Where to run in Barcelona: our favourite places to run in the city
Although Barcelona has many beautiful sights and green spaces, it is, after all, a metropolitan city. And cities, in essence, are busy, populated places with cars and traffic lights. We’ve selected some of the best places to run without having to stop at lights or dodge legions of pedestrians. It also, of course, depends on the season!
When is the best time of day to run in Barcelona?
During the hot summer months, it is best to avoid running in the afternoons as the sun is very strong and the temperatures can be unbearably high. Running early in the morning before the city starts its day is an opportune time to start. The evenings also make for a nice time to catch the sunset and take advantage of the cooler temperatures.
In the cooler months, it is easy to run at almost any time of the day. If you choose a busier route, however, like around the Parc Ciutadella or the beachfront, keep in mind that there may also be many people out there that have same idea in mind – to enjoy the beautiful weather.
Running along the iconic waterfront of Barcelona inspires a true sense of elation. With the Mediterranean sea as your backdrop and easy, level ground, this is one of our favourite places to run in Barna. Your route can be as long as you wish and one of the best parts about it is that there are no traffic lights to bring your run to a grinding halt. Starting from the W Hotel at one end, you could take this route all the way to Port Fòrum if you wished. Bring your swimsuit along for a refreshing dip in the sea when you finish!
Be wary of running here at peak times like the late morning or afternoons as this is when most people will be wanting to enjoy the sun and sea.
The Besòs River
Easily accessible from the Sant Adrià de Besòs Rodalies train station, this beautiful riverside path boasts a wide paved path which is meant for walkers, runners and bikers as well as a large area of grass alongside it. Whether you choose to run on the softer surface or the pavement is up to you. The route is flat, even, relatively straight and perfect for beginner runners. The total return distance is about 8km.
Montjuïc is like Barcelona’s secret garden. A lush hill that overlooks the city, it’s the perfect place to run for those who don’t mind inclines. This runner’s playground is filled with gardens, parks and some historical buildings like the Castell de Montjuïc and the Olympic complex. You can choose to follow paved roads or dip in to the gardens and parks to vary your route.
Parc de la Ciutadella
One of the most special green spaces of the city, Parc de la Ciutadella is a favourite of ours for running. The terrain is flat and unpaved, and each lap around the park is approximately 1.5km. We love this park as a place to run because of the special sights within – the beautiful fountain, charming duck-filled pond, Catalan parliament building, the mammoth statue and the greenhouse next to the Castell dels Tres Dragons (Castle of the Three Dragons). It can get pretty busy on the weekends or during summer months so if you plan to run then, try to make it there earlier or after sunset.
Avinguda Diagonal is the longest and widest avenue in Barcelona, beginning at the sea from Diagonal Mar up until the Les Corts neighbourhood. Although it is a bustling street with many people and traffic lights, the shade of the tree-line canopy and width of the pavement allow for easy running. For a less busy zone, try running from Plaça de Fransesc Macià and away from the city, or otherwise begin at Gloriès and down toward the sea.
Do you run in Barcelona? Where is your favourite place to log your kilometres?