Is August a good time to visit Europe??

Jun 9th, 1998, 11:05 AM
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Is August a good time to visit Europe??

We are planning a trip to Europe in August and I heard a rumor that August isn't a good time to visit because everything is closed. I heard that the Europeans all go on vacation in August. Please help confirm this rumor!?
Jun 9th, 1998, 11:15 AM
wes fowler
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European companies are much more liberal and generous with their vacation policies than are their American counterparts due to the socialist philosophies of many of the countries and the strength of the unions. France does essentially "close down" in August. Recognize however that the tourist dollar is a key ingredient of every European country's economy. They're not going to jeopardize that income by closing down in entirety. You'll find the museums and attractions open, major tourist shopping sites will be open though perhaps minimally staffed. Some restaurants and shops that cater to locals will close for vacation because their customers are on vacation as well.
Jun 9th, 1998, 12:28 PM
Paul Rabe
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The degree of "close-down" varies from country to country; however, because so many Europeans are on the roads/trains/buses during August (not to mention staying at lodgings!), I do not recommend travel at that time. What country were you specifically thinking of going to?
Jun 9th, 1998, 02:48 PM
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Over the years I've traveled to France, Italy, Switzerland, and England during August and never encountered any problems. In fact, August is such a popular tourist month that I would be surprised if any attractions, museums, or landmarks to which you are headed would be closed. The only drawback to traveling in August in my opinion is the tourist crowds. But if August is a convenient time for you to travel, go ahead and have fun!
Jun 9th, 1998, 04:00 PM
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It really depends on where you are going. The major cities will be full of tourists and devoid of locals, lots of restaurants (at least the good ones) will be closed, and the locals will be at the beaches. If you are going to the beaches, forget it. It is a nightmare. There are some very wonderful places that are not on the beaten tourist track, however, which are perfect in August. Think Burgundy, the Alps, the Pyrenees, Brittany. You do need to pick your destination carefully.
Jun 10th, 1998, 04:40 PM
Cheryl Z.
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We've been to Italy, Switzerland and Germany in Aug. and had no problem whatsoever. Didn't seem that much more crowded than other times, the trains were though of course so be prepared if you are taking trains. Italy was very hot, but Switzerland and Germany were chilly sometimes, especially at night. Restaurants were open, including lots of good ones, had no problems at all, especially since we didn't make hotel reservations in advance at some places. Other than the usual afternoon closures for some stores, or Sundays, everything was available.
Jun 16th, 1998, 08:56 AM
alex (male version)
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I am from San Francisco, 26 yrs old, living in Marbella Spain for the last two years. I have learned several things. August is by far the most hectic month, here at least, and in many other parts of Europe. Also, Europeans like to party in Europe, so yes, lots of places are all closed, but here everything is open in August due to the major influx of people from all over the continent, and the world. Basically, the major cities die down quite a bit, but the touristic areas, Marbella being amongst the most popular here, are more alive than ever before. I've been to Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam during August, and I personally prefer the quieter atmosphere.
Bottom line: Europeans go on their annual vacation during the month of August. They stay in Europe. Go to where they are. What you will find is a place pumping with life, shopping, dining, etc.
For example, here the shops stay open until 1-2 in the morning. The restaurants dont close before 2-3, and the bars are at their best from 12:30-1am until about 7:30-8am when they close. Europe is far from dead in August.
Jun 16th, 1998, 09:29 AM
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I agree with the above postings - it depends on where you are going in Europe. I visited Scotland in August and not only was everything open, there weren't that many tourists around. Also, the weather was extremely pleasant, no air conditioning needed, and everything was in bloom.

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