Breaking a sweat - Sport in the City of Light

Atmospheres in this tip:

Burn off those croissant calories during your stay in Paris with our top tips of where to run, finding a swimming pool and free exercise classes!

When you're away from home, it's easy to forget your routine, such as a stress-busting run, a relaxing swim or an energetic exercise class. But you don't have to! Stay fit and healthy during your visit to Paris, and see parts of the city like a local.

Where to go jogging in Paris

The city doesn't have many large parks, so you'll often find places like the Luxembourg Garden and the Tuileries turn into a runners' highway on the weekend, with lycra-clad bodies weaving in and out of tourists. It can get stressful!

We recommend you go a little further afield - but still in the city - and don your trainers for a jog around the beautiful Buttes Chaumont park in the north-east. Its hilly terrain and steep winding pathways make it ideal for working those leg muscles. Cool down on the large grassy slopes, and soak up the stunning view of Paris from the top.
Metro: line 7 bis, Buttes Chaumont or Botzaris

The two "bois" (woods) that flank Paris are a runner's paradise. The Bois de Boulogne (West) covers 2090 acres. If you manage to make it round (wow!), you'll be treated to sights such as the English landscape garden, several lakes, a waterfall, two botanical gardens, the Château de Bagatelle, a zoo, an amusement park, greenhouses containing 100,000 plants, and two horse racing tracks!
Metro: line 10, Porte d'Auteuil

The Bois de Vincennes is on Paris' eastern edge, slightly larger than the Bois de Boulogne, and is also a great place to run. Take a map with you and explore the woodland pathways and jog around the lakes. You'll pass the Chateau, the Vincennes Zoo and the magnificent Parc Floral.
Metro: line 1, Chateau de Vincennes

The best swimming pools in Paris

If you prefer your laps in the water, Paris has a number of excellent pools. Swimming is one of the Parisians' favourite ways to exercise, so avoid peak times if you can.

An iconic venue, the Piscine Josephine Baker is far more than just a pool. Located on a boat moored to the banks of the Seine, it has a breathtaking river-side view of Paris. Entrance costs only 3 - 5 euro, and they also offer daily classes (which cost extra).
Port de la Gare, Quai François Mauriac, 75013

Tucked away in the heart of the Latin quarter, you'll find the indoor pool Piscine Pontoise, built in the Art-Deco style. Surprisingly, given its location, it remains relatively calm, except when the schoolchildren invade!
19, rue de Pontoise 75005

Free exercise classes 

Yes, in this city where a gym membership costs and arm and a leg, it is possible to find free sports classes, whether you're into martial arts or dance.

The 104 is a leisure and culture venue in the 19th arrondissement. Every weekend, they offer a variety of free classes, such as Wu Tao (a Taoist martial art) and Qi Qong (Chinese gymnastics.)
5 rue Curial, 75019

The Berges de Seine is a 2.3-kilometre section of pedestrianised riverbank that has been constructed especially for leisure activities. Relax at one of the bars after joining a free class, such as Running for Beginners, Exercise Route (where you have multiple different challenges along the banks, run by a professional coach) and the occasional Zumba party!

Even more ideas for free exercise classes, such as rollerskating around Paris, biking, or dancing on the banks of the river, can be found here (in French only).