The 10 best spots to enjoy summer in Paris

By Jiselle Henderkott Published 25/05/2024

Looking to make the most of your time in Paris?

Whether you are coming to stay for a while or are just passing through, the best time to enjoy the City of Lights is in the summer.

Here are our recommendations:

In the summertime, Paris comes alive with many festivals, shows, and events taking over public parks and historical venues throughout the city.

There is sure to be an event for every style and flavor. Meanwhile, many Parisians seek refuge from the warm weather during July and August by going to the countryside, so there is no better time to explore Paris.

As you wander through the cobble-stoned streets, you’ll hear light music coming from every corner, and the green trees lining the Seine seem to dance in the wind.

Whether you are seeking the best rooftop terrace to enjoy a sangria with roommates, or you are simply looking to connect with nature outside of your coliving space, summertime in Paris has many surprises just waiting to be discovered.

Here is our list of the 10 best spots to enjoy a summer in Paris — like a local.

P.S. If you want to see our best spots to enjoy summer in Paris on a map, check at the end of the article.

Terrass” Hotel’s Rooftop Bar

Perched in the heart of historic Montmartre, this luxury hotel began in 1911 when Edmond Hurand wanted to create a one-of-a-kind hotel boasting a rooftop terrace with a panoramic view of Paris. In the 1950s, the hotel’s rooftop bar became known as a high-society hotspot where socialites and artists mingled after hours. Now, more than a hundred years later, the hotel still lives up to its name. In 2015, the hotel was recently renovated to its former art-deco glory.

As you step inside, white marble and navy blue accents overtake you. You feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to Paris during its glory days in the 1920s. Take the elevator to the top floor and step out onto a beautiful and welcoming terrace bar. Modern tables and chairs greet you as well as an ocean-side pergola to protect you from the summer sun. Enjoy a specialty cocktail and enjoy a view of the Eiffel Tower off in the distance.

📍 12-14 Rue Joseph de Maistre 75018 Paris, Tuesday to Saturday: 3:30 pm to 12:30 am, Monday and Sunday: 3:30 pm to 11:30 pm.

The Night Waters of Versailles

Looking to beat the heat and enjoy the castle of Versailles like the court of Louis the 14th did? You don’t want to miss this seasonal spectacle of lights. The Night Waters Show happens every Saturday night from the 15th of June until the 21st of September. All you have to do is hop on a train from the center of Paris to the beautiful city of Versailles.

Every Saturday night, the Gardens of Versailles come alive with a light and water show set perfectly to baroque music that is simply breathtaking. The spectacle lasts a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes, and there is sure to be something for everyone. You can even paddle out in a little boat and enjoy the show from the huge lake in the center of it all. Finish off the night with a firework show that is truly the icing on the cake! However, make sure to book your tickets in advance. This event only happens once a week, so many tourists and locals alike are looking to snag a spot.

📍 Jardins de Château de Versailles, every Saturday from the 15th of June until the 21st of September, 8:30 pm to 11:05 pm.

The Paris-Plage Beach Festival

Are you searching for a way to cool off in the city? Well, you don’t have to travel all the way to the Mediterranean, you can find it right in the heart of Paris! At the Bassin de la Villette, the city opens up three swimming basins in the Seine. Don’t worry, they are totally safe and clean.

At this summer escape, you’ll find deckchairs, a wading pool for children, and pétanques courts all along the river. The bathing pools are open for a rotation of 2 hours and then closed for cleaning. This allows other people to be able to come and cool off too. The pools are free, so it’s best to arrive early in the morning to snag a lounge chair. And, with the temperatures rising in the city, the Paris-Plages have become even more popular as a local-favorite watering spot. This is the place to go if you are looking for a summery ambiance in the heart of Paris that is completely free.

📍 Bassin de la Villette 75019 Paris, Saturday, July 9 to Sunday, August 21, 2022.

Jardin des Tuileries Summer Fair

In the heart of Paris, just next to the Louvre Museum, you’ll find a fair with over 60 attractions. After postponing the event for a few years due to Covid, this iconic festival is finally back. For you kids at heart, this fair is similar to any you will find in the United States. Enjoy cotton candy, sweets, and fried goodies, as well as many games and crazy rides.

Make sure to start your visit on the side closest to the Louvre, as there is beautiful terrace dining and a live band. For you thrill-seekers, there is a water log ride and a slingshot that throws you hundreds of feet into the air. Then, to finish off the night, climb onto the huge Ferris wheel for an incredible view of all of Paris. The best part of this festive fair? The entrance is free and the ambiance is very friendly. The Fête des Tuileries is open from June 25th to August 28th.

📍 Jardin des Tuileries 75001 Paris, June 25th through August 28th, every day from 11 am to midnight and Friday and Saturday nights until 12:45 am.

Picnic in Buttes-Chaumont Park

This Parisian park is famous for a reason: it boasts some of the best views in Paris— all while feeling like an exotic escape in the middle of the city. The Buttes-Chaumont Park opened in 1867 and was built on 61 acres of lime and gypsum quarries. These same quarries provided the stone for buildings in Paris as well as in the United States. This is why the park’s signature landscape is steep and sloping. Throughout the park, you’ll find hidden waterfalls, caves, and an artificial lake at the center of it all. You’ll definitely want to spend the better part of an afternoon exploring this massive park.

