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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

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Thursday
Dec162010

Gigs in Paris over the Holidays

Guest article by Mark E. Thompson of Gigs in Paris

The Christmas gig slump is as traditional as mulled wine and mince pies. The airwaves are paved with cheese, the shops with demanding toddlers, and any band worth their salt is “driving home for Christmas” (apologies).

However, there are a few hidden treasures to be had. On Friday, Club Folamour will be taking over Point Ephémère, with a sterling indie-electro line up till the early hours. Highlights include Small Black, Lo-fi-fnk, and Museum of Bella Artes.

Further north, White Lies are heading a strong British night at la Fleche D’or with iLike Trains and The Vaccines. But, it’s another British act which is offering perhaps the most intriguing prospect this weekend. The already pretty pretentious Essex lads, These New Puritans, have teamed up with German composer André de Ridder, best known for his work with the Gorrilaz, to create a post-apocalyptic show piece. Backed by a 15-piece brass and woodwind ensemble, multiple pianos, Japanese drums, a children's choir and an orchestra, the guys are undoubtedly looking to turn the Pompidou inside out...

If you’ve spent all your pocket change on that animal print jumper your mate’s just always wanted, then head yourself down to L’International to catch the free Rrose Tacet set on Sunday. At the other end of the price bracket there’s Soulwaxmas, a night which really didn’t need to promote itself on every other metro billboard in town. 2Many Dj’s and Erol Alkan already carry hefty weight around these parts, and if you can afford yourself a ticket, it’s sure to be a belter. Sadly, I leave for the white walls of St Pancras Station that morning, but with a send off no less impressive. Soul legend and The Roots collaborator, Cody ChestnuTT, will be crooning the crowd at La Bellevilloise and, I hope, giving me a protective shield to ward off the impending, inevitable Cliff Richard onslaught that awaits in my motherland.

Mark E. Thompson is a freelance journalist and former music writer for the BBC, The Sun, and CNN Online. Now living and working in Paris, he decided to cover the city's indie/alternative music scene in his new blog called Gigs in Paris. Check out his site for detailed concert calendars month by month, and interesting articles (the latest one is on Sam Amidon). For all of you regular Secrets of Paris readers, don't be alarmed by the extra consonants; he writes in UK English. 

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