Paris Plages

Mark your calendars; the 12th edition of Paris Plages will kick off on July 19th and last until August 17th. The brainchild of former mayor Bertrand Delanoë, the annual event is a popular summer pasttime, as Parisians and visitors alike flock to the artificial beaches installed on the Seine’s right bank and the Bassin de la Villette.

The original concept, benefiting Parisians who couldn’t take annual summer vacances, was to bring the beach to the people. Some 5000 tonnes of sand are imported by river barge, and the quays are closed to car traffic.

Expect artisanal ice cream stands, buvettes, concerts, pétanque games, children’s playgrounds, Taï Chi classes, sprinklers and sun chaises facing the water. At the bassin de la Villette, you can also partake in water sports like kayaking and sailing. The best part of all? It’s free.

This year’s promotional poster art, pictured here, was created by celebrated illustrator Jacques de Loustal. For more information, visit


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Mary Winston Nicklin
Based in Paris, Nicklin is the Web Editor of France Today. She is also the Editor of Bonjour Paris, the site's sister publication. As a freelance journalist, she has contributed to publications like The Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, CNN Travel, Vinepair, Travel Agent Magazine, and Luxury Travel Advisor.