For me the day isn’t over until the run is done. Compared to back in the U.S., recreational running in Paris isn’t exactly ideal. But over my time here, I am learning to exercise the Parisian way. No matter where your travels take you, I highly recommend running in whatever city you are in. It is truly the best way to see the city. Through my runs, I have discovered quaint alleys and secret passages all throughout this beautiful city that I would have never discovered otherwise
Where to go?
Bois de Boulonge
After weeks of running in the streets, dodging people and doing laps around gardens, this was heaven sent.
It is by far the best place to run in Paris. What once was hunting grounds for the kings, has been transformed into miles of trails. These trails vary from wood chipped to pavement and they all cross and interlock. It is so massive you feel like you aren’t in the city anymore but instead in a beautiful forest. It is roughly two and a half times larger than Central Park. There are numerous lakes, restaurants, two horse race tracks, and a petting zoo and carnival for kids. You could easily run a marathon in there or just have a picnic and enjoy the view. The downside: it is quite a long train ride from where I am staying. But for me, on the weekends, it’s totally worth it.
Jardin du Luxembourg
I definitely put my miles in here. It is a beautifully peaceful park that is a little over a mile to run around. I am there so often, the guards know me by running shoes. I would recommend visiting here even if you aren’t a runner and just stroll the scenic park. The garden is centered around the Luxembourg Palace which has a large fountain in front of it. The garden is beautifully designed with trees and flowers. The paths are a limestone gravel, which is common throughout Paris so prepare for your shoes to get pretty dusty. The park is open from 7:30 until 9 so plan your visit accordingly.
Located on the way to Bois de Vincennes is an elevated park. The trail is about three miles on what once were rail tracks. It is a unique trail system that allows you to run without being in the way of annoying Parisian traffic. Part of the trail is on an old rail bridges above the street and other sections are at ground level. It’s located on the far southeastern side of the city, so if it’s near you I would recommend it.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
This park is truly beautiful. In the center of the park is a large lake with a island that you can take a drawbridge onto. There is natural rock on the island with a small gazebo on the highest point. The park has about five miles of trails within it, making it a decent size park to run. It is a calm and peaceful park but if your time is limited in Paris, don’t worry about making the journey.
To the north side of the Eiffel Tower there is garden with limestone trail that I have seen runners on. Personally, there are a lot of tourists and people in that area making it difficult to run. But on the east side of the Eiffel Tower there is a track if you are looking for a more traditional setting to run in and want to get some speed next to the Eiffel.
The entire city of Paris is based off of the Seine that weaves its way down the center of Paris. On either side of the river you can run at road level and in some areas there are trails. It’s a very scenic run and allows you to pass many of the major attractions in Paris. The paths are either concrete or cobblestone and you can’t go wrong whichever direction you are going along the river.