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

Through October 3
Don't miss one of the most magical events of the summer, the Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, just an hour south of Paris by RER and shuttle. Visit the family-owned palace and gardens that inspired Versailles by candlelight, including dinner in the gardens (or bring your own picnic or book a table for a gourmet meal starting at €59) and a fireworks finale. Every Saturday evening, entry €19.50. 

Through October 18
The 32nd annual funfair carnival, the Fête à Neu Neu, opens on August 30th in the Bois de Boulogne (Porte de la Muette, 16th, M° Rue de la Pompe). Open 4pm-midnight Mon, Tues, & Thurs; 2pm-midnight Wed & Fri; and noon to midnight Sat-Sun. Free entry, ATM, Vélib station, food tents and rides (tickets purchased onsite).  

September 11-13
The annual Fête de l'Humanité is three days of live music (65 acts including headliners Manu Chao, Texas, and Juliette Gréco), debates (because the French love a good debate), arts and cinema expositions, a bal populaire, a book fair, and activities for kids. The main sponsor/organizer is the daily newspaper L'Humanité, whose motto is "Envie de Changer Le Monde" (The desire to change the world), so you can imagine it's quite a leftie leaning festival where politics, social justice and liberty are the main stars. This year it takes place in La Corneuve (northeast suburbs), and three-day passes are just €32 (€35 at the door; camping and parking also possible). 

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

Entries in Make a Difference (39)

Friday
Jun192015

Green Hotels and Charitable Booking Site 

If you’re environmentally-minded, there are only a few options for certified “green” hotels in Paris, but they’re good ones. Right at Trocadéro (just across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower) is the Hotel Eiffel Trocadéro (€200-€300/night) and its sister hotel Le Gavarni (€160-€260). If you like the idea of escaping to a private hotel garden after a day in the busy city, and don’t mind being in a quiet-but-chic residential area, try the Regent’s Garden Hotel (€170-€250). For those on a really tight budget, the Solar Hotel (€89 flat rate all inclusive) is a great eco-friendly option right off a bustling market street near the Catacombes and Montparnasse Cemetery (they also have free bike rentals). Please don't forget what you save in price you make up for in space! 

Clockwise from top left: Eiffel Trocadéro, Gavarni, Regent's Garden, and Solar Hotel

For those who like the wide selection offered by sites like Booking.com, try BookDifferent.com, a site that uses the Booking.com database but donates 50% of its commission to one of the 126 participating charities (you get to choose). It let’s you sort hotels by carbon footprint or whether it’s eco-certified, and tells you exactly how much of your stay will be donated to the charity. Of course, it may make more sense to just book direct with the hotels (the hotels give preferential treatment for those who do), and donate the saved money direct to one of your favorite charities. But if you want the “path of least resistance” option then go ahead and reserve with BookDifferent.com

Wednesday
May132015

Volunteering on Organic Farms in France

 

Would you like a seasonal work experience on an organic farm in France in return for food and lodging? Try WWOOFing! WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and although it was started in 1971, some people don't realize it's still going strong. If you're not afraid of hard work, practicing your broken French, and meeting new people, then WWOOFing is an excellent way for those on a tight budget to live in France for up to three months.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May122015

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! 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov292013

Visit a Paris Museum December 1st, Help the Philippines

French museums, in solidarity with the Croix Rouge (French Red Cross), are hosting a Dimanche de Solidarité on December 1st to help raise urgently needed funds fordisaster relief in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. 

Official Croix Rouge volunteers will be in the following museums this Sunday collection donations of loose change (or loose bills, if you're feeling flush):

* Musée du Louvre
* Musée des Arts Asiatiques Guimet
* Musée du Quai Branly
* Palais de Tokyo
* Musée Rodin
* Musée d’Orsay
* Musée de l’Orangerie
* Château de Versailles
* Centre Pompidou

Don't forget that these museums are open for free the first Sunday of the month, an added incentive to help out those in urgent need of clean water, food and shelter. 

Wednesday
Feb272013

We're All Guilty of Green Washing (even in France)

The French group Tryo put out this great video for their song "Green Washing". If your French is a little rusty (and you can't figure it out from the vedeo), it's basically a song about how consumers prefer "green washing" (or the practice of slapping a green label on something that really isn't that environmentally friendly) to actually changing our lifestyle and making better choices for the planet.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov302012

Radios for the Homeless

Looking for a new way to help those on the street this holiday season? Give them a gift that keeps on giving: a small, dynamo-powered radio so they can listen to music and the news.

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