From mid-July to mid-August, the municipality of Paris runs a temporary artificial beach operation along River Seine. Judiciously named “Paris-Plages” the scheme was started by Bertrand Delanoë in 2002 for Parisians who could not go on holiday and had to stay in the French capital during summer.
The first edition of Paris-Plages in 2002 was set around a sandy beach on the right bank located along the Georges Pompidou Expressway turned into a pedestrian precinct. In 2006 was added a second beach area on the Left Bank. Since its first edition, new structures, features and activities have been added every summer: a shuttle ferry linking the Left to the Right banks, a floating swimming pool, cafés and ice-cream shops, sand-sculptures, dance lessons, climbing walls, sport competitions… Without forgetting a third beach area along the Bassin of La Villette in the northeast corner of Paris
The sandy beach is fitted with amenities such as beach chairs, misting fountains, and palm trees.
Despite its name, the operation does not allow swimming in River Seine for safety reasons. Nevertheless, Paris-Plages has proven successful, attracting a growing number of visitors each year (4 million in 2007).
Paris-Plages is spread out in three main locations:
- along the Georges Pompidou Expressway between the Louvre to the Pont de Sully,
- along the Left Bank near the Port de la Gare station, and
- along the canal of the Bassin of La Villette (métro Jaures / Stalingrad).
A few figures about Paris-Plages:
- 5,000 tonnes of sand are spread onto the beaches.
- 50 palm trees providing shade.
- 550 deckchairs
- 450 beach umbrellas
- cost for the municipality: 2 million euros
- 6 million visitors expected in 2015
In 2015 the beach will be open daily between the 20th July and the 23rd August.