Traveling can offer an exciting opportunity to break from your daily routine and experience life in a whole new way. But taking a vacation doesn’t mean you have to break from your exercise regimen. One look at any of the beautiful parks in Paris could spark a desire to put on your sneakers and sweat off all those delicious croissants, fromages and baguettes!
Read on to learn about the best places to lace up your running shoes and, as the French say, go footing!
Jardin du Luxembourg
Located in the 6th arrondissement, you will find runners of all levels making the rounds at the Luxembourg Gardens. With a distance of about 1.3 miles (2km) around the perimeter, this beautifully landscaped park offers a variety of graveled paths to take if you want to mix up your laps. This park is home to the French Senate, so they are especially well looked after and provide plenty of shade to keep you running without overheating, not to mention the green Wallace fountains around the park where you can refill your water bottle.
Hours: Generally from dusk till dawn, but the specific times change every fifteen days. For precise hours, click here.
Metro: Luxembourg (RER B), Saint Sulpice or Odéon
Champ de Mars
With a romantic view of the Eiffel Tower, it’s easy to see why so many joggers take to the Champ de Mars for their daily exercise. Although it can get a bit crowded around summer months, the coming fall and winter means that you’ll get plenty of space to breath and stretch out. The park is in the shape of a perfectly symmetrical rectangle measuring just about 1.2 miles (2km). You can start at the corner closest to the Ecole Militaire metro station and run a few laps around. Don’t forget to take a minute or two to admire the Wall for Peace at the bottom of the park. To further intensify your workout and add some incline, you can cross the Pont d’Iéna towards Trocadero and run up and down the stairs of the Palais de Chaillot.
Metro: École Militaire
As the royal gardens of the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries are a favorite running spot for many a local and tourist alike. This rectangular park spans almost 1.3 (2km) miles of beautiful trees, shrubs, fountains and statues, not to mention the two smaller museums, the Orangerie (a must-see!) showcasing Impressionist works, and the Jeu de Paume museum of photography. If you want a longer run with varying landscapes, you can run all the way to the Champs Elysées. With the Louvre on one end and the Arc de Triomphe on the other, you can run almost 2 miles between these two spectacular landmarks.
Hours: 7am-9pm daily
Metro: Concorde or Tuileries
Along the Seine
If you want to get out of the parks and see more of Paris on the run, there’s no better spot than along the Seine. Most Parisian monuments are located somewhere along the river (Le Louvre, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower…) so you’ll be hard-pressed to find better views. How many people can say they’ve exercised on a Unesco World Heritage site! Between the Pont de Sully near Île-Saint-Louis and the Pont d’Iéna near the Eiffel Tower, you can run about 3.3 miles (5.3 km). If you’re staying in a 7th arrondissement Paris Perfect apartment and you want to stick to a path nearby, we recommend looping the 1.22 miles (2km) between the Pont de l’Alma and the Pont Alexandre III. Make sure you take a look at the Niki de Saint Phalle Floating Gardens, little green getaways along the river. The road will be traffic-free between Pont de l’Alma and Musée d’Orsay since the previous Paris mayor banned cars along the Left Bank, and the current mayor has begun the process to ban cars along the Right Bank this year.
Metro: Pont de l’Alma, Invalides, Musée d’Orsay or Saint Michel
Now get ready to set off and see the most of Paris while still staying fit!
(Image Credits: Paris Perfect, Martin Morrell and Hannah Wilson.)