Paris, France is one of the world’s great cities. History, architecture, museums, food, culture, beauty, and walkability make Paris one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, with more than 30 million annual tourists and millions more business travelers. Despite this, Paris has had the reputation of not being a great running city, with crowds, pollution, congestion, and relative lack of running culture being cited as the cause. But this has started to change in the past few years, and we’re pleased to report that there are some fantastic running options in Paris. If you are staying in the heart of the city, running along the Seine is a treat, especially since there are now seamless paths, separated from cars, that go on for miles. One can also put together a nearly 10-mile “highlights of Paris” tour, which includes The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées, and the city’s famous parks and gardens all in one run. Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes are two large and wonderful city parks at either edge of the city. And running along the Canal St. Martin’s meandering paths out to Parc de Villette is a treat. Further afield, running at Versailles will make you feel like a king.
A great resource for running in Paris is Free Paris Running Tours. Luke and his team lead wonderful, free running tours of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Staying inside the main beltway surrounding Paris will provide access to decent running options (see our “stay” section for recommendations). Good anchor/departure points for our best runs are Notre Dame (“Cité), La Bastille, and La Defense. A few particular recommendations for running in Paris: if you want to see some of the ‘tourist’ highlights, try to go early to avoid the crowds; take advantage of the fabulous public transportation and bike sharing system, which puts you within a 10–20 minute subway ride from some of the best runs, or allows you to do a longer ‘one way’ run; and pay attention to closing times for some of the parks. Also when we say “12e” that means “12th arrondissement”.