Six tennis courts
face the palace
at Jardin du Luxembourg
|The city of Paris maintains more than 170 public courts at dozens of parks and athletic centers around town, with an efficient central reservation system that allows players to reserve court time online. To book a court in advance, you must first register (either online or in person at one of the municipal tennis centers) and obtain a free ID number (identifiant in French) and access code (code d'acces) that will allow you to log into the system. Otherwise, you can simply show up with your partner and wait for the next available court, though it's a good idea to have someone fluent in French call ahead to the facility where you want to play and ask when the courts are open to walk-ups.
The prices are the same wherever you play, a very reasonable 6.50 € per hour for outdoor courts (or 50 € for a 10-hour ticket), 12.50 € per hour for covered courts (100 € for 10 hours). Reduced rates apply weekdays before 11 a.m. remember to bring your passport for identification each time you play. For a directory of municipal tennis centers and access to the online reservation system, go to www.tennis.paris (in French and English).
The municipal courts are a mixed bag of outdoor and covered facilities with various playing surfaces (mostly asphalt). Many are lighted for evening play. Good choices include:
Jardin du Luxembourg
Six tennis courts are open to the public at this lovely park and formal garden in the 6th arrondissement, facing a palace built in the 1620s for Marie de Medicis, second wife of Hennry IV. The central location near the Latin Quarter and other Left Bank attractions is convenient to numerous charming hotels. Information: +33-1-43-25-79-18
This is the largest public tennis facility in town, with 19 courts in the Bois de Vincennes park on the far east side of Paris. La Faluere is a long walk or a short bus ride (three stops on the No. 112 line) from the Chateau de Vincennes station at the terminus of the No. 1 Metro line. Information: +33-1-43-74-40-93.
This facility in the 15th arrondissement in southwestern Paris is named after the first female tennis superstar, Suzanne Lenglen, who dominated the sport during the 1920s. The audacious Lenglen shocked the sporting world with her revealing tennis attire, which exposed her bare calves and forearms to spectators. Fourteen courts are available here (two of them covered), and the facility is easily accessible from the Balard station at the terminus of the No. 8 metro line. Information: +33-1-44-26-26-50.