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

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees
to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur


Paris Events Calendar - March 2015

NOTE: Daylight Savings in the US/CAN is March 8th. In France/Europe it's March 29th. 

March 3-7
The charity thrift shop Emmaüs is holding its annual Grand Vent au Kilo (Big Clothing Sale by the Kilo) for just five days at their Boutique Davout (105 bd Davout, 20th) from 11am-7:45pm. Everything is €10/kilo...that's a lot of clothes if you're thinking ahead for the summertime! 

March 6
Looking for something fun and a little naughty? The Poetry Brothel (Bordel de la Poesie) is a unique and immersive poetry event that takes poetry outside lecture halls and places it in the lush interiors of a bordello. Based  on the fin-de-siecle bordellos in New Orleans and Paris, many of which functioned as safe havens for fledgling, avant-garde artists, The Poetry Brothel's "Madame" presents a rotating cast of poets as "whores," who impart their work in public readings and most distinctly, as purveyors of private, one-on-one poetry readings in back rooms. This immersive cabaret, offers a full bar, live jazz, burlesque dancers, painters, and fortune-tellers, with newly integrated themes, performances and installations at each event. From 8pm-5am at the Cave St-Sabin, 50 rue St-Sabin, 11th, tickets €15 online, €20 at the door, 1 drink included. 

March 6-8
This year, the amazingly populuar Mondial du Tatouage returns to showcase the work of some of the best and most famous contemporary tattoo artists from around the world, with contests, seminars and of course tattoo stands. Live music events, phto exhibits, and other extras, check out the schedule and get your tickets online before trekking out to the Grande Halle at Parc de la Villette, 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris. 

March 6-15
The 90th annual flea market fair on an island northwest of Paris brings together 700 professionals from all over Europe for the Foire de ChatouAt the Ile des Impressionistes (RER station Rueil-Malmaison). A variety of antiques, collectibles, books and records are up for grabs, along with regional French food specialties to eat at long wooden tables, accompanied by live musicians. Entry is only €6, and free for those under 15 - perfect for a weekend family outing. 

March 8-10
The Omnivore World Food Tour comes to Paris this week with masterclasses by international chefs, special dinners (all booked by now, of course), and plenty of food and drink specialists manning the stands. It seems to be a rather untra-foodie event for the press and chefs rather than the general public, but if you like the challenge of trying to actually get a bite of food in the scrum, day passes are €39 (site only in French).

March 10
Heather will be the featured guest speaker at Parler Paris Après Midi, discussing the topic "How Parisian Women Do It: Feminism & Femininity in the City of Light". Naughty Paris Guides will be available for €25 (cash only).  From 3-5pm, upstairs at Café de la Mairie, corner of Rue des Archives and Rue de Bretagne, 3rd. Free entry.

March 12 & 13
Join classical music lovers at the Institut Finlandais (in the Latin Quarter) for two nights of Cocktails & Conversations featuring chamber music by Gabriel Fauré and Robert Schumann by a brilliant ensemble of young professional artists, Sinfonietta. Tickets are €25 and include the concert, wine and canapés after the performance. Buy your tickets in advance on the official website

March 15-16
The 17th annual Salon Vintage is one of the biggest vintage fairs in Paris, this year at the Carreau du Temple, €5 entry fee, ou can pre-purchase online to avoid lines, 150 stands of clothing, records, accessories, decor, and exposition of 1970s David Bowie posters. DJ entertainment.  

March 17
Sex & Booze: An Erotic Book Club at The Chamber, where we'll be reading Story of O by Anne Declos, drinking cocktails, and talking about...well, sex. Limited to 8 women only, 8-10pm in a private home; sign up while there's space!

March 20-21
Although Wikipedia is not always flawless, it is absolutely right about the Missa Solemnis, composed by Beethoven over four years at the height of his powers: "The difficulty of the piece, combined with the requirements for a full orchestra, large chorus, and highly trained soloists, both vocal and instrumental, mean that it is not often performed by amateur or semi-professional ensembles." You will have a rare chance  to hear this towering masterpiece for a modest price at either Saint Eustache or the American Cathedral, and to see for yourself the high standard reached by the Paris Choral Society. Don't wait -- order your tickets online now at www.parischoralsociety.org

March 22
Fifties' Sound brings us back with a retro-vintage attic sale at Next Step, 11 cour Débile, 11th, M° Voltaire. Starting at 10 AM, the fair is accompanied by a musical act at 5 PM with music from the 1940s and 1950s. Records, clothing, home decor, accessories and a men's retro hair stylist.

