Paris Plages – A Pop-Up Beach in the Heart of the City
It’s going to be a very hot summer in Paris this year, but between the air-conditioned flats at Apartments du Louvre and the beach resort, known as “Paris Plages”, we’ve got you covered. When you feel the need for a cool break from the stress of summer tourism, just take a lazy stroll down to the Seine and enjoy the 22nd edition of Paris-Plages, the annual summer event that brings the seaside to Paris. It’s fun and free!
On the Waterfront
Paris Plages, on the right bank of the Seine near Apartments du Louvre (called Parc Rives de Seine) extends from the Pont des Arts to Pont de Sully. The event is happening from July 8th to September 3rd 2023, open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. But what is it exactly? It’s a waterfront resort with parasols, palm trees, lounging chairs and quite a few “water misters” to cool you down. There are also ice cream stands, restaurants, public toilets and changing stalls, as well as playground and relaxation areas. Daily events, concerts and exhibitions are on the program. You can just stroll, relax with a good book (from the open-air library), play foosball (“baby-foot”) or chess, dance or take in all the historic sights that the sublime Parisian riverside has to offer.
For the sportier tourists, there is also a Swedish gym, tai chi (on weekend mornings, 10 AM -noon), boxing, mini-golf and activity areas for kids. The quays are car-free so running, biking and just plain walking are other ways to enjoy the vacation vibe and stay in shape at the same time. At “Ludo-Plages”, designed for 3-7 years olds, children can try the climbing wall or bounce on a trampoline. There’s literally something for everyone.
A Bit of History
The original Paris Plage was created in 2002 by the then-mayor, Bertrand Delanoe. The idea behind this first artificial beach was to offer a seaside holiday to the Parisians who could not afford to go on vacation. Now, this summer event boasts 4 million annual visitors and offers five locations scattered along the waterfront – the esplanade of Hotel de Ville, Parc Rives de Seine, Quai de Loire, Quai de Seine and, the place where you can actually swim, at the Bassin de la Villette. Altogether, that’s 7 kilometers of your own personal Parisian summer camp.
New This Year
Paris-Plages never ceases to evolve, and the 2023 edition has really outdone itself. For the first time, you can enjoy canoeing and kayaking at the nautical base set up on the Quai de la Rapee, called “Bain Marie”. It’s open only on Sunday mornings during Paris-Plages, from 8:00 AM-11:45 AM. You must be at least 15 years old to use the equipment. It’s free and you cannot reserve a spot so get there early! Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
This year, in celebration of the surfing events programmed in French Polynesia for the 2024 Olympics, Paris-Plages is honoring Tahiti, the host-city of the competition and the only Olympic location which is located outside of mainland France. Paris has commissioned legendary French street artist “Babs” to create a street art mural in the Henri IV tunnel. The theme is (you guessed it) the 2024 Summer Games taking place in Teahupo’o, Tahiti. You can take a guided tour and see the progression of this original artwork with the Urban Art Crew, every weekend from 5:00-7:00 PM from July 22nd through September 3rd. For more information related to Paris-Plages, go to the official website at www.paris.fr.
At the end (or the beginning) of your Paris-Plages vacation stroll, Apartments du Louvre recommends that you stop for refreshments and/or tapas at the Scilicet, a Parisian pop-up extra-large terrace, the perfect beach garden. It’s located at 134 Voie Georges Pompidou, in between Pont Neuf and Pont au Change. It’s across from the Conciergerie, the medieval palace that became a courthouse and Marie-Antoinette’s prison during the French Revolution. It’s an exceptional place to contemplate this exceptional Parisian beach.