scenic running route in a major city

The Best Running Routes in Major Cities Around the World

Running enthusiasts often plan their vacations around destinations that offer great running routes. Whether you're an avid runner or just looking for a scenic jog, this list of the best running routes in major cities around the world will inspire your next adventure. From the bustling paths of Central Park in New York City to the serene trails of Vondelpark in Amsterdam, these iconic routes offer something for every runner.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the best running routes in major cities around the world, perfect for planning your next vacation.
  • These routes are selected based on their scenic beauty, accessibility, and popularity among runners.
  • From Central Park in New York City to Vondelpark in Amsterdam, each route offers a unique experience.
  • Essential information such as nearby accommodations, running stores, and group runs are also considered.
  • Whether you prefer urban paths or natural trails, this list has something for every type of runner.

1. Central Park, New York City

The Loop

The Central Park Loop is a classic running route that offers a full tour of the park. It's about 6 miles long and is perfect for those looking to get a good workout while enjoying the park's natural beauty.

The Reservoir

For a shorter run, the Reservoir loop is a great option. It's a 1.58-mile track that offers stunning views of the city skyline and the water. It's a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

The Bridle Path

If you're looking for a softer surface, the Bridle Path is the way to go. This 1.66-mile loop is made of dirt and is easier on the joints. It's also less crowded, making it a peaceful running experience.

Harlem Hill

For those who want a challenge, Harlem Hill is the place to be. This steep incline is part of the northern section of the park and will definitely get your heart pumping. It's not for the faint of heart, but the sense of accomplishment is worth it.

2. The Embarcadero, San Francisco

Running in San Francisco is a dream come true for many, thanks to its stunning views, ocean breeze, and diverse terrain. The Embarcadero is a prime spot for runners, offering a scenic route that starts from the Ferry Building and stretches along the waterfront.


  • Breathtaking views of the Bay Bridge and Alcatraz Island
  • Flat, well-maintained paths perfect for all levels of runners
  • Numerous cafes and rest spots along the way

Best Time to Run

Early mornings or late afternoons are ideal to avoid the heavy foot traffic and enjoy the cool, crisp air.

Tips for Runners

  • Keep an eye out for cyclists sharing the path
  • Bring a light jacket as it can get windy near the water
  • Stay hydrated, especially on sunny days

Whether you're a local or just visiting, running along The Embarcadero is an experience you won't want to miss.

3. Hyde Park, London


Hyde Park is one of London's most iconic green spaces, offering a perfect blend of nature and history. It's a runner's paradise with its expansive lawns, serene lakes, and well-maintained paths.

Key Features

  • Scenic routes: Enjoy the beautiful Serpentine Lake and the lush greenery.
  • Historical landmarks: Pass by the famous Speaker's Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible from various parts of the city, making it a convenient spot for both locals and tourists.

Tips for Runners

  1. Start early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  2. Stay hydrated, especially during the summer months.
  3. Keep an eye out for various events and activities that might be happening in the park.

Nearby Attractions

  • Kensington Gardens: Just adjacent to Hyde Park, offering more scenic running paths.
  • Buckingham Palace: A short run away, perfect for a quick sightseeing detour.
  • The Serpentine Gallery: For a dose of contemporary art post-run.

4. Bois de Boulogne, Paris


Bois de Boulogne is one of the largest parks in Paris, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It's a runner's paradise with its extensive network of trails and picturesque scenery.

Key Features

  • Lush greenery and beautiful landscapes
  • Multiple lakes and ponds
  • Well-maintained paths suitable for all levels of runners

Best Routes

  1. Lac Inférieur Loop: A scenic 2.5-mile loop around one of the park's main lakes.
  2. Allée de Longchamp: A longer, 4-mile route that takes you through some of the park's most beautiful areas.
  3. Route de la Grande Cascade: A moderate 3-mile trail that offers stunning views of the park's famous waterfall.

Tips for Runners

  • Early mornings are the best time to run to avoid crowds.
  • Keep an eye out for cyclists and horseback riders, as the park is popular for multiple activities.
  • Hydrate well, especially during the summer months.

Bois de Boulogne is not just a park; it's a runner's dream come true in the heart of Paris.

5. Tiergarten, Berlin


Tiergarten is Berlin's most famous park and a runner's paradise. It's one of the flattest cities in the world, making it perfect for a smooth and enjoyable run. The park is vast, offering plenty of space to explore and enjoy the greenery.

Key Features

  • Low CO2 emissions: Berlin has very low traffic CO2 emissions, ensuring better air quality for your run.
  • Historical landmarks: As you run, you'll pass by some of Berlin's most iconic landmarks, including the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column.
  • Scenic routes: The park is filled with beautiful paths, lakes, and gardens, making your run both relaxing and visually pleasing.

Tips for Runners

  1. Dress appropriately: With an average temperature of 11.5°C and 69% humidity, make sure to wear layers to protect your skin.
  2. Stay hydrated: Even though the climate is mild, always carry water with you.
  3. Plan your route: Tiergarten is large, so it's a good idea to plan your route in advance to make the most of your run.

6. Yoyogi Park, Tokyo


Yoyogi Park is one of Tokyo's largest city parks, offering a lush green escape in the heart of the bustling metropolis. It's a favorite among runners for its wide, flat paths and scenic views.

Best Time to Run

The park is beautiful year-round, but if you can, try to visit during cherry blossom season. The sight of blooming sakura trees is simply breathtaking.

Route Highlights

  • Wide, flat paths perfect for running
  • Scenic views of cherry blossoms in spring
  • Plenty of shaded areas to keep cool during summer runs

Tips for Runners

  1. Arrive early to avoid the crowds, especially on weekends.
  2. Bring a water bottle; there are fountains, but they can be spaced out.
  3. Keep an eye out for cyclists and other park-goers to ensure a safe run.

