Tourists are often encouraged to ‘Discover Paris on foot!’. Parisians love walking and many of them love to go jogging too. So why not follow the trend and explore Paris on a run? And running is gaining ever more ground, as can be seen from the 50,000 people that registered to run the Paris Marathon, one of the most popular in the world. From the simple Sunday joggers to the most serious trail runners, more and more people are running around the capital. The best spots to go running in Paris? Here is a small selection of places to suit your particular running ethos.
A little greenery and especially some soft ground, or grass, are always welcome. Whether you are new to jogging or a regular, the Parc Montsouris is a nice setting (15 hectares!) to go jogging in on Sunday or any other time you please. You can also round off your jogging circuit with a loop over to the Cité universitaire, just opposite the park.
Further north, the Canal de l’Ourcq offers an alternative that has a little less greenery but which is a delightful and popular place for jogging fans. A run along its banks is a pleasant experience. Start from Stalingrad and continue on to La Villette, or even Pantin if you have the energy! Choose your time carefully as in summer picnickers and pétanque players fill the area!
If you are a runner who likes to contemplate their surroundings then you are in for a treat! There are so many picture-postcard places to run in Paris. The Eiffel Tower stands in the Champ de Mars, a park frequented by Parisians and tourists, with lovely pathways for running, and a nice atmosphere. This option is also very convenient for night owls because, unlike other parks and gardens in the city, it does not close in the evening. The wide avenues at the Jardin des Tuileries, between the Louvre and Concorde metro stations, or the banks of the Seine, are also very inspiring spots.
For riverside activities, head to the Parc Rives de Seine, where a 7 km sports trail with 6 aeras of equipment awaits you! Begin slowly in the warm-up area. Then things get more serious: a suspended ladder, acceleration lane, rings and rope, crosses on the ground, abdo deckchairs, traction bars …
Then you finish off in an area for gentle stretching exercises to avoid aches and pains the following day! And if you want to stretch your legs, there is nothing like a little race to test your performance. The Parc Rives de Seine has a 100-metre track, the best-known of athletics races. The record to beat: 9.58 seconds, achieved by Usain Bolt in 2009 in Berlin! On your marks, get set, go!
Want to show off your beautiful fluorescent running shorts or your running style? Opt for the Luxembourg Gardens, where it is very chic to run! Parc Monceau, smaller but romantic and delightful, is also ideal for playing the Parisian and catching the eye of other runners. And jogging along the Canal Saint-Martin is a more trendy way to meet Paris’s beautiful people.
Paris isn’t green enough to go running ... Not true! Let us prove it to you: walk up to the Coulée verte, in the 12th arrondissement. Its 4 kilometres of suspended greenery offer a magical setting for those who come here to breathe some air away from the frantic pace of the capital. Another option is to go to the Jardin des Plantes: this beautiful garden is ideal for a bucolic jog. Finally, don't forget the two large Parisian woods: Vincennes and Boulogne, whose wide avenues suit all types of joggers. They are so vast that you can even play at getting yourself lost!
You enjoy a bit of a challenge but you are not a pro? The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is for you!
Built on a former gypsum quarry, it is renowned for its steep topography. Up, down, up … After two hours of effort, reward yourself with a drink at the trendy Rosa Bonheur cafe!
La Parisienne (Race for women only)
Ekiden de Paris (marathon team event)