Activity Paris

à la fraiche – a place to chill

The French have a certain “méfiance” or wariness towards air-conditioning. They believe that it will make you sick, destroy your lungs, and probably annihilate your little grandmother. But there is truth to their paranoia about recycled and refrigerated air. I clearly remember the only strep-throat I ever had was when I was in Florida, going from sticky heat to frigid air over and over again, and finally my body broke down like a tired politician from all the flip-flopping.

So needless to say, A/C is scarce in Paris. And when summer is hot, people spend their day seeking out a place to cool down. Some let their toes dangle in the fountains that are scattered throughout the city, some head to the cineplexe movie theaters, some sit in one of the few cafés that have invested in the god-send called a “brumisateur” a fan that also sprays a mist of cool water.

I headed to the Aquarium. There it is dark, cool, and you are surrounded by water, which just the sight of cools you off a few degrees!

In addition to being a great place to find some shade, the Aquarium de Paris has an amazing collection of aquatic life. From small pools to gigantic ones, there is everything from barnacles to sharks. There are places to sit in front of the giant pools and relax while you watch the sea creatures swim back and forth. They say it is calming to watch fish. And I believe it. Give yourself a few hours to spend in there, you won’t even see it go by!

Very kid oriented, there is even a petting pool where you can feel the slimy scaly back of a well-fed fish.

A great place for everyone and an escape from the summer heat.

Aquarium de Paris – Cinéaqua
Adresse : 5 Avenue Albert De Mun 75016 Paris
Standard : 01 40 69 23 23,
Fax : 01 40 69 23 01


  1. I don’t like air conditioning either, and I always wondered why.

    I guess I just don’t like the fact that people want to be colder in an air conditioned room than they might be outside on a cold day – and that’s a good thing in the summer. It’s just unnatural.

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