How to Spend a Hot Day in Paris

How to make the most of a Parisian heatwave

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  • 15 July 2019
  • • 6 min read

Want to know what to do on a hot day in Paris? When the sun is out, the French capital bursts to life with people enjoying being outdoors and embracing all of the fun things to do in Paris in summer including rooftop bars, picnics in the parks, alfresco dining and summer festivals. Temperatures in Paris can reach highs of 27 degrees in the summer, so here’s how to make the most of the heatwave when you’re visiting the City of Light.

Here’s what to do in Paris on a hot day…

Alfresco Dining 

Sit on an outdoor terrace to soak up the sun and enjoy a glass of a crisp white French wine with your meal. Alfresco dining in Paris is quintessential in the summer with quaint, charming boulangeries, bistros, brunch spots and French cafes opening up their outdoor seating areas for hungry customers when the sun comes out. With countless affordable alfresco eating options in the city, you’ll never be short of choice. 

Alfresco French restaurants

For French food, we recommend Le Valmy near Canal Saint Martin, Les P'tites Indécises near Parmentier (located in a pretty sun-lit square) and Chez Casimir in Gare du Nord - at each of these quaint eateries you can sit outside under the balmy sun and indulge in French classics. 


For a hearty lunch amongst a lively atmosphere, head to Belushi’s Bar where there’s a beautiful outdoor terrace to enjoy juicy burgers and waterside views of Canal Saint Martin. Or head to A La Folie for a young, edgy crowd where you can enjoy some beers on the vast outdoor terrace.

Check out Belushi’s Bar

Enjoy the city parks

While you may think of Paris as a concrete jungle, 10% of the city is actually made up of beautiful green spaces and parks. The hot weather attracts plenty of locals and tourists to the city parks for summer strolls, to read their books, to walk their dogs or to simply enjoy the sun and have a Parisian picnic. Pop to a local supermarket and buy some french baguettes, ham, wine and cheese. Throw in some macarons and you’re sorted for your lunch in the park. Our favourite parks in Paris for a hot day are Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in the 19th arrondissement, The Tuileries Garden in the 1st arrondissement and Parc de Belleville in the 20th arrondissement.

And Rooftop bars…

What’s a fashionable city without its swanky rooftop bars? Paris is home to several sky high bars but many of them are super expensive. However there’s one epic affordable rooftop that won’t break a backpackers wallet so you can enjoy the city’s best views with a cocktail in hand. The colourful rooftop terrace at the Mama Hotel is the dream in the summer where you can enjoy drinks and play games under the sun including ping pong and table football. There’s even a BBQ!

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Carnival fever at Tuileries Gardens

Every summer the Tuileries Gardens puts on a traditional fair open to the public, the perfect place to spend an afternoon enjoying the carnival atmosphere. This year it’s open from 21st June to 25th August.  With 60 different attractions and rides to enjoy including ghost trains, bumper cars, a Mary Poppins style merry-go-round and a shooting gallery, there is plenty to do to keep you amused on a hot day. Enjoy tasty fairground treats such a donuts, crepes, candy floss, ice cream, toffee apples and more. Entry to the fair is free but you will need to pay for any rides or food.

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Hang out by the canal

What’s better on a hot day than cool drinks by the canal? In the summer Canal Saint Martin is buzzing with young locals and working professionals who make the beautiful canalside theirs in the summer. There are plenty of cool bars that line the canal where you can stop for a drink and hang out with friends. Our favourite canalside bars include Point Éphémère, a hipster hang out and Cafe Odilon, a calm summer bar serving up tasty pizzas and an top-notch selection of wines by the canal. Boasting a great view of Quai de la Marne, waterside bars don’t get much better than this.

Taste Paris’ best ice cream

You may not know this but the French love ice cream so it’s no surprise that Paris is home to some incredible ice cream parlours. Cool yourself down on a hot day with one of the best ice creams in the city where you can try inventive flavours, rich classics and gelato that will rock your world. Berthillon is no doubt the most famous ice cream parlour in the French capital that has queues coming out the door, especially on a hot day. With more than 60 flavours on offer and a velvety creamy texture, you won’t be disappointed so come here for your ice cream fix.

Attend a summer music festival

Make some summer memories in Paris at an epic music festival. This city is playing host to many festivals this year and the next two big ones coming up next are Lollapalooza (20th - 21st July) and Rock En Seine (23rd - 25th August). At Lollapalooza 2019 there is an incredible line-up including The Strokes, 1975, Twenty One Pilots, Migos, Martin Garrix, Jaden Smith, Kungs, Clean Bandit, Kodaline, Jonas Blue, Bad Bunny plus way more. And at Rock en Seine it’s your chance to see The Cure, Major Lazer, Jorja Smith, Royal Blood, Foals and Bring Me The Horizon.

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Get cosy at an Outdoor Cinema

Like many of the world’s big cities, Paris has taken on the outdoor cinema trend. When it’s a warm sunny evening, head to one of the cities outdoor cinemas where you can enjoy a movie on a deck chair and a picnic with friends. Our favourite outdoor cinema this year is Cinéma En Plein Air taking place from July 17th to August 18th on the park in La Villette. You can see what movies are showing on the website. Find out more here .

There’s also the Cinema Under the Stars taking place between July 4 through August 18 at Caisse de Notre-Dame-de-Grace.

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