Top 17 of the best things to do in Paris in July 2023
What to do in Paris in July?
Tourist attractions go into overdrive in July as Paris welcomes millions of tourists for the summer. Conversely, Parisians flee the city as les grandes vacances get underway. The French capital thrums with summer energy and vitality, enlivened by myriad outdoor activities and seasonal events. There is plenty to enjoy. And we’ve captured all the highlights in our guide to the best things to do in Paris in July.
The best 19 Things to do in Paris in July
Paris Summer Festival (July 10 to 30, 2023)Street Fair in Paris
Paris embraces the summer in typical fashion with a series of cultural and artistic events throughout the city. Sometimes free, usually inexpensive, there are dozens happening in iconic locations.
On the program will be concerts, theater shows, and other live performances. The chances are you’ll encounter them as you explore the city’s tourist highlights. But you can also check online and shape your city tour around the events that interest you most.
Celebrate France’s main national holiday (July 14)Square in Quartier des Champs-ÉlyséesOur highlight
July 14 is France’s big national holiday. It marks the day the Bastille Prison was stormed, igniting the 1789 French Revolution. The biggest celebration is reserved for Paris.
The main event is a military parade and air show on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. In the evening, a massive fireworks display lights up the night sky with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. Preceding the display, a free concert is held on the Champs de Mars.
Of all the things to do in Paris in July, nothing beats joining the festivities on Fête Nationale Française (aka le 14 Juillet), the most important day in the French calendar.
Enjoy the Bastille Day fireworks on a Seine river cruiseHolidays in Paris
There are plenty of vantage points where you can appreciate the Bastille Day fireworks, not least from around the Eiffel Tower. A rewarding way to enjoy the fireworks is to book an evening cruise down the Seine. For an extra-special treat, go for a gourmet dinner cruise and a night to remember.
The fireworks usually start at 11pm, so timing is key. Helpfully, several cruise companies will run additional services due to the understandable popularity of a Seine cruise on le 14 Juillet.
The biggest cruise company is Bateaux Parisiens, which offers the full gastronomic experience and a wealth of experience to ensure travelers enjoy the ultimate Seine river cruise.
Recreate the beach experience at one of the Paris PlagesBeach in 19. Arrondissement
While a sizable number of Parisians head to the coast seeking sun, sea, and sand, Paris officials bring a taste of the beach to the French capital every year with the Paris Plages. The event is a runaway success, inspiring copycats around the world.
The original aim was to recreate a beach vibe along the bank of the Seine. They achieve it with deckchairs, parasols, and a laid-back atmosphere reminiscent of the Côte d’Azur.
The seaside experience reaches another level at the Bassin de la Villette, where you can dive in and enjoy a swim. Don’t worry, the reservoir is continually tested for cleanliness. Aside from designated swimming pools, the area around Bassin de la Villette is ideal for summer picnics, adding to the feeling you’ve escaped urban life for the day.
It may not quite live up to the Mediterranean, yet Paris beaches offer a welcome respite from the summer heat and the bustle of city life.
Watch the finish of the Tour de France (July 23, 2023)Sports Event in Paris
The Tour de France grips France throughout July as the world’s top cyclists compete in the most prestigious bike race of all.
The route changes annually, and towns and cities across France celebrate the legendary race as the peloton passes through. The race always finishes in style with the Champs-Élysées stage.
Once the race reaches Paris, after 3 weeks of grueling racing across France, the winner is usually already decided. Crowning the champion is a formality, with the winner customarily enjoying an armchair ride to the finish line. But there is still time for one last stirring sprint past iconic Parisian landmarks as cyclists perform 6-10 loops around the Champs-Élysées.
Watching the Tour de France finale is unquestionably one of the most popular things to do in Paris in July. Crowds throng the route, so get there early if you want to bag a prime spot. Bring a picnic and make a day of it, at what is one of the greatest sporting spectacles in the world.
One week after the men complete the race, the Tour de France Femmes finishes similarly on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The one-week race will not draw similar crowds, but is another notable event that infuses Paris with color and character.
