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

June 4
The 16th annual Carnaval Tropical parade with 4000 dancers celebrating French West Indies cultures as well as other dancers from Brazil, China, Colombia and other nations around the world. They start at Hôtel de Ville at 2pm, up to Place de la République until 6pm. Come see the dancers and try out the exotic foods on sale! 

June 19
Get out your fancy hats and picnic baskets for the annual Prix de Diane races at Chantilly Hippodrome (just 45 minutes north of Paris from Gare du Nord). Read more about the event from previous years here. 

June 24-26
Solidays is one of the best summer music festivals in France. This event unites more than 150 musicians (including Cypress Hill and Keziah Jones) and 160,000 attendees every year in the fight against AIDS, and this summer is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Day passes starting at €39.  

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

Saturday
Mar192016

Technology and Expat Life in France: We've Come a Long Way

It’s hard for today’s American expatriates to fathom the lives of our forbearers who lived in France before the internet, commercial airlines, the telephone, or even the telegraph, completely cut off from their homeland for months at a time. When I first arrived in Paris as a student in 1995, France’s communications industry was suffering from a full blown identity crisis. They seemed both behind and ahead of the US, determined to modernize but only on their own Gallic terms.

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Tuesday
Mar152016

Dining in Paris: Yard, Freddy’s and Krügen 

I was invited to a dinner in Paris earlier this year by a travel writer friend of mine, Marcia DeSanctis, who lived in the Menilmontant district with her husband and daughter for many years before returning to the US. We ate at their former neighbor’s house, an amazing architectural space built entirely with recuperated and reclaimed building materials. What was once a parking garage was now a warm and inviting space of age-worn wood, marble, slate, and glass. I envied the working fireplace in the open kitchen. “You have to go to their daughter’s restaurant near here, it’s called Yard.”

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Sunday
Mar132016

Merde! American Broadway with a French Touch at the Théâtre du Châtelet

If you’re in Paris this week, you’ve still got a chance to buy tickets for an award-winning Broadway musical in one of the city's most beautiful historic theatres: Stephen Sondheim’s Passion is at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in English.

Sondheim is one of the greats of the musical theatre genre (with eight Tony awards, an Oscar, eight Grammy awards, and a Pulitzer, among others), and creator of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Little Night MusicSweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story. After 280 performances on Broadway in 1994-1995, Passion became the shortest-running show to win a Tony Award for Best Musical. At least that’s what I read online.

Before we go any further, a confession...

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Saturday
Mar122016

The Creepy Medical History Museums of Paris 

For centuries Paris was at the forefront of medical research, and at one time there were a half dozen museums dedicated to its fascinating history, from the earliest hospitals and the fight against contagious diseases to the first medical instruments and preserved anatomical specimens. In 2012 the Musée de l'Assistance Publique (History of the Hospitals of Paris) closed to the public indefinitely. On March 25th the little-known, super-creepy Musée Dupuytren will close as well.

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Friday
Mar112016

Learn How to Save a Life in Paris: Free First-Aid Workshops March 26th

Living in Paris? Consider it part of your civic duty to learn basic first aid, who to call in an emergency, and other useful skills such as how to use the public defibrillators found throughout the city.

To make it super-easy, on Saturday March 26th the Mairie de Paris at Hôtel de Ville, as well as each local arrondissement’s town hall, will be hosting free first aid workshops (in French…essential vocabulary!) conducted by the SAMU, Red Cross, and the Pompiers de Paris as part of their annual Samedi Qui Sauve campaign. #samediquisauve

You’ll need to register online for the 2-hour classes at your mairie by March 24th (ages 12 and up), or you can simply show up to the Hôtel de Ville where there will be first-aid demonstrations, blood donation tents, Q&A sessions, and a chance to learn about volunteer and career opportunities with the Paris emergency services. And kids can check out the paramedics’ trucks! 

Thursday
Mar102016

Studying in France: A Debt Free Diploma

Please call me Dr. Bryan. Yes, I hold both a master's and a doctoral degree from the Sorbonne in Paris. The Sorbonne, or more generally the University of Paris, has existed for centuries, educating the likes of Victor Hugo and Marie Curie, among others. Most people around the world, at least those in academia, know the name “Sorbonne,” which elicits the same sort of reaction as “Harvard” or “Cambridge.” I am proud of these degrees, but most importantly, I am happy about their price tag. For five years of graduate study, I probably paid in total about 1500 euros, including registration fees and social security charges.

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