Parisian Living

Sun by the Seine: Paris Plages ’09

by Tory Hoen

parisplage3Photo courtesy of

Visitors to Paris now have one more item to add to their agendas: the beach! Paris is primed for what is perhaps the least logical—but most fun—event of the summer: Paris Plages, which kicks off July 20th. For the 8th year in a row, the banks of the Seine have been converted into a veritable beach, complete with deckchairs, cabanas, “aqua-gyms,” pétanque courts, ping pong, fencing, picnic tables, canoes and paddle boats. The sand has arrived, the palm trees have been installed, the sun is shining, the Seine is sparkling, and all of Paris is ready for beach season to begin! 

Courtesy of of

Paris Plages runs from July 20th through August 20th, with a variety of daytime and nighttime activities on the program.  This year, the main beach is situated along the Seine’s Right Bank between Hotel de Ville and the Bastille area (4eme). Another stretch of beach has been constructed along the canal in Parc de la Villette (19eme). A third Paris Plages area has been set up in front of Hotel de Ville (4eme). The beaches are open everyday, and visitors are encouraged to come and lounge on deckchairs, picnic with friends, and spend the day partaking in the many child and adult-friendly activities available.

Activities include foosball, fencing, Tai Chi, pétanque, ping pong, boating activities, dance classes, climbing walls and aqua-gyms for those who want to get in a quick workout. Artisans and vendors will sell crafts, food, and drinks along the beach. For those who want to cool off, the famous Josephine Baker swimming pool (on the Left Bank at the foot of the Francois Mitterrand National Library) provides an urban oasis. The pool is open to the public everyday for an entry fee of 3 Euros. After a long day in the sun, visitors can stroll along the quais and catch some of the impromptu dance performances that take place on and around many of the bridges.

paris-plage-logo2For many, the main draw of Paris Plages is the free Fnac-sponsored concerts that happen each weekend as part of the Fnac Indétendances Festival. This year’s 8 concerts will take place at Hotel de Ville and will feature 30 artists/groups over the course of the summer. These concerts highlight artists who are either self-produced or signed with independent labels, and they provide a great opportunity for visitors to discover new and up-and-coming musicians. This year’s line-up will include Amadou & Mariam, Neneh Cherry, the Naïve New Beaters, Joseph Arthur and Joseph d’Anvers, among others. For the entire program, click here.

Make sure to take advantage of Paris Plages between July 20-Aug 20.

All Paris Plages-related activities and events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

For Haven in Paris rental apartments within walking distance of the main beach:

au Roi Dore, Elzevir, Lesdiguieres, Designer Penthouse w/ Terrace, Bac Penthouse w/ Terrace, Boulangers, Champollion, Ecoles, Rue du Four, Mazarine, St. Germain Luxe, St. Peres, Universite, Rosiers, Place des Vosges, and Vieux Colombier

Written By

Tory Hoen

Tory Henwood Hoen is a former Paris resident who now lives in Brooklyn. Her debut novel, The Arc, is available in bookshops near you and online View Tory Hoen's Website

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