Set the scene: you’re in Paris in the midst of a heat-wave and you’re looking for things to do. The city is buzzing, bustling and boiling hot – and if you’re not acclimatised yet, it can be a testing time. Although the city is rich in culture and history, with more landmarks and monuments than you can shake a stick at, sometimes you want a break from convention and to try something new.
You’ve done the Louvre; check, the Orsay Museum; check, but have you watched a film in an open air cinema or slipped your feet into the sand on the banks of the Seine? No, didn’t think so.
If you’re coming to Paris this summer and are looking for some different things to do that might not be in your guidebook, experience Paris like you’ve never done before – and if it’s your first time in the capital these summer events are a must – and we promise, in the words of Edith Pilaf, you’ll be singing, non, je ne regretted rien.
20th July – 20th August 2014
From the banks of the Seine, sit back and enjoy the sun as you lie back on your towel sipping a cocktail. Are you sure we’re in Paris? Yes! You might think you’re in the Caribbean but you’re still deep within the heart of Paris. Paris Plage, meaning Paris Beach, has been the city’s most anticipated summer event since 2002 when it first started. To bring a bit of the coast to the capital, hot spots along the Seine are transformed into beaches, complete with deckchairs, parasols, beach huts selling ice creams and at night hosting live acts as the beach turns into a bar.
Dotted along the river there are three spots to choose from for a city beach-break. The Louvre to Pont de Sully is the longest, spanning three kilometres, and was the first beach to open in 2002. Running along some of the most historical sights in Paris, including the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle, it’s a great beach if you enjoy rollerblading, tai-chi, wall climbing and even boules – the best way to indulge in some friendly competition to keep everyone on their toes.
Bassin de la Villette is the newest beach to be added to the collection, having opened in 2007, stretching from la Rotonde de Ledoux to the old Magasins Généraux. Here, there’s a focus on water sports and visitors can enjoy rowing, pedal boats, kayaking and beach volley ball. If you fancy a swim, have a splash in one of the pools suspended over the Seine for a totally unique experience. Paris Plage is one of the best things to do with the family and it’s the perfect place to get everyone involved. Open every day from 8am until midnight you can even return after nightfall for a beach party, too.
Open Air Cinema
23rd July – 24th August 2014
If you’re in Paris with a loved one there’s nothing more romantic than watching a film under the stars, after night fall. This summer for 4 weeks the Open Air cinema at Parc Villette returns with a host of great films. From horror to history, comedy and classics catch a wide range of films this summer at Paris’ top event area.
This year, the theme is Teenagers. Appropriate for a bit of nostalgia or to get your kids involved in some contemporary culture, it’s a great topic to explore on the big screen. From Hollywood favourites to the best of European cinema, even a series of short films by up and coming film-makers premiering their directorial debuts; it’s a busy summer head. Pack a picnic and some good French wine (or Orangina for the kids) and spread out under the sky as you sit back and relax – altogether forgetting you’re in central Paris!
What’s on? Classics like Scream 4 (not one for the faint-hearted) and Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, to Brit- culture Deep End and the French In Our Love; as well as the feel-good sing-song Hairspray and Sophia Coppola’s Somewhere – there’s a wide range of genres all covered under the theme of the adolescent. At only 7€ a ticket, it’s a bargain and a really unique experience – you’ll never be asking for things to do in Paris again!
Want to do more in Paris while saving money? With The Paris Pass you can explore Paris for free with the Travelcard included in your package, as well as make the most of free entry into the most popular museums and art galleries. Learn more, here…
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