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Things to do in Paris this summer

Our full list of the 50 best

Eating & Drinking

Take it outside with the city’s best al fresco brunches

There's nothing more Parisian than the tradition of a good weekend brunch. And with long sunny mornings beckoning, we want to take this tradition and put it where the sun shines. So let the fresh air chase away your hangover and grab another coffee, with our round-up of the best terraces for brunching on a Sunday morning...

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Let it all hang out by the canal

Critics' choice

A pretty café-restaurant, Le Pavillon des Canaux is another great project with an artistic edge and a stimulating community feel to it. Set in an old two-storey house overlooking the Canal de l’Ourq and its houseboats, Le Pavillon is bright, colourful and peaceful...

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Cure your fried chicken cravings at a hip new hangout

From the precocious team of restaurateurs behind Candelaria, Glass and Mary Celeste comes Hero: a boutique restaurant and bar serving Korean fried chicken or ‘yangnyeom’. If you’re unable to secure a table (reservations are strongly recommended), it’s still worth stopping in at the downstairs bar to sample the menu of luscious Korean-fusion cocktails...

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Take it easy with Martin at our favourite new tapas bar

Critics' choice

A former barman at Au Passage, Loïc Martin opened his eponymous tapas bar and bistro with an emphasis on local and organic produce. Everything here is homemade, and the space is cosy and simple: exposed stone walls, a carpeted veranda and jars of silverware on every table...

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Saint-Ambroise

Make up your own mind at Brasserie Barbès

It was never going to be a quiet opening; the shining white façade of the four-floor Brasserie Barbès could be seen by some as a shining light in a traditionally gritty neighbourhood, by others as a load of old hipster whitewash...

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La Chapelle

Stretch out and sip in the sunshine

From luxurious rooftops to hidden al fresco cafés, these are some of our favourite spots to catch a shot of sunshine in Paris (and a few shots of liquor while we're at it). The city's café culture is at its finest as the beau monde relax into long summer evenings, and these outdoor bars provide the perfect setting (and sustenance) to soak it all up...

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Scream for the best ice cream in Paris

Our sticky-fingered guide to the best ices in the capital takes you from glorious gelati in luxurious ice cream parlours to sweet shops full of bonbons; simply the best places in Paris to indulge a sweet tooth...

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By: Time Out editors

Get your Soju to go at a top new Korean canteen

A new sister restaurant of Ma Kitchen on Rue d'Hauteville opened on the Canal Saint Martin in June 2015 — good news to fans of their cooking who were becoming tired of the long lines at the original. SAaM is more low-key, nestled on Rue de Lancry behind a pretty natural wood façade...

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Canal Saint Martin

Art & Culture

See some one-off performance art

Global in outlook, ambitious in scope, city-wide and often free, the Quartier d'Eté festival offers a fantastic summer programme of dance, theatre, concerts and circus...

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Catch a short and sweet film festival

The free open air Festival Silhouette is the biggest short film festival in Paris, and, having been around since 2002, has built up quite a following. For nine days you can expect to see a variety of genres represented: animation, horror, drama, comedy, documentary and experimental...

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Discover summer chateau culture

Critics' choice

Le Domaine de Chamarande in Essonne, just a few minutes from Chamarande station on the RER C, comprises a 17th century chateau with 98ha of grounds – a magical stretch of forests, lawns and lakes. In summer, the chateau’s resident Centre d’Art puts together a lively mixture of exhibitions and shows, mixing contemporary art and educational angles...

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Domaine de Chamarande et son centre d'art Until Sunday November 1 2015 Free

Find out what all the fuss is about at Versailles

Critics' choice

Never mind the venue’s traditionalist associations – contemporary art returns to Versailles with a bang this summer. Anish Kapoor’s instantly infamous installation – its most prominent feature is most often likened to a vagina – in the courtyard of the Sun King is a bold attempt to create a dialogue between the history-heavy surroundings and contemporary creative mores...

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Château de Versailles Until Sunday November 1 2015 Free

See outdoor cinema at its finest

The fantastic (and fantastically popular) free open-air cinema festival Cinéma en Plein Air returns to Parc de La Villette for its 25th edition this summer. It's just one of the events that brings the buzz to this increasingly hip corner of northeast Paris...

