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

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

Calendar of Paris Events

November 7-15
The 40th annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 stands selling everything organic you could imagine: produce, meats, cheeses, artisan oils, wines, essential oils, herbs, teas, cosmetics, beauty products, household cleaning products, clothing, shoes, accessories, home decor, books, gardening supplies, as well as stands for environmental tourism, different green activist groups such as Greenpeace, etc.

November 12 - Seattle
Heather will be at Seattle's Paris Eastside cooking school and French boutique for the November Sip & Meet event with copies of Naughty Paris for a special price of just $27 (cover price $39). From 6-8pm, wine and nibbles, €5/person. Come say hello if you're in the area!

November 18-22
Shopping for some supplies for your creative projects? Head down to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles for the annual Création & Savoir Faire show. Scrapboooking, knitting, gardening, baking, sewing, crafts, and decorating ideas for the holidays. Entrance €13-15, €22 for the two-day pass, open 9:30am-6:30pm (until 9:30pm Friday).  

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 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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