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

Through August 21
The 30th annual Fête des Tuileries funfair with carnival rides at Tuileries Gardens starts today, free entry, rides with individual tickets. Plenty of food stands, too!

Through August 27
La Nuit aux Invalides is an impressive sound and light show in the courtyard of Invalides highlighting the monument's history (Louis XIV, Napoléon, Charles De Gaulle), in English on Monday and Thursday nights. Tickets €18 (adult price). See the teaser video.

Through September 4
Paris Plages: sand, beach trees, volley balls and bikinis -- on the Seine! Fun activities and plenty of space for lounging along the Right Bank quays and Hôtel de Ville extended this year through September 4th. Free entry, 10am-midnight. 

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 (345)

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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Monday
Feb222016

A Fun Fashion Week Event for Normal People

In case you missed all of the hype, Paris Fashion Week is March 1-9. Most of the city’s trendy bars, stylish hotels, and designer concept stores will be overrun by fashion bloggers, models and editors dressed in outrageous outfits that only the fashion world understands. Enjoy the street scene, because regular plebes can’t actually get into the catwalk shows. 

But if you want to check out a fun alternative, head over to L’Archipel a charitable association housed in an amazing 19th-century convent near Gare St-Lazare. Although dedicated to assisting single mothers, they also host many events for the general public to raise funds and awareness in the spirit of solidarity, including yoga classes, knitting workshops, concerts, Sunday brunch in the former nave, and a Saturday "troc" to swap clothing (men’s, women’s or kids), accessories, books, CDs, DVDs, etc. (you get a credit for the Troc Shop for every item you bring). 

On Saturday March 5th Singa will be hosting an inclusive Fashion Show at l'Archipel from 2-6pm, where anyone can participate as a stylist, model, DJ or photographer, with hair and make-up by beauty school students and a photo booth to immortalize your look (sign up if you want to participate). If you just want to watch, the actual show is from 3-4pm, and while waiting you can check out the Troc Shop (bring your used items if you want to trade) or enjoy an organic smoothie from the bar; open noon-7pm. 

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