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

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here


Calendar of Paris Events

October 8-12
The theme for the 81st annual Fête des Vendanges, the grape harvest festival, is Montmartre Fête les Poètes. Events include a parade, grape stomping, the food & wine tasting village, cooking demos, live music, and tons of other fun stuff. Check out the entire program, the online boutique (get your commemorative bottles of wine!) and other info about the festival here.

October 12 
Stock up on fall reading material for a handful of euros and support the English-language SOS Helpline at their Autumn Book Sale today from noon-4pm at Orrick Law Offices (31 ave Pierre Ière de Serbie, 16th, M° Alma-Marceau). Paperbacks €1, hardcovers €2, all categories for adults and kids, as well as bake sale items. Those who want to donate books can drop them off during the sale.

October 16-17
Blending culture with social, Sinfonietta Paris brings you an evening of Mendelssohn and Brahms exquisitely performed by a brilliant ensemble of young professional musicians. At the Institut FInlandais (Latin Quarter, 60 rue des Ecoles, 5th) from 8-11pm. Tickets €25 (wine and hors d'oeuvres included). The address will be mailed once confirmed; the performance on the 4th December is in the 17th; on the 5th December it's in the 1st. Register on the website; places limited. 

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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