No matter what month of the year you choose to vacation in Paris, you’ll find plenty attractions and activities to fill your days. Summer is the time of year when the weather is best suited for outdoor activities, and you’ll find no shortage of festivals, exhibitions and restaurants to keep you entertained and occupied. Keeping cool and hydrated is easy with the abundance of cold drinks and ice cream treats to be found all around the city. Its great weather for shorts and the accompanying sun tan you’re after, so slather on the sunscreen and hit the streets during your summer vacation in Paris. If you’re not one to relish in getting lost in a crowd of fellow travelers, be warned that summer may not be the best time to visit Paris, as its the most crowded time of year in many European cities.
In Paris, some of the best things in life are indeed free. For the movie aficionado, the Villette park in the north of the city puts on free movie screenings known as Cinema en Plein Air, or open-air cinema. You’ll be treated to a wide variety of movies from all genres, mainstream to indie. Locals and foreigners alike flock to the trendy Parc de la Villette at sundown with their deckchairs in tow to take in the day’s movie, and its a great way to pass a summer evening in Paris. If theatre is your thing, there’s much to see in the way of live plays in Paris during the summer. There are a number of options for the theatre goer, such as the famous Odeon Theatre, but if you’re interesting in saving money, there are a few tricks you can try. Venues all around the city offer discounted rates on particular days of the week, such as La Colline every Tuesday, and Nouveau Theatre de Montreuil, where you can pay 12 euro per seat on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A more flexible schedule is available to you if you choose to take advantage of a theatre card, such as the ten day pass available at Theatre de Gennevilliers for 100 euros. If you’re not in Paris for that long, you can go to Maison des Metallos where you pay 20 euros for a subscription that gives you the special price of 8 euros a show.
Summer is the time of year when Paris’ locals go on their own vacations to spots all around the world, leaving the city to the tourists that head there. Young people are on holiday from school, and frequent many of the outdoor festivals and open-air music events that are held at this time of year. You’ll have a blast at the Fete de la Musique, or Paris Street Music Festival, a free event that is open to any performer who wishes to have a moment in the spotlight. Typically held in June, this is one of many music shows in the city during summer time, including Rock en Seine, a three day music festival featuring top international acts. You can also check out Les Siestes Electroniques, held in the gardens of the Musee du Quai Branly. Up and coming DJs put a fresh spin on the music archives of the Quai Branly Museum in this festival, which is anything but an Electronic Nap as suggested by its name. Other music festivals and events worth checking out are the Jazz a la Villette festival, the DJs playing at the Nave of the Grand Palais, and the Institut du Monde Arabe for music with middle eastern flair.
Paris in the summertime is one of the best times to relax at one of the outdoor restaurant terraces or indulge in ice cream treats to beat the heat. There are lots of dining choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner, once you can manage to get a table. One of the popular spots to have affordable brunch in Paris is Les P’tites Endecises on rue des Trois Bornes, in the 11th arrondissement. If you’re just feeling peckish, you can choose their “p’tit dej” , one entree and dessert, for around 14 euros. The tourist with the bigger appetite can feast on the “complet” meal for 20 euros, which features a main course from their specialty menu. Both deals come with cold and hot drinks as well as an unlimited bread basket. To satisfy your sweet tooth, there are plenty ice cream parlors around Paris, but you may have to join the queue that sometimes stretches around the corner. One such sweet shop, the 250 year old A la Mere de Famille in Montmartre, has a well earned reputation for the most indulgent desserts. Here you’ll get much more than an ice cream cone. just ask for the Esquimaux, frozen iced lollies with delicious coatings, or the chocolate logs called rochers glaces, typically filled with flavored ice cream. If you’re in the mood for confectionary works of art, Gelati d’Alberto, located on Rue Mouffetard, is the ice cream shop you’re looking for. Ice cream in exquisite flavors like nutella, vodka Red Bull and green tea are fashioned into delightful works of art such as flowers by the skilled employees of this establishment. You’ll be one of the many locals and tourists who head there to enjoy a tasty treat during the summer months.
Shopping in Paris during the summer months will keep you occupied since the city offers many markets and shops selling a wide variety of products. You’ll find antique stores together with bookstores and market stands selling knick knacks. If you’re interested in trying out new culinary creations, you can check out Bastille and Saxe-Breteuil markets, or explore one of Paris’ many covered and street malls. For the music lover, aside from Paris’ outdoor music festivals, there are numerous record stores around the city where you can find that long searched for vinyl or indulge in some old favorites. No matter your hobby, you’re sure to find lots of activities in this vibrant city during the summer time.
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