As the long winter months finally start drawing to an end, you can start looking forward to not having to wake up in a dark and cold room, having to huddle around heaters, shedding your thickest winter coats (which let’s face it don’t flatter anyone)… Scarves are once again an accessory instead of a necessity, and best of all you can begin to enjoy spending more time outside without worrying that your fingers will fall off because of frostbite!
Paris is a beautiful city, and it becomes even more beautiful in the summer sunshine. I was lucky enough to spend last summer working as an Au Pair for a French family in the heart of the city. If you happen to be visiting Paris this spring or summer and you need some inspiration, here are a few summery ideas I would recommend trying…
1. Sunbathing in the Jardin du LuxembourgThis central Parisian park is the perfect place for a spot of sunbathing. A central fountain and pond where children sail model boats is surrounded by sculptured gardens, statues and a vintage carousel. Even if the weather doesn’t reach scorching temperatures, bring a good book, some snacks and a couple of friends and I promise you’ll have a lovely day out in the fresh French air.
2. Picnicking by the Eiffel Tower
As an au pair this was one of our weekly rituals. Stopping at the nearby Carrefour supermarket, and stocking up on cheese, wine, and la baguette was always one of the highlights of my au pair life. Bring blankets and some extra layers and hang in there till nightfall to watch the Eiffel tower as it lights up and adds a special sparkle to Paris’ skyline. No matter how many times I saw it, I never got bored.
3. Paris PlageSo this is more one for the summer months, but the novelty of sitting on a sandbank along the Seine something everyone should experience, at least once. The river banks are taken over with sand, people in swimwear and stalls selling food and refreshing beverages – its difficult to remember you’re still in Paris!
4. Embrace the Festival Spirit
With numerous concerts, plays and festivals happening around the city you’re spoilt for choice for summer entertainment. All through the summer (May – September) you can enjoy a Shakespeare re-enactments out in the open air theatre of Jardin Shakespeare at the Bois de Boulogne.
If you’re planning on coming in July, make sure you don’t miss Bastille Day (14th July) when there are huge free concerts, parades and spectacular fireworks set the sky alight.
Now you know what to do, you may be wondering where to stay. Accommodation prices in Paris tend to peak in the summer, and if you’re not lucky enough to be hosted for free by a lovely French family, renting a holiday apartment is a great option with an organisation like All-Paris-Apartments.com. Apartments are a popular choice – especially with groups and families, who enjoy their own space and don’t want to spend all their money on eating out in expensive Parisian restaurants.