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
* Private Secrets of Paris Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here


Calendar of Paris Events

Through October 3
Don't miss one of the most magical events of the summer, the Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, just an hour south of Paris by RER and shuttle. Visit the family-owned palace and gardens that inspired Versailles by candlelight, including dinner in the gardens (or bring your own picnic or book a table for a gourmet meal starting at €59) and a fireworks finale. Every Saturday evening, entry €19.50. 

Through October 18
The 32nd annual funfair carnival, the Fête à Neu Neu, opens on August 30th in the Bois de Boulogne (Porte de la Muette, 16th, M° Rue de la Pompe). Open 4pm-midnight Mon, Tues, & Thurs; 2pm-midnight Wed & Fri; and noon to midnight Sat-Sun. Free entry, ATM, Vélib station, food tents and rides (tickets purchased onsite).  

September 11-13
The annual Fête de l'Humanité is three days of live music (65 acts including headliners Manu Chao, Texas, and Juliette Gréco), debates (because the French love a good debate), arts and cinema expositions, a bal populaire, a book fair, and activities for kids. The main sponsor/organizer is the daily newspaper L'Humanité, whose motto is "Envie de Changer Le Monde" (The desire to change the world), so you can imagine it's quite a leftie leaning festival where politics, social justice and liberty are the main stars. This year it takes place in La Corneuve (northeast suburbs), and three-day passes are just €32 (€35 at the door; camping and parking also possible). 

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

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Saturday
Oct102009

Toilettes at the Carrousel du Louvre

Just because you're not a tourist doesn't mean you don't need to know what's going on below Pei's pyramid. Admit it, you're probably more likely to go and check out the new Apple Store when it opens than to see the latest exhibitions in the museum (although you might want to go check out the Egyptian rooms in case the contents are returned to Egypt). I'm not judging (but I better not see anyone I know in Starbucks or the new McDonald's they're going to open).

I just want to share some very important information regarding les toilettes. Because there's nothing worse than being stuck in the crowded zoo that is the Carrousel du Louvre with a full bladder (especially if you just had a venti caramel macchiato from you-know-where). Also handy if you're in the 'hood and need a quick bathroom stop.

There are three options:

- The spanking clean new Point WC toilets at the far east end of the Carrousel du Louvre (next to Nature & Découvertes). This is the second location of the Japanese toilet company (the first is on the Champs-Elysées). You can choose between the regular toilets (€1) and the "spa" toilets (€1.50). I'll let you figure out what that is on your own. They have those funky turbo dryers that look like CAT scans for your hands. You can also buy stuff in their "toilette boutique" like colored toilet paper (someone explain how the black toilet paper is useful?) and other posh accessories. Open 10am-8pm, 7/7.

- If you don't want to pay €1 to pee, or the line is too long, there are regular pay bathrooms (€0.50) downstairs in the Carrousel du Louvre. Take the steps down from the Hall Charles V (directly under the food court), as if you're going to the garage where the tour buses are all parked (this is news to most residents). They don't even have these listed on their website.

- If you have no coins, there are free toilets in the metro station Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre (no need for metro ticket; entrance from the Place du Palais Royal, corner closest to the Carrousel du Louvre entrance). They are often closed for lunch. In that case, since you've already walked outside, duck into the Brasserie du Louvre (attached to the Hôtel du Louvre) and use the bathrooms in there (discreetly, ahem).

PS: Someone named Colleen is keeping track of the public toilets around Paris, a good resource to have!

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Reader Comments (1)

The toilets in the Tuilierie Gardens at the Place de la Concorde end used to be pay-per-use, and were immaculate. Had my parents visiting last weekend - they're now free, and absolutely disgusting. Both male and female. Try to find somewhere else to go if you have guests in town, and you're caught short in the area.
October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim
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