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

May 15-17
One of the biggest flower shows in France, Journées des Plantes de Courson, takes place this weekend at the Chateau de Chantilly, just 45 minutes north of Paris from the Gare du Nord. Entry €20 (or €17 if you get your tickets online before May 14).

May 16
Check out your favorite Paris museum at night during the 11th annual Nuit Européenne des Musées, when all over Europe museums stay open all night...for free! 

June 21
Celebrate Fête de la Musique in 17th-century aristocratic style at Château Vaux-le-Vicomte for their annual costumes dance event, La Journée Grand Siècle, in honor of the 400th anniversary of the original owner, Nicolas Fouquet. There will be an elegant picnic in the chateau gardens, live music and dancing, as well as carriage rides and sword-fighting shows. If you don't have a costume gown you can rent one on-site from €17. 

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


Where to Donate Used Books in Paris

Whether you're moving overseas, into a smaller space, or simply in the mood for a bit of spring cleaning, Parisian bookworms looking to quickly unload boxes of books have several options in Paris where they can be donated to a good cause. In any case, don't just throw them out! 

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Smoke-Free Garden Oasis in Central Paris

Smoking may be banned indoors in France, but the sidewalk cafés and parks are all still full of people intent on stinking up the fresh air around them. Happily, this year the Mairie de Paris opened up what were once the mayor's private gardens to the general public every weekend and holidays. 

And it's a strictly non-smoking garden!

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What French Expats Find Weird about America 

There are many blogs by American expats in Paris that like to point out all of the "weird" things about France. Things that the French, of course, don't find strange at all, for example:

- The toilet is always separate from the bathroom

- They put the bread directly on the table, next to the plate, when eating

- They require fitted, speedo-style bathing suits in public swimming pools

- They wear scarves even in the summer, with a t-shirt

- Medicine is all behind the counter at the pharmacy

What most Americans don't realize is that the French living among them in the United States also find a few things to be rather strange.

Click to read more ...


Exclusive Ticket Giveaway for Piaf Show in English

French chanteuse Caroline Nin has been wowing crowds around the world with her bilingual Edith Piaf tribute show, Hymne à Piaf. Now she’s back in Paris to honour the 100th birthday of France’s most famous chanteuse in the intimacy of a unique Parisian 13th century theatre in the Marais district.


Breathing new life into legendary  anthems such as La Vie en Rose, Hymne a l’Amour and Padam while captivating audiences with stories in English woven throughout, Caroline Nin’s award winning show has been Voted TripAdvisor’s #3 Best Thing to Do in Paris.


Ready to book your seat? Secrets of Paris readers get an exclusive deal of one free ticket for every ticket booked through August 1st. Regular prices are €30 (€25 for seniors).


To benefit from this great offer, just email: and say you are from Secrets of Paris. You can also phone the English box office number in Paris on 09 50 13 61 00.


Shows in English every Friday and Saturday at the Essaïon Theatre, Rue Pierre au Lard, 4th (behind the Pompidou Centre). Performances start at 7.30pm. Theatre opens at 7pm.




Controversy as Charlie Hebdo Honored at PEN Awards

Last night the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo were honored for the courage at the PEN American Center, despite protests from some writers who still mistakenly think these cartoonists, including the ones murdered in their office by masked gunmen in January, promote racism and religious hatred. Anyone who took even five minutes to read about the lifelong work and beliefs of these cartoonists would learn they are actively anti-racist. Offensive? Sure. But they attack ideas and beliefs, not people (unlike the hate group in Texas which actively promotes hatred of actual people based on their race and religion).

Several writers have admirably responded to the protests, including Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker (PEN has every Right to Honor Charlie Hebdo, Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic (The Dangerous Myths about Charlie Hebdo), who includes links to many more excellent rebuttals, a saucy article by James Kirchick in The Walrus (Weaker than the Sword), and an interview with one of Charlie Hebdo’s editors Jean-Baptist Thoret on NPR’s All Things Considered. Check out France 24’s video coverage of the awards ceremony (including uncensored comments by Salman Rushdie).


Good News: Watch Your Butts

After dealing with the annual cleanup of 315 tons of cigarette butts, aka mégots, the City of Paris has finally declared war on the ugly pollutants. Starting today they are installing 10,000 ashtrays and snuffers on Parisian poubelles (trash bins) to encourage smokers to put out their cigarettes and throw the butts in the trash, not just flick them onto the streets, sidewalks and parks like they do now. But that's not all...

It’s the beginning of an information campaign which will take place throughout the summer. Beginning in September they will start issuing fines of €68 (the same fine for not cleaning up after your dog, which, since it went into law in 2002, has VASTLY reduced the number of dog poop on the city streets, as anyone who lived here before that can confirm). In 2014 the City of Paris fined 25,000 people for littering, leaving garbage on the curb, dog poop, and public urination (of humans, not dogs). My local town hall in the 13th even distributed free pocket ashtrays this afternoon on the Butte aux Cailles to “encourage” smokers to stop being total butt heads.