August is my favourite time to visit Paris.
It’s my birthday month, which means I always have brilliant excuse for any kind of ‘treat yourself’ shopping (ahem! Princesse TamTam & macarons).
And because August is the holiday month for Parisians (they do have 6 weeks to use up after all…), the French capital is at its quietest.
Which means that:
- As long as you stick with local spots (there’s no such thing as ‘no tourists’ Paris ever), you might just get a table at one of the city’s most coveted restaurants – fact we very much intend to make the most of this upcoming weekend.
- Eurostar tickets are somewhat affordable (even at the last minute… #enabler).
Once thing that’s not quite as easy-breezy though is choosing what to pack for Paris in the summer, thanks for that, dreamy ‘freezing one minute, hot ‘n’ sweaty the next with some heavy rain thrown in for good measure’ unpredictible European summer weather.
Which almost unevitably results in overpacking yet never having quite the right thing to wear to that dinner out or to walk along the Seine – and nobody wants that to happen, especially not in Paris!
But I’ve been to Paris and back (and that several times!) and this is what I think you should pack/wear:
1. Your passport – because you won’t go far without it! #duh
2. Your best striped tee(s) – if not now, then when?
3. Black jeans – the French love their jeans and they wear them pretty much everywhere (the parc, bars, shopping, fancy restaurants…), which is rather convenient when you’re not sure what the weather will be like.
4. A camera – How else are you going to take the gazillion pictures of the Eiffel Tower/croissant ‘n’ coffee breakfasts / cute cafés / colourful macarons (…)? (Do not answer ‘with my ipad’. You deserve to be slapped in the face if you do.)
5. Natural, no-make-up make up – Concealer, foundation if you really must, powder, mascara and maybe a little red lippy… Less is more.
6. A big scarf – The French style ultimate basic. Great both for fitting in and warming up.
7. A REALLY GOOD cleanser – Pollution pics are a real thing in Paris in the summer, which means you skin might need a little help coping. I’m also packing my new skin bff in case any spot decides to invite itself to the Paris party…
8. Confortable shoes – The best way to see Paris is by foot. Which means no matter how long you stay, you’ll walk. A lot. And the vast majority of Paris streets are cobbled. So yeah, comfortable shoes are an absolute priority. However, French people don’t wear trainers unless they’re going to the gym and they will look at you strangely if you do. So maybe switch those up for a cute pair of ballerinas or something?
9. A little bit of change – It’ll come in handy for tips (it’s customary to add a few euros to the bill), or should you make small purchases (a lot of stores don’t accept cards under a certain amount).
10. Your favourite little black dress – Think ‘day to night’ dress; it should be confortable enough to walk/sight-see in and dressy enough for dinner and drinks!
11. An umbrella – Because as much as I’d like to pretend torrential summer rain is only a London thing, it isn’t quite the case…
Have you been to Paris in the summer? What did you pack and what would you have packed differently, if you had known?
More Paris posts
The lesser-known Paris sight you must visit
Breakfast in Paris
10 souvenirs to buy from a French supermarket