Paris, Je T’aime



Visiting Paris in the Summer Time

If you are a Paris lover and if you’ve visited Paris during summer time, you’ll feel that the city isn’t exactly in its normal state. Most locals abandon Paris for the beautiful but crowded beaches of the Cote d’Azur, Nice or the Atlantic Coast, and Paris falls under the reign of visitors from around the globe. Laid-back, festive, and eerily stripped of its metropolitan stress levels, the city of light is temporary taken under control by the tourists around the world. The enthusiasm of visitors tends to be infectious, and Parisians, reputed for their gloomy dispositions, welcome the change of ambiance. If you are really looking for a typical Parisian life style, you might be disappointed by it. Summer in Paris belongs to tourists, they become locals temporarily. The best time to see the Parisians is when they return from vacation during late August. They call it “ C’est la rentree”

Why to Love Paris in the summer time:

Briefly, the city is yours. Traffic nearly grinds to a halt on the streets, and activities like biking or rollerblading around the city are rarely more pleasant. Metros may be over packed and sweltering, but stressed commuters have been replaced with cheerful packs of vacationers. The mood is perhaps less  Parisian than at other times of the year. This might not be exactly what you would like. Paris became one of the top destinations in the world and it comes with a price. Please be careful with your belongs while you are traveling in the subway. Most big cities are filled with pickpockets and you do not want to lose your stuff while vacationing. Sometimes, you can blend in as a local but come summer times, it’s hard to find one.

August in Paris is also an ideal time for experiencing a cruise on the Seine river, taking a CityRama bus ride around the city, visit the Sorbonne, visit a park such as Jardin des Tulliers, park Monceau, Jardin des Luxambourg. Paris is hot during summer days and you would enjoy a nice breeze if you are outside enjoying.If you like to enjoy the people walking along the streets, sit down outside a café and enjoy a nice croc monsieur and a cafe. You would see tourists from all over the world. The new trend in Paris is the Chinese with larger groups enjoying every place and occupying every area possible. Having a relaxed meal while gliding along the water can be to memorable effect. So, Go for a nice walk along the Seine river where you would enjoy seeing artists paintings and some stalls where people trying to sell souvenirs and art work to the tourists passing by.During the summer times, you would enjoy some events typically for summer. Mainly during the month of August, The Paris plages is an event, turning the Seine river’s busy side walks into a beach, an ideal relaxing and picnic areas for tourists and for the Parisians who stayed behind. You would enjoy tourists sun bathing, sometimes naked. After all It’s Paris. In the evenings, free live music and drink-sipping on outdoor terraces along the Seine will lure the relaxed tourists.

If you are a fan of Open-air film festival, go to the Parc de la Villette. It’s a must see places while you are in Paris. It’s dedicated to science and you would be amazed to discover what it has to offer. The movies are shown at no cost on a giant outdoor screen. You would feel the love in the air.

How to Prepare for the trip:

Summer in Paris is generally hot and muggy, with average temperatures at around 75F. But in recent years, however, major heat waves have been known to strike in August, and temperatures have sometimes climbed to the high 90’s. In 2003, a two-week heat wave hit Paris in early August and caused significant deaths among elderly. I remembered that. I was working in a hotel without no AC and it got empty and most tourists cancelled coming to Paris because of that. Elderly, visitors with medical conditions, and parents with infants and small kids should remain especially alert to possible spikes in temperature, and take necessary precautions. Reserving a hotel room with air conditioning is one of them. Make sure to ask when you make reservations. Some hotels do not simply have air-conditioned rooms. Making sure to keep plenty of water with you if you are out. There are few water fountains for tourist if you need water.

Summers can be surprisingly rainy, and erratic thunderstorms and heavy showers are common. Pack a reliable umbrella in case one of these takes you off guard you during a stroll or picnic.

Bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes, especially since visits to Paris usually involve lots of strolling, not to mention those maddening metro tunnels and stairs.

What to visit while you are in Paris
  1. Tour Eiffel:

This is a must see. It might be crowded during this time but try to get there early if you want to avoid big lines. If you make dinner reservations, you can do that via tour guides. They will by pass the lines and get you there in time. Same way, if you make reservations by CityRama. You would by pass the lines. Its something you need to keep it mind. It might be a little pricy but in the end. It’s worth it.  Nighttime would be beautiful and you can see the city of light as you imagine it would look like.

