Essen & Duisburg, Germany

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Essen. Includes Nearby Duisburg

Essen is the central city in Germany’s Ruhr Valley, located between the Ruhr and Essen Rivers. The city is considered the “energy headquarters of Germany,” and its historic coal mines and coking plants still dot the landscape. Essen is also home to some of the country’s largest corporations, trade shows, and cultural institutions. Even though Essen is not particularly known for its beauty, the plethora of multi-use pathways makes for some good running in Essen. Note our guide also includes several routes in Duisburg, a city on the Rhine and the Ruhr 20 km to the west.

One of the best places to run in Essen is along the Ruhr River, especially the sections around Spillenburger Wehr or the loop around Baldeneysee. There is also some great running through Essen’s center, including the University, commercial center, and some historic landmarks. There are also plenty of parks for running, such as Grugapark, Rheinelbe, Emscher Park, Gleispark Frintrop, and Helenen Park. Another highlight is the paths and grounds around the Borbeck Castle at Schloß Park. In Duisburg, there are riverfront paths, the large Landschaftspark, and, south of the city a neat 5k loop around the Regattabahn and several wooded trails in the Wolsee (Sechs-Seen-Platte).

The best way to get around Essen is the light rail system, which has plenty of stops across the city and surrounding metro area. There is also an extensive bus system and tram system.

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Some of our favorite runs in Essen & Duisburg, Germany

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Most hotels in Essen are located in or near the downtown pedestrian corridor. There are more options scattered through the suburbs. See Visit Essen for more information on accommodations.

Essen has a number of chain running stores, as well as some independent spots like Der Laufladen, Sportshop Ruhr, and Lauflust.

The University of Essen has an international running group.

The Essen Marathon incorporates some of our routes, including the beautiful Baldeneysee.