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5 Amazing Running Cities That Are Perfect For Travelers

Many people love to travel this time of the year, so we decided to look at popular routes in some popular travel destinations. To capture routes of interest to travelers, we only looked at routes generated by users running outside of their usual country of residence. We chose 5 cities from around the world to learn more about where our traveling users like to run. What we learned from mapping the captured routes is that despite the geographic, linguistic and historic differences of these cities, there were some major common route characteristics. It turns out that our users love to run near bodies of water, parks and major streets that pass through tourist attractions.

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a runner’s dream city, with its endless running trails along the beaches and various park trails. If you love national parks, you could run along one of the many trails and roads passing along Table Mountain National Park, and you’ll get to enjoy some amazing views of Table Mountain in the southern part of the park, or Lion’s Head Mountain East of Clifton. It looks like some of our more adventurous users venture through the rocky trail spiraling up all the way to the 669-meter-high Lion’s Head peak.

Kyoto, Japan
The sidewalks on the banks of the Kamo river are frequented by walkers, runners and cyclists. The 10 km route from the red gates of Fushimi Inari Taisha up to the Kyoto Botanical Garden in the northern part of the city is a scenic route from start to finish. Kyoto also has many palaces to explore throughout the city including Kyoto Imperial Palace and Sentō Imperial Palace in the city’s main green space Kyoto Gyoen.

Barcelona, Spain
Running is a great way to explore this exciting city. Passeig Marítim del Bogatell runs along the coast starting at the base of Montjuïc Hill and passing through the popular Barceloneta neighborhood and the Olympic Village. Avinguda Diagonal is a great down-and-back run that spans the city, but be sure to divert off the main road for views of the Arc de Triomf, Park Güell and La Segrada Família. The trails in Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola provides a good escape from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as a great view of the sunset and sunrise.

San Francisco, CA, USA
The six-mile coastal run on the San Francisco Bay Trail from bridge to bridge is a great flat route that passes by Pier 39 and Crissy Field. The Golden Gate Park is a great scenic route with views of the San Francisco Botanical Garden, Conservatory of Flowers and the famous Panhandle. If you’re up for a challenge, some of the best and oldest trail runs lie across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin Headlands.

Santiago, Chile
While the southern riverbanks of the Mapocho are lined with small parks that make for great views, along the windy route and north of the river lies Santiago’s largest park area. The Fine Arts museum is in Parque Forestal on the southwestern side of the river, with sculptures scattered throughout the park.   


This post was compiled by Nargiss Mouatta and Ali Reed, both members of the platforms team here at Runkeeper. Nargiss is a data science enthusiast with a mathematics background and a hobbyist swimmer who also enjoys taking long walks. Ali is a fitness enthusiast who has only recently started running more seriously. She enjoys running or biking in new cities when she travels—Buenos Aires and Madrid were two of her favorites to explore on bike—and is training for a triathlon. 


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