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 February 19
Skate on the Eiffel Tower! This year the ice skating rink on the first level of the Eiffel Tower is back, free for those who already have a ticket for the Tower, open daily 10:30am-10:30pm. Skip the line by taking the stairs, it will help you warm up, too! Skates size 25-47 (EU), sleds and scooters for kids, gloves are required. This year's theme is Ice Hockey, though it will be less brutal than the NHL!

January 11 - February 21
The annual winter sales, aka Les Soldes. Honestly, the rules about when and how sales can take place in France since the economic crise have essentially made the sales irrelevant. There are sales all of the time now (often called "promotion" or "7 Jours BHV" or something like that). 

Click here to see the full calendar of events...

Tuesday
Oct112016

Getting Jazzed in Paris

New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Paris at least has a late bedtime. Once a year there's the all-night art festival of the Nuit Blanche, but for the other 364 days a year, nocturnal activities are less centrally organized. If you want to push beyond standard concert or theater hours in a civilized way, one of the best choices is a jazz club.

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Monday
Oct102016

La Belle Epoque Still Not-So-Belle

I was walking down the Rue des Petits Champs this summer on my way to the Passage Choiseul, and was actually sad to see what has become of the tacky old Belle Epoque Cabaret. Yes, it was a garish eyesore with red neon and faded flags, the epitome of the worst kind of tourist trap "near the Paris Opera!" But at least it had character. It was closed down in 2013 when the Swiss owners went bankrupt, and all of the dancers and restaurant staff laid off. Now it's just a bland restaurant with generic French food sold at "trendy restaurant" prices. As an amusing aside, the tripadvisor page considers it to still be the same establishment, so you can still find reviews from its previous incarnation as a cabaret alongside the very disappointed experiences in today's restaurant. 


 

Thursday
Sep152016

Zéro de Conduite: How to Drive in Paris

Ever tempted to climb behind the wheel in Paris? For those who don't find riding in taxis harrowing enough, you can always do it yourself. Just gird your loins, grit your teeth, and increase your life insurance before you do it.

It always starts with the best of intentions. There will be a guest or two staying over, and after dinner we’ll retire to the living room. During a pause in the conversation, I will raise a finger in a sham of spontaneity, and cry out, “Say, why don’t we go for a drive!”

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Friday
Aug262016

Understanding Paris: The Cartesian Method 

What can a simple ride on the RER reveal about the French approach to problem-solving? Join the author as he heads out to Charles De Gaulle airport one day and encounters a problem in need of a solution.

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Tuesday
Aug162016

Book Excerpt: Inspired by Paris

Ever wonder if maybe Americans enjoy "being French" more than the French themselves? It's an interesting theory explored with humor by author and part-time Parisian Jordan Phillips in her new book, “Inspired by Paris: Why Borrowing from the French is Better than Being French”. I met Jordan Phillips when she was living in Paris several years ago. Now she’s mostly in NYC, but still gets to enjoy the best of Paris by “borrowing” the best parts, from the food to the fashion (with a cameo appearance by “Naughty Paris”). Here is an excerpt from the chapter, The Paris Syndrome. 

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Monday
Aug152016

Advance Peek into "Pancakes in Paris"

An American diner serving pancakes and bottomless cups of coffee may be ubiquitous in the US, but in Paris it's exotic! That's why every homesick expat knows about Breakfast in America (aka BIA), the only place to get authentic American diner food in Paris. What most of don't know is what founder Craig Carlson had to go through to open his first diner over 13 years ago. 

"Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France" is Craig's sometimes harrowing but refreshingly honest tell-all/memoir, coming out September 6th. He's graciously agreed to give Secrets of Paris readers a sneak preview. 

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