May 3rd, 2018, 12:00 PM

Study Break In the City

By Leonardo Tow
Image Credit: Leonardo Tow
A variety of lesser-known clubs, classes and activities around Paris.

Here at AUP it can be difficult to find activities to engage in outside the classroom, particularly if you don’t enjoy the bar scene. Our city offers plenty of interesting clubs, classes and activities just a bit beyond our campus walls. For those who search for a break in studying for finals, this article is for you. 

Sports and athletics

1. Parkour Paris in the 12th

Parkour Lessons in Paris (15215455676)
Parkour Lessons in Paris. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Schezar

Few sports are more inherently French than this one, and you can join Parkour Paris to begin working on your skills today. Due to the nature of the sport, they meet outdoors four times a week from September through June. The club is in French, but anyone is free to try it out for just 2€ during any of their practices.

Address: Varies, either Parc de Bercy, the quai of the Seine near Gare d’Austerlitz, or Olympiades (check their website calendar for details on each session)
Cost: 320€ for the season with a few other payment options
Language: French
Contact: Via website or tel. 06 57 21 36 94
Website: parkourparis.fr
Time: Monday-Thursday 7:00-8:30 pm
Metro: Bercy, Gare d’Austerlitz or Olympiades

2. Les Archers De Paris

Archery is actually quite popular in Paris, with a few clubs around the city. Les Archers de Paris is in the north-east of Paris with a gym in the 17th and a main office just on the city border. This club teaches in French -  although if you are an English speaker, still feel free to contact the club to see if you can join. As someone who joined a French sports team, I can assure you that you’ll pick up the language before too long.

Address: 53 boulevard de l'Amiral-Bruix 75116 Paris (main office), or 22 rue Jean Leclaire 75017 Paris (gymnasium for shooting practice)
Cost: 200€ for students per season (295€ full price)
Language: French
Contact: Tel. : 06 60 10 53 53 or via website
Website: archersdeparis.fr
Time: Beginner classes Monday 6:30-8:30 pm and Saturday 2:00-4:00 pm
Metro: Porte Dauphine / Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny,Avenue Foch, Neuilly Porte Maillot or Porte de Saint Ouen for the gymnasium in the 17th

3. Paris cycling

It can be a little scary to contemplate cycling through Paris alongside the rush hour traffic, but you can join the Paris Cycling Group to ride with a group of experienced cyclists. They organize rides approximately once a week, although there can be some inconsistency. Many of the rides are fairly long so feel free to talk with the organizers to determine what’s best for you.

Address: Varies based on ride, next at Place de la Porte de Châtillon, 75014 Paris
Cost: None listed
Language: French, English & others 
Contact: Via website
Website: meetup.com/Paris-Cycling-Group
Time: Varies based on ride, next is Sunday, May 6 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Metro: Varies based on ride, next is at Porte d’Orléans

4. Yoga in the 2nd

 

If you are interested in a more mindful form of exercise, Yoga Village may be the place for you. Just one of the many studios scattered across the city, Yoga Village offers a variety of styles and courses every day of the week, including weekends.

Address: 39 Boulevard des Capucines, stairs B, 1st floor, code 7205, 75002 Paris
Cost: Single class 23€ (includes mat rental), 3 Classes Pack 63€ valid for 3 months, 5 Classes Pack 100€ valid for 5 months, 10 Classes Pack 195€ valid for 1 year, 20 Classes Pack 365€ valid for 1 year, Monthly Unlimited 195€, 3 Months Unlimited 480€.
Language: French and English
Contact: Tel. : 01 72 34 58 47
email: contact@yogavillageparis.com
Website: yogavillage.fr
Time: several classes every day
Metro: Opera or Madeleine

5. British Rugby Club of Paris

If you are looking for a bit more of a commitment, check out the British Rugby Club of Paris, a competitive team just outside the city. Training is every Wednesday at Stade Nelson Mandela. Be sure to contact the team to get your own uniform. 

Address: Stade Nelson Mandela Avenue Paul Langevin, 95200 Sarcelles
Cost: 115€ for students per season (230€ full price)
Language: English
Contact: Via website
Website: brfcparis.com
Time: Training on Wednesdays 8:00 pm, games are organized Saturday afternoons
Metro: Paul Valéry on tram line T5

6. Fencing club in the 6th

Salle d’Armes Coudurier, the oldest fencing club in Paris, invites its members to travel back in time and duel the way it was meant to be done. Unfortunately, little information is listed online about this club as they have avoided entering the 21st century. Feel free to drop by any evening for a trial lesson and to learn a bit more about the club.

Address: 6 Rue Gît-le-Cœur, 75006 Paris
Cost: 690€ for a full membership or 57€ per month
Language: French
Contact: None listed
Website: None available, info can be found here
Time: 5pm-9pm Monday-Saturday
Metro: Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame

7. Paris Wushu Association


Image Credit: Paris Wushu Association Facebook page. 

