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

Through August 21
The 30th annual Fête des Tuileries funfair with carnival rides at Tuileries Gardens starts today, free entry, rides with individual tickets. Plenty of food stands, too!

Through August 27
La Nuit aux Invalides is an impressive sound and light show in the courtyard of Invalides highlighting the monument's history (Louis XIV, Napoléon, Charles De Gaulle), in English on Monday and Thursday nights. Tickets €18 (adult price). See the teaser video.

Through September 4
Paris Plages: sand, beach trees, volley balls and bikinis -- on the Seine! Fun activities and plenty of space for lounging along the Right Bank quays and Hôtel de Ville extended this year through September 4th. Free entry, 10am-midnight. 

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

Friday
Jun242016

Tour of the Great Mosque de Paris

Paris is not only a romantic city, it’s also a real melting pot of cultures. And nothing is stranger than when your steps lead you to an exotic architectural site right in its heart.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun172016

Les Halles Sixty Years Later

by guest contributor, Anne Daignault

In May, my visit to the Musée Carnavalet -- the City of Paris's museum of the history of Paris and its people -- nurtured a growing curiosity about the evolving political, social and  economic factors that created today’s Paris. However, it was a walk in the Forum des Halles -- the site of Paris’s central market until it was demolished in the 1970’s -- that took me out of a museum of history and landed me smack down in a construction site: a noisy, smelly, vibrant lesson about the changes in Paris over the past sixty years. 


Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun162016

Some Tips on Using Vélib City Bikes in Paris

I love using the Vélib to get around Paris, especially now that it’s so nice outside (read: between sudden thunder showers it’s actually sunny and gorgeous). It looks a lot scarier to ride a bike in Paris than it feels when you’re actually on the bike. Maybe it’s the high of cruising through the capital with the wind in your hair, but it’s very quickly addictive.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun132016

Summer Food & Fun at Grand Train 

One of the most interesting Paris events of the summer is Grand Train. Opened within a disused SNCF train depot in late April, Grand Train features 2000m² of covered halls, courtyards and outdoor space filled with over a dozen bars and eateries, lounge chairs and picnic tables, pétanque courts, a food garden and chicken house, vintage locomotives and different exhibitions about the history of the SNCF (French National Railway, a partner of the event), fuss ball tables, big screens showing fils and even Euro matches, a children's playpen, and daily events such as live music, a craft market, epicerie, yoga sessions, tattoo and barber shop, kids' activities, massage booth, gardening courses, book readings, etc.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun102016

Changes to Paris Airport Bus Service

The Air France coaches that shuttled passengers between Paris and Roissy-CDG or Orly airports is now called Le Bus Direct (which is probably good because the old name made people think only Air France passengers could use it).

There are four lines with multiple stops: two to Roissy-CDG (€17 one-way), one to Orly (€12 one-way), and one between Roissy-CDG and Orly (€21 one-way). As usual there are stops at Gare de Lyon, Montparnasse, Porte Maillot and Arc de Triomphe, but now there are also stops at Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower, and La Motte Piquet. The buses have free Wifi and USB plugs at each seat. Open daily 5am-11:40pm, buy your tickets online in advance to save time.

Don’t confuse this bus service with the RATP-run RoissyBus (from Opéra for €11 one-way) or OrlyBus (from Denfert Rochereau, €7.70 one-way), which is basically a Paris city bus, so not as comfy but less expensive and possibly closer to where you want to be dropped off in Paris, and you can use your Navigo pass or 5-zone Paris pass. 

Thursday
Jun092016

wonder.land: Musical in English at the Théâtre du Châtelet

Photo Brinkhoff and Mgenburg

Another world-class musical in English is playing at the Théâtre du Châtelet this month, wonder.land: the edgy modern-day take on Alice in Wonderland "that explores the blurred boundaries between our online and offline lives." Commissioned in partnership with the Manchester International Festival and the National Theatre, wonder.land uses a combination of live theatre and digital sets, as well as a score is by Damon Albarn (of the British group Blur), to create a very contemporary look at coming-of-age in the 21st century.

Photo Marie-Noëlle Robert

Aly is a modern British girl from a broken home being bullied at school who escapes her difficult life into a virtual world as her avatar, Alice. Here, where suddenly there is color, she meets an entire cast of misfit friends. Until a cruiel teacher confiscates her smartphone...and steals her identity. "Who are you?" the Caterpillar asks, underlining the theme of the story. 

Photo Marie-Noëlle Robert

After seeing Sondheim's Passion and then Carmen La Cubana, which I both loved, I didn't think I'd actually like this contemporary "audio-visual" show, but it was surprisingly fun and touching (not sure why I'm still surprised, but my "I don't like musicals" bias is stubbornly hard to kill).

Photo Brinkhoff Mgenburg

Throughout the show I kept changing my mind about who was my favorite character. Aly (Lois Chimimba) and Alice (Carly Bawden) are the stars, but her mother's voice is stunning (Golda Rosheuvel), Mrs. Manxome's evil glee is contagious (Anna Francolini), the and the White Rabbit (Joshua Lacey)...well, who wouldn't want to follow him? Hal Fowler's character actually morphs throughout the show from the MC to the Cheshire Cat to the Caterpillar, with an entire choir for a body. 

Photo Marie-Noëlle Robert

Through June 16th, in English with French surtitles. Tickets from €10 to €55.