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

Marchés de Noël - Christmas Markets are well underway! 
There are lots of them, and they're in full swing.  The two largest are opening mid-month this year:

- till January 8 on the Avenue des Champs Elysées
- till December 27 at the Esplanade de La Défense

Other Christmas Markets will be opening around Paris in December, see the full list (en françaishere. Click through to our full calendar to get more details.  

December 15-early January 
All of the Manèges, aka Carrousels de Paris, in the 3rd through 20th arrondissements of Paris are free for children for the holidays (my favorite is in the Jardins du Trocadéro, but the lines are longest). See the full list here. Open daily 11am-9pm.

December 7-11
Winter is circus time in Paris! Lots of options--for example the Cirque du Soleil (Dec. 7-11) with this year's Varekai performance. At the Accorhotels arena (12e), seats from 37€ to 80€. But there are lots of others. See the complete list for other circus and circus-like spectacles. 

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

Alternative & Free Accommodations in Paris

Aside from hotels, apartment rentals, and bed & breakfast accommodations, there are a few other options to consider:

Home Exchange

There are many agencies on the internet that you san sign up with to exchange homes with a Parisian. Sometimes you even get to exchange pets and cars! Of course, this works better if you live in a place where many Parisians want to visit: New York, San Francisco, Miami, London, Toronto, Montreal, Sydney, etc. But you never know, so why not try it? I have no personal experience with any agencies in particular, so I won't list any links here for the moment (just Google "home exchange").

You can also try it directly without an agency through websites like Craig's List Paris or FUSAC (be sure to verify identity and ownership before you do this, please!)

Couch Surfing

For people who like meeting locals face-to-face, then try the phenomenon known as Couch Surfing. The basic idea is that you get to crash free on someone else's sofa in return for opening your sofa to potential travelers (not necessarily the same one whose sofa you crashed on).

Another site, one I've used (as a host, rather than a guest) is Global Freeloaders. It's important to note that it doesn't cost anything to sign up, and people post "reviews" for good guests and hosts (a bit like eBay vendor ratings) to make it a bit more open and safe.

Camping in Paris

Why yes, there actually is a Paris campsite in the Bois de Boulogne (and a second one closer to Disneyland Paris). And if you don't have your own motorhome/camper/tent, you can even rent one of their bungalows. Not a bad deal for travelers who can't decide on "city or country". You can find other French campsites in the region and throughout France onOutCamp.