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Paris in August?

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
195 posts
5 reviews
Paris in August?

So, I read in a travel book that a lot if Paris "shuts down" in August when the parisians go on vacation. How true is this? Should I not go to Paris in August because of this?

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Paris, France
Level Contributor
299 posts
1. Re: Paris in August?

Paris is not a theme park that would "shut down" at certain times, but a large city. Does Chicago or NYC "shut down" at any time of the year? The sights of course, and most businesses will remain open, especially in the tourist neighbourhoods.

What I would be concerned most about is the possibility of heat in August (and heat can be very unpleasant in a dense and largely "mineral" city like Paris), and the tourist crowds around the sights.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
195 posts
5 reviews
2. Re: Paris in August?

That was my exact thought, and what I said to my husband! I know that parts of Europe do tend to take holiday at the same time, but did not think the majority of Paris would. It's a city that has to operate, like other large cities. The book I read said that some of the restaurants close, etc. Is that true?

And I have read that heat can be a problem. I am a student though, and August is the perfect time for us to travel. So, I think we can tough out the heat if it is hot.

Dunfermline, United...
Level Contributor
13,790 posts
43 reviews
3. Re: Paris in August?

It can get humid but the temperature rarely gets over 90 degrees. As for the restaurants and shops, a lot of them will be closed during the month but the city will be full of tourists.

We were in Rome last August which has a similar exodus and although much of the place was closed there were more than enough restaurants open and the city was actually better because there wasn't much local traffic about.

Shouldn't affect your holiday that much.

Ohio, USA
Level Contributor
19,004 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: Paris in August?

>>> As for the restaurants and shops, a lot of them will be closed during the month <<<

I would say that *some* of the smaller restaurants and mom-and-pop shops will be closed for *part* of the month of August. You will have absolutely no problem finding places to spend the kids' inheritance and you certainly will not starve. It was never true that Paris "shuts down" in August and it is less true than it was even a couple of decades ago.

West Chester, PA
Level Contributor
336 posts
1 review
5. Re: Paris in August?

If it helps, I was there in August and am going back this August. If anything was closed I missed it. It was beautiful, we had to wear a light sweatshirt in the morning and it was about 75 in the afternoon. Maybe I just got lucky

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
195 posts
5 reviews
6. Re: Paris in August?

Thanks so much for the information!

Level Contributor
30,544 posts
9 reviews
7. Re: Paris in August?

We're usually high-summer (July & August) visitors to Paris, so my first reaction is to agree and say, "..YES...Paris does indeed '..shut-down..' in August....Stay home...' and then there's be two less tourists standing in line ahead of us at museums and attractions, competing for tables at our favorite restaurants and packing Metro cars and buses.....but that wouldn't be right...(would it?).

NO Paris is open for business pretty much as usual. The traditional August '..vacance..' of decades past has changed remarkable. As noted SOME restaurants will be closed....but not so many that you'd probably even notice...and SOME restaurants that remain open mat offer more limited menus. SOME smaller shops may also be closed...but again, probably not enough to make a difference to most plans. BUT...if you need to find an electrician, plumber, auto-body repair shop, file an insurance claim, kitchen remodelling contractor, process a bid for a government contract, etc. August may prove inconvenient. If these aren't on your '..To Do..' list for your Paris visit...you'll do just fine.

There is one thing about coming to Paris in August that you should be aware of, "..Paris When It Sizzles.." isn't just an old movie title. Paris can get oppressively HOT in high summer...with extended heat waves lasting several days as not at all uncommon...the sort of heat wave where openning your large windows, only lets in a LOT more hot air. So you might want to add a hotel with A/C on your list of priorities. Parisians will tell you that you don't need A/C in Paris....but curiously enough, when these heat waves do frequently occur, there isn't an air conditioner or fan to be found on store shelves anywhere in the greater Île de France. Either '..tourists..' are purchasing unusual '..souvenirs..'.....or the Parisians who calim that you don't need A/C are scooping up anything that moves stale, hot air by the carload.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
254 posts
1 review
8. Re: Paris in August?

I went last August and it was amazing! (but don't tell anyone! hehe)

Recently, I think, Paris in August has found the perfect balance between businesses realizing that there is a demand for them, and tourist still being under the impression that Paris "shuts down" in august. The result.....smaller crowds. I like the fact that people are scared to go in August...but only for my own selfish reasons ;-).

We only noticed a few smaller places that were closed down, and as stated above, never for the whole month anyways.

but please...feel free to spread the rumours about Paris being a ghost town in August....wink.....hopefully it will still be 'dead' in August of '08 for my next trip.

9. Re: Paris in August?

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