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Discover the world of Wallace & Gromit

Critics' choice

This exhibition at Paris’s Art Ludique museum gives us a glimpse into the workings of the studio that has given the world ‘Wallace and Gromit’, ‘Chicken Run’ and ‘Shaun the Sheep’. Run by Peter Lord, David Sproxton and Nick Park, Aardman Animations has created a parade of innovative and imaginative animated characters since 1972...

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Art Ludique - Le Musée Until Sunday August 30 2015

Music & Nightlife

Find out why Paris is a new electro-techno capital

Paris’s nightlife scene is now ruled by independent 'collectives' – gangs of creative and enterprising young people determined to make their mark – each with its own vision, personality and musical agenda...

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Rock on at Rock en Seine

The city’s premier annual rock festival, Rock en Seine has been held in the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud every last weekend in August since 2003. For the best experience, buy a three-day pass and camp in the historic park grounds, which include Marie Antoinette’s rose garden...

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Pack in Macki Music Festival

The brainchild of two kingpins of the Parisian party scene, DJ Mamie's collective and the label Cracki, Macki combines a quality line-up with the novelty value of a brand new venue...

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Party in the park with Paris Jazz Festival

The Paris Jazz Festival is one of the favourite summer destinations for overheated Parisians. From mid-June until the end of July, two jazz groups play every Saturday and Sunday in the big open hall of the Parc Floral de Vincennes. The free festival (you only pay entry to the park) makes for a brilliant summer outing...

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Preen at Peacock Society Festival

This techno, house and electro festival manages to cram an absolutely stonking line-up of more than 30 international DJs into its two days. Break out your shutter shades, your crowns of flowers and your rolling baccy – it's time to party in the Parc Floral...

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Celebrate with LGBTQ+ collectives

The creative energy of the clubbing collectives ruling Paris’s nightlife scene has to be seen to be believed; it's fast becoming a European alternative clubbing capital in its own right. And LGBTQ+ voices are particularly strong here, proving that gay life in Paris is about much more than just the Marais...

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See summer take a bow at Jazz à la Villette festival

The Jazz à la Villette festival is one of the most hotly anticipated events of the back-to-school season for musically-minded Parisians. Every concert is unique, a meeting between different artists: jazz, funk, hip-hop, blues and world...

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Things to Do

Be a beach bum at Paris Plages

If there’s one event that sums up Paris in the summer, this is it. Back in 2002, Mayor Bertrand Delanoë began the tradition of lining the banks of the Seine with sand, deckchairs, food stalls and volleyball nets, creating a series of city beaches for those stuck in town during the long hot months...

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Celebrate Bastille Day with the best of them

The evening before the holiday, Parisians dance at Place de la Bastille. At 10am on the 14th, crowds line up along the Champs-Elysées as the President reviews a full military parade. By night, the Champ de Mars fills for the firework display...

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Swim for it at Neuilly’s Centre Aquatique

Not just a pool, but an aquatic centre with three different indoor sites: one training pool, one for learning and one for fun as well as a small outdoor pool, two solariums and one ‘beach’. It also offers a spa, hammams, saunas and UV cabins...

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Hauts-de-Seine

Loop the loop on La Petite Ceinture

A kind of illicit pedestrian counterpart to the boulevard périphérique, the Petite Ceinture is one of Paris’s least well-guarded secrets, in both senses. Essentially a disused railway that loops around the city like a ‘little belt’, the route has lain derelict since the last commercial train rattled along its tracks last decade...

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Discover the Parisian pleasure boat

The quays of the Seine and banks of the canals de l’Ourcq and Saint Martin are adored and regularly visited by Parisians, playing host to many a party, picnic or apéro. In Paris, houseboats – or péniches – function as more than just accommodation: many a water-loving entrepreneur has turned their houseboat into a lovely business or venue...

