At first glance, Paris may not seem to be a hotbed of sporting activity, but there are actually a multitude of sports-related events and attractions in Paris, both for spectators and participants.
One of the best-known sporting events is the annual Tour de France which takes place each summer, usually in July. This internationally-celebrated bicycle race covers 3,500 kilometers in 21 stages and often has a leg or a finish in Paris; the 2008 race included hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the Champs-Elysées to witness this exciting event.
The French Open Tennis tournament attracts the top names in tennis from all over the world. Held at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, the dates for 2009 are May 24th through June 7th. The Tenniseum (a museum devoted to tennis) at Roland Garros stadium is open year-round.
The 80,000-seat Stade de France is located in the suburb of Saint-Denis. The Stade de France is home to the French rugby union team as well as Paris’ main rugby club and hosts many international events, including the World Cup final and the motorsport Race of Champions.
Residents and visitors to Paris both enjoy walking and jogging in the many lovely parks and gardens. The annual Paris Marathon is a popular event for serious runners; a 5.2 kilometer Breakfast Race and a half marathon are offered for those who do not wish to compete in the full marathon.
The city-run Vélib’ bicycle rental system allows Parisians and visitors to make use of 20,000 bicycles within the city as needed for transportation and exercise. This pick-up and drop-off program includes 1,450 stations in and around Paris.