Vernet to Courbet

Collected together for this tempestuous exhibition are sixty paintings, drawings, prints, and manuscripts by more than thirty artists of the 18th and 19th centuries that illustrate maritime storms — from the unleashing of the elements to the dramatic consequences of shipwrecks.

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Victor Hugo – Dessins/Drawings

Who knew the Hugo, in addition to being a writer of fame, could also draw? This exhibition presents a unique collection of drawings by the creator of Quasimodo, the maker of Les Misérables, the man himself, Victor Hugo.

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Dalí – The Endless Enigma

Be immersed in the surrealistic and metaphysical landscapes of the world of Salvador Dalí. Paintings scattered around around the world are featured in this dazzling digital exhibition, including works from the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation at Figueres, the Dalí Museum in Florida, the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, and MoMA in New York.

  • Atelier des Lumieres
  • 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11e
  • Ends January 2, 2022
  • Information

The Best Events in Paris

Things to Do in Paris August 2021

Paris Plage

Paris Plage

Can't make it to the beach? No worries, the beach will come to you. 30 days of summer, 1350 tons of sand, 2 miles of Seine banks, and 250 umbrellas make this one of the greatest annual events in Paris.
• On the banks of the Seine
• Ends late August

Annual Paris Jazz Festival

Annual Paris Jazz Festival

One of the truly magical international jazz events, held in the beautiful gardens of Parc Floral. Usually held in June & July, this year the musical extravaganza has been moved to August.
• Parc Floral de Vincennes
• June 30 to September 8, 2021
Information

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Étê du Canal – Summer on the Canal

The Canal de l'Ourcq celebrates the summer with a fun program of dance, concerts, water activities including boat cruises, films screenings and street art. Canal de L'Ourcq is a trendy part of the Parisian canal network up in the 19th Arrondissement.

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Rock en Seine

Join Parisians as they rock out on the edge of the city!

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Assomption – Assumption Day

This is a national holiday in France. Many shops, restaurants and services will be closed. So, not really different than Covid lockdown.

  • August 15 2021

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Tréteaux Nomades

A traveling festival featuring burlesque, poetry and the performing arts that runs the last week in August and the first week in September. Check the link for updates.

  • Check back in 2022!
  • Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge, 19th Arrondissement
  • Information

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