8 of the best things to do this summer in Paris

PUBLISHED: 16:05 01 April 2015 | UPDATED: 15:03 08 September 2015

Sun worshippers relax along the edges of the Paris Plage on the Seine quayside © Paris Tourist Office

Sun worshippers relax along the edges of the Paris Plage on the Seine quayside © Paris Tourist Office

© Marc BERTRAND

Whether you’re going on holiday to Paris for the first time this summer, or if you’re an old returner enchanted by the City’s charm, Paris won’t fail to provide you with things to see and do, says Laura Dunham

1. Paris Plages

At the height of summer, being in a city can often get stuffy. So what do you do to break away from the madness? Pop to the Paris Plages and slump in the deckchairs and sunloungers for a break at one of Paris’ make-shift beaches. The Plages are complete with specially imported sandbanks, picnic tables and free activities such as; paddling pools, table football, parks and go-Karts. To top it off, remember to bring your dancing shoes as there is often a mass dancing session at the Bassin De la Villette, where anyone can join in and learn how to do the tango, samba, waltz and jive accompanied by some talented experts. If you’re looking for a break from sight-seeing, the Paris Plages will be the perfect remedy.

2. Walking tours

Paris is now offering free walking tours led by expert guides. If you’re visiting Paris on a budget but still want to see landmarks such as the Louvre and Notre-Dame, these walking tours run twice-daily. Stroll along the River Seine and through the royal gardens whilst listening to the English-speaking guides share insider knowledge. Tours start at Place Saint-Michel on the left bank at 11am and 1pm.

3. Picnic at the Champ De Mars

Why not spend the afternoon lazing in the Champ De Mars. Gather together a French-style picnic with a selection of cheeses and chewy baguette, whilst relaxing beneath the gaze of the Eiffel Tower. Find inspiration in the charming view of the Promenade, illuminated by the afternoon sun. Sit back and let the French life pass you by.

4. Musée de l’Orangerie

Immerse yourself in Paris’s rich, artistic culture and visit the Musée de l’orangerie. Marvel at works such as Monet’s Waterlillies which evoke a poetic vibe, offering visitors a haven for peaceful meditation. These galleries are perfect for visitors with children as they are big enough to be absorbed in bite sized chunks, before moving onto the next activity.

5. Visit the Musée D’Orsay

There are endless arty spots in Paris. Go to the Musée D’Orsay and observe some of the masterpieces. If you’re taking tired children, let them slump in the bean bags which are situated upstairs in the Café. The perfect place for tired tourists to rest.

6. Eat out at the Grand Palais museum

A Paris itinerary would be incomplete without fine cuisine. Visit Eric Frenchon’s Mini Palais, which is a restaurant occupying a corner of the Grand Palais museum, situated next to River Seine. Spend the afternoon sipping crisp wine and indulging in the chef’s tasty creations.

7. Jardin du Luxembourg

Visit the family attraction of Jardin du Luxembourg where children can have pony rides, eat ice-cream, watch puppet shows and play in the sand pits. Whilst your child is entertained on the merry-go-round, pull up a seat and relax with a book, (and an ice-cream), in the sun.

8. Visit Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil

This garden has a lot to offer. Amongst the seasonal display of orchids and begonias there is a tropical pavilion that is home to palms, birds and Japanese Ornamental Carp. Visit this natural haven as a quick interlude before settling down for an afternoon beverage.

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