55 Of The Best Things To Do In Paris In August 2020 – It's Summer!

Les vacances (the annual month-long vacation) is on everyone's mind as tens of thousands of Parisians escape the city for their annual summer holidays. But it's a secret we love to share 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. And, there are still plenty of spectacular events and museum exhibitions, including the Matisse at the Pompidou.

Most Popular Activities

The Best Things to Do in Paris August 2020

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 cabaret 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!

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 a flight of guided tastings. Can you guess why this is our favorite way to see the Louvre?

Skip-the-Line at the Louvre Museum

Evening Louvre Tour and Wine Tasting

Not thirsty? More interested in art than in wine tasting? Then go for this marvelous 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 tend to 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 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. 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…

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.

Guided Tour of the Louvre & Eiffel Tower With Priority Access

Louvre & Eiffel Tower

Skip the lines at two of the most iconic landmarks of Paris, the famous Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower. Between the two guided tours you catch a Batobus from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower. To make your day even better, opt for the Eiffel Tower lunch option — dine with the City of Light spread out beneath you. Likely to sell out.

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.

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."

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!

Catacombs of Paris with VIP Access

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. This VIP version gets you exclusive access to areas that are off-limits to most visitors.

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!

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. 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 transportation 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 painted, 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.

Classical Music in Paris – August 2020

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 2020, with new ratings and current prices.

The Best Ways to Visit Versailles from Paris

Things to Do in Paris August 2020

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.

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

VIP Versailles

Another good way to see Versailles is to choose one of these half-day tours that also include priority access and an expert guide. They are small-group tours with transportation right from your hotel. Choose a morning or afternoon tour.

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.

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.

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 2020

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 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!

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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.

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. 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.

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Mont Saint-Michel, Loire Valley Chateaux + Wine Tasting

We know you're going to love this two-day trip from Paris that takes you to two of France's most magnificent sights — Mont Saint-Michel and the castles of the Loire Valley. Everything is included on this popular tour from Paris — tickets, guides, meals, accommodations, and a guided tasting of Loire wines on day two.

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 the sights. 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.

Bordeaux & Saint-Emilion in One Day

Bordeaux & Saint-Emilion in One Day

Thanks again to the high-speed TGV train between Paris and Bordeaux it's possible to visit this world-famous wine region on a day trip from Paris. In Bordeaux your guide drives you to a wine tasting visit of an estate at Saint-Emilion. Back in Bordeaux, you enjoy an afternoon of exploration and a guided tour to this historic city. If you love Paris, we know you're going to love Bordeaux. Tours run on Mondays and Fridays.

The Top Food & Wine Activities

Things to Do in Paris August 2020

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! 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.

Lunch Cruise on the Seine with La Marina de Paris

Lunch Cruise on the Seine

We predict you're going to love this fun, casual, and affordable activity that involves a multi-course meal and a river cruise along the most beautiful river in Europe. 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 is very popular, so we advise you to 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.

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.

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.

Dinner on the Eiffel Tower & Evening River Cruise

Dinner on the Eiffel Tower

You start this special evening with dinner at the brand-new Eiffel Tower brasserie on Level One. Of course you have priority access to the Tower to get up where the views are stunning. After a leisurely, classic French dinner you may decide to climb the stairs to Level Two of the Tower or, instead, to step aboard a glass-walled boat for a magical cruise along the Seine.

What's On At the Museums

Things to Do in Paris August 2020

Body and Soul — Sculpture in Italy from Donatello to Michelangelo

Albrecht Durer

This exhibition highlights the events that led to Renaissance sculpture, displaying works by the best artists from the period and featuring the greatest sculptor of all time, Michelangelo.
• Hall Napoleon, under the Pyramid
• Ends August 17, 2020
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Léon Spilliaert – Light and Solitude

Concentrates on the most intense period in Léon Spilliaert's (1881-1946) artistic career.

Aubrey Beardsley

Cezanne

Although the British illustrator and engraver Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) died well before he was thirty years old, he left a legacy of work that has endured the test of time. A must for fans of Oscar Wilde, James Whistler, and 1890s London.
• Museée d'Orsay
• Ends September 13, 2020

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Alice Neel (1900-1984)

View seventy paintings and drawings that illustrate the work of modern artist Alice Neel (1900-1984).

Matisse

Matisse

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henri Matisse (1869-1954), the Pompidou is staging a tribute to his legacy of this artist and contemporary of Picasso.
• Centre Pompidou
• Ends August 31, 2020
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The Olmecs and the Cultures of the Gulf of Mexico

Learn about the mysterious Olmec civilization of Mexico and the little-known world of other pre-Columbian cultures around the gulf.

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The Golden Age of Danish Painting (1800-1864)

For the first time in thirty-five years, the Petit Palais is celebrating the golden age of Danish painting.

The Best Events in Paris

Things to Do in Paris August 2020

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!
    Early July 6 to to late August
    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 4 to late August, 2020
    Information
Rock en Seine
  • Join Parisians as they rock out! Pont de St-Cloud.
    August 29, 30, and September 1,2020
    Information
Assomption – Assumption Day
  • This is a national holiday in France. Many shops, restaurants and services will be closed.
    August 15 2020
Silhouette Festival – Free!
  • A festival to celebrate short films. Opening night starts with a concert.
    August 30 to September 7, 2020
    Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge, 19th Arrondissement
    Information
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.
    Arènes de Montmartre
    Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge, 19th Arrondissement
    Information

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