9 Reasons to visit Paris in August

Paris is always a good idea. But extra special in August. Why? Here’s why. I asked Agnès Michot, editor at Marie Claire and one of the sweetest and most stylish colleagues ever. She’s the authority because she studied French Literature in Paris, is French and visits the city at least 6 times a year. Be warned, instant travel desire looming.

First and foremost, what nobody knows is that you can park for free in August in Paris. Not on the grand boulevards, but you can in the side streets. Take a look at the parking metres and you’ll see “free on sunday, holidays and the month of August.” To top it all off, there is loads of room to park your wheels, because all the Parisians are holidaying in Biarritz, Deauville of the sunny south.

That little cafe in the middle of the Jardin de Luxembourg. Usually brimming with Parisian hipsters, but now they’re all away, you can nick their spot. You order a salad Nicoise of course. Then you shed any possibly gained calories by playing a game of tennis at the public tennis courts in the Jardin.

August shopping. You enjoy the tail end of the sales (that is now at 70% off) and you pick up the new collection while you’re at it. Where you ask? In the Bon Marché naturally. Very Parisian.

The best pharmacy in the city is the City Pharma in Saint Germain. They sell the finest French pharmacy brands that can only be found in France. The place is usually chock-a-block full, but now it’s all yours.

What few people know is that the hotels are cheaper in August. Go on and call Le Meurice – oh no we’re don’t sleep there anymore on principles sake, but rather at Costes or the Mandarin or George V.

From 23 July to 24 August, outside films are shown in the Parc de la Villette. Cinema en plein air. What can you expect to see? Lolita by Stanley Kubrick, Carrie from Brian de Palma and Cédric Klapisch’s ‘Chacun cherche son chat’, Riad Sattouf’s ‘Les Beaux Gosses’ and George Lucas’ ‘American Graffiti’. If you want to know what’s on that night, check Timeout.com.

Hurry though because the Paris Plage along the Seine is on till 17-08. You can play beach volleyball, or a very French game of pétanque. Though the best attraction may well be the legions of handsome gendarmes, that keep order in the city on roller-skates (!).

Drinking cocktails on rooftops is very à la fashionable in Paris. And New York does not own the rights to that pleasure. Where to go? Here.

Piscine Josephine Baker is may well be an inside pool, but hey it’s a lot cleaner than the Seine and you have a Seine-view. The hipsters all go picnicking in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, you can take your own food or pick some up in a lovely little shop in the park. Lay yourself down on the grass and the city is yours.