If you happen to visit Paris in the summer, here are some of my favourite spots to enjoy the city away from the tourist crowds.
At that time of the year, Parisians leave the city as many companies close down for the holidays. You will also notice that some restaurants and shops are also closed during that period. However, this is to my opinion the best time to enjoy the city as a tourist, as the city is much more peaceful and still has a lot to offer, from monuments to some of the best summer spots in Paris.
Every summer, the city transforms several spots by the Seine into artificial beaches, offering various summer activities for both adults and kids. You can easily access it when walking around the City Hall.
Rooftops have become a big thing in Paris over the last couple of years. The most famous one, Le Perchoir, offers different options : in the 11th, in the Marais at the top of the BHV store and now at the top of the Gare de l’Est train station in the 10th. But make sure you arrive early or you might have to stand in line for a little while.
If you are up for a drink with a view, the 43 up on the roof is a great option, not as suitable for large groups.
Glamorous terraces in Paris
If you are looking for a glamorous decor, you have several options including the Saint James hotel or the Westin as shown below.
If you walk along the berges de Seine near the Invalides, you will also find several cafes to enjoy an evening drink and watch the sunset by the Alexander III bridge.
Swedish garden in the Marais
If you would rather head to a peaceful garden and read, then I strongly recommend the Swedish Institute. They open their garden every summer with deck chairs, books and a café serving sandwiches, smoothies and other refreshing drinks.
La Javelle, an open-air authentic “guinguette”
This spot is located in the 15th, and is a modern version of a traditional guinguette – which is an open air café with dancing. It is an ideal place to stop by for lunch after shopping at Beaugrenelle, as it offers several food truck options. In the evening, you can also enjoy concerts and dance on the terrace in a laid-back atmosphere.
The historical Jardin Municipal
Located in the historical building of the Credit Municipal, this lovely courtyard is in the heart of the Marais, hidden from the tourist crowds, an ideal place to stop by for lunch or for a drink.
The underground Grand Train
This would be my favourite spot for the summer. Although it is not really close to any picturesque monument, it is worth exploring while visiting Montmartre as it is on the same metro line 12. This old train depot was transformed into a really cool and large space, including open-air bars, food stalls with some delicious hot dogs, temporary train museum, games for the kids and deck chairs to chill out along the old railways. It is really a perfect place for families or friends, where anyone can find something he or she likes.
Le Perchoir BHV Marais, 33 rue de la Verrerie 75004 Paris – Metro Hotel de Ville line 1 / or Gare de l’Est – Metro Gare de l’Est line 7
43 Up on the Roof, 4 rue Danton 75006 Paris – Metro Saint-Michel line 4
Le Westin, 3 rue de Castiglione 75001 Paris – Metro Tuileries line 1
Swedish Institute – Jardin de l’Institut Suédois rue Elzévir 75003 – Metro Saint-Paul line 1
La Javelle, Port de Javel Bas 75015 Paris – Metro Javel line 10
Le Jardin Municipal, 55 rue des Francs-Bourgeois 75004 Paris – Metro line 1
Grand Train, 24 rue Ordener 75018 Paris – Metro Marcadet Poissonniers line 12