Paris brings the beach to the people

The last time I checked, Paris had more cobbled streets than sandy shores, so I was a bit surprised to find out about the Paris Plage project, a man-made beach created every summer (for the last seven) right in the heart of the city.

The project costs about 1.5 million euros each year and uses nearly 2,000 tons of sand to transform busy roadways into sandy beaches along the Seine River. The project came about when the mayor decided that everyone should be able to take a summer beach vacation, even if they can’t leave the city. The project was so popular, it has grown from year to year and now encompasses three locations and attracts nearly 4 million visitors. The Louvre/Pont de Sully beach features a climbing wall, swimming pool, and outdoor concert space. The Port de la Gare beach offers free wi-fi and art classes. And the Bassin de la Villette beach features free water sports like sailing and kayaking.

Beaches are open from 8 a.m. – midnight from late July to late August.