March 22
Heather will be signing books at the SOS Help's "Spring Book Sale" from 2-4pm, with €10 of every Naughty Paris Guide purchased (for €25) goes to the city's only English-language help line. Even if you aren't in the market for a naughty guide, come to the sale from noon-4pm for homebaked goods and bargain books for adults and children (paperbacks just €1, hardcovers €2). From noon-4pm at Orrick Law Offices, 31 ave Pierre Ire de Serbie, 16th, M° Alma Marceau.

March 28
Join a fun and cosmopolitan group of ladies and gentlement for cocktails and tea...with a twist! Tea & Tipples is The Chamber's take on afternoon tea, with free-flowing cocktails and delicious savoury treats. The event takes place in a private vacation apartment and costs €34 for members, €54 for non-members. 

March 28
Have you ever tried raw chocolates? Want to visit a real French chocolate factory? Rraw is a small, artisan company in the Parisian suburbs (Montreuil) making gourmet, organic, raw chocolates (they are amazing, you'd never guess they weren't cooked). The kitchens where they are made are open to the public once each month for a limited number of visitors at 11am, 2pm and 4pm. To get on the list send your request to Frédéric at contact@rrraw.fr specifying which date, time and number of people you will be. Next dates are April 25 and May 30.

Coming in April...

April 2
The Detroit indie band Future Islands (you might have seen them on Letterman) is playing at La Cigale tonight, tickets €29. Absolutely love this band, looking forward to it! :-)  

April 2
Register now to participate in the monthly hosted dinner, Once Upon a Table, at the Latin Quarter cooking school Le Foodist. More than just a gourmet French meal hosted by a professional sommelier and chef, there's also a storyteller who takes you through the history and anecdotes behind each iconic French dish. You'll even learn the French sabering technique for opening a bottle of Champagne (and yes, you get to drink it, too). A true cultural education, you'll have plenty of great anecdotes for your next cocktail party! The full 5-course dinner including wine pairings and Champagne is €150/person. 

April 10-12
The European Independent Film Festival showcases the best independent films from around the world in Paris cinemas. 

Other Paris Calendar Links


Paris Events Calendar - January/February 2015

NOTE: Heather will be in the US for the Naughty Paris Book Tour January 25th-February 15th, check out the tour schedule of the fun events in five cities here!

Through January 3
A small "Village du Père Noël" with 30 chalets is set up outside Eglise St-Germain des Prés, open daily 11am-9pm. 

Through January 4
The annual Christmas Village on the Champs-Elysées includes over 200 chalets selling holiday gifts, local specialties, mulled wine, warm hats and gloves, toys, jewelry and every kind of sweet imaginable. There is also a fun Olympic-sized ice skating rink, amusement park rides for kids and Santa visits. There's a hand-made 11-meter tall Eiffel Tower and a "Village des Artisans" dedicated to handcrafted items made in France. A great place to wander with an appetite and a Christmas shopping list! I made a Christmas Village video three years ago, but this year's is much better in terms of quality and variety. Open daily 11am-11pm (until midnight Friday and Saturday).

Through January 4
The Grand Palais is hosting the largest indoor skating rink in France Le Grand Palais des Glaces beneath their glass and steel dome. Open daily from 10am until 8pm (earlier on the first two days and Christmas and New Year's Eve, check the schedule) and then in the evening from 9pm-2am with DJ and sound/light show. There is also hot drink and snack stands (sponsored by Ferro Rocher, whose name is all over the place). Kids 3-12 are €10, adults €15, and night entrance is €25 (price is with or without skates). Bag/coat check is €2/item. Tickets can be purchased online in advance. 

Through January 4
All of the Manèges, aka Carrousels de Paris, in the 3rd through 20th arrondissements of Paris are free for children for the holidays (my favorite is in the Jardins du Trocadéro, but the lines are longest). See the full list here. Open daily 11am-9pm.

Through January 4
If you saw Midnight in Paris you'll recognize the Musée des Arts Forains, a private museum of antique carnival and fair rides and decor in a stunning setting, open to the public for the holidays, La Festival du Merveilleux. Expect crowds, get there early and dress warmly! Open 10am-6pm, €12 entrance, €5 for kids under 12. 





