Visiting Paris this summer? There are loads of great activities you can partake in with a real summery vibe – from free concerts, to having a picnic along the Seine, to visiting the beach – yes, there is a beach right in the heart of Paris!
Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) brings the beach to the city, to give those unable to holiday the taste of a vacation experience. Each year for about four weeks, hundreds of tonnes of sand are deposited at two places along the Seine to create a makeshift beach, with deck chairs and umbrellas; ice-cream stalls; pétanque (boules); tai chi lessons; and other entertainment.
This year’s fixture also includes a temporary Louvre gallery in the Tuileries tunnel, a miniature Eiffel Tower made from chairs, and an Instagram competition. And it you’re feeling energetic, detour from the river-side to the Hôtel de Ville for some “beach” volleyball or rugby!
There is a really good vibe: kids making sandcastles, people sunbathing…..it really does feel like you are on a holiday!
The only drawback is being unable to take a swim to cool off – though there are sprays/misters and a few fresh water showers to take the edge off the heat. Free water is also available to ensure you keep well hydrated.
There are two locations:
– One from Pont du Sully (near the Louvre) along past Notre Dame and Île de la Cité.
Access from metro stations: Louvre-Rivoli (Line 1), Pont-Neuf (Line 7), Châtelet (Lines 1, 4, 7, 11, 14) and Hôtel-de-Ville (Lines 1, 11);
– The other is in the north-east of Paris at Basin de la Villette (19th arrondissement).
Metro stations: Jaurès (Lines 2, 5, 7bis), Crimée (Line 7), Laumière (Line 5).
Paris Plages runs from 9am to midnight, from the 19th July until the 17th August.
So grab your towel and come and partake!
Picnic along the Seine
While you’re in the area, why not head up towards the Louvre and find a spot along the banks of the Seine for an evening picnic?
Near the Musée D’Orsay and the Louvre there are numerous “pop-up” (ie temporary) cafes, some with board games on the outside tables, as well as berthed boats along the river with bars.
But do note, there is no grass in this area, so take something to sit on (sarongs are great makeshift picnic blankets!).
Or if you’d prefer to get up close to the Louvre, find yourself a spot on the grassy section between the Tuileries gardens and the Louvre and sit amongst the locals for a picnic. It’s lovely in the evening to while away a few hours here and enjoy the ambience.
Fête des Tuileries
And to cap off your day, a bit of fun! Until the 28th August, there is a fete/funfair set up alongside Rue de Rivoli in the Tuileries gardens (Jardin des Tuileries). So tap into your inner child and get amongst it!
Rides to suit all tastes and levels of bravery are on offer – from the sedate options for the kids, to those strictly reserved for the truly courageous. And you’ll find plenty of fair-inspired food and drinks to keep you going.
Catch the metro to Concorde (Lines 1, 8, 12), Tuileries (Line 1), or Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (Line 1). Prices average 4-5€ per ride, while entrance to the fete is free of charge. The fete is open daily until midnight.
And from here, you can wander back into the Tuileries garden to finish off your summers’ day with a view of the lights sparkling on the Eiffel Tower, on the hour from nightfall until 2am, for five minutes.
Enjoy your summer in Paris!