Exploring Paris in August

Exploring Paris in August
August 02, 2017

Stylish Parisians flee the city en masse in August, leaving behind them a trail of sweaty tourists and choc-box cliched attractions. Finding a local summer vibe can be challenging, unless you’re know where to find some of the city’s best-kept secrets… lucky for you we’re here to help. From a green, on-the-scene design complex to a star-studded organic food market, here are a few local attractions sans the milling hordes. 

Marché Biologique
The biggest and most beautiful organic market in all of Paris touts tasty all-natural produce at far from rustic prices. Rub shoulders with French glitterati (bonjour, Charlotte Gainsbourg) as you gather the spoils for a healthy picnic, and munch on a plethora of prêt-à-porter snacks, meals and local gourmet treats. Our absolute favourite is the galette d’oignon (onion tart), which you can bag for free if you’re able to recite one of La Fontaine's fables by heart. Finish with a café noisette at nearby cult icon Café de Flore. So rive gauche.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Pique-nique packed, beeline for the generously proportioned Buttes Chaumont, which is set a little farther outside the city, but well worth the trek. Quintessentially Parisian tree-lined promenades and sloping lawns with spectacular skyline views make this a perfect spot for lazy summer lounging – peepers peeled for the romantic if slightly over-elaborate Temple de la Sibylle, perched atop a fifty-metre cliff overlooking a lake.

Les Docks
Aka Cité de la mode et du design, this 15,000 sqm turn-of-the-century industrial riverside warehouse (turned fashion institute) is more of a buzzing lifestyle hub than a college of arts. For a spot of pop culture, offbeat museum Art Ludique showcases figurative narrative artists with two annual exhibitions covering comics, manga, animation, and film, while the quai, piazza and rooftop are home to a killer selection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as well as an open-air cinema. If the sun’s out, pop on your best Panama and kick back on the vast alfresco deck – with a hot dog and ice-cold beer in hand – for stagger Seine vistas and uber-chill atmos.

Palais de Tokyo
While the visored mob elbows its way to a peek at Mona Lisa, savvy culture buffs can be found peacefully wandering around the cool and expansive confines of the Palais de Tokyo. This phenomenal labyrinth of contemporary art is the largest in Europe and not only stages some of the city’s most significant exhibitions, but remains largely unexplored by the coachloads. Families can lunch at cheap n’ cheery Tokyo Eat, but we prefer slick terrasse tryster Monsieur Bleu for its hi-so scene, Eiffel Tower views and mod-French morsels. Book!

Marché Biologique / blvd Raspail, 6th / 8am-2pm Sun / marches-bio.org
Parc des Buttes Chaumont / 1 rue Botzaris, 19th / +33 1 44 52 29 19 / 7am-10pm daily
Les Docks / Cité de la mode et du design / 34 quai d'Austerlitz, 13th / +33 1 76 77 25 30 / 10am-midnight daily / citemodedesign.fr
Palais de Tokyo / 13 ave du Président Wilson, 16th / +33 1 81 97 35 88 / noon-midnight Wed-Mon / palaisdetokyo.com / Monsieur Bleu / +33 1 47 20 90 47 / noon-2am daily / monsieurbleu.com