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Paris offers a wide range of activities for sports enthusiasts, or anyone just looking to keep up a healthy lifestyle. The city is home to some of the best football, basketball and rugby teams in the world, to name just a few. The city is currently a candidate for the Olympic Games, and it goes without saying that the palette of sports offerings will only increase in the years to come. Whether you want to enjoy a game in the outstanding atmosphere of the Parc des Princes, home of Paris Saint Germain or whether you simply want to play football, both are feasible in the City of Lights.

Running in Paris

Running is one of the favorite sports of the inhabitants of Paris and tourists alike, and this should come as no surprise, given the formidable backdrop that the city’s architecture offers. Despite pollution, the city provides several areas where you can breathe fresh air and run safely. Indeed, you will find parks and smooth trails in many parts of the city, as well as special arrangements for runners (and walkers). For instance, the Seine River banks are closed to vehicles on Sundays, and are a great track, especially in the summer.

There are many jogging tracks in the West of the city, such as the Bois de Boulogne, which stretch over 8.6 km² and the Javel André Citroën Park stretching over 2.6 km². But nothing beats an early morning jog around the Louvre and the Place de La Concorde in the early hours of the morning as Paris basks in the first rays of sunlight. The Jardin des Tuileries which is 15 km² long and the Monceau Park (which stretches over 3.8 km²) provide pleasant tracks in the tranquility of lakes and beautiful flowers. In the center of the city, the Luxembourg Gardens are also another beautiful place for running and relaxing.

In the South, the slightly undulating terrain is home to the Bercy Park and the Montsouris Park which stretches over 1.6 km². Butte de Chaumont, in the East, hosts many concerts in summer and can get very crowded, but the views of Paris are breathtaking. Finally, the Parc de la Villette provides some 400 meters tracks to allow you practice if you need or want to.

Swimming pools

Swimming pools are an institution in Paris. Through Roman influence, Paris has seen pools and swimming pools mushroom in the city, many of which are located in the heart of the city, including the underground swimming pool close to the Gare de Montparnasse, which allows you to go swimming and diving anytime during the day.

In the 5th, the Pontoise swimming pool provides a splendid atmosphere among historical monuments.

The Château-Landon, in the 10th, is one of the most authentic pools in Paris. For a summer swim, head to the Josephine Baker swimming pool, which is uncovered in summer (located in the 13th district).

Further, in the 15th, the Aquaboulevard swimming pool is an aquatic park with 10 slides and huge pools, including several jacuzzis that are ideal for all ages. These are generally full during the weekend but are worth a try. Finally, in the 16th, the Molitor swimming pool is one of the foremost pools of Paris and is definitely worth the detour (the pool reopened in May 2014). Entrance fees of 180 euros apply due as several water activities are on offer, including the sauna and hammam. However, many of the pools of Paris are public, and therefore charge reduced prices and are generally much cheaper.

Playing tennis in Paris

You will also find several tennis courts across Paris, namely in the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 20th. Rates are quite good for youngsters under the age of 26. Advance booking costs as follows: 12.50 euros per hour in a covered court and 6.50 euros per hour in an open air court. Note also that job seekers and beneficiaries of the RSA are eligible to free tennis courses.

Climbing walls

Climbing is becoming an increasingly popular activity in Paris. You are likely to find these facilities in Pantin, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Courbevoie, Saint Ouen and Quai de la Marne. Prices generally range between 20 and 35 euros per session, including equipment rental. Some of these also host a sauna, where you can relax afterwards.

 Useful links:

Quality of Air Index
Que faire à Paris
Marathon de Paris
Semi de Paris
Paris Official Portal – Swimming pools
Paris Official Portal – Tennis
Paris Official Portal – Climbing walls
Piscine Molitor
Fédération française d’escalade – FFME

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