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Every summer since 2002, 3.5km of the Seine’s right bank (Paris 1 and Paris 4) are covered with sand and this piece of the city is invaded by colorful umbrellas, deckchairs and beach stand. This artificial beach, with views of the Eiffel Tower, is the perfect scenario to drink some caipirinhas with friends under the sun.
Paris Plages ’ first objective is to propose a kind of “city escape” for those Parisians who don’t have the means to travel to the seaside or the countryside during summer. Since the beginning, the idea was so well accepted by Parisians and tourists that it gets more and more visitors. Last year Paris Plages hit the record of more than 4 million visitors in just one month!
Paris Plages is also a good opportunity to reduce traffic pollution and noise in the center of Paris. From 21st July to 21st August this sector of the rapid way George-Pompidou is cut to traffic which is a pleasure (and a relief!) for pedestrians.
The event has two main locations: Voie George-Pompidou and le Bassin de la Villette.
PARIS PLAGES: VOIE GEORGE-POMPIDOU
From Pont des Arts (Paris 1) to Pont de Sully (Paris 4), this is the fanciest part. Beach stalls, sunbathing areas, picnic areas but also playgrounds for kids and guinguettes for adults.
Art lovers will be happy to know that Louvre Museum and Modern Art Museum are also there with a part of their collections (well, reproductions we mean) related to the sea.
PARIS PLAGES: LE BASSIN DE LA VILLETTE
This part of Paris Plages in Paris 19 is more focused on water games. It is also more popular with kids: water-rollers, paddle boats, electric boats, kayaks. . . impossible to get bored!
Other Paris Plages locations are Elisabeth Plage (Paris 14) and Louis-Lumière Plage (Paris 20). The Hotel de Ville Square usually has some beach related amenities as well.
Paris was not the first city to invent this concept (it was the French city of Saint Quentin in 1996) but it was the first international city to propose it. Since then, other European cities followed and today you can find the Paris Plages concept in Berlin, Budapest, Bruxelles or Metz.
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