Best Holiday Runs: Europe

Here’s a reason to cheer a runner’s heart, despite the creeping cold and shorter days: holiday running! Travel magazines and websites are full of lists such as ‘best cities to see holiday lights”, so we did some research to match some of those with some great running routes. Our list of the best holiday runs in Europe is a combination of beautiful light displays, popular ‘Christmas Markets’, and cities that are especially festive this time of year. A special bonus: that dreaded nighttime run becomes a special treat! While the list might tilt toward wintry, northern spots, you’ll find some special surprises in warmer weather cities, too. For more, see our list of the best holiday runs in North America.

Vienna. Garlands of bulbs hang over the city’s main streets, while its shops are decorated with pine branches and silk ribbons. Chandeliers line the road to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Stay inside the ring road, on the western side of the river, and create your own tour of historic Vienna.

Prague. This fairytale city, with its gothic architecture and wintry streets, is beautifully lit and abounds with Christmas markets. Our Prague Major Sites Tour will hit many of the holiday hotspots.

Copenhagen. No holiday running list is complete without a Scandinavian destination, and Copenhagen is our favorite this time of year.  See wonderful decorations as you run through the Tivoli Gardens or in the waterfront district of Nyhaven.

Potsdam, Germany. An easy train ride from Berlin, Potdsam is one of the best preserved cities in Germany and features one of the country’s largest Christmas markets. Our Potsdam tour features wonderful palaces, paths along the Havel river, and pretty parks.

Madrid. One of the best warmer weather Christmas spots in Europe. The city is festooned with lights, especially the Plaza Mayor. Best seen on our Madrid Sights Tour.

Paris: We couldn’t leave out a classic. The Champs Elysées is lined with lights, as are other iconic Paris landmarks, highlighted in our ‘runseeing’ tour.