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France in August

Beautiful weather, great events and the French in holiday mood

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View over the Mediterranean, Cote d'Azur

© Mary Anne Evans, licensed to about.com

In August, the French traditionally take their holidays. So you may find some shops particularly closed for the first half of August. Northern France tends to migrate south from mid July and Bastille Day to mid-August. The advantages are that attractions have longer opening hours and can be quieter than July. The South of France is very busy indeed, particularly on beaches. And throughout France you'll find lots of festivals and events.

Weather

In August the weather is usually glorious, though it can be stormy in some regions. But generally expect wonderful blue skies and warm temperatures. As always, according to where you are in France, there are variations in climate, so here are weather averages for some major cities:

  • Paris:
    Temperature ranges from 15 degrees C (59 degrees F) to 24 degrees C (75 degrees F
    Average temperature is 19 degrees C (66 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 13

  • Bordeaux:
    Average temperature ranges from 14 degrees C (57 degrees F) to 26 degrees C (79 degrees F)
    Average temperatures is 19 degrees C (59 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 11

  • Lyon:
    Temperature ranges from 14 degrees C (57.2 degrees F) to 26 degrees C (79 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 20 degrees C (68 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 11

  • Nice:
    Average temperature ranges from 18 degrees C (64 F) to 27 degrees C (81 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 22.5 degrees C (73 degrees F)
    Average number of wet days is 7

  • Strasbourg:
    Average temperature ranges from 13 degrees C (55 degrees F) to 24 degrees C (75 degrees F)
    Average temperature is 19 degrees C (66 degrees F)
    Average number of days with some rain is 14

  • Find out more: Weather in France

    What to pack

    France is a large country so what to pack depends on where you are going

    The hot dry South of France
    August in the South of France is lovely, though it can get very hot and humid. But beware of major heatwaves when temperatures can easily climb to the 90’s. So make sure you reserve a hotel room with air conditioning.

  • Light cotton clothes for sunny days
  • Light windbreaker
  • Hat or visor or sun gear for sunny days
  • Good sun screen with high protection
  • Bathing costume
  • Good walking shoes. See the list of Top Travel Walking Shoes for Women or Top Travel Walking Shoes for Men
  • Pack closed-toe and open-toe sandals for the various weather conditions
  • Paris & the north of France
    In Paris and the north of France, August can be unpredictable. It can be stormy so expect heavy showers at any time. But it can also be very hot, so take all of the above -- but remember to pack a good umbrella as well

    Find out more on Packing Tips

    Why to go in August

  • All museums and attractions are open with extended summertime hours
  • This is still high festival season, when France celebrates everything from food to music, especially jazz from street theater to arts and crafts. There’s a particular emphasis on local festivals as the French like to go back to their roots and take gites in many small villages
  • Many of the cities like Chartres are running spectacular light shows at night. It’s dark enough to see well and warm enough to stay out late
  • It’s one of the best months for pavement and terrace dining and outdoor cafes are doing a roaring trade
  • Why not to visit France in August

  • You might get caught up in the crowds of visitors who are on vacation from the rest of Europe, particularly in popular areas like the Cote d’Azur and the Loire Valley
  • Paris is particularly empty, so depending on your point of view you either love it for this unusual quality or hate it for being full of foreign visitors
  • Airfares and lodging can be more expensive
  • There can be some really hot and stormy days
  • Highlights of Festivals and Events in France in August

    It is, of course, beach time in many of France's glorious resorts.
    Many of the major festivals of July continue into August, so the beginning of the month is busy. Also check out
  • Arelate Festival, Arles Arena
  • Top Summer Jazz Festibvals
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    6. France and Paris in August Travel and Vacation Planner

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