The Best August Events in Paris

Parc de la Villette and water canal elevated view, Paris, France


Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

August in Paris is a wonderful time for anyone in search of a full program of festivals. From free concerts to movies projected out on enormous lawns and fun at the beach for both adults and kids, there's a little something for everyone during late summer in the French capital.

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Paris Plages (Pop-Up Beach Operation on the Seine River)

From July to September, a full-fledged beach with sand, games, cafes, and even boating will take over the banks of the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette in North Paris. Paris Plages has enjoyed enormous success since its launch in 2003 and attracted millions of visitors over the past few years. Especially on hot nights, sipping a drink at one of the open-air bars installed on the beach or enjoying free live concerts are now summer staples in Paris.

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Open-Air Cinema Festival at the Parc de la Villette

Every year, Parisians and visitors spread out blankets at the ultramodern Parc de la Villette, where some 40 movies are shown on a giant outdoor screen. The festival will run in July and August 2020. Entry is free (but you can rent a chaise-longue for a small fee). Although the 2020 season theme has yet announced, last year, the theme was "Let's Sing" and featured blockbusters and Oscar-winners such as "La La Land" with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

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Rock en Seine (Three-Day Music Festival)

Every year, fans of rock and indie music gather at the enormous green expanse known as the Domaine National du St Cloud just west of the Parisian city limits. From August 21-23, 2020 the festival will showcase headlining acts like The Cure, Major Lazer, Foals, Jungle, and Royal Blood. Reserving tickets well in advance is always a must, and if you choose to stay for all three days, camping onsite can be a great way to enjoy the festival to the fullest.

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Picasso Museum

The Picasso Museum is featuring an exhibit on Picasso's time in the Mediterranean and his best works from that time period. Running through October, you can see the landscapes of ports in Malaga and Barcelona to works from his later years in Antibes and Vallauris. Iberian pre-historic to Ancient Greece influences threaded throughout the exhibit.

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Silhouette Festival

Created in 2002, this free annual film festival screens outdoor short movies to locals and visitors alike. More than 100 films are shown over nine nights and three juries select the best films across an array of categories. The festival is held in Parc de la Butte du Chapeau Rouge in the 19th Arrondissement. It's about a 30-minute ride on Metro Line 11. It runs from August 28 to September 5.

For a more comprehensive list of exhibits and shows on in August this year, check out the Paris Tourist Office.

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