Les vacances (the annual month-long vacation) is on everyone's mind as August approaches and tout le monde flee Paris for their annual vacation. But, it's a Paris Insiders secret that August is one of the best months to visit — the weather is great and, with much smaller crowds, the city becomes your own personal playground. And there still are some great events in Paris this month.
August 15 is a holiday in France (the Assumption) and many things in Paris will be shut down, including most stores.
Escape the summer heat by attending a classical music concert at Notre Dame Cathedral, located on the île de la Cité (the big island in the Seine River). August is also the perfect time to take a day trip beyond the gates of Paris to the Monet's Gardens in Giverny, the summer fountain shows at the Palace of Versailles or the historic D-Day beaches of Normandy. One more thing — for readers of Paris Insiders Guide (that's you!) the Paris Pass is offering a 10% discount when you use Paris Insiders Exclusive Discount Code: INGUIDE10.
Check with Booking.com to find today's sale prices on hotel rooms in every arrondissement of Paris. Save 20% to 30%… or even more!
|Top Day Trips From Paris||The Most Popular Activities||The Top Food & Wine Activities|
|All The Best Events in Paris||Classical Music, Opera & Ballet||New Exhibits at the Museums|
The Eiffel Tower gets 9 million visitors a year. That's going to mean long lines all the time, 2 hours or more. We don't waste our precious time in Paris waiting in line, we book a skip-the-line guided tour that takes us past the long lineup and right up the Tower. You're gong to want to experience the Eifel Tower, that's for sure, and this is really the only way to do it.
These skip-the-line tours are popular and usually sell out. It makes sense, since it's the absolute best way to avoid the long line. If you can't find your dates, here is another skip-the-line tours that also take you right to the 3rd-floor summit.
A complete night on the town. This popular tour combines the best of Paris — visit the Eiffel Tower, take an evening dinner cruise along the Seine, and then be whisked over to the Moulin Rouge for champagne and a show. All the details are taken care of. Remember, you're on vacation, let someone else do the planning work!
Summer is a great time for this fun guided cycling tour around the most famous landmarks of Paris. 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!
We love this summer 2-in-1 activity. Ride the train to Versailles (tickets included) to meet your guide and bikes. 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 use your VIP skip-the-line passes to explore the chateau as long as you like. This makes for a wonderful day, but be sure to book right now!
On a glorious August evening make time for this tour of the dark side of the City of Light. Explore the winding streets and hidden alleys of a city with over 2000 years of history. In that amount of time there have arisen lots of legends and stories about ghosts, the Black Plague, wars, and the unexplained. Our readers love this walking adventure led by an informative guide.
With three iconic activities this is sure to be one of your most memorable evenings in Paris. Start with a river cruise, watching the lights of Paris drift by. Then see more city lights on a tour of the rest of the city. Afterwards, relax over dinner at a restaurant on the the famous Champs — 3-courses plus wine, of course.
Here's another way to to have a lot of fun during an evening in Paris. 9 million people 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. After the museum closes you go to a cute wine bar to end the evening with tastings.
One of our most appreciated pieces of advice is this — arrange your transportation from the airport into central Paris, in advance. Be prepared and know what's going to happen when you arrive. An easy and affordable way is to book a shuttle van service right to your hotel. It's convenient and cheaper than a Paris taxi.
But here's our very best tip, and a real Insiders Secret — transfer in a private car from the airport. After a long flight we appreciate the extra comfort of having our Paris pal and professional driver, Manu, meet us at the arrivals gate and whisk us into the city in his Mercedes S-Class. It's the way we do it! Questions about Manu's service? Ask us…
Versailles is a symbol both of grandeur and of royal decadence. So the chateaux and gardens are don't-miss destinations when you're in Paris — and so close that it's an easy day trip. Instead of worrying about trains, maps and guide books, we recommend you go the royal route. Book a private van with a driver/guide to make the past come alive. Includes transportation to and from your hotel.
