Boots were always made for walking, but since 1988 when Nike exclaimed JUST DO IT the world has been engulfed in a non-stop running fever and shoes are now made for jogging. Raise your hands, or feet, if you don’t own a pair of high-end trainers.
And it’s been good since then, real good. We, the people, are healthier, slimmer and find solace in the most natural of human activities. Besides dining (and OK – taking selfies) jogging is a global phenomenon, crossing cultures, continents and everything in between.
Sweet Inn is in the habit of sharing unique local tips, so this time we thought of venturing outdoors to let you know about where and how we like to run.
It’s the oldest city in Western Europe. So with your legs leading the way, it’ll be like running through time. It’s no surprise that our chosen jogging route in Lisbon runs through its older neighborhood.
Start in the magical Graça and Alfama, with their colorful character and enticeful flavors but be warned that you’ll encounter some steep streets along the way. From there make your passage through the National Pantheon to Terreiro do Paço (Praça do Comércio), one of Lisbon’s – and Europe’s – most iconic squares. Take a deep breath and head up to the Castelo de Sao Jorge that stands majestically above central Lisbon, providing breathtaking views of the city.
7km / 4.5mile
You can always ‘run through the sites’ in London, rounding up the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and London’s Eye, all with an eye to the Thames. You don’t need us for that. But since London’s streets get very busy, and since there’s more to London than its most (in)famous sites, how about discovering the more scenic side of the city?
Start from Camden Town, or Great Portland street – it’s up to you. From there Primrose Hill is definitely worth exploring – follow the stream of Regent’s Canal into the urban oasis which is Little Venice, interspersed with waterways and footbridges included. Since British logic requires a route to begin and end at the same spot, you’ll return through beautiful parkland to Camden.
10km / 6mile
Paris might not be the first city that comes to mind when considering a run, but the pretty-much flat city can surprise you – even in this regard. So when in Paris, run for the Royal Gardens (or run through them, more like it.)
Start at the elegant and formal Jardin des Tuileries with its gorgeous ponds and impressive statues and casually jog from there past the Musée du Louvre. From there, crossing the two banks of the Seine through the Île de la Cité– the natural islands duo and enter the Latin Quarter to marvel at the Panthéon, the Jardin du Luxembourg and the Palais du Luxembourg – no introduction required.
8km / 5mile
For Barcelona we have two options. The most obvious jogging route is along the beach. The best way to get there is to run down the pedestrian highway in the center of Avenue Diagonal toward the… ocean (you can’t miss it!) There you’ll have a wide, paved path along the beach.
The other, non-less obvious option is the Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola, situated just north of the city center. It’s the largest metropolitan park in the world. Simply jog to the park, from anywhere, and when you get there just let yourself go and run some more. If you’re up for it, aim to el Tibidabo – the tallest peak in the park. The incredible views of the city and the sea will be worth it.
If you’re into hardcore urban jogging, then the cobblestone streets of Rome will be a delight for your feet. No matter where you turn – the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps (you can do an Italian take on that famous Rocky scene), Colosseum, Pantheon… cobblestone it is. But if you prefer a more reasonable route in Rome, how about Villa Borghese and Villa Ada?
The two parklands, situated north of the city center, are at close proximity to one another (mere 1km / 0.7mile) and both offer a classical European experience in its most grandiose. Sprint your best and get lost amongst manicured gardens, marble mansions and serene ponds.