Mix culture with thrill rides at the Fête des TuileriesTheme Park in Paris
Every summer, a fun-packed fête foraine (funfair) sets up in the Tuileries Garden. Back dropped by the chic buildings of the 1st arrondissement, near the Louvre and the historic Place de la Concorde, the bright and loud funfair looks out of place. But for families vacationing in the city, the thrill rides offer a welcome respite for kids growing bored by museums and art galleries.
Entry is free, but the rides are not. Even if you’re not a fan of funfair rides, there are usually a couple of towering rides that offer stunning views over the center of Paris. It’s a little-known secret that will get you above the city skyline for just a few Euros while having the time of your life. An easy sell to kids big and small.
Festival Les Pestacles (June 29 to September 7, 2023)Music Festival in Paris
Children are well-catered during the summer, and Les Pestacles is one of the top family things to do in Paris in July.
Les Pestacles is a series of shows and concerts for younger audiences in the picturesque Parc Floral de Paris. The shows are free (although entry to the park is €2.50.) The program changes annually, but you’re assured of madcap fun aimed squarely at children. Shows are for children under 6 and 7-12 years old. Check the program, as there is sure to be a show your kids will love. Afterward, you can explore the pretty botanic gardens, which are in full bloom during July.
While the Parc floral de Paris entertains younger audiences in the afternoon, evenings are set aside for jazz and classical music.
The Festivals du Parc Floral continues throughout the summer. During the day, there is a series of (entry to the park is €2.50). Every week there is an evening concert, the nocturnes, which provide a musical accompaniment to long, lazy nights in the park. Tickets are required for the nocturnes. Grab a picnic and a bouteille de vin and enjoy one of the more relaxing things to do in Paris in July.
Enjoy open-air cinema at the Cinéma en Plein air de la Villette (July to August annually)Festival in 4. Arrondissement
Outdoor events dominate any list of the best things to do in Paris in July. And the open-air cinema screenings in Parc de la Villette are one of the most eagerly anticipated. The cinema screenings in Paris’s third-largest park are an annual favorite with Parisians.
You can expect everything from French classics to modern blockbusters, not to mention a diverting program of short films. Some films are shown in English. Take a blanket or pull up a deckchair, the magical setting is a delightful place to watch the silver screen. It is yet another highlight of the Parisian summer, and like so many others, it is completely free.
Go wild at the Lollapalooza Paris (July 21 – 23, 2023)Music Festival in 16. Arrondissement
As you may have noticed in our guide, there are plenty of outdoor events in Paris in July. Many happen around Villette and nearby canals. Canal Saint Martin stretches from the Seine to the Bassin de la Villette. Walking along the canal is always a delight to explore, as the waterway passes through some of Paris’s most compelling and trendiest neighborhoods.
But you can also take a canal cruise, navigating tunnels and locks as you pass under bridges and through different quartiers. Journeys are one-way, so you can mix a walk with a cruise to gain different perspectives. And if you have your swimsuit, you can dip into the Basin de la Villette to cool off. Canal Saint-Martin cruises start/end at the Seine and Bassin de la Villette. Tickets can be bought online or just before boarding.
Find Japan in Paris during the Japan Expo (July 13 - 16, 2023)Festival
If you love all things Japanese, you’ll love the Japan Expo. Taking place in the cavernous conference center in Villepinte on the Paris periphery, the expo is your opportunity to enjoy the best of Japan without boarding a flight to Tokyo.
Manga (wildly popular in France) and Japanese cuisine and culture are showcased with stalls, workshops, exhibitions, and more.
La Nuit Aux Invalides - Amazing Lightshow in ParisMuseum in 7. ArrondissementOur highlight
Die Wände des ehrwürdigen Hôtel National des Invalides werden von einer spektakulären Lichtshow erhellt, die an 3.000 Jahre französischer Geschichte erinnert. Die Lichtshow wird kunstvoll an den Wänden inszeniert und ist eines der brillantesten Ereignisse in Paris im Juli.
