Heatwave in Paris – 7 ways to beat the heat
Summer is upon us in the city of love and year after year the temperatures keep on rising. The past few years these months have been exceptionally hot in the French capital. With highs in Paris reaching over 43 degrees Celsius, which is almost 110 degrees Fahrenheit! And this summer is predicted to be one of the hottest on record.
So how can you enjoy your time in Paris even during a heatwave? This article is all about 7 ways to cool down and to beat the heat in Paris.
So read on for your summer survival guide!
Now the first and most important piece of advice for beating the heat in Paris is simply to stay hydrated. The city is best explored on foot, so chances are you’ll be doing a lot of walking. And depending which neighborhood you’re in, a walk can turn into quite the workout (looking at you, Montmartre)! Water is sold at almost every attraction and monument, but the bottles are often tiny and extremely overpriced.
The best option is to bring a large, refillable water bottle with you when you set out in the morning. Paris actually has free drinking water fountains installed all over the city, which are the perfect spots to refill your bottle or grab a quick drink.
These ornate Wallace fountains don’t look like your average water fountain though. So be on the lookout for dark green cast-iron fountains, which manage to match the beauty of the city. For more information and a full map of the fountains, check out this article.
Go for a Swim
No, not in the Seine! Although, maybe in a few years this will be a possibility. Until then, why not check out some of Paris’ pools, or piscines?
Believe it or not there are actually a ton of municipal or public pools in Paris, and they’re a super affordable way to beat the heat! Read our article all about the best swimming pools in Paris here.
One of my favorites is the Piscine de la Butte aux Cailles in the 13th arrondissement. This is actually one of the oldest and most beautiful indoor pools in the city! There’s a nice vibe here and it’s usually less crowded than some of the more central ones.
A single entry will cost you €3.50, but you can buy a whole summer pass (3 months long) for just €22. Not bad at all!
Lounge in a Park
Heading to the park with a cold drink and a good book is a favorite Parisian pastime. When I first moved to Paris, it surprised me to see the parks still busy even in the hottest summer months. But since then, I’ve learned it all depends on where you go.
During the summer, lounging in a Parisian park can actually be a great way to beat the heat. Many of the parks in Paris have a ton of space, and plenty of trees providing lots of cool shade. You just have to find a nice spot under the trees. An afternoon in the park can be a nice option if you still want to be outside but not overheat under the harsh sun.
Some of the best parks to visit in Summer are the Buttes-Chaumont, the Parc de Belleville, and the Jardin du Luxembourg. All of these parks are super spacious and have lots of grassy areas for you to lounge under plenty of shade.
Treat yourself to ice cream
Ice cream is one of the most classic solutions to survive an exceptionally hot day. And the great news is, Paris has undoubtedly some of the best ice cream and sorbet out there!
Where can you find this exceptional frozen treat? The answer is Berthillon, a small family-owned ice cream parlor on the Ile Saint-Louis. They’ve been around since 1954, and have been a Parisian favorite ever since they opened.
What sets Berthillon apart is the exceptional quality of their ingredients, and the originality and intensity of the flavors. There are ice creams in flavors like bittersweet chocolate, Ispahan (rose, red berries and lychee) even caramel-pear. Their sorbets come in just about any fruit flavor you can imagine, and most of them are also dairy and gluten free.
Take an ice cream to go and walk just down the street to the river. You can stroll along the shaded riverbanks with a view of Notre-Dame and a delicious ice cream in hand. It doesn’t get much better than that!
berthillon – 29 rue saint-louis en ile 75004
open wednesday to sunday from 10:00-20:00
Take a cruise on the Seine
My next tip for beating the heat in Paris is to get out on the water! Did you know there’s a boat-bus, called Batobus that’s actually part of Paris’ extensive public transport network? Yes, there are so many more options for a boat trip in Paris than the Bateaux Mouches or the Vedettes!
In the high season, the boat runs from 10 A.M. until 9:30 P.M. with a boat arriving every 25 minutes. If you don’t have a lot of time constraints, Batobus is a really nice way to get around and see Paris. Plus, the cool river breeze is so refreshing on a hot day. What I love about the Batobus is that it’s really simple to use, and not many visitors know about it. This means it’s not nearly as crowded as the tourist river cruises.
And for a boat cruise on the Seine, it’s pretty affordable! You can purchase a day pass (either online or at any station) for €11 or a two day pass for €13.
Visit the Grande Mosquée
The Grande Mosquée of Paris is certainly a historic site worth visiting. This beautiful Mosque is located on the edge of the Latin Quarter in one of the city’s most popular areas. But it’s just off the beaten path, so the Mosque and the idyllic gardens still remain somewhat of a local secret.
Once you enter, you’ll forget that you’re in the middle of a busy city. Beautiful tiles and swaying palm trees frame the stunning fountain in the Mosque’s courtyard. It’s such a tranquil space inside and out. Further along in the gardens, there’s even a café and shisha lounge. This space is well-ventilated and has lots of shade from the trees overhead. It’s the perfect spot to kick back and relax any time of the year. But this place is great for beating the summer heat over a glass of refreshing mint tea and some traditional Maghreb-style snacks.
You can visit the interior of the Mosque and the gardens for €3, and the prices inside the café are very reasonable as well.
But please remember, first and foremost the Mosque is a place of worship. So please be respectful in your actions and your choice of clothing.
la grande mosquÉe de paris -2bis place du puits de l’ermite 75005
See a movie
Though rather unexpected, going to a movie is one of the best ways to beat the heat in Paris. This is because unlike the majority of public spaces such as museums, shops, etc. in Paris, cinemas have air conditioning. Definitely a welcome reprise when temperatures are climbing.
Duck into a classic Parisian cinema for a matinée showing to escape the hottest part of the day. Some of the cinemas here are quite impressive and feature beautiful architecture, like Le Grand Rex. Wherever you decide to catch a movie, just make sure to look for the letters V.O. next to the title. This means you’ll watch it in the original version (usually English for Blockbuster films) with French subtitles. Otherwise, you can ask the ticket agent “quels films sont en anglais”? It’s an easy way to find out which movies are in English.
Bonus: chill out in a garden
Alright, in case you wanted one last idea for how to beat the heat in Paris, here it is. You’ve probably heard about the lovely Musée de la Vie Romantique, or the hidden gem of Paris’ 9th arrondissement. But did you know there’s a little garden and café just next door?
When you enter the museum courtyard, the café is on your right. There’s tables and lots of places to sit both inside and outside, under the perfectly shaded canopy of trees overhead. The coffee is good and the snacks are rather rich, but well-deserved after a long day of exploring the city.
Well there you have it! My top 7 recommendations for how to beat the heat in Paris this summer. I really hope this article has been helpful for you, and that you’ll enjoy discovering some new places and activities in Paris.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or if you would like any more information on any of our tours. We love to hear from you!
See you soon in Paris!