There are two camps–those who leave in July, les jullietistes and come back sometime in August and those who leave in August, les aoutiens and come back in September. But whichever camp they’re in, most people are gone from Paris by the 15th of August. Even les juillietistes find an excuse to be away on that date! Paris is empty of its residents at this time of the year. A good of number of restaurants and small shops are closed too. Everyone, except for a lucky few come back in the beginning of September for la rentree.
We’ve always been in the August camp and it was funny (though sometimes it was a bummer to wait so long before leaving for vacation too) to see your friends all go progressively away on vacation. But I have to say that having Paris all to yourself is not such a hardship.
Paris, tu me manques