Paris 1 — Where to run in Paris ?
Paris is a very narrow and crowded place, and it’s very difficult to “free-run” here. But there are some appreciable parks and routes.
One of the symptoms which tells us that Paris is a city where it is difficult to run, is that it often takes great brands to get involved. Nike, Adidas and Reebok (among others) have created running clubs with professionals to prepare real routes inside the city.
For short, there are three types of convenient places to run: along canals, parks in the city, and parks outside the city.
Along the Seine river or the Canal de l’Ourcq
Let’s be clear : runing along the Seine is perfect to enjoy the view of the buildings of the quays. Notre Dame de Paris, the Quai d’Orsay, the Quai Branly museum, and other glorious buildings.
Good news: the North banks of the Seine are now pedestrians. Even better to run still!
The other “water piece running” option is the Canal de l’Ourcq.
Starting at Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad, in the North-East of Paris (19th district) you can run along the Canal for almost as long as you want. The itinerary passes through the big Parc de la Villette, then by Pantin, Bondy, Bobigny, on a real highway made for running. It’s my personnal favorite route. It won’t be as classy as the Seine river sides, but more industrial and popular.
Parks inside Paris
There are mostly three good parks to run : Monceau, Buttes Chaumont and Luxembourg. And a special one : the Coulée Verte. They are ideals for short distance trainings.
Parc Monceau : small but circular.
In the 9th district (North-West of the center), it’s a very nice park with a lot of runners in weekends. But it’s so charming it’s still a pleasure. If my memory is good, a lap of the park is 1,6km.
This park is nammed after the Palais du Luxembourg, which is the French Senate (lots of old white dudes doing nothing but eating). It is larger than Monceau, but more crowded. It is in the South of Paris, almost the Center (6th district) :
Parc des Buttes Chaumont : much more difficult
This park is magnificent and full of history (it is an old shanty town on the edge of Paris) but it is especially steep. Running here is working your calves! It is located in the East of the Center, in the 20th district.
One lap should be around 2km. On sunny days, it’s crowded too, but not with runners.
Coulée Verte René Dumont
This is a very particuliar route, as it’s a linear park. Starting near Opera Bastille (with stairs !), it is a tree-lined promenade that overlooks all the south-east of Paris to the immense wood Bois de Vincennes. Very pleasant point of view.
Parks outside Paris
By “outside”, I mean “out of Paris borders”. There are mostly two : Bois de Boulogne, to the South-West of Paris, and Bois de Vincennes to the South-East.
These two huge parks are perfect if you intend to do a big training or just run with the most nature possible around.
Unfortunately, in France we do not have the large parks that the German cities have, like the Tempelhofer Feld (I ran there !) in Berlin or the Stadtpark in Hamburg… (I’m so jealous).
I hope this will be useful to you, fellow runners and travelers!
I know how good it is to mix the pleasure of jogging with that of discovering a city. If you want more details or if you want to run together when you are in Paris, tell me!
I created a project to help travelers to meet Parisians and discover their city, experience a bit of the local life. I love meeting travelers, just as I love meeting local people when I travel. It’s called Welcom’ to Paris and if you want to join, please do !
I wish you good running sessions, and see you in Paris !