View of the Parisian skyline from the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Paris, France is a city so unique that it offers many opportunities for visitors and locals alike. With the sun shining and the steadiness of the breeze in the summertime, this spectacular city welcomes you with open arms with many seasonal events. Our 2015 summer guide will give you many options for how to spend your time on your trip to Paris in the warmer months.
See Outdoor Movies in Paris
Enjoy the fresh air of summer with an outdoor movie! There is no need to spend an afternoon cooped up in a theater while the weather is so pleasant. The Cinema en Plein Air is an outdoor film festival held in the Prairie du Triangle, within Parc de la Villette from July 22nd to August 23rd. Learn more about this famous open air festival. Another great outdoor film festival is the Cinema au Clair de Lune. Hosted by the Forum des Images, this festival will be held from July 30th to August 10th . This festival rotates around the Arrondissements for 9 nights of free films! Bring some snacks and relax under the stars while watching a classic movie. Discover our vacation rentals in the 19th Arrondissement to keep close to all the action! Read the entire story here…»
The Louvre, the iconic museum that holds Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
While some believe that bringing kids on a vacation could only cause complications, there is no need to fret when planning a Parisian summer getaway. We have compiled the best kid-friendly activities in the bustling city of Paris! Ranging from trips to zoos to beach getaways on the Seine, these fun activities will provide great memories for all children!
1. Visit Paris’ Fairs
Paris has numerous fairs in the summer which provide great activities for those of all ages. The Fête des Tuileries is a traditional fair held in the Tuileries Gardens from late June to late August. This fair has a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and rollercoasters for everyone in the family. Also, a fair could not be considered a fair without extraordinary food! Specializing in crepes, churros and beignets, this fair will satisfy the sweet tooth of adults and children alike. Check out furnished apartments in the 1st Arrondissement, where this festival takes place. Another Parisian must-see fair is the Fête des Loges, the city’s oldest fair, which can be dated back to 1652. Very similar to the Fête des Tuileries in style, there are many attractions for your little ones such as carnival games and age appropriate roller coasters. What is unique to this fair is its excellent food selection. While the traditional fair food is present, multiple restaurants serve their gourmet dishes for all to enjoy. Read the entire story here…»
The famous carousel outside the Eiffel Tower
Traveling is a joy – it broadens horizons and brings people together to share stories and laughs. The experience is made all the more memorable when you travel with your family. But when everyone is paired off into different hotel rooms it can sometimes feel like you’re not traveling together at all. The solution? A vacation rental with enough space for the whole crew. In this post we’ve chosen a few of the best examples of family-friendly apartments in Paris everyone is sure to love.
1. Three-Bedroom vacation rental in Bastille
A literary haven in Bastille (PA-2820)
Walking into this charming Bastille apartment is like stepping into the secret library in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Colorful books on every subject are artfully tucked into whitewashed bookshelves stretching across multiple walls throughout the apartment. They pop like pieces of candy against the neutral hardwood floors and pale furniture, encouraging everyone who sees them to pick one up and flip through Paris’s rich culture. This dual-story apartment is located on the third floor of a four story walk up (find out why Paris has so many stairs!), and has a king, queen, and twin bed between its three bedrooms. The neighborhood itself is one of the most historic districts in Paris, within walking distance of the Notre Dame Cathedral as well as the Musee du Fumeur and Pont de Bercy. The closest metro stations include the Bastille and the Gare de Lyon. Read the entire story here…»
Exploring the Eiffel Tower in the snow is magical
Often when we think of winter activities for kids we think of Christmas – visiting Santa and baking cookies – but what is there to do once all the Christmas decorations are down and the presents are unwrapped? Contrary to popular belief, there are lots of things to do with your family for a winter holiday vacation well after the holiday season has drawn to a close. This is especially true in Paris, where wintertime is a season of bustling activity! Although there is no shortage of kid-friendly activities in the City of Lights, these are a few of the ones we think are the best.
1. Go Ice Skating
Ice Skating in front of City Hall? Don’t mind if we do.
