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Sun, Sand, and Fun on the Seine at Paris Plages (Paris Beach)


Paris Plages in 2007.

Paris Plage in 2007.

©2007 Courtney Traub.

What Would Summer in Paris Be Without Its Beach?:

Inaugurated in 2002, Paris Beach (or "Paris Plages" in French) is a free summer event that transforms several spots in Paris into full-fledged beaches, each with a distinct theme. The brainchild of Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, well-known for launching ambitious municipal events, Paris Plage, which was initially criticized by some as costly and frivolous, has become a permanent fixture in the Parisian summertime scene. From sunning in the sand to swimming in pools suspended over the Seine, kayaking, or enjoying free evening concerts, Paris Plage offers activities that everyone will enjoy-- and is especially ideal if you're visiting Paris with kids.

2013 Locations and Hours:

The beach will be open daily between July 20th to August 18th, from 8:00 a.m. to midnight. In 2013, Paris Plages has three main locations: on the right bank of the Seine stretching from the Louvre to the Pont de Sully; along a stretch of the southern part of the River near the Port de la Gare station, and along the canal called the "Bassin de la Villette" (near metro Jaures/Stalingrad), in northeastern Paris (19th arrondissement).

Accessibility to the Beaches:

All Paris beach sites have been designed to be as accessible as possible to visitors in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. Ramps allow easy access to beaches. Water fountains, swimming pools, and some boats at the Villette site are also accessible.

The Beaches in Pictures:

Get a sense of the fun that can be had by taking a look at our Paris Beach in Pictures photo gallery.
Also see this gallery from Paris Plages 2010.

Free Concerts:

Every year, a score of free concerts are held in tandem with Paris Plages, bringing an exciting lineup of contemporary artists to liven up the evenings at the makeshift beaches. The FNAC Live festival will take place this year in front of Hotel de Ville from July 18th to 21st.

Activities and Ambiance:

  • "Traditional" Beach (Pont Neuf to Pont de Sully:: This is the most traditional of the three Paris Beach locations and features sand and grass beaches ( parasols and chaise longues (free rental), fountains and mini pools for cooling off, and a variety of sports and games. Boardwalk-style cafes and snack bars line the beach, and at night a series of free concerts liven up the strip.

  • Water Sports and Boating at La Villette: For water sports enthusiasts, the beach of choice will be at La Villette. Kayaks, pedalboats, sailboats, canoes, and more are open to the public at no charge until 9:00 p.m., with instructors on the scene to help ensure a safe experience. You'll be able to glide along over 53,000 square feet of water, and after boating, a cold drink on one of the beach's waterside cafes will be in order.

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