Paris Picks…!

Continuing our new “Live Like A Local” series, which kicked off with our first “London Likes…!post, we bring you our first “Paris Picks…!” post from our ACCENT Paris Study Center staff member, Katherine Holt.

Keep an eye out on the ACCENT Blog for more “London Likes,” “Paris Picks,” and, coming soon, “Florence Favs,” and more! These posts will give you a glimpse of what it’s like to live like a local while you’re in Europe, and will offer great recommendations from the ACCENT staff on where to go and what to do in each ACCENT city.

Making a Splash in Paris

When you live and work in a fabulous city like Paris, where there is such a wealth of places to visit, exhibitions to see, concerts to attend, and sights to take in, sometimes a little “down time” is called for. The buzz of the street and the crowds in the metro can be exhilarating, for sure, but in order to appreciate them, it’s sometimes necessary to capture a moment for oneself, and to take a little time to breathe.

Having been a water baby from just a few months old, my first port of call when it comes to taking some time for myself is the swimming pool. Here in Paris, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to piscines municipales of which there are 39 within the city walls, not to mention the many and varied “aquatic centers” in the neighboring suburbs. Entry is cheap, with those under 26 years of age paying only €1.70 per session, €14 for a 10-entry pass, or €19 for a three-month pass (usable in all municipal pools within the city).

As I plunge into the cool blue of the piscine Boiteux – ex Reuilly just three metro stops from the ACCENT Paris Study Center, the noise and bustle of the city is lost in the water; I swim under, over, and around other Parisiens as they splash away the worries of the day.

The advantage of the swimming pool over the gym is that there are no phones. Nobody is connected, nobody is interrupted. Instead, everyone is there alone with their thoughts and their goals, together in this basin of water which mutes noise, impact, contact, and even time. Not one swimmer is looking at a watch, not one person is in a hurry to leave. For all the movement and flurry of physical activity, the piscines municipales might just be some of the calmest places in the city.

~Katherine Holt – ACCENT Paris