With its narrow streets, heavy traffic, and the locals’ penchant for relaxed strolling rather than pavement pounding, it’s reasonable to ask: can you run in Paris? Yes! Paris is a fantastic city for runners of all levels. It boasts gorgeous running routes, a vibrant community, specialist running shops, diverse events and – most importantly – spots to refuel after your run! Whether you’re a seasoned runner training for the Paris Marathon, or a nervous beginner, our ultimate guide to running in Paris provides all the information you’ll need on the best routes, groups and events, where to buy gear and more.
While it might be tempting to head out of your apartment and see where the run takes you, planning your route in advance means you avoid bumping into pedestrians (or teeny Parisian dogs!) and getting stuck at stoplights. Stick to these 10 guaranteed runner-friendly spots:
Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes
The Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes are the city’s two largest public parks. They’re located on the outskirts of Paris (the Bois de Boulogne in the West near the 16th arrondissement; the Bois de Vincennes in the East near the 12th), and they certainly have a distinctively non-urban vibe.
Both are tree-filled and shady, home to beautiful lakes that are great to run around. The terrains are flat (with no buildings in sight). Each Saturday at 9am there’s a 5km Parkrun in the Bois de Boulogne that’s free for everyone to join. If you’re a solo runner, there are loops in both parks that range from 3km all the way to 20km. Open all day, every day.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Located in the 19th arrondissement, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is ideal if you’re looking for a challenge. There are 5km of trails inside the park, and one large hill in the center. If you manage to scale it you’re rewarded with tremendous views of Montmartre.
The park is also home to a waterfall, a large lake, and a suspension bridge spanning 200 feet. If you’re keen to extend your run, neighboring Parc de la Villette is a great place to kick things off. Opening times from October to March are 7:00-20:00, 7:00-21:00 until the end of April, until 10 p.m. from May-end of August, and until 21:00 in September.
Parc Montsouris hosts the only other Parkrun in the city and, like the Bois de Bologne, this 5km loop race is held every Saturday at 9am. The park is popular among students, due to its proximity to the Cité Universitaire de Paris. The space is large enough to avoid any crowding.
The trails here are fun, with lots of ascents and descents, though none are too big, making it a great spot for casual runners. There’s a vast lake and plenty of trees providing shade in the warmer months. Opening hours vary according to the time of year so check online before going.
Canal St. Martin/Canal de l’Ourcq
Canal St. Martin is one of Paris’s most bustling areas. Brimming with colorful shops, cafes, street art – and even fishermen. It’s full of character, and there’s very little chance you’ll get bored running here. While there’s lots going on, beside the canal lies a fairly wide promenade to accommodate runners. Even better, the path connects to the Canal de l’Ourcq close to the Parc de la Villette, a very modern park that houses the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie .
If you begin the run from the southern end of the canal (close to Oberkampf metro) and finish at Parc de la Villette, the route is about 4.5km. Open all day.
The Banks of the River Seine
If you want to feel like you’re the main character in a movie, then run on the banks of the Seine. The route is flat and car-free. No matter the length of your run, you’re bound to see some iconic sights. If you head west along the river from Île Saint-Louis (on the Right Bank), you’ll pass the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Jardin des Tuileries, and Place de la Concorde – to name just a few monuments. You can choose how far you’d like to run along the Seine, but Pont de Sully to Pont d’Iéna is 5.3km. Open all day.
The Coulée Verte René-Daumont or Promenade Plantée is a 4.7km long park built on top of a former railway line. It begins by the Bastille Opera House, passes over the Viaduc des Arts and finishes at the Bois de Vincennes. A veritable oasis in the middle of the city, here you’ll be greeted with beautifully greenery, sculptures, fountains, and plenty of charming architectural views of Haussmann Paris. Open from 8:00 (9:00 on weekends) and closes between 17:00 in winter and 21:30 in summer.
Champ de Mars
If you’re looking to combine your run with some sightseeing, consider the Champs de Mars park, adjacent to the Eiffel Tower. With sweeping pathways that are wide enough for runners, pedestrians and tourists stopping to stare at the imposing structure (we can’t blame them!) it’s a breezy and accessible run incorporating Paris’s most famous landmark. The trail around the park is about 2 km – so you can repeat the loop as often as you wish. Open 24/7.
Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries is a brilliant place to run if you’re in the mood to soak up culture, with both the Louvre Museum and Musee de l’Orangerie in close proximity. The gardens are beautiful, spacious, centrally located, and very well-maintained. The perimeter of the park is roughly 2.6km. For even more sight-seeing, run from the Tuileries, up the Champs Elysées and back again for a spectacular 5km loop.
Open from the last Sunday in September to the last Sunday in March: 7:30am to 19:30.
From the last Sunday in March to the last Saturday in September: 7:00 to 21:00.
The public are asked to begin leaving the premises 30 minutes before closing.
The Jardin du Luxembourg is one the most beloved outdoor spaces in Paris for a reason. Eiffel tower and Pantheon views, the stunning fountain, sculpture, ponds, flowerbeds and more are particularly well maintained. The perimeter is around 2km and there are a variety of paths if you want to mix up your views. The opening hours change according to the time of year. Open between 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. and close between 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., depending on the season.
Safety for Runners
Paris isn’t a particularly dangerous city to run in, but there are certain things to consider before you do so.
- Plan your route and stick to well lit, well-populated areas. We do not recommend running in Paris parks at night. Though the parks we mentioned are lit up at night (except the Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Boulogne), they’re often quite quiet in the evening, particularly in the cooler months. If you are running at night, stick to the urban runs and tag along with a friend.
- Stay hydrated. Not only can being dehydrated impact your performance, it can also lead to serious health consequences, especially on warmer days. If you’re heading out a longer run, take water with you.
- Keep your valuables out of sight. Paris is known for pickpockets, so avoid carrying valuables when you run. If you do need to have your phone, use a running belt or put it in a secure pocket.
- Stay visible. Wear bright or reflective clothing, particularly if you are running in the early morning or late evening when there’s low visibility.
- Tell someone where you’re going. Especially if you’re running alone, let a friend or family member know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
- Watch out for cars, cyclists and scooters
Running Groups and Events
Paris is brimming with running groups and events. The meetup app is a brilliant tool to find ones that suit your needs and location. Our top picks include:
Let’s Run Paris
Let’s Run Paris is an international running group that started out as a group of friends who wanted to train for marathons and half-marathons together. They are a friendly and welcoming bunch who run on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings (with four pace groups on both days). There are plenty of English speakers who run here too.
Paris Hash House Harriers
If you’re looking for a running group that doesn’t take itself too seriously, the Paris Hash House Harriers (self-proclaimed ‘drinkers with a running problem’) are an excellent choice. They run every weekend (alternating Saturdays and Sundays) and have a social night at various bars on Thursday evenings. Most of their trails are walker friendly, and many in the group speak English.
Team Trail Paris
This running club is dedicated to getting out of the city and running in Paris’ more remote green spaces, such as the Bois de Boulogne, the Bois de Vincennes, and the Forêt de Meudon. Runs take place on weekdays and weekends, and the club also hold various races throughout the year. Team Trail Paris is a mix of English and French speakers, all of whom are very friendly and welcoming.
Races in Paris
For the most up to date races in the city, visit: Go Running Tours. The most famous of them all, the Paris Marathon is not for everyone, but watching it is still a treat, and the atmosphere is guaranteed to be buzzing. The race starts off on the Champs-Elysées and finishes on Avenue Foch.
Paris Running Stores
Paris has undergone something of a fitness revolution over the past decade. A wealth of boutique fitness studios like climbing gyms, yoga studios, and wellness programs have cropped up in each arrondissement. Consequently, a number of specialized sports shops have opened across the city — here are our must-visit running boutiques:
Passion Running is great if you’re a seasoned runner looking for a something very specific. There are four shops dotted across Paris, all of which sell running gadgets (headphones, sunglasses, gloves and so on) as well as trainers. The staff are highly knowledgeable on all things running, and are happy to advise where they can.
Trail and the City
This independent retailer is all about sustainability; the team are committed to only selling quality running gear that will last. With more than ten years of running experience, they know what they’re talking about. The boutique itself is beautiful and shopping here feels like a real treat.
Crazy Runners Shop
This running and trail gear shop is owned and run by an experienced marathon and trail runner. The customer service here is top-notch — whether you’re new to running or have been running for years, the friendly owner is always on hand to lend advice. If you’re looking for new running trainers, this is a safe bet; you’ll be able to have your stride analyzed, which is really important to determining which shoe is best for you.
Other running shops that are worth a visit:
KM42, Boutique Marathon, and Decathlon for more general and affordable sportswear.
Fueling Up For/Re-fueling After a Run
Surely the best part of running, no? Happily Paris is a city that’s home to plenty of tasty places to either fuel up before your run, or refuel after all your hard work. Here are some of our favorite spots:
Tawlet for a weekend brunch of Lebanese fare
What better way to relax after a long run than with brunch? At Tawlet, you’ll be greeted every Saturday with fresh and flavorful Lebanese fare –– zataar flatbread, taboulé, homemade labneh, and lots more. There are a number of Lebanese teas available too, and an orange blossom lemonade that’s bound to perk you up after your exertions.
Carb-loading for a long run at Rivoluzione or Cacio e Pepe
If you have a big run or race coming up, your attention has probably turned to carb-loading. And where better to do so than in one of Paris’s best Italian restaurants. Our favorites are Rivoluzione (in the 11th) and Cacio e Pepe (in the 18th). They’re both homely, unpretentious, and reasonably priced. They serve up a variety of fresh and vibrant pasta dishes, as well as Neapolitan style pizzas if you’re looking for something heavier. You’re guaranteed to leave thoroughly replete!
Mori Cafe for light, healthy vegan fare
For a nutrient-dense meal before or after your run, Mori Cafe (serving vegan Japanese fare) is an exciting option. All of the dishes are loaded with healthy fats, veggies, and flavour. Highlights include their ‘Donburi Gyudon Style’ — a rice-based dish garnished with beyond meat grilled steak, teriyaki sauce, and fresh cucumber and pickles.
Bob’s Juice Bar for juices, smoothies and treats
This relaxed NYC-style juice bar excels at healthy brunches, bakes and, of course, smoothies. Their green smoothie is protein heavy and, most importantly, really tasty; so too are their homemade blueberry muffins.
Passion Running Various locations
Trail and the City 48 rue Lecourbe, 75015 Paris
Crazy Runners Shop 67 av. de Suffren, 75007 Paris
Tawlet 2 Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75011 Paris
Cacio e pepe 15 Rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018 Paris
Rivoluzione 24 Rue des Taillandiers, 75011 Paris
Mori Café 2 Rue des Taillandiers, 75011 Paris
Bob’s Juice Bar 15 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris
- Tory Hoen hilariously fills us in on exercising the Parisian way.
- Jogging in Paris can be wonderful but there are some pitfalls and perils to be aware of.
- Healthy eating at home goes hand in hand with exercise. Try some of these French salads you can make at home.
Written by Rachel Naismith. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.