Does France shut down in the summer?
France is famous for many things. Baguettes, good food and good wine. But also the infamous French August shutdown. It is said that every year, the whole of France shuts down during this time when everyone chooses to take their summer holidays at the same time.
August is practically a ghost town in some parts of France. Many businesses, especially smaller ones, shut down for a few weeks as the locals flock to the beaches and countryside.
French schools have five holidays during the year: All Saints 'autumn' break, Christmas, winter break, spring holiday (Easter), and the summer holiday. The breaks are usually two weeks except for summer holidays which last eight weeks.
Sadly, that means many shop keepers, restaurant owners, and bakers leave too, leaving some of the more residential neighborhoods rather deserted. But fret not, all the main attractions remain open in Paris in August, as do all the big shopping streets, department stores, and shopping malls.
Summer in France is the year's season when many festivals and events are organised, with two highlights: the Tour de France bicycle race and the national celebration of Bastille Day.
CUSTOM. There was a time when factories closed in August, putting many people on the same holiday timetable. As the years passed, and the economies of France and Italy became more diversified, this was no longer a forced vacation, but it did become a habitual one.
Though the tradition of locals abandoning the city entirely for the month of August to hit the beach has abated a bit, many Parisians do still go on vacation during this time. If you duck away from major touristic areas, you're likely to find some shockingly quiet small streets in Paris.
Generally speaking, the school day in France is from 8:30 until 4:30, but it varies depending on which area you live in. This is longer than the typical school day in the UK or America, but there is a longer lunch break and two other breaks during the day. There are 24 hours of lessons a week.
Which Country Has the Longest Summer Break? Italy gives its students the longest summer break with 13 weeks of vacation, followed by Portugal and Greece with 12 weeks.
Holiday entitlement in France
All employees are entitled to paid leave of 2.5 days for each month of actual work. This gives 5 full weeks *, resulting in up to 30 days for the full year of work. National holidays are in addition to this entitlement (11 days per year). Holiday leave is paid by the employer.
Why not to visit Paris in August?
Worst Times to Visit Paris
However, if you're easily annoyed by heat and crowds, many would advise against planning a trip in August. This is summertime in Paris, which means it's sometimes uncomfortably warm and, what's more, at the tail end of the busy tourist season.
France Weather in August
This is perfect for beach days on the French coast, but we find these temperatures quite uncomfortable for exploring the cities. Some may also find these temperatures too hot for hiking and cycling. Keep in mind that there can be regional variations and heatwaves, especially in cities.
In August, the Eiffel Tower is open every single day from 9:00 am to 00:45 pm.
One of the revolutionary days in Paris and now a national holiday, the 14th of July ("Bastille Day") is celebrated with a mixture of solemn military parades and easygoing dancing and fireworks.
Sports and recreation
Certainly organized sport has a place in French society, however, with cycling, swimming, football (soccer), skiing, tennis, boules (pétanque), and, increasingly, golf, basketball, and martial arts being the most popular activities.
The best time to visit Paris is from June to August and September to October. Both summer and fall have its ups and downs. From June to August the weather in Paris is just about parfait (perfect). Average highs are in the high 70s and there are long days of sunshine.
Eating in the Marais
If you're planning to visit Paris in late July or August, it's important to know that most restaurants close for summer vacation. They vary a lot in terms of how much time they take, and when they take it.
Don't discount July and August.
In much of Europe (especially Italy and France), cities are partially shut down in July and August, when local urbanites take their beach breaks. You'll hear that these are terrible times to travel, but it's really no big deal.
On August 25 each year, Paris celebrates the anniversary of the Liberation of Paris on during World War II. On that day in 1944, Free French forces headed by General Philip Leclerc fought their way into Paris and forced the Nazis to surrender, bringing 4+ years of German occupation to an end.
Major tourist attractions stay open all year (except for major holidays), but some smaller museums along with many boutiques, antique shops, Michelin-starred bistros, and art galleries close during August, the month when many Parisians leave the city for their own vacations.
What is the busiest month in France?
June – August is usually high season in France, and this is when the country is at its hottest and busiest. You can expect long queues at most of the famous attractions around this time! During the winters, it is cold throughout the country, with temperatures dropping well below freezing in some parts.
Atlantic and South France see little change than the month before with temps averaging between 61-75˚F (16-24˚C) and 68-81˚F (20-27˚C), respectively.
The French education system offers an inflexible approach to education; one where the teacher has absolute authority, tough grading and rote learning are the norm, where high academic standards are demanded in reading, writing and arithmetic. The French don't expect children to have 'fun' at school.
French schools also tend to have large class sizes, with a norm of just one teacher in a classroom of 30 kids, and some schools may swap in a Saturday school day.
Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in France, with 1,993,270 licensed players in the leagues. The sport was imported from England at the end of the 19th century, under the name of association football.