Paris Plages (Beaches)
Paris Plages © Peter Haas
Two thousand tons of sand and some palm trees is all that is needed to annually transform the right bank of the Seine into a manmade beach worthy of the French capital. The Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) is a highly popular, free 'event' instituted by the City Fathers in 2002, that attracts millions of visitors to its shores. Between July and August, land-locked city dwellers can enjoy sun, fun and themed activities, without the usual Parisian price tag. A recent addition is a large swimming pool - good news for those seeking some relief from the summer sun, especially as the dirty water of the Seine itself is not a welcome thought. Other activities on offer include beach volleyball, kayaking, aerobic classes in the pool and free concerts. There are deck chairs strewn about for public use, ice-cream vendors ply the crowds and one can even borrow a book to read while lounging, free of charge. The Paris beach is usually concentrated around three main areas on the river bank: the Louvre/Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare, and Bassin de la Villette.
Venue: The right bank of the river Siene
Date: Mid-July to mid-August annually