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August in Paris

August in Paris by Carin Olsson (Paris in Four Months)

I’m just going to let you know that this will probably be my last August in Paris. Like ever. Since moving to this city I’ve heard people speaking about August in Paris with both excitement and fear – I’ve been warned to have all my plumbing and electricity problems pre August since apparently it’s nearly impossible to find any sort of “handyman” once the month of French vacations starts in this country. But I’ve also been told that it’s one of the most relaxing and calm times you’ll ever have during the entire year here. Well, after investigating more thoroughly myself I can safely say that this does not apply to those who live in very centre of the city. The Parisians might have fled the French capital for their Corsican beach houses, St. Tropez hideouts and Provence country homes but they’ve been replaced by a trillion more tourists who all roam the streets of Paris from early morning to late evening, taking up every single inch of the sidewalks with their maps and ice cream cones in hand.

Not only is the centre taken over by tourists during this time, all of my favourite restaurants, cafés, shops and bars have also decided to close up and (most of them) not open until the end of the month or beginning of September. So, deciding on where to meet clients and friends for lunch, dinner or simply a cup of coffee has just gotten a lot more challenging than usual (thank god for Fondation Cafe and La Caféothèque right now). *

I blame this (unusual) negativity of mine on the lack of summer here in Paris. I mean, if we’d have stable weather and sunshine instead of rain, wind and endless grey clouds in the sky I’m pretty sure we could have put all of those pretty Parisian parks to good use with picnics and fun summer activities. Perhaps what I mean is “I’ll never spend the month of August in Paris again unless it’s super sunny and amazing weather”. Although that could be pretty hot (and claustrophobic) without any sort of coast or water close by… Hmm. To sum it up, I think it’s better that I just stay away from Paris in August in the future.

* But yes, it can actually be easier to grab a chair at your favourite terrace during this time and some areas (if you get away from the tourist attractions and the main streets) can be absolutely deserted and calm.

  1. Justyna    August 18, 2014

    The same here. This is my first and last August in Paris :S it may sound crazy but i cant wait for September!

  2. Oh gosh, at first I thought you were going to announce moving from Paris–I was going to say it felt like you just moved into your apartment! Anyways, I’m glad that’s not happening, but it’s nice to know when NOT to go to Paris, because I do intend to visit one day! Good thing August isn’t right smack in the middle of my summer break 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  3. This exactly sounds like Milan in August! It’s pretty much the same here as well as for the weather! It doesn’t even look like summer here in Italy this year and I don’t know if it’s bad or not but we surely can’t indulge in a lovely picnic day which is sad since I’m planning one for months!

    x Giada | Miel Café

  4. Gabriela    August 18, 2014

    My family always avoided Paris in August because of the hordes of tourists, but I have to say, I wish we did something similar in the US- an entire month off sounds absolutely amazing!

  5. Nanna    August 18, 2014

    This is so true! I just came back from a week in Paris – and literally all of the cafes that we had planned to visit were closed for the summer.
    But we found one little gem – Paperboy at 137 Rue Amelot in the 10th. This is an amazing place!
    – But next time, we’ll avoid August 🙂

  6. Daniella    August 18, 2014

    stunning and simple!!



  7. At first, I thought you were announcing you were moving to Rome! haha

    I totally feel the same about NYC in the summer. With the heat and hordes of tourists, parts of the city are just headache inducing!

  8. Darina    August 18, 2014

    I can imagine that this is not feeling as “your” city at this moment. Luckily, La Rentree will be in two weeks from now on, I hope the weather will be better soon!!

  9. Marianne -    August 18, 2014

    Ah, August in Paris… You are completly right. We lived 3 years in Paris before moving to Perth, Australia. WHEN we came back this summer, we realised we never experienced PAris in August before (YES, we were these parisiens who spent our vacations in the south of France). You might blame this unusual calm atmosphere but believe me, you might also blame the busy Paris back in September 🙂
    Have a lovely day,
    PS : I recently discover your website and love it (and big up to your instagram feed too) !

  10. Note taken! And these photos are beautiful.

  11. Janet    August 18, 2014

    Thanks for the tip! Never go to Paris in August if I want to explore. Seems appropriate they too would take off in August as I work for a Swedish company and getting a hold of anyone in August is just a waste of time. lol.

  12. I completely agree with you! That being said, my time in Paris during June and July this summer was much the same, with endless rain and only the occasional increase above 15°C unfortunately, but I’m just hoping it was because the weather everywhere in Europe was bad this year, because I’m certainly planning on going back next summer!

  13. I never realised everything closed down so much in August! We were lucky enough to head to Paris in July, although it was in the middle of the heatwave so we just had a day there instead of the couple of day trips we had planned. It was so hot that we ended up just finding a lovely spot on some green Paris chairs in the Luxembourg gardens, but that was good enough for me!

  14. I was walking down some streets between Parc Monceau and Gare Saint Lazare last weekend, and it was SO calm and quiet! It was quite refreshing! However – the touristy areas are ridiculously annoying. And you’re right about things being closed – it’s a bit frustrating when you’re super excited to visit a place, just to discover that the window shades are pulled down and that there’s a tiny handwritten note, essentially saying, “peace out suckas! …back in September.”

  15. Claire    August 19, 2014

    Hi! What font do you use for your titles and text? love you the blog!

  16. Oh, that’s unfortunate… where is a good place to spend August instead, then?

    belle + compass

  17. Paris is such a beautiful city! I hope to visit again pretty soon 🙂 x

  18. Cristina Gomez    August 19, 2014

    Cheer up, August will be over soon and everything will go back to normal. I know how you feel cos it’s the same in Spain. It’s like the country stops during this month. Maybe you should take your vacation in August next year 🙂

  19. chocolatecookiesandcandies    August 20, 2014

    *sob* I can’t believe summer is OVER. I was nearly frozen solid by sunset in Paris. I’ve learned my lesson not to bother with any of my favorite restaurants other than the little Vietnamese place I always go to. At least Saint Germain was devoid of most tourists. Too bad we didn’t catch up this time but see you in London when you do get over here.

  20. Quaintrelle Georgiana    August 20, 2014

    It is said that Parisians are leaving the city to the tourists during the summer 😉

    I visited Paris two weaks ago (sorry, lol), and loved it although the umbrella in my bag was a necessity. I noticed that a lot of shops (and even smaller museums!) were closed, which is a shame I think. I hope your mood will get better soon and you will enjoy the city again. I would move there in an instant, if I had the possibility.

  21. I’ll take Paris with any kind of weather haha!

  22. Haha omygod YES! I’ve been working all summer (according to the weather, summer is indeed over) near Monceau, and this area is pretty much kind of dead this month, it is awful. You can’t even fing one boulangerie open! And yes, it is terrible near the touristic place, so crowded and noisy. But in a way it’s nice to discover a quiet and calm Paris. It is seriously so good when the métro isn’t full of people at 8.30 in the morning! Enjoy the rest of your summer, I hope you’ll once again follow once again Nicole during Fashion Month! And maybe this time I’ll run into you in New York (as I’ll be there during the first days of fashion week) or in Paris! xx

  23. S.leonella    August 25, 2014

    Oh hell no, I absolutely love Paris in August 🙂 I can’t stand crowds, so it’s a relief when the city empties itself, the shops are quiet, the streets are empty and I don’t have to bump into people…And let’s not forget the metro. There aren’t more tourists than usual actually but I guess they stand out more since a lot of Parisians are on vacation. I’m lucky not to live in a touristy place so I’m not bothered by that. There are still bakeries open where I live, same for fruits & vegetables. I’m so NOT ready to see everyone flood back to Paris…

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