Through January 5
The family-owned Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (the 17th-century palace that inspired Versailles) becomes a Christmas wonderland in December, decorated from top to bottom, each room in a different holiday theme, fireplaces ablaze, and holiday music playing. And at night the château facade and the gardens are lit with festive lights. It's a magical experience, not to be missed! And this year there's a special Snow White show for the whole family. Open the weekends of November 29-30, December 6-7, December 13-14, and every day from December 20-January 4th (closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day) from 10:30am-6pm. Entry €17.50; entry plus Snow White show from €22. 

January 7 - February 17
The annual Winter Sales, aka Les Soldes, take place beginning midnight in shops throughout France, particularly on clothing. 

January 8, 14, or 20
SOS Help, the confidential English listening line in Paris, needs volunteers for the coming season. If you're interested, you only need to attend one of the information sessions in January, 7pm at the American Church of Paris (65 Quai d'Orsay, 7th). All volunteers will need to be available for the initial training session on February 7.

January 11
There will be a Silent March today at 3pm from Place de la République to Nation in rememberance of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks.

Through January 11
The Kama-Sutra: Spirituality and Eroticism in Indian Art  explores one of the major texts of medieval Hinduism. Not recommended for anyone under 18 years, this exhibit at the excellent Pinacothèque de Paris (at the Place de la Madeleine) explores the erotic aesthetics specific to Indian cultural life and Hinduism through over 350 artworks including sculptures, paintings, miniatures, objects of daily life, and “pillow books”, illustrated "erotic education" works that were offered to the newlyweds until the 19th century. 

Through January 11
Nostalgic for the soulful songs of the legendary Parisian chanteuse Edith Piaf? Book a tabe now at sexy cabaret singer Caroline Nin's "Hymne à Piaf", a show using English storytelling and songs en français to remember one of the greatest French singers of all time. Shows are Thursday Dec 11, 18 and Jan 8 at 7:30pm; Sundays Dec 21, 28, and Jan 4, 11 at 6pm and 8pm; and a special New Year's Eve show with Champagne on Dec 31st at 8:45pm. Shows take place at the intimate Essaïon Theatre (6 rue Pierre au Lard, in the Marais, 4th). Tickets are €20-€80.



January 20
The private cocktail club The Chamber is hosting ne new event, "Booze & Sex: An Erotic Book Club for Women Only" tonight from 7-9pm. The first book will be Anaïs Nin's classic Delta of Venus, moderated by the author Shannon Cain. The club meets in a private home in the 15th; cocktails and munchies are supplied; tickets €25 (members) to €45 (non-members). Heather will be there with a few copies of Naughty Paris available at a special rate for members.

January 31 
The Chamber is hosting another private afternoon event, Tea & Tipples, where from 3:30-5:30pm you get free-flowing sparkly cocktails and sweet and savory treats from Gateaux Mama. At a private residence, price €34 for members, €54 for non-members. 

Through January 31
Thierry Mugler, who dressed all of the supermodels in the 1990s, has created a sexy, contemporary stage show Mugler Follies à la Cirque du Soleil with a talented troupe of dancers, acrobats, singers and performers paying homage to the human body in all its beauty. Expect pop music and over-the-top glamour as only this legendary French couturier can do. There are evening and daytime shows, with a full meal (catered by Fouquet's), Champagne, or just a seat. Tickets €39-€156. 

Through February 14
The Art of Love in the Time of Geishas In tandem with the exhibition Kama-Sutra, the Pinacothèque de Paris is also hosting an exhibition exploring the singular approach to erotic life and culture in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867). You can get a special discount by visiting both Pinacothèque exhibitions within the same day, available only directly at their ticket window. 

Through February 15
Skate on the Eiffel Tower! There is an ice skating rink on the first level of the Eiffel Tower, free for those who already have a ticket for the Tower, open daily 10:30am-10:30pm. Skip the line by taking the stairs, it will help you warm up, too! Skates size 25-47 (EU), gloves are required. 

Through February 15
At the Place de la Concorde is the Grande Roue Ferris Wheel. Each enclosed "car" holds six people. €10 for adult, €5 for kids under 10, open daily 11am-midnight (Fri-Sat until 1am).  

Through March 1
The Patinoire de Paris is a large ice skating rink in front of Hôtel de Ville. Free entry, €5 skate rental, gloves or mittens obligatory. 


Other Paris Calendar Links