OK, you don’t really need a reason to visit Paris. This is one of the most spectacular, interesting, romantic, and enjoyable cities in the world! How many more adjectives could we all think of for Paris? It should be on the top of everyone’s bucket list!
But Paris in July is beyond wonderful. And here are 5 reasons why:
Reason #1: Bastille Day, July 14, French Independence Day.
This is the day ALL of Paris is celebrating their independence from feudalism and arbitrary imprisonment at the whim of the royal family, and the day to honor the 1789 “storming of the Bastille” prison in Paris:
“The Bastille was a fortress-prison in Paris which had often held people jailed on the basis of lettres de cachet (literally “signet letters”), arbitrary royal indictments that could not be appealed and did not indicate the reason for the imprisonment.”
From morning to night, this is the day that all of Paris is out on the streets. There are parades along the Champs-Élysées, and concerts and fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. You can join in the all-night parties in the city’s fire stations with the French firemen (ooh-la-la) leading the dancing atop the makeshift bars. It’s wild and wonderful! Vive la France!
Reason #2: Paris Plage.
During the third week of July, truckloads of sand are hauled into Paris to line the banks of the Seine, the river that runs through the middle of Paris. Beach umbrellas and chaise lounges are set up along the river, and there’s a carnival-like atmosphere with little food kiosks, music, dancing, and games for les petites (the little ones). Since it’s usually hot at this time of the summer, there are mist makers you can walk through to cool off before relaxing beside the river to watch the sun go down.
Reason #3: The Paris Jazz Festival.
This is truly an undiscovered secret! For 8 straight weekends in June and July, the city of Paris hosts a world-class jazz festival in an open-air venue just a subway ride away from the center of town. It’s only 5 Euros (the park entrance fee) for an afternoon of great jazz in a beautiful park in Paris. What more could you ask for?
“On the eve of its 23rd edition, Paris Jazz Festival invites you to Parc Floral de Paris, from June 11 to July 31, for a thrilling run of spectacular jazz trips that will take us from Paris to Brussels and Erevan, from Cuba to Switzerland, from Africa to Spain and the US, with a strong emphasis on the imaginary world of music.”
Reason #4: The Tour de France.
I’ve had the great pleasure to be in Paris at the end of July when the Tour de France bicyclists, including Lance Armstrong, ride into the city for the final lap of this month-long European riding competition. The streets of the Champs-Élysées in the heart of Paris are lined with spectators waiting in the warm sunshine for a glimpse of the riders as they whiz past. It’s an electrically charged atmosphere with everyone enjoying the party-like finale to this now infamous race.
Reason #5: It’s Warm and It’s Paris.
If you want to get the most out of your trip to the City of Light, you don’t want to be stuck in your hotel room shivering from the cold and rain. You want to be out there, walking along the river, shopping and buying fabulous new clothes and shoes, eating croissants at outdoor cafés, and soaking up the sound of French all around. Parisians are out all year-round, but especially in July, enjoying their city and celebrating summer. There is no better time to see and experience Paris in all its glory. Air tickets might be cheaper in March, but spend a little more and go in July. I guarantee that it will be money well-spent!
So, if you have a choice about when you will visit this unforgettable city, then I highly recommend the month of July. As I said before, you don’t need a reason to visit Paris, but here are 5 reasons to visit in the middle of summer!