2. Louvre Museum:

Maybe the world’s most famous museum. It would take days to visit it. You should choose carefully what you would like to see. Before you go, research it, make sure what you want to see, visit the highlights first. If you want to see Mona Lisa, make a quick visit to Sully Wing. Buy a museum guide for 8 euros that would help you immensely.

I recommend you start with the ground floor, the Richelieu floor, which contains sculpture. Then proceed to the 1st floor of the Sully that contains Egyptian, Etruscan, Middle Eastern and Greek and Roman antiques. The Sully wing also encompasses painting and medieval art.

3.Jardin des Tulleries:

The Jardin des Tuilleries is one of Paris’s most visited gardens thanks to its central location between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. As such the Tuilleries are part of a grand central axis leading from the Louvre all the way to La Défense, the city’s business district. Just go enjoy and relax during the hot summer days. You would be able to spot the Place de la Concorde, La Madeleine, the exact replicate of the Parliament which is located little further from the church.

4. Notre dame de Paris

Located in the 4th district near Sorbonne and St Micheal. This is a must see. It’s one of the most visited Cathedrals in France. It’s easy to visit and less crowed during the summer time. You don’t need to rush to see it.

5. The Champs Elysées

It is a magnet for romantics and one of the most visited streets in Paris. It is the world’s most famous avenue. In addition to the signature Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées, this section of Paris includes the Palais de l’Elysées, the Grand Palais, and the Petit Palais, two stately buildings located near the Seine. Take the subway to Charles de Gaulle on line one and you would be able to walk from there or take the exit Champs Elysee. The side walks are always busy with tourists and just enjoy walking down the most famous avenue. If you like lights. Come back during Christmas. You will be amazed.

6. Montmartre

Tourists visit Montmartre to see the panoramic view of  Paris from the church of Sacré Coeur, mix with the numerous artists at the Place du Tertre and for the show at  the Moulin Rouge. It’s breath taking and it’s the highest point in Paris. This is also a must see.

How to get there:

take the Metro to Abesses   and walk to the bottom of hill topped by Sacré Coeur.  If you are strapped for time or plan to ascend to the top of the dome of Sacré Coeur, take the funicular to the top. By the way, if you are a De Niro fan and the movie Ronin, this is the location of  the café.

7. Les Invalides and the Musée D’Orsay:

Famous art and artists, Napoleon’s Tomb and a different character make the Invalides another of the popular areas in Paris. Our guide to the best places to visit in the Invalides and Surrounding Areas includes: the Musée D’Orsay (Impressionist art), the Musée Rodin (sculpture) and Saint Louis des Invalides, a beautiful church that houses Napoleon’s impressive tomb.

How to get there: take the subway to Invalides on line 1 or you can go to Musée d’Orsay exit and walk back to Invalides. You can just sit on the beautiful green grass and just enjoy a hot summer day in Paris.

8. Visit the Latin quarter:

This is a must see area of Paris. Admire La Sorbonne, Le Pantheon, les Jardin et Le Palais du Luxembourg, St-Germain-des -Prés, Delacroix museum. You would be amazed by the beauty of the area. Since this is located near the colleges. You might encounter students from all over the world. You would be able to walk la rue des Ecoles de medicine just to see the medical faculty. Have a cup of coffee facing the Notre dame and just enjoy by being there.

Take the subway to St Micheal Notre dame and follow the exit. You can also take the RER B line.

9. Visit the Maris

It’s the peaceful neighborhood of the Place des Vosges, Les Halles, the Pompidou Center, the Hotel de Ville, the Picasso Museum, the Carnavalet Museum, and the Place de la Bastille, The Bastille area reputedly offers some of the best nightlife in Paris, so you may want to visit later in the evening.

You would find numerous restaurants around here, while you are at Les Halles, go visit la bibliotheque de Pompidou, go to the top and enjoy the view with a cup of coffee.

10. La Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Père Lachaise is the final resting place of Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Maria Callas Frederic Chopin, Sarah Bernhardt, Gertrude Stein, Honoré de Balzac, George Bizet, Maria Callas, Eugene Delacroix, Jim Morrison, Yves Montand, Simon Signoret and numerous, world-famous personalities, many whose popularity has increased after their death.

Take the metro to Pere Lachaise or Gambetta and follow the signs and you would be there in no time. It’s beautiful to see and open daily.

There are other places you could visit such as Catacoumbs, La Pigalle with the Moulin rouge shows, the sex museum, L’Opera de Paris,

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