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

October 21-30 A bit like a smaller, cozier version of the Foire de Paris, the Foire d'Automne at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles is a trade show of food and wine, home decor, beauty and fashion, and all French arts de vivre. Open 10am-7pm, entry €9. 

October 27-29
The last big electronic music festival of the year, the Pitchfork Festival, takes place over three days at the Grande Halle de la Villette (Parc de la Villette, 19th). One-day passes €54,  three-day passes €120.

October 28 - November 1
Stuff yourself with all kinds of chocolately goodies at the annual Salon du Chocolat, at the Paris-Expo - Porte de Versailles (metro line 12), 10am-7pm. Entrance €14. You can get advance tickets online or ask at your favorite chocolate shop if they have any extra invitations. Avoid the weekend unless you're a masochist! Here are some Salon du Chocolat tips from a previous article by Secrets of Paris intern Tara Oakes. 

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 August (2)


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 ...


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.