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5 Cities that Every Runner Must Aspire to Run In

Last year, Aaron Nelson wrote here on Soleus Running that there are many compelling reasons to lace up and start pounding the pavement. One of those motivations could be to explore a new destination, as it is one of most immersive and cheapest ways to explore new surroundings. 

So with that in mind, here’s a compilation of five cities in the world with tons of interesting routes, lively running communities, interesting cultures, and stunning views.

Austin, USA

(image: Wikipedia)

The Lone Star State’s capital has a thriving fitness community with a huge running scene. It is ideal to run outdoors in the temperate climate where you can find the perfect marriage between urban and natural landscapes. The 3.2-mile loop around Lady Bird Lake is a popular option for beginners because of the flat ground. The East Side or Downtown are also very popular tracks because of the many cultural landmarks en route to finishing the course. And if you want rougher terrains and longer distances, the trails along Barton Creek, Brushy Creek, and McKinney Falls State Park are wonderful options.
Stockholm, Sweden

(image: Visit Stockholm)

You shouldn’t visit Scandinavia without packing your running shoes. Stockholm has some of the most picturesque running paths ever constructed that make it easy to lose track of time and the miles you’re clocking up. The best routes to take in Sweden’s capital include a 6-mile tour of Djurgården where a bunch of other recreational activities can be found. You can also do an 11-mile loop around the lake in Hagaparken where runners keep coming back even during winter. For a more relaxed jog, Långholmen offers a quick but pleasant course to explore.
London, England

(image: Hyde Park Facebook)

London is not only home to a number of iconic landmarks but also to an extensive network of running trails. There are numerous parks where you can have a lunchtime jog including Hyde Park and Greenwich Park. The latter is actually one of the starting points of the prestigious London Marathon. You also shouldn’t miss out on the former venue of the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics where you can soak up the historical sporting moments around the famous Olympic village. Ladbrokes claims that the Olympic Stadium is now called the London Stadium and belongs to the English Premier League soccer club West Ham. Veteran runners and those looking for a challenge can do a 17.8-mile circuit following Thames Path and then to Regent’s Canal. But really, anywhere in London can be a good start or end point – there’s so much to choose from. 
Sydney, Australia

(image: Pexels)

It isn’t surprising that Sydney made the cut, as fitness has always been a priority in the Land Down Under. There are wide open spaces especially right by the Sydney Harbour where you can just run until your heart’s content. You’ll never tire of running in this city because since 2016, eight new running routes have been opened in Sydney because of huge public demand. Go for a sunset run following the Bondi Beach to Coogee coastal walk. After a 7.4-mile round trip, a dip in the ocean can be your well earned reward.
Tokyo, Japan

(image: Savvy Tokyo)

At first, Tokyo may not seem like the best place to log some serious miles because of how crowded its streets get. But you’ll be surprised by how wide the sidewalks are and how respectful the professionals in the city are when it comes to runners. Savvy Tokyo listed some of the most popular running options which include a perfect 5-kilometer lap (3.1 miles) around the Imperial Palace. There's even an option for trail runners to go up Mount Kumotori. If you time your visit right, you might also catch the sakura season around late March in Tokyo. It is an unforgettable sight to behold, which will make your runs in the city much more enjoyable.
Article specially written for soleusrunning.com
By Chelsea Brendan