55 Of The Best Things To Do In Paris In August 2019 – It's Summer!

Les vacances (the annual month-long vacation) is on everyone's mind as tout le monde escapes Paris for their annual summer holidays. But it's a Paris Insiders secret that August is also one of the best months to visit — the weather is great and, with much smaller crowds, the city becomes your own personal playground. Plus, there are plenty of spectacular events like the Festival Paris L'Éte, a summer arts festival held at over 40 locations throughout Paris.

Most Popular Activities

The Best Things to Do in Paris August 2019

Dinner on the Eiffel Tower + Moulin Rouge + Seine River Cruise

Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge & Seine River Cruise

What's not to love about this complete night on the town? The popular tour combines the best of Paris — dinner on the Eiffel Tower, an evening cruise along the Seine, and the fabulous Moulin Rouge for champagne and a show. All the details are taken care of — dinner reservations, river cruise, Moulin Rouge, and champagne (of course!). You're on vacation, let someone else do the planning work! Also see, The 6 Best Evenings In Paris

Skip the Line – Evening Louvre Tour & Wine Tasting

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Evening Louvre Tour and Wine Tasting

Here's a perfect way to to have a lot of fun during an evening in Paris. Millions visit the Louvre every year, and that means lineups. But this tour walks you past the ticket lines and right to the best artwork in the Louvre — in the evening, when the crowds are smaller. After the museum closes you go to a cute wine bar nearby to end the evening with tastings. Can you guess why this is our favorite way to see the Louvre? Also see, The Top 10 Ways To Skip The Lines In Paris

Skip-the-Line at the Louvre Museum

Evening Louvre Tour and Wine Tasting

More interested in art that in wine tasting? Then go for this other great guided tour of the Louvre 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 sell out, so be sure to book early.

Bateaux Parisiens VIP Dinner Cruise with Hotel Pickup

A Paris Insiders Favourite

Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise

It's no wonder this this multi-faceted nighttime activity is so popular. It combines cruising along the river, dining on a gourmet meal, and listening to live music. We think you'll find that everything looks better from a bateau at night. Famous landmarks will pass by as you enjoy a multi-course French meal with wine. Also see, The 6 Top Dinner Cruises in Paris

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. Since availability at the Tower changes, the best way to approach a no-wait ET visit is to check with the Skip the Eiffel Tower Lines link below. Also see, Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours…

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Eiffel Tower Priority Access with Host

This guided tour of the Eiffel Tower that takes you to the summit is available on most days in August, so it's a good bet to try.

Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

Champagne Cruise Along the Seine

Do you notice a champagne theme in our Paris recommendations? What better way to celebrate your stay Paris than a champagne-fueled cruise down the most romantic river in the world? This is one of the very best ways to see the sights of the city in the evening — gliding past iconic buildings and monuments on a bateaux… while enjoying a champagne tasting session with an expert sommelier.

Exclusive VIP Access – Louvre & Eiffel Tower Plus Private City Tour

Artemis at the Louvre, photo by Mark Craft

From your Paris address your very own driver/guide takes you for a full-morning tour of the Louvre. Next up is a trip across town to the Eiffel Tower, where you once again enjoy VIP access to get up the tower quickly to take in the iconic views. Your driver then takes you to historic Île de la Cité to visit the island and Notre Dame Cathedral before heading up the hill to visit Montmartre. It's a very full and very satisfying day in Paris!

Dinner Cruise & Moulin Rouge Cabaret with Champagne

Dinner Cruise & Moulin Rouge Cabaret with Champagne

Combine the magic and wonder of Paris during an unforgettable evening that starts with a classic French dinner at a private table on a bateau cruising along the Seine. After the show your driver is waiting to take you across town to the iconic Moulin Rouge, for an evening cabaret show, with champagne, of course! To make the experience even better hotel pick-up and return is included, so you don't have to do anything but enjoy.

VIP Twilight Tour – Champagne Cruise + Eiffel Tower

VIP Twilight Tour

Spend a memorable evening in Paris, beginning with a twilight river cruise along city's famous river, gazing at the sights while sipping champagne in a VIP area at the front of the boat. Your boat docks at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, where your guide leads you past the long lines to a priority-access gate. Soon, you're on the top, gazing at the lights of the city below you. We've done this tour and it's as good as it sounds!

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 the 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!

Dinner Cruise with Marina de Paris

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 — although it's hard to improve on this dinner cruise, it's even better with transportation to and from your Paris address to the banks of the river. Lesson over, book now for a night in Paris to remember.

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 book a shuttle van service right to your hotel. Or you might want to go with our very best advice — a VIP private transfer in a luxurious Mercedes S-Class. Honestly, it's the only way to do it!

Moulin Rouge Dinner + Cabaret Show + Transportation

Moulin Rouge Dinner + Roundtrip Hotel Transportation

Discover why historic Moulin Rouge is still the number-one rated cabaret show in Europe. The evening starts with the Mistinguett dinner menu, including a half bottle of champagne. Then sit back and marvel at the spectacular Féerie show with non-stop dancing, singing, and cabaret performances. Included in the package is tranportaiton to and from your hotel. Also see, 7 Ways To See The Hottest Show in Town…

Montmartre Impressionist Art Walking Tour + Musée d'Orsay

Montmartre Impressionist Art Walking Tour

This art-lover's tour of Montmartre combines the fascinating setting of this hilltop quartier with the history of the artists who have lived here. Visit the house where Van Gogh lived, the famous windmill cabaret of Renoir, the site of Picasso's early studio, and more. Also included is a skip-the-line ticket for the Impressionist museum, Musée d'Orsay. This activity has hundreds of 5-star reviews, so be sure to book early.

The Unexpected Louvre

The Unexpected Louvre

This unusual tour of the Louvre takes you away from the crowds to see treasures most tourists will never find — like the private apartments of Napoleon III, the incredible collection of French and Northern European paintings, the masterpieces of the department of Oriental Antiquities. Take an artistic adventure inside the world's most famous museum. After the priority-access tour, you're fee to spend as much additional time in the Louvre as you desire.

Paris City Pass

Paris City Pass Discounts

We know that travelers want to save time in Paris, but why not save money as well? That's why like the Paris City Pass — you get into the museums for free and ride the Metro for free. Even better, we've arranged special savings for you. Use the discount code INSIDERS5 for extra savings. But to us the big advantage is skipping the looong Paris lines. Also see, Complete Guide to the Paris City Pass

Classical Music in Paris – August 2019

Classical Music in Paris

Paris is renowned for its magnificent Gothic churches. But what you may not know is that many of these historic buildings are also venues for classical music played by some of the top performers in the city. The acoustically-perfect La Sainte Chapelle is one our favourite venues. This 13th-century jewel of Paris with massive stained glass walls and soaring ceilings is the perfect place to spend a sizzling August evening in Paris. But concerts do sell out so book today.

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 2019, with new ratings and current prices.

The Best Ways to Visit Versailles from Paris

Things to Do in Paris August 2019

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 your hotel.

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Morning or Afternoon Priority-Access Tour of Versailles

Another good way to see Versailles is this half-day tour that also includes priority access with an expert guide. It's a small-group with transportation right from your hotel.

VIP Versailles Tour With Private Viewing Of The Royal Quarters

VIP Versailles

If you're like us, you love getting behind the scenes. (Heck, that's why we call ourselves "Paris Insiders Guide" !) This VIP tour lets you experience the Versailles most tourists will never see — the apartments, the personal library, and the Opera House built for the royal wedding of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. On the morning tour you get entry into the Hall of Mirrors just as the doors of the palace open, and before the crowds arrive.

Versailles Bike Tour + Skip-the-Line Entrance

Versailles Bike Tour with Skip-the-Line Entrance

We love this summer 2-in-1 activity. Ride the train with your guide to Versailles, where you pick up your bikes. Then cruise the countryside 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 at your Paris address and driven to both locations for guided tours. Lunch is also included.

Summer-Only Fountain Show at Versailles

Summer-Only Fountain Show at Versailles

At its peak, Versailles had 2,400 fountains running. Today there are about 50 and the best of them can be viewed during the summer-only fountain show, choreographed to music from the court of Louis XIV. It's one of those summer events that you don't want to miss — only on weekends on special tours like this one. This half-day tour also includes priority access to the palace.

The Top Day Trips From Paris

Things to Do in Paris August 2019

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. Also see, The 3 Top Day Trips to Champagne

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 guided tours into the most famous castles, and it also includes a guided wine tasting of the best varietals from the region. The wine tasting happens during a bountiful French lunch. It's like two trips in one!

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Three Magnificent Loire Valley Chateaux

If you want to concentrate on the castles, then opt for this fun day trip from Paris, sans wine, that gets you to the three most important chateaux – Cheverny, Chenonceau and Chambord. This tour includes lunch in the Loire and private pick-up at your Paris address.

D-Day Tour – 75th Anniversary

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. We strongly recommend this small group tour in which your driver picks you up at your Paris address. Lunch is included.

Visit Historic Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel

Spend a day exploring the coast of Normandy and the fairytale island of Mont Saint-Michel. 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. Everything is included, including lunch & pick-up at your hotel.

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. Includes transportation from your Paris hotel.

2-Day Tour to Normandy, Saint Malo & Mont Saint-Michel

2-Day Tour to Normandy, Saint Malo & Mont Saint-Michel

Spend two intense days discovering one of the most beautiful regions of France with an expert guide to show you around. You cover a lot of ground: the cathedral city of Rouen, Honfleur's harbor front, and the D-Day Beaches of Normandy. Then there's historic Saint Malo and the stunning Mont Saint-Michel, perched on a rocky islet and dating back to the Middle Ages. Everything is included — accommodations, transportation from your Paris hotel, meals, entrance tickets, and expert guides.

Visit London in One Day… From Paris!

Visit London for the Day

Modern, high-speed trains and the channel tunnel make it possible to visit London on a day trip from Paris. You meet up with a tour guide at Gare du Nord in Paris, where you get aboard the famous Eurostar train to London. Your day in the British capitol includes an open-top bus tour and guided walking tours, including The Beatles London Walking Tour. It's an exhilarating trip that gets you back to Paris the very same day.

6 Essential Summertime Day Trips

Day Trips from Paris

What's great about being in Paris is that it provides easy access to much of the rest of France. Day trips can take you to historic Rouen, to the World War One battlefields, Bruges, and Château Fontainebleau — all of them perfect for the long days of summer. To learn more, have a look at our guide to the best summertime day trips from Paris. Bon voyage!

The Top Food & Wine Activities

Things to Do in Paris August 2019

The Food & Wine of the Marais

Food & Wine of the Marais

This is a new food tour that visitors are loving — and rewarding 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! Also see, Five Top Cheese Tastings In Paris…

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 Lunch Cruise with Live Music

Lunch Cruise on the Seine

We predict you're going to love this fun, casual, and affordable activity that also involves a multi-course meal and a river cruise with live music. Combine great dining with a tour of Paris… riverside. A cruise on a bateau is something you must do in Paris, so why not have lunch at the same time? Look out the window at the monuments of Paris passing by. This lunch cruise has become very popular, so book early.

Small-Group Gourmet Food Walking Tour

Gourmet Walking Tour

We all know that Paris is a food capital, and 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. Also see, The Top Ten Food & Wine Experiences

Wine Tasting in the Heart of Paris

Wine Tasting

France, Paris, Wine — they just go together, don't they? Take the opportunity to learn about the country's wine regions and taste the wines, with guidance from an expert sommelier. We recommend the 2-hour grand cru tasting — it gives the rare opportunity to taste some of the finest wines of France. It all takes place in a charming wine bar very near the Louvre.

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.

Eiffel Tower Gourmet Lunch with Priority Access

Eiffel Tower Gourmet Lunch

Dine on a multi-course classic French lunch as you gaze down on Paris — taking in a birds-eye view of the river Seine below you as well as the Champ de Mars, Les Invalides, Montparnasse Tower, Montmartre. Your priority-access pass gets you past the lineups and up the tower to restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel. Wine is included, of course.

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.

Macarons Baking Class

French Macarons

These heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth confections were created in the 1930s but are the current rage in Paris. It's a dream come true to attend a cooking class in Paris where you learn to make your own delicate meringue-based morsels. Class size is limited to eight people, so you get lots of individual attention. Your reward? Your own box of macarons to take home.

The Best Events in Paris

Things to Do in Paris August 2019

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

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Festival Paris L'Été – Arts, Scenes & Sun
  • This event features 100 performances at 40 locations throughout Paris — near monuments, in parks, and public squares. What a way to celebrate summer in the city!
    July 6 to to August 25, 2019
    Information
Étê du Canal – Summer on the Canal
  • It's the 11th year for this event — 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.
    July 6 to August 25, 2019
    Information
Rock en Seine
  • Join Parisians as they rock out! Pont de St-Cloud.
    August 23 to 25, 2019
    Information
Assomption – Assumption Day
  • This is a national holiday in France. Many shops, restaurants and services will be closed.
    August 15 2019
Silhouette Festival – Free!
  • A festival to celebrate short films. Opening night starts with a concert.
    August 25 to September 3, 2019
    Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge, 19th Arrondissement
    Information
Tréteaux Nomades
  • A traveling festival featuring burlesque, poetry and the performing arts.
    Arènes de Montmartre
    August 26 to September 8
    Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge, 19th Arrondissement
    Information

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At the Museums

Things to Do in Paris August 2019

What's On at the Museums

Paris museums

So many fantastic Paris museums, so little time. So, we've put together the highlights of popular exhibits during the month of August. This month we are very excited by Berthe Morisot – Female Impressionist at Musée d'Orsay

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Berthe Morisot – Female Impressionist

One of the only woman Impressionist painters, Berthe Morisot was recognized by her peers as one of the most innovative artists of the time. The exhibition traces her career as a key figure in the avant-garde movement of 1860s. We're eagerly awaiting this one.

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Italian Drawings from the Mariette Collection

The Louvre will showcase the collection of Italian drawings by Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694-1774) printmaker, translator, art critic and one of the best art collectors of all time. See drawings from the greatest Italian artists: Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, Veronese and Guercino.

  • Rotonde Sully
  • Ends September 30, 2019

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Forgotten Kingdoms – From the Hittite Empire to the Arameans

The Hittite empire, ancient Egypt's rival power, was a world power until 1200 BC. This exhibition focuses on this forgotten civilization only rediscovered in 1911. After their discovery sculptures and artifacts were taken to Berlin, where they were damaged during World War II bombings. However, an extensive conservation project has restored them and you can now see them at the Louvre.

  • Hall Napoléon, Louvre
  • Ends August 12, 2019

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Paris Romantique, 1815-1848

Paris Romantique

The Petite Palais follows its successful Paris 1900 exhibition with a panoramic show of the capital during the romantic years, from the fall of Napoleon to the Revolution of 1848. Nearly 600 works — paintings, sculptures, costumes, works of art and furniture — immerse the visitor into the artistic, cultural, and political events of this period.

Take a virtual stroll through 19th-century Paris to discover the iconic neighborhoods of the period — the Tuileries, Palais-Royal, Nouvelle-Atènes, Notre-Dame, and the Grands Boulevards

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Romantic Germany – Drawings from the Museums of Weimar

Showing at about the same time is this exhibition of 140 drawings from Weimar, Germany offering a spectacular panorama of the golden age of Germanic drawing, from 1780 to around 1850. It was a period when literature, the visual arts, and music underwent profound transformations that upset the previous rules and practices. This period saw an increased interest in drawing among a large number of German artists. Most of the works in the exhibition have never been shown before.

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Félix Fénéon

French artist Félix Fénéon, was a leading artist, art critic, editor, gallery owner and collector in the late 19th and early 20th century. This exhibition focuses on his remarkable collection culled from his travels in Africa and Oceania in the early 1900s. This year Musée d'Orsay, Musée de l'Orangerie, and Musée du Quai Branly are all organizing exhibitions paying tribute to Fénéon

  • Musée Quai Branly
  • Ends Sept 29, 2019

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Calder-Picasso

Examines Alexander Calder (1898-1976) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and their artistic relationship.


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