8 cities in Europe best explored while running

While most people love enjoying the walking tours many European cities have to offer, another great way to see the sights while also improving your fitness is to take a running tour. It’ll not only help you work off all those kebabs and beers, but you won’t have to take time away from sightseeing to workout.

Berlin, Germany

There are so many facets to this capital city it would be hard to take it all in during a leisurely stroll. Mike’s SightRunning Berlin offers an array of themed small group running tours daily from 6AM-midnight. Participants run 4-6 miles per hour and can see sights based on preference. Want to know what it felt like to run in the 2009 World Championships in Athletics marathon while taking in Brandenburg Gate, Bellevue Palace, and the Reichstag? Or to learn more about political Berlin with a run along the River Spree through the government district? Perhaps you’re interested in a general city overview with a mix of history and modern fare? These are all tour options with Mike’s SightRunning Berlin. And if you want to mix and match, customized tours are available, as well.Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is located in the island country of Iceland and is a surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Running along the shoreline can be a memorable experience, especially if you get to see the city sites, as well. Run Reykjavik operates 10.5 mile running tours every Saturday at 9AM as well as 6 mile runs on Fridays at 6:30AM and Wednesdays at 6PM. Along the way, visitors will experience the area’s strong maritime heritage through fisherman huts, bird and wildlife, lighthouses, and views of the skyline, boats, and ocean. The running tour ends with a dip in the ocean or pool as well as a traditional hot tub hangout session.

Paris, France

Paris, the City of Light, is best explored on your feet…running feet, that is. ParisRunningTours offers visitors the opportunity to run with experienced Parisian competitive runners who know all of the secrets of the city. Whether you want to create your own route or choose from one of their already designed tours is up to you, as the company offers experiences that allow you see churches, canals, French Revolutionary sites, palaces, and more. And to help you feel accomplished, ParisRunningTours gives participants a t-shirt, photo, certificate, and medal of honor.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark and is well-known as being one of the most beautiful and eco-friendly areas in the world. For those who want to experience the beauty of the outdoors, Running Tours Copenhagen offers a variety of options, from a Grand Tour of the city to a 3-4 mile shorter Grand Tour. There is also a night run, a Christian’s Harbour Run, and a speedy take on the classic pub crawl. Runners will experience history, architecture, harbor views, castles, and cathedrals, learn where to get the best danishes, and possibly even sip some local brews. Plus the company owner, Troels, is hysterical and will have you laughing so hard you won’t even notice those muscle cramps.

Barcelona, Spain

There is a lot to see in Barcelona, and you may not have time to take it all in if you’re simply strolling. Running Tours Barcelona offers classic and customized running tours with different difficulty levels and pace options. If it’s your first time in the city, a nice easy run to start with is The Old Town, which is about 5-6 miles and will allow you to run through the famous streets of Las Ramblas and explore the destroyed Jewish Quarter from medieval times, the unusual architecture of Antonio Gaudí, the Cathedral, and more. For the more advanced runners, the Barcelona XL tour is a 13-14 mile tour that brings you to la Sagrada Familia (pictured right), the Arc de Triomphe, the El Ravel area, and along the picturesque seaside.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world to straddle two continents. MaratonTürk allows visitors to jog from Europe to Asia, and vice versa, without ever leaving the city. Choose to either run 4 miles or 7.5 miles, with a cruise ship return. Some of the sights along the way include Atatürk Bridge, Eyüp Sultan Mosque, Kizkulesi Maiden’s Tower, Harem Pier, a Turkish tea house in Europe, and a Turkish coffee shop in Asia. Runners also receive a commemorative medal for their hard, but fun, work.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is a pretty big city, and because of its size takes a lot of time to explore. Doing a running tour with Vienna Sight Running can help speed up the process and allow you to see more sights in less time. First time visitors will enjoy an easy, 5-mile run that takes you through the city’s medieval architecture, courtyards filled with Mozart and Beethoven impersonators, streets lined with Viennese cafes, and the beautiful St. Stephen’s Cathedral. For those with an adventurous spirit, a challenging 6 mile run along the Danube River that includes challenging ascents and rewarding city views is a great option.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is a unique city filled with 18th-century architecture, peaceful canals, picturesque parks, and historical buildings. Some areas restrict bikes and buses; however, a running tour will allow you to see all of the major sights. Tourist Run Amsterdam takes visitors on a guided 1-hour running tour with stops at places like the Waterlooplein flea market, The Rijksmuseum, The Royal Palace on the Dam, The Anne Frank House, The Heineken Brewery, and more.