Exploring a new city is always best done on foot and Paris is no exception. With a wealth of iconic landmarks including Notre Dame, Sacré Cœur and the Louvre as well as historic parks and winding narrow streets, it's one of the most stimulating places to run in the world.
Paris is not like any city in the US. But although it is dripping in culture and rich history, with it comes an abundance of thin, characterful streets. You’ll notice these winding streets quickly become congested with vehicles and pedestrians that fill the narrow sidewalks, making your run more of a stop start endeavor. If you want to take a spin through the city streets and scope out the best cafes and bakeries to stop in, or generally just get your bearings, you’re best tackling them first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
However, Paris is renowned for being a great city for runners and there are some beautiful routes to set your pace while still taking in some sights, even if you don't get your alarm set early enough to blast through the streets. Here are our four favorite running locations in the City of Light.
Banks of the Seine
Running the banks of the river Seine is almost a rite of passage. Many sections of the riverfront have been made into pedestrian only areas and offer a wide thoroughfare, meaning you can amble along the river taking in the sights with plenty of space. One of the best things about running the Seine is that you can run down one bank, then cross a bridge and run back along the other. On the most popular stretch of the Seine you’ll take in Notre Dame, as well as the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries and the Eiffel Tower.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Tucked away in the 19th arrondissement, this leafy park is home to around 5km of trails and pathways. It’s the hilliest park in Paris so as well as gaining some wonderful views across the city, it’s a prime location for getting some hill repeats in.
You’ll recognise this dreamy little slice of Paris from films like Amélie. Starting by the Bastille, you run up the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir until you begin running alongside the canal which surfaces at Rue du Fouberg du Temple. You can make this run as long or as short as you like, crossing bridges and heading back to some of the iconic bistros and cafes that line the southern end of the canal. If you want to push for a long run, the Canal St-Martin runs into the Bassin de la Villette, which goes on for around 100km into the northern suburbs.
Bois de Boulogne
This is Paris’ second largest park and one of the most popular places for locals to run. Located in the 16th arrondissement, it spans for more than 2090 acres and is home to around 35 miles of trails. A 5km loop circles two lakes (Lac Inferieur & Lac Superieur) but there is also a 10km Tour de Longeur that is signposted on the maps found in the park. To extend this run, you can start at the Arc de Triomphe and do a round trip before continuing down the Champs-Élysée.