Les Invalides ist das nationale Armeemuseum und beherbergt das Mausoleum von Napoleon Bonaparte. Ein großer Teil der schillernden Show widmet sich dem Vermächtnis von Frankreichs wichtigster historischer Figur an einem denkbar passenden Ort.
Die bemerkenswerten Illuminationen schaffen ein 360° Eintauchen in eine atemberaubende 50-minütige Show. Tickets gibt es ab nur 5 Euro für die faszinierendste Show der Stadt.
Take a tour of the city on two wheelsTransportation in Paris
With the sidewalks crowded during the summer, it is a good time to jump on a bike to explore the winding streets of Paris. The citywide Vélib’ bike scheme is the easiest way to get on two wheels and is a recommended activity anytime. If you want to cram in sight after sight, the distinctive bikes are cheap and convenient.
Sometimes, it pays to go with a guide who knows where the hidden jewels are that tourists often miss. Especially during the summer, when you might want to dodge the most popular attractions. A small-group tour with a local who knows all the less-trodden routes is an engaging way to explore the city. The ‘Paris Local Districts and Stories Off the Beaten Track Guided Bike Tour’ is one of the best if you want to see an alternative side of La Ville-Lumière.
Explore festivities around the Canal de l’OurcqBeach in 19. ArrondissementOur highlight
Everybody wants to be near the water during the summer, and the Canal de l’Ourcq and the Bassin de La Villette host some of the most compelling things to do in Paris in July.
Aside from being delightful places to walk and explore, swimming pools are opened in the Bassin de la Villette. The nearby Parc de la Villette also hosts several summer events. But the entire Canal de l’Ourcq, which leads from the Bassin de la Villette, hosts many small events during the Été du Canal (Canal Summer.)
Floating concerts, open-air shows, workshops, interactive street performances, and more spring up all over the fashionable district. One of the highlights is the chance to jump on a river shuttle for a mini canal cruise, costing just €1-2.
A lot is going on. You can simply head to the area and take your chances (there are plenty of other fantastic summer activities if you don’t find an event) or check online for more details.
Enjoy a leisurely cruise down Canal Saint-MartinNeighborhood in Paris
As you may have noticed in our guide, there are plenty of outdoor events in Paris in July. Many happen around Villette and nearby canals.
Canal Saint Martin stretches from the Seine to the Bassin de la Villette. Walking along the canal is always a delight to explore, as the waterway passes through some of Paris’s most compelling and trendiest neighborhoods.
But you can also take a canal cruise, navigating tunnels and locks as you pass under bridges and through different quartiers. Journeys are one-way, so you can mix a walk with a cruise to gain different perspectives. And if you have your swimsuit, you can dip into the Basin de la Villette to cool off.
Canal Saint-Martin cruises start/end at the Seine and Bassin de la Villette. Tickets can be bought online or just before boarding.
Festival Lyrique or Opéra en Plein air Festival in Opéra GarnierTheater in Quartier de la Madeleine
Furthering Paris’s love affair with outdoor music events, the Festival Lyrique brings open-air opera to historical sites in and around Paris.
The venues are usually arresting settings, back dropped by châteaux and venerable buildings like the Hôtel National des Invalides. If the idea of enjoying opera in picturesque locations appeals, check online once the program is updated.
The summer sales (June 22 to July 19, 2023)Shopping Tip in Paris
The most tempting bargains may be gone, but France’s summer sales continue into July. Discounts sometimes rise towards the end of the sales period, so there’s still a chance to find an irresistible purchase or two.
All chain and department stores participate, so if you plan to go shopping in Paris in July, have your credit card ready to snap up any remaining deals.
Remember a giant of science at the Marie Curie MuseumMuseum in Quartier Latin
If you’re looking for educational and enlightening things to do in Paris in July, why not visit the small but beautifully curated Musée Curie. The pioneering scientist was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. And then she won another one.
Although born in Poland, Marie Curie lived and worked in Paris. You can visit her laboratory at the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL). Marie Curie died on July 4, 1934, but her research into radioactivity left a lasting legacy.
