Over the past few years, there have been heatwaves in Europe. Temperatures have gone up to 102 degrees on a few of the days I was in Paris. In New York there is air conditioning everywhere. That’s not the case in Paris. It’s not every day, or year, that it hovers around 100 degrees. I have discovered a few great places to spend a day in the heat. The things on this list are activities that I would do even if it isn’t over 95 degrees. Let me know if I missed any in the comments.
Spend the day at Galeries Lafayette
This department store has AC! It’s not quite as strong as a N.Y. department store, meaning you don’t need to bring a sweater, but it’s much better than the heat outside. The Galeries Lafayette has everything you would expect from a department store but with an amazing stained glass roof. They have their own brand of clothes and hand bags. I always enjoy looking at the couture shoe section and trying on clothes. When I need a break, the instore cafeteria has a great view of the Eiffel Tower.
Visit the beach without leaving the city. At the start of June through early September the city sets up beaches along the Seine. Volleyball courts are set up with sand in the square by the Hotel de Ville. Beaches are also added along the canal basin. They add docks and paddle boats to rent. There’s bocce ball, restaurants and bars set up along the water as well. The city adds areas for swimming in the basin as well. It’s like swimming in a lake. https://www.parisdiscoveryguide.com/paris-beaches.html
Normally Angelina’s is my go to for hot chocolate but the first time I went during a heat wave they offered me an iced hot chocolate and I’ve never looked back. It is frothy and almost as thick as a milkshake. They also have air conditioning.
This department store is located on the edge of the Marais and accessible through the metro. They have the basics of a department store and so much more. Not only is there also a hardware store section but also an area where you can buy parts of a shoe like extra heels or insoles. I really enjoy buying unique cabinet knobs to replace the ones at home. There is a kitchen section and a crafts section. They sell everything from paper crafts and decoupage to yarn and fabric. I could spend days in this store.
A handful of museums have air conditioning. You can double check before you go but here are a few that I know do. The Picasso Museum, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and the Chocolate Museum which you can read all about here.
Churches are made of stone and have a natural cooling effect. A few that you could spend hours in include: Sainte Chapelle, Sacré-Cœur, and, it might not be a church but, the Panthéon. The Pantheon has crypts underneath.
The city of paris has public pools that are about 5 Euro to enter. There are lockers to rent inside so make sure you have a Euro on you in case you need one to access the locker. The coin goes in to open a locker and when you leave you get the coin back. Not all the pools use this system, some have code access. The Joséphine Baker Pool floats on the Seine and it has no roof. Last time I went to check it out there was a two hour wait, in the sun, to get in. On the other side of town Piscine Keller has a retractable roof. It was crowded but filled with locals. There’s also a nice indoor pool at Le Halls. All of the public pools in Paris require a swim cap. Some have vending machines with swim supplies like swim caps, goggles and bathing suits.
Ice cream is always a good idea. Berthillon is rated one of the best in Paris. Berthillon ice cream and sorbet was born on the Ilé Saint Louis and most restaurants in the area serve it. There are a few windows to order from around the island as well as a sit down location. Pierre Hermé makes delicious ice cream and ice cream sandwiches made with macaroons. Une Glace à Paris was opened by two friends one of which is a world champion pastry chef. They have unusual flavors which change with the seasons. Flavors can include: smoked vanilla, walnut oil, and wild pollen. Sorbet flavors like, banana caramel litchi, and orange carrot ginger. They also have frozen pastries like a millefeuille made with ice cream. http://uneglaceaparis.fr/