About Secrets of Paris

Created in 1999, the Secrets of Paris is the oldest independent and locally-owned website about Paris in English, for both visitors and residents. Discover what you've been missing:

* Free Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events 
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Tours & Travel Planning

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here





Calendar of Paris Events

October 21-30 A bit like a smaller, cozier version of the Foire de Paris, the Foire d'Automne at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles is a trade show of food and wine, home decor, beauty and fashion, and all French arts de vivre. Open 10am-7pm, entry €9. 

October 27-29
The last big electronic music festival of the year, the Pitchfork Festival, takes place over three days at the Grande Halle de la Villette (Parc de la Villette, 19th). One-day passes €54,  three-day passes €120.

October 28 - November 1
Stuff yourself with all kinds of chocolately goodies at the annual Salon du Chocolat, at the Paris-Expo - Porte de Versailles (metro line 12), 10am-7pm. Entrance €14. You can get advance tickets online or ask at your favorite chocolate shop if they have any extra invitations. Avoid the weekend unless you're a masochist! Here are some Salon du Chocolat tips from a previous article by Secrets of Paris intern Tara Oakes. 

Click here to see the full calendar of events...

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur


The French Political Circus

We’ve been so busy gawking at the sorry slapstick of American politics that it’s easy to forget the other circus acts going on around the Atlantic rim. In France they’re trying to show how many clowns can fit inside the teeny cars of political primaries, and just when you think the vehicle is full to the brim, voila! --another sad-faced bozo tricycles over and squeezes in. It’s hard to believe that one of these Pierrots will eventually take command of the stage and start miming the actions of a president.

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Vegan Paris

Don't think vegans exist in France? Last weekend there were two big vegan events in Paris, the Veggie Pride parade and market at Place Stalingrad overlooking the canal, and the Veggie World fair at Le Centquatre. And they were packed!

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Getting Jazzed in Paris

New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Paris at least has a late bedtime. Once a year there's the all-night art festival of the Nuit Blanche, but for the other 364 days a year, nocturnal activities are less centrally organized. If you want to push beyond standard concert or theater hours in a civilized way, one of the best choices is a jazz club.

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La Belle Epoque Still Not-So-Belle

I was walking down the Rue des Petits Champs this summer on my way to the Passage Choiseul, and was actually sad to see what has become of the tacky old Belle Epoque Cabaret. Yes, it was a garish eyesore with red neon and faded flags, the epitome of the worst kind of tourist trap "near the Paris Opera!" But at least it had character. It was closed down in 2013 when the Swiss owners went bankrupt, and all of the dancers and restaurant staff laid off. Now it's just a bland restaurant with generic French food sold at "trendy restaurant" prices. As an amusing aside, the tripadvisor page considers it to still be the same establishment, so you can still find reviews from its previous incarnation as a cabaret alongside the very disappointed experiences in today's restaurant. 



Zéro de Conduite: How to Drive in Paris

Ever tempted to climb behind the wheel in Paris? For those who don't find riding in taxis harrowing enough, you can always do it yourself. Just gird your loins, grit your teeth, and increase your life insurance before you do it.

It always starts with the best of intentions. There will be a guest or two staying over, and after dinner we’ll retire to the living room. During a pause in the conversation, I will raise a finger in a sham of spontaneity, and cry out, “Say, why don’t we go for a drive!”

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Understanding Paris: The Cartesian Method 

What can a simple ride on the RER reveal about the French approach to problem-solving? Join the author as he heads out to Charles De Gaulle airport one day and encounters a problem in need of a solution.

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