Unlike in the United States, many of the city’s winter ice skating rinks stay open for weeks and months after the holidays. Popular indoor skating centers include the Patinoire Pailleron and the Patinoire Sonja Henie. However, the most famous and popular of all ice rinks in Paris is hands down the Patinoire de L’Hôtel de Ville, the ice rink in front of City Hall. Be sure to admire the surrounding architecture, as much of Paris was redesigned in the late nineteen hundreds in the Haussman style. In fact, that’s part of why Paris has so many stairs! Read the entire story here…»
Stairs separate the busy city from the quiet Seine river.
“Why isn’t there an elevator in my apartment building? I have to walk up multiple flights of stairs!” This is the cry of the beleaguered traveler who, after a long flight, is dismayed to note that he or she will have to carry heavy bags up several stairs before taking a well-deserved nap. Fear not, beleaguered traveler! We hear you! You’re not alone in your lament! In this article we hope to help you understand why your building was designed without a nice, roomy elevator, and why this might actually be a good thing.
But first, strap yourself in for a teensy bit of history.
1. Upward Mobility and the Social Standing of Stairs
The grand style of Haussmann’s rebuilding of Paris
Paris was a pretty dismal place in the mid-nineteenth century. Medieval streets twisted aimlessly through dark, leaning buildings and roads were often barely wide enough for one cart to pass through. In 1853, Napoleon III appointed George Haussmann to open, unify, and embellish Paris. The sweeping style and delicate filigree that characterizes Paris today is largely a result of that work. But with a new architectural order came a new social order, at the center of which was a building’s stairs. Read the entire story here…»
See the Christmas tree in the plaza in front of the Notre Dame
The trees have lost their leaves and each morning is now greeted with a dusting of frost. Lights gleam off the lingering ice as the smell of King Cake drifts through the air. Winter is falling over Paris, but the city itself is more active than ever. From holiday markets and ice skating to parties and events, there’s no better time to visit Paris than during the Christmas season.
In this article we’ve covered the most interesting and exciting events in the city, so be sure to let us know what you think!
Holiday markets along the Champs Elysées are a great place to pick up last-minute gifts. Photo: Steve Shupe.
A city in a snow globe, there’s nothing more romantic than roaming the holiday markets in Paris as crisp winter winds ruffle artfully placed hats. Although little markets spring up all over the city, these are some of our favorites.
- As the most iconic street in Paris, the Champs Elysées is a prime attraction during the holiday season. In fact, it’s the only street that makes our list of the Top 10 Must-See Sights in Paris! The Christmas market at the Champs Elysées consists of one hundred chalets from the Vosges region. This arts and crafts market offers a wide selection of gifts and holiday food, including everything from arts and crafts to mulled wine and crepes. It runs from November 14th through January 4th, and be sure to stop by at night to see the Big Wheel illuminated. Read the entire story here…»
The Eiffel Tower is a sight to be seen in the springtime
When asked to associate a color with the city of Paris, what springs to mind first? Perhaps gray, represented in the victorious icon of the Arc de Triomphe or the neoclassical apartments curved along its streets? Or maybe red, the chosen hue of passion and romance — after all, Paris is known as the City of Love. What about green? It may not be the first color you’d think of, but it’s certainly true: Paris abounds not only with world-famous museums and eateries, but with bountiful parklands as well. Here we’ve assembled a list of our ten favorite greeneries throughout the French capital.
1. Jardin des Tuileries
The famous and centrally located Jardin des Tuileries is a must-see slice of Parisian parkland
Sporting an illustrious history (it was created by Catherine de’ Medici, Queen of France), Paris’s largest and oldest garden sprawls between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. (The art museum, in fact, runs the parkland; Jardin des Tuileries does not belong to the Parisian government.) Aside from the best people watching you’ll find anywhere in Paris, the expanse offers countless activities: a collection of sculptures to browse underneath the wide open sky; Fête des Tuileries, which transforms the park into a summertime fairground with games, a Ferris wheel, and other attractions; scale-model boat sailing to delight the youngest members of your party; and the Musée de l’Orangerie, which displays impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces – think Monet and Matisse – to the public. Read the entire story here…»
Think Paris is best experienced in the summertime or Christmas season? Think again! The French capital is a perfect complement to the changing seasons, so you are guaranteed a wonderful trip no matter what time of year you visit. Here are some of our favorite annual events to guide your itinerary in the City of Light!
