Updated: May 27, 2020
The best way to explore any city is on foot.
That way you can get a real feel for the scale of the city and see those areas the tour bus passes by. You can do this either by walking or running.
However, you may be anxious about the allergens and the pollution in the air found in cities you want to visit. You may be concerned about getting lost. You may also be interested in the culture and history of the city you’re visiting. How can you learn all these things about the city while running?
Fortunately, there is a smartphone app called Runnin’City (http://runnin.city) that provides everything you need to explore a strange city on foot. It even guides you from your starting point to the nearest point of the Runnin’City route you have decided ti run. Over 200 cities in 51 countries on all 5 continents are covered by the app. There are 1,200 tours on the app that guide you through the city on your run or walk and point out all the points of interest. That same app also provides real-time pollution and allergen levels for each tour.
Where should you go?
Different areas of the world will recover at different times as the COVID-19 Pandemic comes to an end. The following 5 cities are located on different continents, so they’re likely to open up at different times.
This gives you the opportunity to choose where you want to go based on what places are safe and open.
These cities are also ones loved by runners because of their open areas, interesting landmarks, topography, and facilities for runners. So, grab your GoPro and get ready for a post-COVID-19 running or walking adventure.
#1. Hong Kong, Asia
The old colonial city of Hong Kong offers fantastic running and walking trails. The established trails are paved and offer iconic views of towering skyscrapers on one side and breathtaking island and jungle views on the other. Check out the Peak Circle Trail, the Hong Kong Trail, and the Bowen Road Trail on Victoria Peak for panoramic views of Hong Kong Central and Victoria Harbor.
It’s best to visit in spring or in the fall when it’s not too hot and humid for running. The fantastic public transport system and inexpensive taxis mean you can choose any of the routes offered within Runnin’City, however far it is from your home or hotel. You can take public transport to a scenic starting point, enjoy your run through interesting neighborhoods, and then return to your hotel again using public transport. You can even enjoy unplanned runs, if you wish, because you’re bound to be close to public transport wherever you stop.
#2. San Francisco, America
Stick a flower in your hair and running shoes on your feet for your trip to San Francisco. You’ll have seen enough San Francisco street scenes in major films and TV shows to know that this is a great city for hill running. Frisco also offers variety, ocean views, an iconic streetscape, and great weather for running.
There are great routes around Golden Gate Park. You can follow the 2 main drags, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive or John F. Kennedy Drive JFK or explore the little trails that thread through the park. Sometimes it feels like you’re in the wilderness though you’re really in the heart of San Francisco.
San Francisco boasts 14 active running clubs, 9 dedicated running stores, and hundreds of organized races. Wherever you choose to run in the city, you’ll likely run into other runners wearing down their soles on the city’s many paths and trails.
Runnin’City offers 3 great running routes in San Francisco to discover the best the city has to offer.
#3. Amsterdam, Europe
The beautiful city of Amsterdam is so pedestrian-friendly that it’s a paradise for runners. The paths beside the canals provide fantastic views of the city, and there are great trails along the Amstel River and inside parks, such as Rembrandtpark, Vondelpark, and Westerpark. The picturesque old warehouses and many bridges provide eye candy for your run.
There are 4 uninterrupted running trails marked with distance markers and silver signs located in Martin Luther King Park, Flevopark, Marineterrein, and Westerpark. Westerpark also features outside workout stations, so you can build up your strength, too.
The wooded park of Amsterdamse Bos is 3 times the size of Central Park and contains 3 established running trails that all start from the Boswinkel store. The route around the outside of the park is equivalent to a half marathon. Because Amsterdam is one of the world’s flattest cities, it’s great for long-distance fun runs.
Runnin’City proposes 24 sight running or training routes throughout the city, ranging from 2.5 to 15km.
#4. Sydney, Oceania
Australia’s largest city surrounds the biggest natural harbor in the world. Sydney offers great weather and lots of variety. There are iconic buildings and monuments, countless parks, beaches, coves, and the Blue Mountains to the west. Sydneysiders love to run along the coastal path from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach.
There are lots of great running trails in central locations easily accessible by public transport. Imagine running past the Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the Central Business District skyscrapers. The extensive public transport and ferry system makes it easy for you to reach outer areas to run in unique locations.
#5. Cape Town, Africa
With landmarks such as Table Mountain, beautiful beaches, and the famous harbor, Cape Town offers a variety of running conditions to keep you inspired. Lions Head in Table Mountain Park is a popular running spot. The botanical gardens provide a scenic backdrop to running adventures. And the historic city center is a great place to walk or run to learn about South Africa’s colonial history.
Cape Town benefits from a mild climate at the southern tip of Africa, which is great for running and leisurely walks. Along the western, Atlantic coastline, the climate is similar to southern California’s coast. Around False Bay, the coast is like the northern Mediterranean coastline. The Atlantic seaboard is often called Cape Town’s Riviera and is considered one of the most scenic areas in South Africa. Cape Town’s natural scenery and well-developed infrastructure mean that the running and hiking trails are all well maintained and provide fantastic views for runners.
Article written by our friends at outsidepursuits.com