7. Stanley Park, Vancouver

Scenic Seawall

The Seawall in Stanley Park is a must-run for any visitor. This 10-kilometer path offers breathtaking views of the waterfront, mountains, and city skyline. It's a flat, paved route perfect for runners of all levels.

Diverse Terrain

Stanley Park isn't just about the Seawall. The park features a variety of trails that take you through lush forests, around serene lakes, and even up some challenging hills. Whether you're looking for a leisurely jog or a tough workout, you'll find it here.

Wildlife Encounters

Keep an eye out for the local wildlife as you run. It's not uncommon to spot bald eagles, raccoons, and even the occasional seal along the Seawall. Just remember to give them space and enjoy the natural beauty.

Year-Round Running

One of the best things about running in Stanley Park is that it's a year-round activity. Thanks to Vancouver's mild climate, you can enjoy these trails in any season. Just be prepared for some rain if you're running in the winter months.

8. The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney


The Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney is a runner's paradise. With its lush greenery and stunning views of the Sydney Harbour, it's no wonder this spot is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The garden offers a serene escape from the bustling city, making it perfect for a peaceful run.

Key Features

  • Scenic routes: Enjoy breathtaking views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as you jog along the paths.
  • Varied terrain: The garden features a mix of flat and hilly areas, providing a good workout for all fitness levels.
  • Accessibility: Located in the heart of Sydney, it's easily accessible by public transport.

Tips for Runners

  1. Early mornings: The garden can get crowded, so aim for an early morning run to avoid the rush.
  2. Stay hydrated: Sydney's weather can be warm, so make sure to bring water.
  3. Explore different paths: Don't stick to just one route; the garden has multiple paths that offer different experiences.

Nearby Attractions

  • Sydney Opera House: Just a short run away, it's a must-visit landmark.
  • Circular Quay: Perfect for a post-run coffee or breakfast.
  • The Domain: Another great spot for running, adjacent to the garden.

9. Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo


Ibirapuera Park is often referred to as the "Central Park" of São Paulo, and for good reason. This sprawling urban oasis offers a mix of lush greenery, cultural landmarks, and well-maintained paths that make it a runner's paradise. Whether you're a local or a tourist, this park has something for everyone.

Best Time to Run

The best time to hit the trails in Ibirapuera Park is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. During these times, the weather is cooler, and the park is less crowded, allowing for a more enjoyable run.

Popular Routes

  • Lakeside Loop: A scenic route that takes you around the park's beautiful lakes. Perfect for a leisurely jog.
  • Museum Circuit: This path takes you past some of the park's iconic cultural landmarks, including the Museum of Modern Art.
  • Forest Trail: For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, this trail winds through the park's wooded areas.

Tips for Runners

  • Stay hydrated: There are several water fountains throughout the park.
  • Watch out for cyclists: Some paths are shared with cyclists, so stay alert.
  • Enjoy the scenery: Take a moment to appreciate the park's beautiful landscapes and cultural sites.


Ibirapuera Park is well-equipped with facilities to make your run as comfortable as possible. You'll find clean restrooms, water fountains, and even a few snack stands to refuel after your run.


The park often hosts running events and marathons, so keep an eye out for any upcoming races. Participating in a local event can be a great way to experience the park's vibrant running community.

10. Vondelpark, Amsterdam


Vondelpark is the beating heart of Amsterdam's running scene. This iconic park offers a lush, green escape right in the middle of the city. It's a must-visit for any runner exploring Amsterdam.

Key Features

  • Scenic routes that wind through beautiful gardens and ponds
  • Dedicated running paths to keep you safe from cyclists and pedestrians
  • Plenty of spots to rest and enjoy the view

Tips for Runners

  1. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
  2. Bring a water bottle; there are fountains, but they can be spaced out.
  3. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including birds and squirrels.

Nearby Attractions

  • The Van Gogh Museum is just a short jog away.
  • The Rijksmuseum, another cultural gem, is also nearby.
  • Plenty of cafes and restaurants to refuel after your run.

Whether you're a local or just visiting, Vondelpark offers a perfect blend of nature and urban life, making it an ideal running destination.


Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or just a casual jogger, exploring new running routes in major cities around the world can be an exhilarating experience. From the bustling streets of New York City to the scenic trails of Sydney, there's something for every type of runner. These routes not only offer a great workout but also provide a unique way to see the sights and sounds of each city. So lace up your running shoes, grab your phone with your favorite running app, and hit the road. Who knows? Your next favorite running route might just be a city away!

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a city great for running?

A great running city offers scenic and interesting running opportunities, centrally located routes, easy access to iconic routes, good infrastructure such as off-road paths, wayfinding, water, and restrooms.

How can I find the best running routes in a new city?

You can use apps like MapMyRun or curated services like, which provide detailed descriptions of running routes in over 400 cities.

Are there group runs available in major cities?

Yes, many major cities have group runs and running clubs. You can find information about these on local running store websites or community boards.

What are some iconic running routes in New York City?

Central Park is one of the most iconic running routes in New York City. It offers diverse terrain and scenic views.

Is it safe to run in these major cities?

Generally, running in major cities is safe, especially in well-known and frequently used routes. However, it's always best to be aware of your surroundings and run during daylight hours.

Can I find running routes near airports or convention centers?

Yes, many resources provide suggestions for running routes near airports, convention centers, and major office parks.

What should I consider when planning a running vacation?

When planning a running vacation, consider the scenic and iconic routes available, access to public transport, and nearby amenities such as hotels, running stores, and group runs.

Are there any apps specifically for runners to find routes?

Yes, apps like MapMyRun and RunGo are great for finding running routes. These apps allow you to search for recommended routes and provide detailed information about them.

Back to blog