A 63-meter long suspension bridge, designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1867, allows you to access the island in the middle of the lake. Make sure to hike up to the top of the island’s mount where there is a miniature veranda modeled after the ancient temple of Vesta in Rome. From this point, you get a stunning 360-view of the surrounding neighborhoods. After hiking up an appetite, find a quiet space on a hill and enjoy a picnic lunch. On hot afternoons, many Parisians will lounge in the park until nightfall, taking full advantage of the breeze and shade from the trees. Do the same and make sure to pack an extra-cold rosé with plenty of ice cubes to last you all day.

📍 1-7 Rue Botzaris 75019 Paris, Open daily, hours vary.

Bouldering in Fontainebleau Forest

Looking to retreat into nature? Just 40 miles south of Paris lies the Fontainebleau Forest. You may have heard of it thanks to its beautiful castle. However, Fontainebleau is also famous for its incredible bouldering site. The sheer quantity and quality of its sandstone boulders in such a small space make this forest world-famous for rock climbing. This forest has been the center of bouldering since the 1800s, making it a pioneer course in the history of rock climbing. Truth is, fans of bouldering come from all over the world to test its 30,000 different routes.

There are more than 200 different climbing areas, with some of the most famous ones located just to the west of Fontainebleau town. Bas Cuvier, Apremont and Franchard are some of the most popular. Make sure to pack enough food and snacks to last the whole day, because you are sure to step off the beaten path in the middle of this gorgeous forest. Plan ahead and take a guidebook, or go with someone who knows about bouldering in the region. Many of the courses are color-coded for difficulty, so you will know which one is best for you. Even if bouldering is not your thing, a hike through the forest is a well-worth it escape from the sweltering city.

📍 Fontainebleau Forest, the best times to go are August through September and April and May.

Solidays Music Festival

Love music and want to help an amazing cause? The Solidays Music Festival takes place in Paris at the end of June every year and all proceeds go to Solidarité Sida. Solidarité Sida is a non-profit organization that helps people all over the world receive medication and medical services for AIDS, as well as working to prevent further infection in the parts of the world most affected.

This concert hosts incredible artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, Eddy de Pretto, Damso, Orelsan, and more. The festival is free for those who help out as volunteers, which is a good way to give back and enjoy an incredible event. The festival takes place at the Hippodrome de Paris-Longchamp for 2 nights and 3 days. Neon colors, art expositions, great food, and more await you at this musical event you’ll never forget.

📍 Hippodrome de Paris-Longchampe 2 Rte des Tribunes, 75016 Paris, dates for 2023 not yet announced, usually held in late June.

Silhouette Cinema Festival

The Silhouette Cinema Festival is the largest open-air short film festival in Paris. Another thing we love about it? It’s also free! Over 9 nights you can enjoy free concerts and watch incredible films at the Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge in the 19th arrondissement.

For over 20 years, this festival has been a pioneer in the quality of films selected as well as its accessibility to the community. Many of the films are international and eclectic, meaning that there will be a film for every preference. They also show documentaries, hybrid productions, and a selection of short films for children. Bring blankets, your favorite snacks, and get ready for an unforgettable night of watching movies underneath a starry sky.

📍Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge, 5 Avenue Debidour, 75019 Paris, from August 26th until the 3rd of September starting at 7:30 pm every night.

Perruche Paris

Looking for a chic and sophisticated summer eatery perched above Paris? Look no further than the classy Perruche Paris. Set on the top floor of Printemps Haussmann, lemon yellow accents and nautical stripes adorn this Haute spot. On the menu? Sunny flavors and colorful dishes inspired by the South of France: pissaladière, small stuffed dishes, Niçoise salad, gambas flambéed with pastis, and lamb chops roasted with thyme.

For dessert, choose between a traditional tarte tropézienne, the unstructured Menton lemon tart, or a plate of assorted red berries. If going for a drink with friends is more your style, enjoy DJ sets by some of the most popular musicians as you cool off with one of their famous Perruche Lemonades. Make sure to book a reservation by phone or internet, as this spot gets very busy during the weekends.

📍 Printemps de l’homme – 9th floor, 2 Rue du Havre 75009 Paris, Monday through Sunday: noon to 4 pm for lunch, 7 pm to 2 am for dinner (last orders taken at 11 pm).

Dance Party on the Arche

Fan of indie dance and house music? Look no further than a dance party on top of the Grande Arche of the Défense. This party happens only a few times each summer, so you won’t want to miss it. With a spectacular view of all of Paris, there is no better place to dance the night away.

Make sure to arrive early to choose your spot on the 1,000-square meters panoramic terrace. To reach the top, a short ride in an elevator brings you 111 meters from the ground. Once there, you’ll find amazing drinks as well as an assortment of burgers, hot dogs, charcuterie as well as sushi. When you’re done dancing, buses and other modes of transportation are waiting for you just at the base of the arch.

The entrance fee is usually around 15 euros, but that changes depending on who is hosting the party. The last event to take place was Thursday, July 28th. However, there are always new parties popping up on top of the arc so make sure to check online regularly.

📍 1 Parvis de la Défense, 92800 Puteaux, from 6:30 pm to midnight, next event to be announced.

Here’s an easily accessible map of the 10 best spots to enjoy summer in Paris.

About the author Bonjour! I'm Jiselle, an American ex-pat living in Paris. When not a freelance writer, I'm also an actress, singer, and dancer.