11 Great Cities for a RuncationNick Willis
The order of this list may be up for debate, but these are all fantastic cities for sightseeing AND running.
1. New York City, USA
Central Park. What more can be said about this famous park in the center of Manhattan? Make sure to find the bridle path for soft surface running, and get a couple of laps around the reservoir for the best views of the city skyline. One time I went running after a heavy rain storm, and it felt like I had the whole of Central Park to myself.
2. London, England
Fantastic parks throughout the city for an escape from London’s busy streets. Hyde park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park are some favorites of ours.
3. Paris, France
On the east side of the city, Parc du Vincennes is a huge green space of forests, lakes and fields to get in all the miles you could hope for while visiting Paris. To combine a run with sightseeing, run around the Eifel Tower, then explore along the Seine to the Louvre for an incredible run. For point to point runs, just catch an Uber back to your hotel, or rent an ebike or scooter.
4. Melbourne, Australia
The Tan (Bontaical Gardens) is a staple run for all local runners. Albert Park, Princes Park, the St Kilda waterfront, and Yarra Bend make Melbourne a magnet for many of Australias top runners.
5. Berlin, Germany
We’ve only touched the surface on the running options in Berlin, but everywhere we tested, there were forest or river trails in abundance. Tiergarten is a recommended park, passing the Brandenburg gate for some run-sightseeing.
6. Vienna, Austria
This incredible city also has some incredible running. The canals that ring the city center are lined with jogging paths, and Praeter Park is an expansive green space with nice tree coverage for shade–a favorite of the locals.
7. Leuven, Belgium
Leuven has become the European training base for the majority of Amercan professional runners during the European track season. This university city 15 minutes outside of Brussels has a fantastic cafe and restaurant culture in the historic downtown, and is bordered by an expansive forest for all the soft surface running one could hope for. The university track is open to the public too, for those wanting to test their speed.
8. Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand’s city of sails has it all- city parks, coastal trails, waterfront running, and public tracks. Even running through the suburbs is fun, as the rolling hill topography creates a lot of variety in the street layouts.
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Vondel Park is a fun running loop in the city center. Just south of town is the Amstedam Forest with a plethora of soft surface running options.
10. Madrid, Spain
During the day you’ll find a hundred or so runners looping the 5k course around the Parco El Retiro, but come evening thousands of local runners swarm this place. It’s like being in a big city marathon. A bucket list running experience indeed.
Head out along the banks of the Charles River, test yourself on heartbreak hill, or seek some shade on the Emerald Necklace trail. Boston is an iconic running town with the historic marathon as its anchor.