Paris’ Seineside Seaside: Paris Plage
The day I land home, the Plage opens…Paris Plage, that is! From July 20th to August 18th, the banks of the River Seine will transform into Paris’ own rendition of a beach, free from cars and filled with sand and seaside activities.
It’s amazing, really. In a matter of hours, the quays are transformed and just as quickly on August 18th, they are returned to their original state. This is one idea Monsieur le Maire had that has changed the landscape of the city of what could be eternity, as long as enough of us take advantage of it and enjoy the Seineside seaside.
Complete with sandy beaches, deck chairs, ice cream sellers, and concerts, book-lending, volleyball, aqua-gym classes, kayaking and just chilling out — the River Seine becomes pedestrian and the ‘beaches’ are spread across three spots: Louvre/Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare and Bassin de la Villette.
From the Louvre to Pont de Sully was the first beach that opened in 2002. It spans three kilometers through historical Paris, and features open-air attractions such as rollerblading, tai-chi, wall climbing, boules and more. There are refreshment areas, play areas and deck chairs for unwinding by the riverside.
The Plage at the Bassin de la Villette is the latest addition having opened in 2007 in the 19th arrondissement. It stretches from Rotonde de Ledoux (nearest Jaurès Métro 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.
Open non-stop from 8 a.m. to midnight for four weeks, what once was a rather dull time of year to be in the city has taken on a whole new life. To kick it off, from July 18 to 21, the FNAC Live Festival will be held in front of the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) with more than 30 artists scheduled to appear: Mesparrow, Granville, Isaac Delusion, Olivia Ruiz, Jacques Higelin, Oxmo Puccino, Alex Beaupain and more. Naturally, the concerts are free of charge.
In addition, and for the very first time, more ‘intimate’ concerts will be held at the Salon des Arcades in the City Hall. Every Friday and Saturday from July 26 to August 18, eight live shows (concerts, opera, dance, etc.) will be broadcast on a giant screen in front of the City Hall, in partnership with Culturebox (France Télévisions).
At the Bassin de la Villette Plage, an electric kart circuit for kids will be offered by the French Motorsports Federation. A zip-line will link the two banks of the bay. (I can’t wait to try this!) Then, there will be 45 water crafts — from the most traditional to the more offbeat (pedalos, fishing boats, rowing boats, etc.), awaiting budding sailors.
If all you do is stroll along the quays or go for an evening “repas” Seineside, don’t miss it. It’s a little piece of Paris heaven that comes but once a year!
Find the full program of events here: quefaire.paris.fr.
You can see a panoramic view of Paris Plage 2012.
There is also a PDF plan of Paris Plage Seine and Bassin de la Villette.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris & Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
P.S. Parler Paris Apartments has it’s own Paris Plage! If you want the luxury of a terrace, air-conditioning and a lift up to a roof-top view of Le Marais, then be sure to book your stay at La Paris Plage along with it’s own Studette, Le Parisol! Visit La Paris Plage for more information.
P.P.S. Get a deal on your stay in Paris or Nice! Last minute cancellations have created last minute availablilities. La Belle Notre Dame, available July 20, 2013 to July 28,2013 and La Côte du Paradis, available July 28, 2013 to August 3, 2013 can be yours for these dates at 15% off the total of the stay! Book now at Parler Paris Apartments or email us at [email protected]