International Agricultural Show
and other livestock are the stars of the International Agricultural Show
It’s the largest week-long farm tour you’ll ever experience. Since its origins as the General Agricultural Competition in 1870, the International Agricultural Show has grown to not only showcase France’s livestock, but the best regional, dairy, organic, and wine products from dozens of countries! Four separate sections make up the exhibition: horses, sheep, cows, dogs, cats, and other farm animals; gastronomic delights such as produce and wine; gardens of crops and greenery; and professional discussions on the ever-changing business of agriculture.
In order to accommodate its extensive display, the International Agricultural Show moved to the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre and has remained there since 1925. As if in accordance with the approaching spring, the fair is generally held in the last week of February, sometimes encompassing the first few days of March, from 9am to 7pm. Access to the venue is easy via public transportation; the Metro (line 12 has a station called Porte de Versailles), tramway, or bus will get you there! Tickets cost 13€ for adults, 6€ for students and children between the ages of 6 to 12 years old, 9€ for disabled individuals, and free for children under the age of 6. While you’re there, snap a photo with the expo’s current animal ambassador! Read the entire story here…»
Just like in any other big city, the streets of Paris are mixed with tourists and locals alike – so it’s important for everyone to get along! There is no need to be afraid of the French – they are very nice people! But keep in mind etiquette is important to keep peace, show respect and make friends. After all, the better you know the culture, the more rich and authentic your Parisian experience will be. Listed below are our tips on the most important etiquette in Paris.
1. Learn a few words in French
Locals really appreciate a tourist who tries to speak the language. It shows a love of French culture and a desire to learn more. Don’t worry if you can’t get the accent right – the locals will think it’s cute when you pronounce a word wrong! It’s the thought behind the language that counts, oui? This tip will likely work to your advantage while communicating with a native. He or she is likely to respond more thoroughly to a foreigner who speaks a bit of French! If the conversation gets to be too difficult to understand, ask the person if he or she speaks English. Most French people do speak English in addition to French, especially the younger generations.
2. Know the geography of the city
The Eiffel Tower in Paris.
In order to maximize your traveling experience it’s important to know the layout of the city. This way you won’t waste time getting lost – or asking strangers for help! Get familiar with the twenty arrondissements (districts) of the city. These arrondissements are divided by the Seine River in the center of the city, separating districts into “left bank” and “right bank”. The right bank includes the 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 arrondissements – the rest are on the left (south) bank! Looking for a tip to navigating the districts? Here’s a clue – the arrondissements are arranged in a spiral, starting at the center of the city near the Louvre. The higher the district number you are in, the further you are from the city center. Read the entire story here…»
The Eiffel Tower and Trocadero fountains during the summer.
It’s that time of year again! The birds are singing, the sky is blue, and Paris is just opening its arms to the crop of tourists and lovers for this year’s summer season. Paris is one of those cities where it’s easy to be lucky in love – but whether you fall for tucked-away art cafés or swoon over watching the Eiffel Tower light up at dusk is up to you. If you’ve something a little more eclectic in mind, read on and let us know what you think about these outside-the-box popular seasonal events!
Watch Outdoor Movies in Paris
Why sit inside a dark, stuffy theater when it’s so pleasant outside? Every year Parisians and visitors alike look forward to summertime outdoor movie screenings throughout the city. Whether you bring a date or a picnic basket (or both!) it won’t take you long to figure out why this is one of Paris’s most eagerly-anticipated activities of the summer.
- Sate your movie-watching cravings with a trip to the famous Cinema en Plein Air. The movie green is easily found in the Parc de la Vilette from July 23rd to August 27th. Tickets are €7 per show or €20 for five shows. There’s a new show every weeknight, drawing from French and American classics like Super 8, The Social Network, Ocean’s Eleven, and Hôtel Woodstock. Read the entire story here…»