Initiatives like a car-free day and Paris Plages are environment-friendly, alternative ways to explore Paris.
Throughout the year, numerous events offer the chance to enjoy Paris in a different and new way.
Beach umbrellas and other trappings of a seaside holiday can be experienced in the midst of Paris all summer long!
There is an unusual way to spend time on the banks of the Seine, the Bassin de la Villette, the Parc Rives de Seine and the square in front of Hôtel de Ville from July to September, and that’s Paris Plages. You can enjoy a stroll under the palm trees, sunbathe on the lawns or in a deckchair, have a drink in an open-air café and play a variety of beach games. There are also many other activities to try: a swim in one of the Canal de L’Ourcq’s three bathing pools, giant outdoor board games, pedalo hire, a comic book library, mini-golf, and more. It’s the summer event of choice for both children and adults.
More info about green spaces in Paris
Enjoy Paris without traffic
Walk, cycle, skate or ride an electric scooter in a car-free Paris!
From 11am to 6pm on 22 September 2019, cars will be banned from entering Paris (woods and ring road excepted). The only motorized traffic allowed into the city will be emergency vehicles such as ambulances, RATP public transport, taxis, private hire vehicles, disabled people’s cars with an EU parking card, and Big Bus and Open Tour sightseeing buses, which will have to respect a speed limit of 30 km/h.
The event offers a unique opportunity to see Paris in a completely different way. As you walk, cycle, skate or ride a Segway around, you’ll enjoy the experience of a much quieter and more environmentally-friendly city. And you can take photos to remember your holiday on the most beautiful squares and avenues of Paris with not a single car to be seen!
Also, on the first Sunday of every month, the streets in the centre of Paris are pedestrian-only.
To enjoy an outdoor game with the kids, head to ‘Rue’Golotte’: the nickname given to Rue des Coutures-Saint-Gervais in the 3rd arrondissement, which is closed to traffic from 4.30pm to 6pm every Friday. Children take over the entire street and turn it into one giant playground. Then there is the ‘Rues aux Enfants’ initiative, which blocks off some streets on given days and times to install mazes, play areas, circus equipment and building games for children.
More than 130 big parks open 24h all summer
More than 130 large green spaces in Paris are open round the clock all summer long in 2019.
If you’d like to organize a family picnic where everyone can linger as long as they like, or enjoy a stroll in the cool of the evening, you’ll be pleased to know that from the beginning of July to early September, more than 130 Paris parks and gardens will stay open at night to adapt to the rhythm of life in summer.
The list of all-night parks includes Square Louis-XIII (4th), Jardins des Grands-Explorateurs (6th), Square Boucicaut (7th), Jardin Villemin (10th) on Friday and Saturday evenings, Square Maurice-Gardette (11th), Square Emile-Cohl (12th), Square George-Méliès (12th), Square Albert-Tournaire (12th), Parc Kellermann (13th), Parc Montsouris (14th), Parc André-Citroën (15th), Parc Sainte-Périne (16th), the northern part of Parc Clichy-Batignolles Martin-Luther-King (17th) on Fridays and Saturdays (the rest of the park closes at 9.30pm), Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (19th), Square Séverine (20th) and Square du Sergent-Aurélie-Salel (20th).
More info about green spaces in Paris
The world’s most beautiful avenue is car-free on the first Sunday of each month!
Since 2016, people have been able to enjoy a stroll on the Champs-Élysées with no traffic at all on the first Sunday of each month. These Sundays, when the length of the avenue from Place de la Concorde to the Etoile roundabout is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, are the perfect time to explore the Champs-Élysées in an alternative way. And for children, it’s an opportunity to ride a cycle or electric scooter or to skate along the world’s most beautiful avenue!
More info about pedestrianized districts
The 'Paris Eco Walks' application
Paris City Council's app, 'Paris Eco Walks', enables you to discover districts that are green and which have lots of charm and character, on foot and in total freedom.
This free app, available in French and English, presents itineraries to visit lively neighbourhoods, new urban developments, and wild or cultivated green areas. You will even be able to observe rare or more common animals and plants! Explore Paris on these urban walks.
You can get a preview in images of each walk, visualize the itinerary on a map, read illustrated content and listen to the audio guide. You can enjoy the walks at your own rhythm, save your favourites, share different sections, post photos, etc.
Why not look into the family accommodation options from Citadines and Novotel for your stay in Paris?
To help you narrow down your choice, here are two options that are perfectly suited as a base for your family during your trip, both offering a number of advantages.
Citadines Apart’hotels are apartments with fully-equipped kitchens where families can enjoy a comfortable stay in a spacious environment as well as the full service they would get in a hotel. Breakfast is free for children when an adult orders breakfast. This summer, you can take advantage of discounts of up to 30% on your stay as part of the ‘Family’ special offer.
Novotel hotels are ideally located, so you’ll be able to devote your time to sightseeing, and the rooms are comfortable and spacious. Kids under 16 can sleep in your room at no extra charge, and breakfast is free for 2 children under 16. If you would prefer them to have a separate bedroom, there is a 50% discount on a second room for children.