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

September 9-11
Les Traversées du Marais is a three-day music festival with a "Carnival!" theme taking place throughout the historic courtyards of the Marais district, see the map here

September 16-18
You'll find food specialities from Southwestern France at the 17th annual open-air food market on the Seine, Les Marchés Flottants du Sud-Ouest, for three days along the Quai Montebello (on the Left Bank, facing Notre Dame Cathedral, M° St Michel). Free entry. Open 10am-10pm (Sunday until 7pm).

September 24-25
Celebrate the Fête des Jardins in gardens throughout Paris (many normally closed to the public). This year's theme is urban gardening. Check the full schedule online

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 Paris (346)

Friday
Mar112016

Learn How to Save a Life in Paris: Free First-Aid Workshops March 26th

Living in Paris? Consider it part of your civic duty to learn basic first aid, who to call in an emergency, and other useful skills such as how to use the public defibrillators found throughout the city.

To make it super-easy, on Saturday March 26th the Mairie de Paris at Hôtel de Ville, as well as each local arrondissement’s town hall, will be hosting free first aid workshops (in French…essential vocabulary!) conducted by the SAMU, Red Cross, and the Pompiers de Paris as part of their annual Samedi Qui Sauve campaign. #samediquisauve

You’ll need to register online for the 2-hour classes at your mairie by March 24th (ages 12 and up), or you can simply show up to the Hôtel de Ville where there will be first-aid demonstrations, blood donation tents, Q&A sessions, and a chance to learn about volunteer and career opportunities with the Paris emergency services. And kids can check out the paramedics’ trucks! 

Thursday
Mar102016

Studying in France: A Debt Free Diploma

Please call me Dr. Bryan. Yes, I hold both a master's and a doctoral degree from the Sorbonne in Paris. The Sorbonne, or more generally the University of Paris, has existed for centuries, educating the likes of Victor Hugo and Marie Curie, among others. Most people around the world, at least those in academia, know the name “Sorbonne,” which elicits the same sort of reaction as “Harvard” or “Cambridge.” I am proud of these degrees, but most importantly, I am happy about their price tag. For five years of graduate study, I probably paid in total about 1500 euros, including registration fees and social security charges.

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Monday
Mar072016

Easy Water Heater Replacement and DIY Assistance

During the coldest week in February (hovering around 2°C) my little hot water heater finally expired after a dozen years of loyal service. I called “my guy” that Friday afternoon who came by and quoted €600 to replace it the next day, cash only. But the owner, who is responsible for paying for the new water heater, wanted a facture (the invoice, with VAT). I found EasyBallon (“ballon d’eau chaude” is the hot water tank) through my energy company DirectEnergie, an alternative to EDF/GDF. EasyBallon is a company that does just one thing: fix or replace your hot water heater.

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Saturday
Mar052016

Stitching Up Paris: Meet the Local Kniterati

Updated on Monday, April 4, 2016 by Registered CommenterHeather Stimmler-Hall

How someone who knows nothing about the world of knitting, sewing, notions and needlecraft discovers the international "kniterati" and the New Zealand expats who have written the difinitive insider's guide to the fiber arts community in Paris. 

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Friday
Mar042016

Make Hemingway Proud: How to Avoid Travel Writing Clichés 

Travel writing is a genre already riddled with clichés, but Paris is in a class of its own for inspiring a never-ending literary parade of tired descriptions, hackneyed imagery, and nauseating hyperbole. And frankly, the City of Light deserves better.
 

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Friday
Feb262016

Our Widespread Lack of Trust in Travel Writing 

By Secrets of Paris contributing editor Bryan Pirolli

Trust is a tricky thing when traveling. Between the stories from your cousin Kathy, your new Lonely Planet, and those endless lists printed from the web, it’s hard to know which sources get it right when it comes to a destination. It’s especially difficult for a place like Paris and its endless amount of blogs, books, and websites.

How can you actually trust anything you read? This was a central question in my PhD thesis at the Sorbonne (don’t worry, I’m not about to get all academic on you here). The answer, however, was relatively clear after an online questionnaire with over 230 people and multiple interviews with writers and tourists in Paris: Travelers don’t ultimately trust any single source.

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