For Parisians and visitors alike, Paris Plages 2014 is the hottest and the coolest place in Paris – the place to see and be Seine!
In 2002, someone in Paris had a great idea to make life more fun for those stuck in the metropolis during the long hot summer months – they would bring the beach to the city.
The concept of Paris Plages is to give city dwellers the chance to enjoy a seaside holiday right in the centre of town. To do this, areas of the banks of the River Seine are transformed for four weeks from mid July to mid-August to become Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) and they are open to everyone to enjoy from 09.00 – midnight.
Sandy beaches with palm trees, deckchairs, ice cream sellers, beach sports and concerts – Paris Plages is your typical French beach resort except it’s on a river in the most populated city in France.
Where is Paris Plages 2014?
The Seine’s banks become pedestrianised and 5000 tons of artificial sand are brought in to create beaches spread across three stunning spots (Louvre/Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare and Bassin de la Villette).
From the Louvre to Pont de Sully: This was the first beach that opened in 2002 and it runs for 3km through historic Paris. There are open-air attractions like the ever popular in Paris rollerblading, tai-chi, wall climbing and boules, or, you can just chill and enjoy the refreshment areas, play areas and deckchairs.
Bassin de la Villette: This is the latest addition to Paris Plages, and opened in 2007 round Bassin de la Villette (19th Arrondissement). It stretches from Rotonde de Ledoux (Jaurès Metro station) to the former Magasins Généraux (in Rue de Crimée) and features a proper water-sports complex with rowing boats, kayaks, pedal boats and dinghies alongside quaint quay-side restaurants and boules courts. Holidaymakers can borrow books free of charge, play beach volley, take an aqua gym class in a mini pool, or kayak around the lake. There are plenty of places for drinks or something to eat and on a hot summer evening its hard to think of anywhere nicer to be in the city than here.
There is a full programme of concerts, cinema, sand castle contests, ball room dancing, water sports – over thirty events are organised to take place during the month of Paris Plages. For visitors to France during this time – unusually, this beach is a must see for a city break.
Paris Plages 2014 : from 19 July to 17 August
All Paris Plages beaches are open non-stop from 9.00 am to midnight.
More info and a map of the Paris Plages areas here: quefaire.paris.fr
More cool places in Paris: Canal St Martin, Parc Monceau, best chocolate shops in Paris