Best Urban Runs

Vancouver - Photo: Luc Tribolet

Vancouver - Photo: Luc Tribolet


I am American and I admit that Canada is home to the most beautiful city in North America (that I’ve seen so far). I do not make this admission lightly, but with waterfront runs and green spaces everywhere, as a runner it’s hard not to love Vancouver. My favorite place is Stanley Park jutting straight out of downtown. It’s an urban running paradise that has it all - waterfront views, mountain views, city views, and forested trails. There’s not a lot to complain about running here. Make a lap or two with a few detours of the round-shaped park and you really won’t want to stop running. Stanley Park (and Vancouver in general) is one of those places that you can see over and over and never get bored. Throw in the massive provincial parks just north of North Vancouver and you’re bound to want to run more and maybe even extend your stay.


The city with a reputation. Say Amsterdam, and many think immediately of some of the less savory activities present here. Behind Amsterdam’s reputation, is a city of art, tolerance, progressive thinkers, and great running. If you can get up early enough before the bike traffic, the canals of the city center provide a perfect route to take in the iconic Dutch architecture. To make a longer run, connect with two of the city’s largest parks, Vondelpark and Rembrandt Park, to admire the flowers and green areas, as you won’t see a lot of green areas in other parts of the city built on canals and dams.


In my humble opinion, the most underrated city in Europe. Fantastic nightlife, beautiful architecture and a vibrant culture throughout the city. Add to this massive city parks and you have a city that has pretty much everything. Both the Parco del Retiro and it’s larger brother Casa de Campo in the backyard of the Royal Palace make fantastic places for even longer runs without having to loop around or add on. Be warned, however, if you come in the summer, you’d better run early in the morning or the heat will get to you. After all, there is a reason that so much of life is lived late at night, away from the sun’s rays.