If you're like us, you love getting behind the scenes. (Heck, that's why we call ourselves "Insiders Guide" !) This VIP tour lets you experience the Versailles most tourists will never see — the apartments, the personal library and the Royal Chapel built for Marie Antoinette. Tour the Hall of Mirrors just as the doors of the palace open and before the crowds arrive.
During the summer months catch the famous fountain show at Versailles. This tour takes all of the work out of getting there and includes entrance fees. You're picked up at your hotel and delivered back at the end of the day. The fountain displays are choreographed with music from the court of Louis XIV. A gourmet lunch is included at the Petite Venise restaurant.
We like this one because it includes pickup right from your hotel, priority access to Versailles, and lunch at La Petite Venise. Book as early as possible to get your preferred date. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays.
This beautiful Renaissance valley is known for more that just its famous chateaux. The Loire Valley also produces world-renowned wines. This tour gets you guided tours into the 3 most famous castles and it also includes a guided wine tasting of the best varietals from the region. That all happens during a bountiful French lunch. It's like two trips in one!
Ride through the beautiful Normandy countryside on your way to vist the most important sites of WWII — 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 the small group tour in which your driver picks you up at your Paris address. Lunch is included.
August is just about the most perfect time to visit Claude Monet's home — the gardens will be at the peak of the season and the rooms in his home will be filled with sunlight. Monet spent the last 43 years of his life painting his famous gardens, the Japanese bridge and the waterlilies. This is a small-group tour by Euro van — hotel pickup and return are included.
Focus on the bubbly on a day trip to the famous Champagne country, only an hour from Paris. Get picked up at your Paris address 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. Sip as much as you want, your expert guide is doing the driving!
There's a world of France to explore just outside the gates of Paris. Here we've discussed only a few of the most popular day trips, but there are plenty more. Did you know that you can visit Bruges (Belgium), Mont Saint-Michel, and even London on a day trip from Paris? Read about the magical choices.
• Essential Day Trips – Our Reviews…
• Go Deeper into France – Private Day Tours from Paris…
Well-known classical musicians perform timeless pieces at the stunning French Gothic church, La Sainte Chapelle. This jewel of Paris — with massive stained glass walls and soaring ceilings — was built in the 13th century and restored in the 21st in a dazzling renovation. This is the perfect way to spend a sizzling August evening in Paris. The acoustically-perfect La Sainte Chapelle is our favourite venue in Paris for classical music.
Want to have a VIP experience at the 850 year old Cathedral? Only ticket holders are allowed during these special evening performances.
The outstanding acoustics and remarkable ambience of Eglise Saint-Ephrem provide a wonderful setting for the classical music of world-famous composers. Saint-Ephrem is located in the historic heart of Paris, the Latin Quarter, that got its name from the medieval scholars who studied at the universities located here.
With 1500 years of history, Église Saint Germain des Prés is the oldest church in Paris. The elegant 11th-century tower features 19th-century frescoes and the tomb of French philosopher René Descartes. After the concert, take some time to stroll the charming streets of this iconic Left Bank neighborhood.
Here's the Big List of all concerts in August.
The Paris Insiders Pass gets you free entrance to museums and lets you skip the long ticket lines! Plus, you get to ride the Metro & buses for free. Includes Seine River Cruise & hop-on bus pass.
France, Paris, Wine — they just go together, don't they? Take the chance 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 us a rare opportunity to taste some of the finest wines of France. It all takes place in a charming wine cellar very near the Louvre.
If wine and Paris go together, what about Paris, chocolate and pastries? Is it a wonder that our readers like this guided walking tour?(and so do we!) 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.
Welcome aboard on the most popular dinner cruise boat in Paris. Spend the evening taking in the sights of Paris while eating a classic French 3-course dinner. View the City of Light lit up just for your enjoyment. One reason ee love this activity is because it also includes pickup right from your Paris hotel. This is going to sell out, so book right away.
We all know that Paris is a food capital and you find out exactly 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.
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
So many fantastic Paris museums, so little time. Here are the highlights of popular exhibits during the month of August.
Discover What's On When You're There
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