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 Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here


Calendar of Paris Events

October 8-12
The theme for the 81st annual Fête des Vendanges, the grape harvest festival, is Montmartre Fête les Poètes. Events include a parade, grape stomping, the food & wine tasting village, cooking demos, live music, and tons of other fun stuff. Check out the entire program, the online boutique (get your commemorative bottles of wine!) and other info about the festival here.

October 12 
Stock up on fall reading material for a handful of euros and support the English-language SOS Helpline at their Autumn Book Sale today from noon-4pm at Orrick Law Offices (31 ave Pierre Ière de Serbie, 16th, M° Alma-Marceau). Paperbacks €1, hardcovers €2, all categories for adults and kids, as well as bake sale items. Those who want to donate books can drop them off during the sale.

October 16-17
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of Mendelssohn and Brahms exquisitely performed by a brilliant ensemble of young professional musicians. At the Institut FInlandais (Latin Quarter, 60 rue des Ecoles, 5th) from 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d'oeuvres included). The address will be mailed once confirmed; the performance on the 4th December is in the 17th; on the 5th December it's in the 1st. Register on the website; places limited. 

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees
to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

Secrets of Paris Newsletter #146 was sent September 10th to subscribers. Sign up here to get it emailed direct to your inbox. 

Entries in August (2)

Saturday
Aug062011

Newsletter #109: August 6, 2011

In this issue:

Do-Gooder Shopping Fix #1: Retro Glasses
Free Museums This Sunday
Paris Airport Lounges
Do-Gooder Shopping Fix #2: Books & CDs
Restaurants Open in August
Paris Beach Atmosphere
Buy Your Tickets Now for Fall Shows
Get Someone Else to Pay Your Parking Tix
Back in the USA: Heather's Fall Tour
The Secrets of Chantilly & Disneyland Paris
FDR Metro Station gets a Face Lift

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul272008

Paris Plage

Paris Plage along the Voie Georges Pompidou (Right Bank)
Photo by Anne THOMES / Mairie de Paris

The "beaches" of Paris Plage opened on a particularly hot and sunny day last week, with the usual chaise lounges, sand boxes, water misters, ice cream stands, free live concerts (at Pont Sully), and organized activities like volleyball and boules and even swimming (not in the river, of course).

This year there are two main sites, the historic Right Bank (central Paris, from Quai du Louvre to Quai Henri IV) and the eastern Parisian Bassin de la Villette (19th arrondissement, metro Jaurès, Crimée or Laumière). The central Paris Plage is good for lounging, live music and beautiful views of Paris (although it's a bit more crowded), and the Bassin de la Villette is good if you want to get out onto the water, dance at one of the nightly "bals" (swing, salsa and musette music), or just avoid the largest crowds.

Bassin de la Villette
Photo by Anne THOMES / Mairie de Paris

Some fun facts:

  • 3.7 kilometers of "beach" over two locations
  • 4 sand beaches with 2500 tons of sand
  • 300 chaise lounges, 450  reclining beach chairs, 250 parasols, 26 hammocks
  • 33 palm trees
  • 30 rowboats, 10 sailboats, 12 canoes, 8 kayaks, 25 pedal boats (all in the Bassin de la Villette)
  • 640 lifeguards
  • 1200 security guards
  • 8 snack bars and 4 ice cream stands


Some things to note (buzz kill alert): No topless bathing or g-string bikinis allowed, be careful of pickpockets, and get there early if you want a hammock!

Open daily 8am-midnght in central Paris, 9am-11pm at La Villette, until August 21. Free entry. Don't forget your sunglasses.