France in August - Weather, What to Pack, What to See

Beautiful weather, great events and the French in holiday mood

Paloma Beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, Provence, France, Mediterranean, Europe
••• Stuart Black/Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images

Why visit France in August?

The French traditionally take their holidays this month from July 14th (Bastille Day) to mid August. So you may find some shops closed for the first half of August and Northern France tends to migrate south. Paris in particular is empty of locals.

The South of France is very busy indeed, particularly on the beaches. And throughout France you'll find lots of festivals and events.

  • All museums and attractions are open with extended summertime hours
  • This is still high festival season, when France celebrates everything from food to music, especially jazz from street theater to arts and crafts. There’s a particular emphasis on local festivals as the French go back to their roots and take holiday houses in many small villages
  • Many of the cities like Chartres and Amiens put on spectacular light shows at night while the chateau at Blois pesents a dramatic living history lesson. It’s dark enough to see well and warm enough to stay out late
  • It’s one of the best months for pavement and terrace dining and outdoor cafes are doing a roaring trade
  • It is, of course, beach time in many of France's glorious seaside resorts.

Why not to visit France in August

  • You might get caught up in the crowds of visitors who are on vacation from the rest of Europe, particularly in popular areas like the Cote d’Azur and the Loire Valley
  • Paris is particularly empty, so depending on your point of view you either love it for this unusual quality or hate it for being full of foreign visitors
  • Airfares and lodging can be more expensive
  • There can be some really hot and stormy days

A Few Highlights for August

  • Some of the jazz festivals stretch into August, such as Jazz a Marciac in Midi-Pyrenees

Weather

In August the weather is usually glorious, though it can be stormy in some regions. But generally expect wonderful blue skies and warm temperatures. As always, according to where you are in France, there are variations in climate, so here are weather averages for some major cities:

  • Paris:
    Temperature ranges from 15 degrees C (59 degrees F) to 24 degrees C (75 degrees F
    Average temperature is 19 degrees C (66 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 13
  • Bordeaux:
    Average temperature ranges from 14 degrees C (57 degrees F) to 26 degrees C (79 degrees F)
    Average temperatures is 19 degrees C (59 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 11
  • Lyon:
    Temperature ranges from 14 degrees C (57.2 degrees F) to 26 degrees C (79 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 20 degrees C (68 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 11
  • Nice:
    Average temperature ranges from 18 degrees C (64 F) to 27 degrees C (81 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 22.5 degrees C (73 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 7
  • Strasbourg:
    Average temperature ranges from 13 degrees C (55 degrees F) to 24 degrees C (75 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 19 degrees C (66 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 14
  • Find out more: Weather in France

    What to pack

    France is a large country so what to pack depends on where you are going.

The hot dry South of France
August in the South of France is lovely, though it can get very hot and humid. Beware of major heat waves when temperatures can climb into the high 90’s. So make sure you reserve a hotel room with air conditioning.

  • Light cotton clothes for sunny days
  • Light windbreaker
  • Hat or visor or sun gear for sunny days
  • Good sun screen with high protection
  • Bathing costume
  • Good walking shoes
  • Pack closed-toe and open-toe sandals for the various weather conditions

Paris & the north of France
In Paris and the north of France, August can be unpredictable. It can be stormy so expect heavy showers at any time. But it can also be very hot, so take all of the above -- but remember to pack a good umbrella as well

Find out more on Packing Tips

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