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Things to do in Paris this summer

Street parties, summer sports, urban beaches and much more with our cream of the crop of things to do in Paris this summer

After all the music, all the art, all the eating and all the shopping, sometimes you just want to soak up the atmosphere of Paris in summer. And where better than at the city's annual street festival, or a relaxing water park, or on the banks of the Seine? These relaxed, fun things to do will be the perfect topping to your Parisian summer sundae.

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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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


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

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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By: Huw Oliver