This hilly, coastal capital is Europe’s westernmost city and the only one on the Atlantic coast. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles. Just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril. At 2.7 million people, it’s the 11th most populous city in Europe. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest in Western Europe. Note: If you’d like to have a guided running experience in Lisbon, we highly recommend our affiliate partner Go! Running Tours.
The city’s geography, weather, and history make it a great city for running. There are two great spots to run along the Tejo (Tagus) River: west, along a 5-mile path to Belem; and a spectacular, modern section from the Oceanarium east through Parque das Nações and Parque de Tejo. A lovely downtown (Baixa) run along the wide Av. de Liberdade to Eduardo VII Park features important squares and buildings. If you like hilly running, this is your city — huff it up the narrow streets, lanes, and stairs of the Bairro Alto or Alfama neighborhoods, to the Castle or one of the Miradouros (view points). The largest park is Monsanto, which has great running options and is now well connected to downtown via a recently completed ‘green corridor’. For a fantastic coastal run, take a 30-minute train ride to the port village of Cascais and enjoy a spectacular 10 km path along the Atlantic.
The weather is mild year-round, and summers are hot but not terribly so. There’s good transport, from historic tram lines up some of the hills (Elevador), to a metro system that covers a good part of the city. High speed trains connect to other important spots in Portugal.
Notes: Much of the surface of the older part of town and some running paths are limestone, which can be slippery. Also, nearly all of our Lisbon routes are well lit at night — even the bike/ped. paths!
Pedestrians are not allowed across the 25 Abril Bridge, except the EDP Half Marathon, when 35,000 runners do it….