Our Top 5 Best Running Spots in Paris

Where to run when you’re in Paris
Man and woman running over the Seine in Paris. Man and woman running over the Seine in Paris.
September 18, 2020
Be sure to leave room for your running shoes when packing for Paris! Running is a great way to explore the city, so we’re sharing our favorite places to run in Paris.
Portrait of Urbansider Paris authors Sultanat and Stefano
by Stefano & Sulta

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Paris is a city of runners. You can meet them anywhere at any time, even on the crowded Champs Elysées at rush hour! And if you’re not a runner, Paris is the perfect place to start! Going for a run is a great way to explore this amazing city—you’ll get a workout in and you’ll get to know the city even better. Over the years, we’ve run Paris backwards and forwards, but these are our Top 5 Running Spots in the City of Light. 

1. The Streets of Paris

The simplest and fastest way to go for a run is to set off from your own neighborhood. When we lived in the center of Paris, our running route started at the Exelmans metro station in Paris’s 16th Arrondissement and ended at the Eiffel Tower. Running through your quartier to a leads you down authentic Parisian streets, letting you discover local cafés, bakeries, and shops, and also do some sightseeing.

You can create a route in your favorite running app or even with your phone’s GPS or map feature. Enter a landmark you’d like to see (the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame de Paris, for example), lace up your shoes, and then run until you reach your destination. Try it—it’s a really great way to explore a new city! We use this tip whenever we travel. 

Man and woman running over the Seine in Paris.
Running through the city center is a great way to see the sights and stay motivated—you know there’s something beautiful waiting just up around that next corner!

2. The Banks of the Seine

Another way to explore the city on foot is to run along the Quais de Seine. The riverbanks offer one of the most beautiful running routes in Paris, taking you past many of the famous monuments and museums and offering you charming views. The atmosphere is always great, especially during the summer period.

Want to enjoy the riverbanks at a more leisurely pace? Reserve a guided tour to sightsee along the Seine.

3. The BNF

Another one of our favorite places for running in Paris is actually a library! The Bibliothèque Nationale de France, or BnF as locals call it, sits on the Seine river in the atypical, modern neighborhood of Paris’s 13th Arrondissement. The building has many different levels, meaning a lot of steps which can be very useful for muscle-building exercises. There’s also a pedestrian footbridge leading from la bibliothèque to the Parc de Bercy on the other side of the Seine. It’s a great place to continue your run. 

Man running steps in front of the Paris BNF.
If you like modern architecture and running steps, head to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in the 13th Arrondissement.

4. Paris Parks & Gardens 

If you prefer green and calm spaces for your running sessions to “urban running,” no problem! There are tons of gardens and parks in Paris perfect for jogging. Our favorite spots are the iconic Jardin du Luxembourg and Jardin des Tuileries. Both are located in some of the most beautiful parts of Paris and offer glimpses of monuments like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

It’s such a pleasure to run around the gorgeous fountains, statues, and alleyways flanked by centuries-old trees. And after your running session, you can get a refreshing drink at one of the brasseries near the gardens. Sit on a terrace and enjoy the atmosphere of the neighborhood as you cool down.

Not sure which park to pick? Our guide to the Best Parks in Paris can help.

5. The Forests Near Paris: Bois de Boulogne & Bois de Vincennes

For long running sessions, head to one of the forests on the outer limits of Paris. Depending on where you’re staying in the city, you can go for a run in either the Bois de Boulogne (in the West) or the Bois de Vincennes (in the East) with its medieval castle. They’re wonderful places to run in Paris without the crowds and the noise of the city.

Both grounds are very well maintained and we love running for miles around the woods. It’s also good to know that there are plenty of small drinking fountains along the paths, so you can stay hydrated while on your run; especially important in summer!

Couple of runners in Paris stretching on bridge overlooking the Eiffel Tower.
Warm up or cool down after your run in Paris and take in the views. The Passerelle Debilly makes a great starting point for stretching under the watch of the Eiffel Tower.

So don’t forget to make room in your suitcase for your running shoes when packing for Paris. You’ll adore exploring the city this way!

Muscles sore after all that running? Recover at one of these top spas in Paris.

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