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By: Maria Hagan

Get away from it all on l’Île de Monsieur

Critics' choice

When Paris’s parks overflow in summer, those in the know will head to this out-of-town Eden at Sèvres – a former island (on a tributary of the Seine which was blocked up in the 19th century) that’s now a 7.5ha ecological park, found just at the end of the metro line 9...

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West of the centre Free

Overdose at candyfloss at the Tuileries summer funfair

The summer fairground returns to Paris, bigger and better than ever Can you smell waffles? Must be the return of the annual fête foraine (summer fairground) to the Tuileries. Merry-go-rounds of various stripes are the stars of the show: you'll have the chance to mount a vintage carrousel dating from 1900, as well as a zippy modern 6G…

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Find out what bouldering is, and get hooked

The forests at Fontainebleau (which surround the manificent Château de Fontainebleau) are famous for their massive, prehistoric boulders; French alpine climbers have been coming here to train since the early 19th century. More recently, the area has become a prime location for 'bouldering'...

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Join the crowds for the final leg of the Tour de France

The grand finale of the bike race to rule them all returns to Paris again this year. The chance to watch last leg of the Tour de France powering up the Champs-Elysées after cycling 2,000 miles in 21 days draws crowds of thousands...

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Pop along to a pop-up summer terrace

Paris Plages is well known for lining the Seine with sand and deckchairs during the summer months, but there are plenty of other venues across the capital that open up extra spaces when the sun comes up. With DJs and bars, summer sports or just shady places to relax, these summer spaces are the perfect spots to plant your parasol...

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Shopping

Check out the curated cream of Paris consumerism

The mighty concept store has redefined high-end shopping for many; their gorgeous hand-picked selections of quirky goodies are almost as impossible to resist as they are to afford. These are some of our favourites.

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Lay in your summer reads

The city that nurtured Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Orwell and Beckett is a major hub and an inspiration for English writers and readers, and there are glossy emporiums, delightful second-hand treasure troves and plenty of mixed-language outlets to explore...

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By: Time Out editors

Put some sauce on your summer

Fancy pants, cheeky bits and some more serious adult playtime gear can all be found at these come-hither Paris lingerie boutiques.

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Discover Paris Design Week 2015

Paris Design Week provides an international platform for young and emerging design talent. Organised across Paris in some of the city's premier exhibition spaces, concept stores, hotels and restaurants, the week-long design 'itinerary' is free of charge...

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Consider some ink at Paris's tattoo parlours

Whether you're browsing for ideas or ready for your inking session, we've visited some of the top Paris tattoo studios to meet the artists and check out their work. Scroll through some artwork and see if any of the styles inspire you...

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Stock up on cheese at the city’s finest fromageries

Paris harbours more than just a few fantastic fromageries, where you can discuss the finer points of pasteurisation while making up a platter of your favourites or even dine on dairy delights at dedicated cheese restaurants...

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By: Maria Hagan

Browse beautiful art and antique markets

Want to put in a bid for a Louis XIV wardrobe? Or simply stroll through the streets of Montmartre in search of a vintage postcard to send home? Either way, we've got you covered with our pick of the most interesting art and antique markets the city has to offer. Just make sure to bring a full wallet and an empty carrier bag...

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Hop along to some fine new Parisian beer vendors

Perhaps the most striking index of Parisians' newfound thirst for beer is the rate at which the brown stuff is being taken up by traditional wine merchants. Artisanal lagers and ales are increasingly found alongside the usual bottles of rouge and champagne, while dedicated beer shops are expanding into ever more specialised territory...

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Ogle the good stuff at organic markets

’Bio’ produce is unquestionably on the up and up in France, with fashionable menus gasping to emphasise their additive-free meat, locally sourced veg and 'natural' wine lists...

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By: Ellen Hardy

Comments

3 comments
Uriel G
Uriel G

Did you try Visitobus Paris (free app audio guide from the regular Paris buses) ?

Lulu
Lulu

No 'Lichtenstein' at the Pompidou, either...?

Lulu
Lulu

Great line up, but when exactly was this list put together? Le Mary Celeste (#2!) won't have oysters until September as their Facebook announced (in April mind you, so may have changed without further update) and Cinema Paradiso is well finished. It'd help updating this info before advertising on Facebook, perhaps?