Wushu is one of the most ancient and extreme sports in the world. The team participates in international competitions, although they offer classes at a variety of levels. Join the Paris Wushu Association and learn what the original martial art is all about.

Address: Wednesday at gymnase Des Cordelières 39 rue des Cordelières, 75013 Paris, Friday at gymnase Marcel Cerdan 5 bis rue Eugene Oudinet, 75013 Paris, and Saturday gymnase Caillaux 3 rue Caillaux, 75013 Paris
Cost: Not listed
Language: French
Contact: pariswushu@hotmail.fr Tel : 06 11 30 91 82 or via website
Website: pariswushu.wixsite.com
Time: Wednesday 8:30-10:30 pm, Friday 7:30-8:30 pm, and Saturday 6:00-8:00 pm
Metro: Wednesday Corvisart / Glacière, Friday Bibliothèque François Mitter, and Saturday Olympiades or Maison Blanche

8. Swimming

Surprisingly, there are several pools right in the heart of the city. If you used to be a regular swimmer and are looking for a place to get in a few laps, head over to the Piscine Pontoise open every day with late-night swimming available on weekdays.

Address: 19 Rue de Pontoise, 75005 Paris
Cost: Multiple payment options starting 4.80€ for a regular 1-day entry (full list of entry options available on their website)
Language: French
Contact: Tel. : 01 55 42 77 88
Website: equipement.paris.fr/piscine-pontoise-2918
Time: Monday-Friday 7:00 am to midnight, Saturday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Sunday 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
Metro: Maubert Mutualité

Culture and social

1. Ballroom in the 13th

Every Monday at 7:30pm, come enjoy a free ballroom dance lesson with Fabian Suchanek at the Telecom ParisTech. The class is designed for beginners but all are welcome. Ballroom can be a great social experience outside of the bar scene, so don't forget your dancing shoes.

Address: 53 rue Vergniaud, 75013 Paris in the Foyer des Élèves
Cost: Free
Language: English
Contact: Email: fabian@suchanek.name
Website: suchanek.name/dancing
Time: 7:30 pm
Metro: Corvisart

2. Cooking classes in the Marais


Image Credit: La Cuisine Paris Facebook page. 

With dozens of opportunities every month, join the professional team at La Cuisine for a variety of French cooking classes. These classes are great for couples. Unfortunately, they can be a bit pricey, but the instruction is professional and the school is highly recommended.

Address: 80 Quai de l'Hôtel de ville, 75004 Paris, France
Cost: 69€-165€ per class
Language: French & English
Contact: Tel: 01 40 51 78 18 or email: contact@lacuisineparis.com
Website: lacuisineparis.com
Time: Varies
Metro: Hotel de Ville or Pont Marie

3. Book club in the 10th

If literature is where your interests lie, enjoy bi-weekly meetups with the Paris Anglophone Book Club, one of several book clubs in Paris. They explore a wide range of books, so no doubt you'll find something that suits your interest.

Address: 29 ter rue du Château d'eau, 75010 Paris, France
Cost: 4€ per meetup
Language: English
Contact: Via Meetup page
Website: meetup.com/anglophonebookclub/
Time: Varies, next meetup May 14th
Metro: Jacques Bonsergent or Château d'Eau

4. Rollerblading

Roller Skate Race In The Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris April 2014
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Jim Linwood

Every Sunday at 2:30 pm, meetup with rollerbladers from all over Paris for a 10-15 mile trip around the city. Or, if you’re looking for a challenge, hit up Friday Night Fever starting at 10:00 pm. For both sessions, the associations recommend protective gear. The Friday routes include hills and rough pavement, so be ready.

Address: Fridays at Place Raoul Dautry and Sundays at Place de la Bastille
Cost: Free
Language: Various
Contact: Via website
Website: Association: rollers-coquillages.org, Info: freeinparis.com/rollerblading-in-paris
Time: Fridays from 10:00 pm - 1:00 am and Sundays 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Metro: Gare Montparnasse on Friday and Bastille on Sunday

5. Board games


Image Credit: Café Meisia Facebook page.

The Paris board gaming community is more extensive than I had expected when deciding to write this article. For regular meetups with an English speaking group, join the English-speaking Board Gamers of Paris with meetups every week at Café Meisia in the 10th. You can also head over to one of the many board game bars across the city. Le Fantôme even has old-school arcade games like Pac-Man, Asteroids or Pinball. If you like to go to bars, but don’t feel like drinking, these places have you covered.

Address: 84 Rue René Boulanger, 75010 Paris
Cost: Unlisted
Language: English
Contact: Via Meetup page
Website: meetup.com/English-Speaking-Board-Gamers-of-Paris
Time: Varies, typically Tuesday or Wednesday at 7:30 pm
Metro: Strasbourg Saint-Denis

Gathering all of this information proved to be tricky so please contact any association to confirm prices, times or locations as these things can change frequently and many associations do not consistently update their information online.