It seems that some practices are unchangeable, immutable. Since the Front Populaire, in 1935, French workers have had the right to paid vacation, now up to a minimum of five weeks. And traditionally they take off at least some of that time during the month of August. In fact, factories, companies and many neighborhood shops may shut down partially or completely during the entire month of August. While this has no impact on the well-beaten path of tourism, traffic is much lighter and whole neighborhoods have a wonderful, empty and less claustrophobic feeling. Many Parisians prefer to spend August IN Paris, to take advantage of the almost lazy, suspended slower pace of life.
So, if you have plans to eat in a particular restaurant, make certain to check whether they will be open during your stay. You’ll also find that many local shops are closed, meaning you may just have to walk a bit further to make your purchase, but isn’t that part of the fun? Yes!
For things to do in August, see the suggestions under the heading: Movies (30) and Parc Floral (33).