Paris Plages... and more!
Urban beaches, summer sports and party lawns in Paris
The idea of an urban beach went down so well when it was first floated back in 2002 that now Paris Plages is a victim of its own success: on sweltering summer days, the suncream-slathered crowds descend en masse on the banks of the Seine. But it remains one of the best things to do in Paris in the summer, as everyone seems to relax together in the sunshine. Of course, your inner exhibitionist will require an airing to be able to handle semi-naked sunbathing on a strip of urban sand largely populated by crowds of curious tourists.
It's far from the only al fresco entertainment available in the capital during the summer months, despite the exodus of locals to rural holiday homes. Paris Plages II is less central and less touristy, stretching the length of the Bassin de la Villette. There are deckchairs, pétanque, water sports, a mini golf course and the Ourcq festival offers river shuttles and other activities right out into the suburbs. There's also a host of bars and boats that put on their own little summer beaches and terraces, all listed here...