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Average temperatures in summertime Paris hover at a reasonable 77 degrees Fahrenheit, which is one of the reasons that air conditioning in the French capital is considered more luxury than necessity.
But Paris weather can be as moody and unpredictable as a French man in love. And when temperatures soar, this means that traditional urban escape strategies like movie theaters and department stores only offer mild relief, especially for travelers used to American ice box settings on the a.c. Besides, not everybody wants to seek refuge indoors when they’re trying to make the most out of a warm weather visit to Paris.
Here are a few survival techniques that will help keep you cool on days when Paris is burning hot.
Quench Your Thirst at Paris’ New Sparkling Water Fountains
Paris’ historic Wallace drinking fountains have always been a free way to quench your thirst. But what if you prefer the sparkling variety and don’t feel like shelling out €4 for a Perrier in a sidewalk cafe?
France’s first sparkling water fountain was recently inaugurated in the Jardin de Reuilly in the 12th arrondissement, and a second fountain is located at the headquarters of Eau de Paris, an organization which manages the city’s public drinking water, on 19 rue Neuve-Tolbiac in the 13th. These drinking fountains offer complimentary chilled sparkling city water made bubbly on the spot.
Mist Yourself Off at Paris Plages
Head to the banks of the Seine from July 20-August 19 and take cover under a beach umbrella at Paris Plages or enjoy one of the micro spray misters set up along the banks where you can cool off without getting drenched (unless you want to).
And if All Else Fails, Jump in a Fountain
The Parisian go-to fountain for this classic urban hot weather survival technique is found in the gardens of the Trocadéro located opposite the Seine and in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Expect it to be packed on scorching days with natives and tourists cooling their toes while taking advantage of the photo op.