Did you know that there are beaches in Paris? You must've thought of the French capital as this cosmopolitan city full of chic establishments, cool districts, and hip neighborhoods, right? You never would've thought that this place has its own beaches, but in fact, it has! Every summer, the Paris Plages open up to let the locals cool off by the Seine River. They're by no means near the paradises in the French Riviera
. and the rest of the Mediterranean, however, they're fun and refreshing in their own right. From their locations to what you can do, here are some of what you ought to know about the Paris Plages.
When and Where Are They?
The Paris Plages open up from mid-July up to the end of August. They started in 2002 and eventually became an annual tradition that locals and tourists alike look forward to. And though probably expect them near the ponds in the parks of Paris, they only pop up in two separate locations in the city. One is at the Parc Rives de Seine in the 7th arrondissement of Paris
, while the other is by Bassin de la Villette, the city's largest artificial lake. These are the only places where you can enjoy the (unofficial) beaches of Paris.
What Can Do You There?
Though they're both the Paris Plages, what you can do on each one is actually pretty different. You're freer to swim in the Bassin de la Villette since the water is more controlled here. It's the French capital's largest artificial lake, after all. The place even offers some watersports too. Meanwhile, the sand pit and blue beach umbrellas at the Parc Rives de Seine have a more seaside appeal to them. This is where you can sunbathe, play beach volleyball, go on picnics
, and more. Unfortunately, however, you're not allowed to swim in the Seine River.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Ken Eckert
Do You Have To Pay Anything?
Since these are annual events that only happen in summer, you expect to pay an entrance fee, right? Well, no, you don't have to! The Paris Plages are free and open to the general public. Whether you swim at Bassin de la Villette or relax under the blue parasol at Parc Rives de Seine, you don't have to pay anything. You will have to pay when you want to buy food at the nearby freshmen kiosks or rent equipment for watersports. But other than that, money is the least of your worries on these Paris beaches. Going here is an affordable way to enjoy summer in Paris.
What Should You Wear?
You're probably wondering if there's a dress code in the Paris Plages, right? Well, there isn't. Although these Paris beaches are still in the French capital, staying in these designated areas means you can get away with wearing swimwear, tankinis
, and more. Heck, if you want to wear a revealing bikini to get a sun tan by the Seine River, go on right ahead. You won't get arrested for public indecency. And of course, if you want to swim at Bassin de la Villette, you'll need to wear the appropriate swimsuit.
Source: Flickr.com/ Sharat Ganapati
Visiting the Paris Plages when it's summer is a great way to stay cool in the crowded French capital. But before you go there, you ought to know a few things about it. This way, you'll know how to best enjoy your time there!