I'm a New Yorker taking first trip to Paris, would like to spend the month of August there...I researched house-swapping and actually found some people willing to do it close to the center of town...It seems like a cool idea, but the other day a friend (American) who'd been there before told me that August was the WORST time to go to Paris due to Parisiens going on vacation and the wave of tourists that replace them...I'm starting to wonder if this is such a good idea. Is it really that different? I generally avoid tourist locations anyway (I will NOT be standing in line on my vacation) so would something like this even make much of a difference? My main desire is to go there, do some writing, meet some locals and try and improve my French-speaking skills.
I'd love to hear opinions from travellers as well as those who live there. Thanks!
I've been to Paris in August and of course it's really busy with a lot of tourists, but I don't think it makes that much of a difference that it would be reason not to go at all. If it were a straight choice between going to Paris in August and another quieter month then it would be an easy decision to choose the quieter time, but personally I think people put too much stock in how busy a place is going to be. Despite what the travel experts at Lonely Planet and the like might say it really doesn't make that much difference at all unless you're standing in line to go up the Eiffel Tower, people like to emphasise these points as if they make a tangible difference to the enjoyment of a trip but the reality of the matter is that it makes very little difference to your trip at all (particularly if you aren't going to visit the tourist attractions).
Paris is busy all year round and in August it's still the same city, it's still full of Parisians and the only difference is that there are a little more tourists, a little fewer Parisians and some of the shops are closed. If you go there in August I'm sure you'll have a great time.
ive heard the riot pretty well in paris!!