Secrets of Paris 
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About Secrets of Paris

American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

* Custom Travel Content 
* Free Paris Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events
* Private Secrets of Paris Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

Calendar of Paris Events

July 13-14 Bastille Day
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" Click here to read the defintitive guide to what to see and do in Paris on July 13th and 14th, what's open, what's not, how to get around, where the parties will be, and insider tips on being prepared:

July 20 - August 16/23
Paris Plages: sand, beach trees, volley balls and bikinis -- on the Seine! Along the Right Bank quays and Hôtel de Ville until August 16th, at the Bassin de la Villette until August 23rd. This year's edition of the Paris Plages will feature many fun activities. Free entry, 9am-midnight. The 2015 schedule will be up here on opening day.

July 22-August 23
The annual Open-Air Cinema Festival takes place Wed-Sun nights at the Parc de la Villette's Triangle Prairie (M° Porte de Pantin), starting at sunset (around 10pm), free entry (deck chair rentals from 7:30pm). This year's haunting and spooky and horrific theme is "Home Cinema" (all films can be downloaded to watch at home from the website), including: Last Days, Beetlejuice, shutter Island, The Shining, Moulin Rouge, the Ghost Writer, and many French and international films (all in VO with French subtitles). 

July 26
Since 1975, the finish line for the Tour de France has been at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysées. Join the crowd of Parisians and tourists alike to see the winner of the race. Expected arrival time: 5:30pm.

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

***Secrets of Paris Newsletter #2: January 19, 2001

For Visitors
To busy to plan your own Paris Vacation itinerary? Let someone else do it for you at the CometoParis website:

Ever wonder what the neighborhood really looks like for the hotel you've booked? This site has plenty of photos of almost every major neighborhood in Paris, and you can find and book a hotel through them as well:

For some pre-trip previews or post-trip nostalgia, tune into your favorite Paris radio station on the web at:

If you don't mind having strangers in your house, home exchanges are a great way to save on vacation costs. Sometimes a car is even included (and pets, too -- no better way to look like a native than with a dog). There are plenty of similar sites, but this company has very high standards for locations, and lets you read the ratings and comments of former guests:

This is What Those Taxes Pay For in Paris
The City of Paris is subsidizing all the city's cinemas from January 31 through February 6. All seats at all movie houses are 18 FF if you attend the 18h (6 p.m.) showing. This is considerably less than the regular, full price (over 40ff in most cases), but get there early before the seats sell out!!

For Residents
Sooner or later, if you live in Paris, you find yourself wandering aimlessly around the 'Sous-sol' at BHV, looking for a particular screw, an electric cord, plant fertilizer -- and not a sales person in sight. Well fear not, because now the good ol' folks at BHV have started the Bricolo Café, which will attempt to mix food and home improvement (why not?) down in the Sous-sol. Twice a day, at 12:30pm and 4pm, beginners are welcome to sign up for free classes on all sorts of projects -- and for the urban lifestyle, there's even a snack bar. Perhaps you don't need to learn how to wallpaper a bathroom, but it would be worth going if you could just get them to tell you where to find the glue!
Bricolo Café: Soul-sol au BHV, Metro Hotel-de-Ville

Literary Paris
Get all of the latest on readings, writing events, writing groups and classes, and English theatre in Paris by subscribing to Jennifer Dick's Paris Readings Mailing List. Just drop her an e-mail at:

Shopping Guides
The bi-annual *Soldes* are still going strong in Paris, but with so much to choose from, where to begin? Rest easy, someone else has already done the work for us! tells you where the best shops are to visit during the Soldes (but ignore their typo -- the sales last until February 20):

Citivox's bi-lingual site has lists of the best shopping in and around Paris:,15679,PARENGBOUCIT,00.html

Life Just Got Easier
Today is the opening day of the Paris EasyEverything. Created by the EasyJet group, this gigantic internet center is full of powerful, fast-connected computers which let you check your e-mail without waiting in line or spending your whole paycheck. I tried the one in Edinburgh this summer, and what it lacks in personality it makes up for in convenience. Located smack in the center of town:
37, boulevard Sebastopol
75001 Paris
Metro : Châtelet-Les Halles

Champagne Tasting
Maybe you're a Champagne aficionado, or maybe you just didn't get enough on New Year's Eve. Head down to the classy le Dokhan's Champagne Bar, in the Hotel of the same name, for their Champagne tastings with commentary (of course) by a French pro. Every Thursday night from 7pm until 8:30pm at 117 rue de Lauriston 75016. Individual flutes start at 50ff, bottles at 420ff.

Run Away and Join the Circus!
The First Annual International Circus Festival just finished up in Paris, but if you missed it, don't despair. If watching the graceful horse trainers, goofy clowns and daring trapeze artists entices you, why not learn these skills yourself? Some people go just as they'd go to learn salsa or fencing. Others are training for a career in the Big Top. There are plenty of circus training schools in Paris:

The most prestigious and expensive is Ecole Nationale du cirque Annie Fratellini, which costs 4000-5000ff/year (about 6ff =$1), teens and adults only: 2 rue de la Clôture, 75019; Tel

For those just wanting to test the waters there's Les noctambules, which costs 350ff for eight courses in various classes such as trapeze, acrobatics, or tightrope: 220 avenue de la république, 92 Nanterre Tel

Just for one day's fun, get your trapeze or trampoline 'Baptism' course from Club Med World for just 25-35ff. Cours Saint Emilion 75012, Tel 0810 810 410.

Latest at
Learn all about Paris's African American and French African history and culture in the latest Secrets of Paris article, 'Exotic Paris Part II: African Roots' at:

Previously at Secrets of Paris: Looking for something different in Paris? The best sushi? A good kimono shop? An authentic Chinese market? Read the article, 'Exotic Paris Part I: Asian Influences' at:

*Special 'Asian Influences' updates! Another great link and reviews for Japanese restaurants:

*The Musée Guimet has just re-opened after a year of renovations, featuring an international showcase of Asian art. Over 45000 artifacts from Japan, Korea, Nepal, Tibet, and India. Between Jan. 25 and April 1, the museum hosts an exhibit of 150 objects from the Asia of Alexander the Great to Gengis Khan.
Are you a fashion addict? Read the latest Inside Paris article for my own interpretation of the latest French trends at:

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