The museum is overlooked by most visitors of Paris, but if you’re looking for something novel to do, this tiny museum is a gem.
The best picnic spots in Paris
One thing that never goes out of fashion in Paris is putting together a quick picnic and hitting the parks of Paris. It takes little effort to grab a couple of crusty baguettes, a selection of cheeses and charcuterie, and a bottle of wine (plastic glasses available in many caves.) It is one of the enduringly popular things to do in Paris in July.
Jardin du Luxembourg ENPark in Quartier de l'OdéonOur highlight
The Jardin du Luxembourg is grouped around the stately Palais du Luxembourg – once a royal palace, today the seat of the French Senate. The park was designed at the beginning of the 17th century by none other than Maria dei Medici herself. The heart of the park is therefore the Fontaine Médici – an ornate fountain entirely in the Italian style. With its numerous water features and trees, as well as the large collection of orchids, the park is a real gem. If you like, you can also play boules and tennis – or linger over a game of chess or bridge. Art lovers should also visit the Musée de Luxembourg with its large collection of contemporary art.
Parc des Buttes ChaumontPark in Quartier du Combat
Walking along Canal Saint-Martin is a satisfying release from the urban grind. If you yearn for more calming green spaces, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is well worth the detour. Even though the Parc des Buttes Chaumont is still within the Parisian city limits, it feels like you’re in a whole other world! With its steep mountains and pointed rocks, it offers very special views of the surrounding city – especially the artists’ quarter of Montmartre.
Commissioned for the World’s Fair in 1867, the site had previously been a wasteland of quarries. After the transformation, these shone in the style of English landscape gardens, with numerous waterfalls, grottos & Co. The highlight is the suspension bridge designed by Eiffel Tower builder Gustave Eiffel, which leads to a small man-made island.
Parc de la VillettePark in 19. ArrondissementOur highlight
A short walk from Bassin de la Villette you can find the wide open space of Parc de la Villette. The largest cultural park in Paris fills up with local residents in the summer and is a hub for outdoor events. The creatively designed park is dissected by Canal de l’Ourcq and has a relaxed, informal vibe.
The park was created on the former site of the large slaughterhouses and was planned by architect Bernard Tschumi.
Here you will not only find gardens and green spaces, but also a great combination of cultural activities.
The green spaces hide an array of venues, including a science museum, theatres, an IMAX cinema, and a concert hall. Check the events program to find concerts, outdoor cinema screenings, and a surprising number of free activities.
Frankly, any green space will do. Head to a market first, or load up at a superette and enjoy a long break from the hustle and bustle of Paris in July.
Is July a good time to visit Paris?
Summer, sunny days and the romantic streets of Paris invite you to a great summer trip to the French capital. Take a dip on the Parisian beaches and enjoy an iced coffee in one of the delightful restaurants and cafés.
What is the weather like in Paris in July?
The weather in Paris in July peaks with the highest temperatures all year. Average highs are 76.3 °F (24.6 °C), with temperatures frequently exceeding 86 °F (30 °C.) The days are long and warm, with sunsets beginning just before 10pm. The only gray cloud on the horizon is the reliable arrival of rain, expected on 12–14 days during the month. However, showers are often light and will do little to dampen vacation spirits.
Are there any Jours fériés (Public holidays) in Paris in July?
- 14th – Bastille Day (aka fête nationale Française or le 14 juillet)
How to dress in Paris in July?
Paris in July is quite hot, so you have to dress clever. You should pack in any case shorts, skirts, dresses and airy shirts to not melt in the heat. Airy Clothes like canvas pans or light blouses will catch a few of wind breezes.
What to pack for Paris in July?
In order not to burn in the sun, sunscreen is actually the most important thing you should pack for Paris in July – besides clothes, of course. The sun in Paris can be stronger than you expect, and it is clear that shorts, dresses, and skirts will be the basic equipment for your packing list.
How hot is Paris in July?
Average highs are 76.3 °F (24.6 °C), with temperatures frequently exceeding 86 °F (30 °C.) The days are long and warm, with sunsets beginning just before 10pm.
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