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 Disneyland Paris (5)


Museum News: Renovations & Night Openings

If you have your heart set on visiting several Paris museums when you’re in town, be sure to check in advance that they’re open (or that the collection you want to see is open). There are several currently closed (or partially closed) for renovations. On the plus side, many museums also have late opening hours to help avoid the morning crowds, highly recommended, and you get to sleep in!

The Carnavalet History of Paris Museum is partially closed (most of the ground floor apartments) and there are long lines just to get the free ticket, no dates mentioned for reopening.

The Modern Art Collections (1905-1980) of the Centre Pompidou reopen May 27th (night opening at the Pompidou until 11pm on Thursdays).

The main collection of the Rodin Museum is closed through November, with just the gardens and temporary expositions open (until 8:45pm Wednesday nights).

The dome of the Pantheon is still under construction, but the building remains open (exceptionally closed mornings May 22-28 for official ceremonies).

The Louvre Pyramid entrance is open during renovations of the guest welcome area below it, although the gift shop is housed in a temporary building in the courtyard for the next two years (Louvre is open until 9:45pm Wednesday and Friday).

Victor Hugo’ House in the place des Vosges is partially closed (his living quarters) until June 2nd.

And if you’re heading out to Disneyland (hey, don’t judge!), Space Mountain is closed for renovations through the end of July).

For other evening cultural excursions, the Grand Palais expositions (including the wildly popular Vélazquez retrospective) are now open until 10pm Wednesday-Saturday.  Notre Dame Cathedral is open weekend evenings in May and June at 9:15pm for a special audiovisual show with music (free entry).

Also, be aware that because of additional Vigipirate (anti-terrorist) security checks, lines in some places will be longer than usual, including Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle, even if you have a Museum Pass. 


Disneyland Paris for the Holidays

As nice as it is to go home for the holidays, if you're stuck in Paris and feeling homesick, there's no better place than Christmas at Disneyland Paris! And right now you can get tickets for as little as €38/person...

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Newsletter #101: September 2010

* Changes Afoot…
* Half-Prices Massages? Check.
* First Sparkling Water Fountain in Paris
* Three Places to Buy Antique Silver
* Three Places to Visit instead of the Monet Exhibition
* Three Restaurants I Tested
* Foot Reflexology Massage
* How to Survive Disneyland Paris
* Interview with a Writer… in Paris

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The Back Door to Cheaper Eurostar Tickets

If you book well in advance, Eurostar tickets from Paris to London are just €77 round trip. But if you wait until the last minute like yours truly, then it gets much, much more expensive (like, oh, €300). Even easyJet fares were up in the €250 range, which is horrible when you have to get to Roissy-CDG and then into London from Luton.

But thanks to a LOT of surfing around, I found a little back door to cheaper fares: Disneyland!

I was on a site I've used in the past called EuropebyAir.com looking to see if I could scrape together a cheaper flight, and their brilliant search brought up flights AND trains. And lookie here, a Eurostar ticket for just $230 (€175). The catch? The outgoing train leaves from the Disneyland Paris station in Marne La Vallée - Chessy. That's only a 45 minute RER ride from Paris, same as going to the airport. The return trip happily came into Gare du Nord, as usual.

Now if you go on the actual Eurostar website, it's impossible to search for a ticket where you leave from one place and arrive in another. And they really hide that Disneyland Station option, it's buried under "France Stations, under "M". If I had purchased a ticket with them, I would be coming in and out of the Disney station, and on one leg I'd have an hour layover in Lille. So I ended up purchasing the ticket direct from the EuropebyAir site (for those of you with American bank accounts, this is handy since they charge in Dollars).

The Disneyland option seems to be the best for leaving Paris on Sunday night, when fares are highest. If anyone else finds any clever back doors for traveling between London and Paris, do let me know!

(PS: And no, I'm not interested in taking the 10-hour Eurolines bus trip for €69, ugh.)


A Day at Disneyland Paris

Here are some pics from my day at Disneyland Paris last week...

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