You might be coming to Paris to indulge in fine wines, marvel at works of art and chomp through wheels of fromage, but if you need to re-energise and reset your mind and body, the French capital can serve that up too. Culture Trip has teamed up with Pullman Hotel – whose sites near the Eiffel Tower and Bercy are perfect for R&R – to explore the city’s wellness scene. Try Seine-side swims, massages à la carte, Eiffel Tower yoga and much more for a serious health kick, Paris-style.
There’s nothing like an invigorating massage after a long flight or hours of sightseeing. If you want to be spoiled for choice, visit Massage Concept Paris, beloved by locals and centrally located at Les Halles. The massage menu includes Ayurvedic, Chinese, Swedish, Thai, California and Japanese styles – as well as a ‘traditional French’ massage – offered by a team of specialists.
One of the 39 swimming pools in the city, the Piscine Joséphine-Baker was opened to the public in 2006, just after the summer event Paris Plages, during which the banks of the river Seine were transformed into real beaches with white sand. What makes this pool different is that it’s supported by 20 metal floats at the border of the river. With a glass and steel structure, the roof can be removed to become an outdoor swimming pool – perfect to enjoy the summer days in Paris, with a great view of the river and its surroundings.
The elegant mosaicked 1920s mosque in the heart of the Latin Quarter is a living place of worship and one of the city’s best bathhouses. Get naked, lounge in the steam room and lather up with savon noir in preparation for a vigorous scrubbing that will give you skin like a newborn’s. Linger for mint tea (included with your hammam), or lunch in the leafy courtyard, and stroll through the neighbouring Jardin des Plantes to preserve your post-bath euphoria.
Is this the world’s most spectacular urban running track? A riverside road from Bassin d’Arsenal to Port de la Bourdonnais was finally closed to cars in 2017; now you can run along the berges (banks) uninterrupted from Bastille to the Eiffel Tower. Start on the Right Bank and cross the footbridge at the Musée d’Orsay. Over a stretch of around six kilometres (3.7 miles), you’ll get to take in the city at river level, passing Notre Dame and the Louvre.
Once notoriously difficult for vegetarians, France is mending its carnivorous ways, and nowhere is this more evident than a corner of the Right Bank. Dubbed ‘Veggietown’ by the French Vegetarian Association, rue de Paradis and Faubourg-Poissonnière host a delicious concentration of veggie and vegan outlets, from bio bistros to Japanese-style canteens. Le Tricycle, Café Pinson or Mussubï are notable spots to check out – and keep your eyes peeled for the vegan-themed mosaics created by local street artist Invader.
Starting as a Meetup group in 2013, this yoga class now straddles venues in the Ninth, 10th, 19th and 15th arrondissements. It’s true to its name; in a city where a yoga session costs upwards of €20, the €6 price tag will put pep in your step (and your downward dog). But the best thing about this yoga school is the summertime outdoor classes, when you can rock out your asanas in the Champ de Mars, literally underneath the Eiffel Tower.
The woods of Vincennes, on the border of the 12th arrondissement and easily accessible by métro, are one of the city’s loveliest places for a stroll, bike ride or lake pedal. But for the more committed athlete, the woods feature three parcours sportifs, or exercise circuits, ranging from 1.4km to 2.4km (0.8mi to 1.5mi) long and equipped with balance beams, chin-up bars, jumping beams and wall bars to get the adrenalin rushing.
Take a break from the vin with a hyper-healthy beverage at Wild and the Moon, a mini-chain of chic vegan restaurants with a gluten-free, plastic-free, organic and seasonal philosophy. Health-forward drinks merit their own menu, with cold-pressed juices, nut-milk smoothies, vitality shots and lattes of every hue (from rose to charcoal). If you need something more substantial, you’ll also find açai bowls, granolas, veggie soups, grain salads and raw desserts.
For more ways to unwind and recharge, the Pullman Paris Centre Bercy offers a stylish and sophisticated wellness lounge equipped with a swimming pool, sauna, hammam and rooms for treatments and massages. Travellers looking for a relaxing stay can also head to the pamper bar for everything from haircuts in the barbershop to express beauty treatments, while tucking into smoothies or mocktails.Alternatively, the Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower Hotel comes with a premium fitness centre, a nearby jogging track and FRAME – an upscale, California-inspired bar and restaurant that sources ingredients from the hotel’s on-site organic vegetable garden. Guests also have the bonus of enjoying spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower.