Paris before Tourists – early mornings in Paris

Early mornings in Paris - Travel for a Living

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

Early mornings in Paris - Travel for a Living

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.

Deserted Paris - early mornings in Paris - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - Travel for a Living

Early mornings in Paris: Montmartre

Early mornings in Paris - How to experience Paris like a local - Travel for a Living

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 - How to experience Paris like a local - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - How to experience Paris like a local - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - How to experience Paris like a local - Travel for a Living

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 - How to experience Paris like a local - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - How to experience Paris like a local - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - How to experience Paris like a local - Travel for a Living

Early mornings in Paris: Eiffel Tower

Early mornings in Paris - Paris before tourists - Travel for a Living

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.

Early mornings in Paris - Paris before tourists - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - Paris before tourists - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - Paris before tourists - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - Paris before tourists - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - Paris before tourists - Travel for a Living

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.

Early mornings in Paris - Paris before Tourists - Travel for a Living Early mornings in Paris - Paris before Tourists - Travel for a Living

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14 Comments

  1. catherinemryan

    Oh my gosh, I love this!!! I went to Paris last fall and did go on a few early morning runs, but as you point out it was quite dark then. I can’t wait to go back. I’m particularly excited about photographing and seeing the Louvre before all the crowds arrive!

    Reply
  2. nclaesen

    Love this so much! I would have loved to have gone to Montmartre in the morning like this. It’s just the most spectacular view of Paris and first thing in the morning would have been wonderful. I was there mid-afternoon and, of course, it was packed.

    Reply
    • Travel for a living

      Yes, having Montmartre all to yourself (well almost, there were a few other people around taking photos) is pretty special. Obviously the view is still spectacular, even if you visit in the afternoon.

      Reply
  3. Emma

    My favourite city, and this is an incredible way to see it. I love early mornings in a new city, walking the streets without any other people there. Beautiful pics

    Reply
    • Travel for a living

      Thank you. Yes, it is such a great time to explore. It gives you a completely different feel for the city, blending in with the locals.

      Reply
  4. josypheen

    I love this way of exploring sooo much! This must have been such a pleasant way to slowly explore. Plus when the weather is rubbish you can change your plan and relax with a croissant instead! I love the early morning lighting in your photos.

    If you ever visit Japan, Tokyo is similarly eerie and gorgeous early in the morning before everyone starts to rush around.

    Reply
    • Travel for a living

      Good to know. Tokyo been on my bucket list for quite a while, but haven’t yet managed to go. But I’ll keep it in mind if and when the day comes.

      Reply
  5. Andi Fisher (@andi_fisher)

    Oh no! The secret is out! I have been to Paris more than 50 times and we are early risers and always enjoy the peace and quiet of the morning!

    Reply
    • Travel for a living

      Whoops, didn’t mean to spill the beans 🙂 OK, from now, let’s keep it to ourselves and enjoy the peace and quiet in the mornings, wherever we go.

      Reply
  6. Cris

    Beautiful! I’m not an early morning person myself. However, I live in a tourist-driven small town so if I want good photos, it HAS to be early. There’s something magical about the light and quiet before everyone gets up.

    Reply
  7. orangewayfarer

    This is a beautiful photo blog! Absolutely enjoyed looking at the most romantic city of this planet! Welcome break from the staged show! Great work 🙂

    Reply
  8. Live Love Run Travel

    I love Paris in the early morning! I’m not a morning person usually, but I am when we travel. I love watching sunrise and enjoy the peace and quiet before the chaos happens later in the day.

    Reply
  9. Andrea Peacock

    Waking up early to enjoy the sights without loads of people around is a must for me in super busy places like this. It gives a totally different perspective when it’s not completely crowded! Paris in the early morning looks divine!

    Reply