As I have recently started a new work project, I am now commuting between London and Paris on a weekly basis. Having weekly travels isn’t new to me, after all I’ve been on the road for the most part of the last six years. But having the same destination every week? That is kind of a novelty. With the added benefit of exploring Paris a little more every time I visit. Obviously, Paris is a very popular tourist destination. I mean who would say no to a romantic weekend for two in Paris? But let’s take off those rose-tinted spectacles. The reality of visiting Paris on business is a little different. First and foremost, I am in Paris to get some work done, not to stroll down Champs-Élysées and visit the Eiffel Tower. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make the most of my evenings and early mornings in Paris, does it?
My work day in Paris starts around 9. And so far, most of the hotels I stayed in were relatively close to the office. Meaning a very short commute in the morning. When in London, I need to catch the 7am train, to ensure I get to the office in time. So, what if you only have a 15-minute walk to the office? All of a sudden, I found myself with loads of time in the morning. I mean of course, I could just have a lie in. But I am so used to getting up early, that I am usually wide awake by 6.30 latest.
Pair that with the desperate need to exercise in order to counter balance all those Parisian pastries. And the eagerness to see more of Paris.
Et voilà (you see, my French is also improving… marginally) … early morning runs in Paris were born. Think about it. I get my exercise done and I see something of Paris. And you know what I don’t see? Tourists. As they tend to not roam the roads before sunrise. Win win.
Sounds intriguing? Follow me and I show you the beauty of early mornings in Paris.
Early mornings in Paris: Louvre and along the Seine
The pyramid at the Louvre is obviously one of those must-photograph icons in Paris that you just can’t miss. But trying to snap a photo of it during the day can be challenging. As you certainly aren’t the only one on the hunt for that perfect Instagram snap. So, coming past the Louvre during my early morning run through Paris obviously meant I had to stop and take a photo (oh and breathe a little whilst I am at it. I am not that great a runner after all). I mean look at it with the sun rising behind the Louvre. Unfortunately, you can’t actually go near the pyramid this early in the morning. As the area is fenced off over-night. But on the plus side, that means even those few people scattered around (fellow runners and keen photographers) won’t ruin your shots by walking through.
Early mornings in Paris: Montmartre
Approaching Montmartre, the idea was to run up Square Louise-Michel towards Sacré-Cœur. But arriving at the bottom of the park, I had to find out, that it would not open until 8am. Meaning a run up the stairs instead. But once up there, I was rewarded with a magnificent view over Paris as the sun was rising.
Early mornings in Paris: Centre Pompidou and City Hall
With building works going on, Centre Pompidou isn’t the prettiest photo opp at the moment. The area in front is fenced off, preventing a decent overall shot.
So, after a quick snap, I continued. Past Fontaine Stravinsky and towards the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) and the Seine.
Early mornings in Paris: Eiffel Tower
Probably the most iconic Parisian site, the Eiffel Tower looks good any time of the day. And night, after all, it puts on a magnificent light show every evening.
But seeing the Eiffel Tower in the early morning with the sun rising and Champ de Mars almost deserted? Just amazing.
My accommodation next week will be near Canal Saint Martin, so I am already hoping I will get the chance to go for another early morning run through Paris.
That being said, as we are nearing autumn, the sun rises later. Making it more and more difficult to find enough day light to run before work. I mean, running in a city in the dark isn’t really the big problem. There are plenty of street lights around. It only means I miss out on those spectacular sun rises.
I hope you enjoyed my early mornings in Paris.