If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ve probably heard that France has had record high temperatures this summer and we are about to be hit with another heatwave this week. As many tourists are flocking to Paris for their summer holiday season, this presents quite an interesting predicament. Paris is, for the most part, not air-conditioned AND even the places that do have AC are unlikely to be as cool as places would be in America. Regardless, in the wake of the upcoming ‘canicule’ (french for heatwave) I came up with a few ideas for ways you can beat the heat and stay cool in Paris on your summer vacation!
Free water for all
First of all, be sure to drink lots of water. It is very hot and coffee and wine are both dehydrating (admit it, you’ve been drinking a bit too much of both). Paris has hundreds of places to fill up your water bottles for free all over the city. If you’re lucky you may even stumble across one of the free sparkling water dispensers.
Head down to Paris Plages
You were probably planning on taking a little trip down to the Seine during your time in Paris, so why not go when it’s hot? Every summer, the city of Paris hosts ‘Paris Plages’ along the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette. There is shade, umbrellas, activities, food, drinks, lounge chairs and bring your swimsuit because there are even dedicated swimming areas.
Grab an Ice cream from Berthillon
A long-standing Parisian favorite, Berthillon Ice Cream is a must. Family owned and operated since 1954, this ice cream shop on Île Saint-Louis boasts the best ice cream in the city. The original location is usually closed for summer holidays, this year from July 29th to September 3rd, but you can find independent ice cream vendors that sell Berthillon all over Île Saint-Louis and in several other locations throughout the city.
Tea-time at a fancy hotel
If it’s just too hot outside, stay inside! Head to one of Paris’s luxury hotels for a nice tea time. There are plenty of places in Paris that offer a tea time where you can stuff yourself full of macarons, madelines, small finger sandwiches, fruits, pastries and…oh yeah, tea. (Most offer a champagne option if that is more your speed.) The fancier the hotel, the more likely it is to be air conditioned. Feel free to call ahead and ask if they have ‘la clim’ - French for AC!
Take a day trip to Champagne
When all else fails, get outta dodge. As in any big city, Paris seems to get hotter as the day goes on. There is usually little wind and the buildings and streets seem to just attract heat. My best advice? Take a train somewhere…preferably to the Champagne region of France! A day trip to Reims or Épernay is very feasible; a roundtrip train ticket usually costs somewhere between 50 and 100 euros depending on the day and hour. Then once you get there, take a tour of some of the most famous Champagne cellars in the world. Need an English speaking tour guide? Call Tanisha from Girl Meets Glass!