A city guide to Paris in August
By Kelly Cronin
Paris should be at the top of everyone’s must-see cities. From the obvious tourist sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame, Paris also has a lot of lesser-known spots with unique, parisian vibes. The French capital is bustling year round, but thanks to French holidays, August is actually a quieter summer month for the city of love. Most of the French take their yearly holidays for the whole month of August – leaving Paris relatively cleared out. If you’re looking to explore the city without waiting in long lines for museums, August might be a good time for you to hit the streets of Paris. Check out our guide on how to visit Paris in August:
Where to Stay
The discrete, luxury boutique hotel Relais Christine is the perfect private getaway in Paris. The luxury hotel is located just next to the Latin Quarter in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. With 49 rooms in what used to be a luxury residence, the Relais Christine gives an authentic yet unique stay in Paris.
Enjoy the stay even more with an afternoon spent at their spa with private rooms available for massages whether you want some romantic time with your significant other or a little me-time. A garden also gives you a city-break while still in the heart of Paris. This hotel is an absolute hidden gem with services above and beyond, such as free bikes to rent, 24/7 room service and a breakfast buffet to die for!
Four Season Hotel George V
Known in part for its stunning flower displays, the Four Seasons Hotel George V is nothing short of palatial luxury. Located just next to the Champs-Elysees, the Four Seasons is truly in the heart of Paris within minutes drive from most of the city’s major hotspots. The hotel decor is styled like a parisian palace, with intricate details and colorful paintings covering the walls.
The hotel also recently opened a new designer spa, with everything from a jetted whirlpool to a Hamman to a champagne bar. To add to the luxurious lifestyle in this Art Deco palace, the Four Seasons has THREE Michelin-Star restaurants: one with three stars and two with one star. There’s also an afternoon tea-salon with a daily pianist. This hotel is the definition of classic parisian luxury.
Another intricately decorated five-star hotel, the Shangri-La actually used to be the private mansion of Prince Ronald Bonaparte, the grand-nephew of Napoleon. One of the many highlights of the stunning hotel is the perfect views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. After all, that’s the Paris you’re looking for in a summer getaway.
Situated between the prestigious Avenue George V and Avenue Montaigne, the Shangri-La has every service under the sun including 24 hour concierge available. You’ll also want to dine at one of their three restaurants, one with a Michelin star and one with two Michelin stars. Get ready for nights in the City of Lights by sipping on a craft cocktail at their bar. The Shangri-La is known for its award-winning Asian hospitality, so you can expect the best of the best here.
Le Bristol is famously the first hotel in Paris to be awarded the title of “palace”, a step above a five-star hotel. The decor resembles that of Versailles with marble floors and incredible chandeliers dangling from the intricate ceilings. There is even a “glass hall” which could be compared to the hall of mirrors, as well as a portrait of Marie Antoinette. How’s that for some true French culture of luxury?
Perhaps the highlight of Le Bristol is the covered rooftop pool. Look out the floor to ceiling windows for stunning views of the Paris skyline – especially stunning at sunset or after dark when the sky is lit up. Of course there is also a Michelin star restaurant, amazing concierge services and a luxurious spa.
Take the Backseat
Paris is a massive city, so having the time to get to everything you want to see can be a bit difficult. Navigating a city is always frustrating. It might look like a quick metro ride, but it could end up taking you over 20 minutes to get from one place to another. If you want to take the hassle-free travel route, opt for a private tour. Private tours vary depending on what you want, so look around for one that really sparks your interest. Here are three of our faves:
France is known for its fashion, especially in Paris. If you want to indulge, Paris is the place to shop until you drop. This tour will take you on a private tour of Paris where you can stop at any stores you like along the way. Head to the famous Champs-Elysees for big brand names like Nike, Louis Vuitton and the intricately decorated Abercrombie & Fitch. If you’re looking for beauty, there’s always Mac and Sephora just across the street. Don’t worry about lugging around heavy bags or big ticket items all day – your driver will be happy to help!
A quick trip outside the city, Versailles is home to the famous Palace of Versailles from the French Revolution. The whole estate contains 250 acres of landscaped gardens and lawns with fountains and statues throughout. The gardens are a must-see, and they also include a lake for small boats, kayaks and more. After wandering through the gardens, take a guided tour of the palace, including the Hall of Mirrors featuring 357 mirrors with beautiful reflections of the gardens.
Once you’ve taken on a full tour of the grounds, including the Grand Trianon and Marie Antoinette’s apartment, it’s time for a gourmet lunch. Score a table at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Trianon Palace. If you’re not done exploring, take your tour over to the old town of Versailles, with adorable cobblestone streets and restaurants. Having your own private tour guide is an amazing experience for Versailles, plus it’s a great way to avoid the crowded trains.
City of Lights by Night
Paris is one of the most iconic cities in the world. Due to its sparkling city lights, its nickname is the City of Lights. Beautiful by day, Paris has an extra shine at night. This private tour is the perfect way to see the city sparkle without having to walk around at night. Plus, you’ll beat the August heat by going out and about once the sun goes down.
Take in the views of iconic monuments including the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral, which is beautifully lit up at night. You’ll also have the benefit of missing most of the crowds, getting much better photo opportunities. Top this all off with a bottle of champagne and you’ll be blown away by this dreamy tour!
For more private tours and to book, head to THE DRIVER.
What to Bring
If you’re coming to Paris in August, you can expect it to be very hot. Luckily, Paris has some unique ways to cool off, including the temporary beach along the bank of the Seine. That being said, I would recommend packing light-colored, flowy clothes that will allow your skin to breathe. Plus, you’ll be indulging with pastries and baguettes galore, so loose fitting clothing is highly advised. Bring both sandals and a pair of comfortable closed toe shoes, as you’ll want to stroll the quaint streets in Montmartre comfortably. Also don’t forget to bring an umbrella – even in summer, Paris can have the occasional rainstorm.