Paris Plage: waiting for the magic

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Reviewed on 07/19/2011 | 2 Reviews

Places

When the Seine turns into a beach resort

Many Parisians have left the city by now, but for those who are still in town, Paris Plage is paradise. And this is true for you, too, when visiting Paris in July or August: the banks of the Seine are transformed into a huge beach resort. It’s fun, it’s the St-Tropez feeling in the center of Paris.

Photo: AFP, Lionel Bonaventure

Paris Plage opened on Thursday, 21st of July and will last four long weeks until Sunday, 21st of August, just a few days left. Right now, the weather doesn’t look like plage weather, it is somehow out of the summer-mode, but who cares? When it comes to Paris Plage, it’s not necessarily about sun-bathing and not at all about swimming. It’s much more about relaxing, having a good time and meeting people. This year is a special one: it’s already the 10th anniversary of the event.

Dolce far niente

For Philippe Picard, for example, the fisherman who spends every free minute, every single day fishing on the banks of the Seine, it’s definitely the best time of the year. He loves the atmosphere, the dolce far niente, the people observing him fishing and what he enjoys above all is chatting with people from all over the world.

This is not Saint-Tropez, this is Paris at its best - Photo: AFP

It was Philippe who told me that this year there will be even more sand than usual. It’s an anniversary, after all. So imagine: three times more sand than the previous years, 6000 tons, to be exact, enough to construct 20 houses, all this distributed onto the concrete where, in normal life, the cars are rushing through Paris. Instead of 200 metres, this will make a beach of one kilometer. Imagine then some 350 deck chairs, some hammocks, palm trees and beach umbrellas. Sit down under one and pray for sun…

A good read

Paris Plage is really fun. People play pétanque on the beach, they practise tai chi, they play beach volley (in front of the Mairie) or badminton, they jump on a trampoline, they take out pedalo boats (at Bassin de la Vilette) or they just come to relax and read a good book in a hammock.

It’s not only on the banks of the Seine that it happens. Simultaneously, other spots complete the scenery. The square in front of the Mairie de Paris is transformed into a huge beach and on the Bassin de la Villette in the North of Paris (18th arrondissement)  you will find all sorts of activities, both for children and adults. The beach there stretches from Rotonde de Ledoux (Métro: Jean Jaurès) to Rue de Crimée and features a proper water-sports complex (with rowing boats, kayaks, pedal boats and dinghies) alongside restaurants and boules courts.

Life is short

At nightfall, many nocturnal events take over, there will be free concerts everywhere. On the first nights, until 24th of July from 6.30 pm to 11 pm you can listen to Moriarty, Catherine Ringer, Christophe and Mademoiselle K in front of the Mairie. For a detailed program have a look here.

Is there any batter way to spend your evening than listening to a free concert while sipping a cockatil, feet in the sand, and waiting for midnight in Paris when the magic happens? Life is short, so enjoy!

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  1. Jenie 19 July 2011 Reply

    Great Write-up..love it. Someday…very soon I will visit or just maybe Stay.

    • martinam 19 July 2011

      Why don’t you just come and stay? It’s your life – and it’s possible. Isn’t it?

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