Whenever I arrive in a new city, I can not wait to go for a quick run. It is a great way to explore a city while ‘pressing pause’ in a usually hectic day.
Explore a city by … euh … just running
As running obviously lets you cover a bigger distance faster than when you’re walking it allows you to quickly explore an area. The area near your hotel (I usually do that, just to know where I am in a city), that new hipster neighborhood your local friends talked about (guilty as charged, did a night run in Auckland to do that), or just to see how the river runs through the city (quilty again, Prague was the setting).
Explore a city by running like a local
Running allows you to instantly walk into a local’s shoes. In Amsterdam locals will run around Amstel river, the Vondelpark and the Westerpark, in Prague around the Vltava river, in Bratislava around the Danube river, etc. Finding where locals run and running with them, instantly helps you get into the pace and vibe of a city.
Explore a city by seeing highlights
Short on time, but want to see the city highlights? Go for a run. As most city centers are usually rather condensed, a 10 or even 5 kilometer run goes a long way in seeing most of the city highlights. Ah, and don’t forget to bring your camera.
Explore a city by running off the beaten paths
Running allows you to see parts of the city you would not normally see. See the city with different eyes. It is a great excuse to see parts of the city you would normally not see. The big forest near the city (high on my bucket list in Prague), run the route of a local 10K or half marathon, explore what happens if you just follow the river, see if you could do a figure run, etc etc.