Depending on you and your interests, you will fill your Parisian weekends by lounging uninterrupted and reading newspapers in a corner café, squeezing in museum trips and theatre at night, or a nice balance of the two. You will find your routine, but here are some ideas to get you started.
Two weekend activites within Paris worth mentioning are:
- Les Berges de Seine (http://lesberges.paris.fr/en) where a section of the Seine has been closed off to motor traffic and an adult (and children's) play area has been established. There are restaurants, workshops, free sporting opportunities like yoga and boxing, exhibitions and the ability to rent a Zzz, which is a container with windows in the midst of it all! Check the website for the constantly changing agenda.
- Paris Plages takes place each summer from about the 3rd week of July to the 3rd week of August. Sand is brought in and a temporary beach is set up along a stretch of the Seine. There is music, children's activies, food stands and more. Start to check in June for information about the upcoming summer plans. (http://www.paris.fr/parisplages)
Get out of Paris for the day
One of the lovely advantages of Paris, is its location. Centrally located in the middle of France, a sightseeing adventure is literally within an hour drive or so. The following is a list of some wonderful places to visit within a short drive of Paris. Take the car or take the train and explore the surroundings.
- Château de Versailles, http://www.chateauversailles.fr/en/, is Louis XIV’s famous imperial château, the grandest in the world. Visit the Grands Appartmenets and Petits Appartements, the bedchambers of the King and the Queen, the famous Hall of Mirrors, and the Musee de l’Histoire de France. Outside, there are 250 acres of gardens. RER C5 Versailles-Rive Gauche
- Jardins et Maison de Claude Monet, http://www.fondation-monet.com, is now a museum dedicated to the artist with an extensive garden near the Seine. Seasonal changes in the garden make visits enjoyable time after time. Take the SNCF from Gare St-Lazare to Gare de Verson. From the station take a local bus, taxi, rent a bike or car to Giverny.
- Palais de Fontainebleau, http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr, Sixty-five kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Paris, Fountainebleau was a refuge and hunting preserve for the Kings of France. Visit the château, which was first built as a Renaissance palace and garden. The Forest of Fountainebleau is wonderful for long walks, hiking, rock climbing, or a picnic. Access via SNCF from Gare de Lyon or by car, A6.
- Provins, http://www.provins.net/english-version.html, is a UNESCO-listed medieval city, dating back to the 9th century, in the heart of Brie country 80 kilometers (50 miles) south east of Paris. Discover the most beautiful collection of monuments of the Middle Ages in Ile-de-France. Its dungeons, towers, gates, walls, and sublime churches will make you feel as though you have journeyed back in time. It is particularly enjoyable for kids as there are three live medieval shows including jousting knights and fal…