Logo mobile button
Home Sightseeing Cruises & Ports Top 11 Tourist Mistakes
Where to Stay Transportation More Topics About Us

Paris Plage

"Paris Beach"

Paris Plage photo

ABOVE: Sunbathers on the Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville.

Paris Plage sunbatherIn the summer of 2002, the new mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, announced Paris Plage, or "Paris Beach," as a way to bring the seaside to his city's citizens. The expressway along the Right Bank of the Seine was closed to cars, covered with nearly 2,000 tons of sand, and dotted with chaises longues, beach umbrellas, and palm trees. The Hôtel de Ville, or City Hall, also had a beach set up in front of its elegant neo-French Renaissance façade.

Paris Plage man in beach chairOver the years, Paris Plage has reappeared in a slightly different guise each July. The details may change, but every summer's beach production is true to the original concept: a refuge for city-dwellers who'd rather be at the seashore but are grateful for a few hours of recreation (and, with luck, sunshine) along the Seine.

Since 2007, a second Paris Plage has attracted parkgoers to the Bassin de la Villette in the northern part of the city, which is connected to the Seine by the Canal St-Martin. The Villette beach has pedalboats and other features that aren't available on the original riverside beach, but both versions of Paris Plage have plenty of sand, musical performances, sports, and other activities for visitors of all ages.

The Paris Plage season starts around July 20 each year, and the beaches remain open for a month. If you expect to be in Paris in late July through late August, bring your bathing suit and a beach towel, and prepare to join the crowd.

(Warning to streakers and gawkers: Topless bathing isn't allowed on the Paris Plage beaches; you're in the big city, not on the Côte d'Azur.)

Next page: More Paris Plage photos

In this article:
Paris Plage
More photos

Top photo copyright © Paris Tourist Office. Photographer: Catherine Balet.
Inset photos copyright © am29.

"Best of the Web"
- Forbes and The Washington Post

Booking.com button

Guaranteed lowest rates from
Europe's No. 1 booking service:

  arrow  All Paris hotels

  arrow  Romantic & honeymoon hotels

  arrow  Luxury hotels

  arrow  Budget hotels

  arrow  CDG airport hotels

  arrow  Paris vacation apartments


Copyright (c) iStockphoto/arosoft

Need a car in Europe?

If you live outside the EU, a tax-free Renault or Peugeot tourist car lease can be cheaper than renting for visits of three weeks or longer--especially in France.

Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age limit, and rates include insurance.

  arrow  Short-term tourist car leases

(c) iStockphoto/Imre Cicajlo

Airport transfers and sightseeing:

  arrow  Paris airport shuttles

  arrow  Paris Pass

  arrow  All Paris tours and activities

Viator logo

More travel advice: