Beach in the city

Paris’ Mayor Bertrand Delanoë wanted to make summer vacation accessible to people unable to afford leave town, so he brought the vacation to them. Voila! Paris Plage (Paris Beach).

Since 2002, three million people sun themselves along a two-mile stretch along the Seine between late July and August. An expressway is temporarily replaced with two tons of sand, grass, wood decks, lounge chairs and palm trees, creating a pedestrian-only paradise in the heart of a bustling, noisy, non-stop city. Though managed by the city, the operation is financed by corporate sponsors.

Apparently its popularity has spread to other cities, including Berlin, Germany, Brussels, Belgium, Budapest, Hungary; and Saint-Quentin (Aisne), France.