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
* Travel Writing Workshops
* 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

May 13-16
The 27th annual Artists' Open Studios in Belleville takes place for four days in over 120 ateliers in Belleville (11th, 19th & 20th arrondissements). It's a great chance to see some neighborhoods tourists don't normally see, to meet local artists, and of course purchase some lovely artworks! Pick up a map and program at the Espace Jordain (3 rue Jean-Baptiste Dumay, 20th, M° Jourdain). Free entry. Open 2-8pm, Fri-Sat until 10pm. 

May 21
Check out your favorite Paris museum at night during the 12th annual Nuit Européenne des Musées, when all over Europe museums stay open until midnight...for free! Special flashlight tours, live music, installment arts, film screenings, costumed museum guides, and other fun events throughout the evening at each museum.

May 21-22
Attention equestrian fans: it's time for the one of the legendary horse racing events in Paris, the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris at the Hippodrome d'Auteuil (16th). There will be food trucks, snack stands and you can also dine in the panoramic restaurant overlooking the racetrack. Tickets are €8. 

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.