Summer is always a great time to visit Paris, the weather is usually pretty good and, unlike many big cities, there are lots of things to do outdoors in and around the city centre.
If you're a sun-worshipper, head down to Paris Plages, beaches set up on the banks of the Seine every summer with sand, deckchairs, palm trees and bikini-clad locals soaking up the rays.
There are also lots of leafy parks sprinkled across the different districts, perfect for walks, sport, picnics or just lying in the shade enjoying a good book. You can easily pick up the makings of a picnic in one of the many food markets dotted across the city then head for the nearest green space to relax or get active.
If shopping is more your thing, there are plenty of bargains to be had browsing the flea markets around Paris, they're a lot less busy during the summer and they stay open in August.
When you're all shopped out, make your way to the river and enjoy those long summer evenings over an apéro on one of the many boat bars moored along the Seine and watch the sun go down over one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Park des Buttes-Chaumont, Paris 75019
Sprawling, craggy Buttes-Chaumont is in the north-east of the city – off the tourist trail, but well worth the detour. Set in an old quarry, it’s dotted with grottoes, cliffs and twisting paths, making it the perfect place to escape the crowds. Great for a lovers picnic by the lake with tiny, romantic Temple de la Sibylle perched above you.
Bois de Vincennes, 75012
A former royal hunting-ground on the eastern edge of the city, Bois de Vincennes is Paris’s largest park. It takes in four lakes, a Buddhist temple, a zoo and an arboretum, along with the fragrant gardens of the Parc Floral – so there’s something for everyone.
Petit-Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris
Within throwing distance of the wonderfully symmetrical yet undeniably touristy Jardin des Tuileries, lies the Petit Palais and its courtyard cafe-garden. Shaded between the towering plinths of the building, the garden’s tables and chairs face a mix of palm and banana trees that bring a rather tropical feel to this tiny Parisian jungle.
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Every summer, palm trees, sun loungers and pétanque pitches turn the banks of the Seine into an urban beach. Picnic on the lawn, sign up for watersports or cool down with a dip in the large floating pools on the Bassin de la Villette.
France’s annual celebration of past revolutionary fervour is a joyous affair. In the capital, festivities include a military parade on the Champs-Élysées, breathtaking fireworks at the Eiffel Tower and neighbourhood balls.
The gruelling endurance test for cyclists sweeps through Brittany, the Alps and the Pyrenees this year. Brit Chris Froome is the one to beat. Find a spot on the Champs-Élysées on 29 July to cheer competitors as they reach the finish line.
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