Run and the City: Amsterdam

Running, it seems the be today’s hype. There are over 200.000 people who run in Amsterdam. And, to be honest, I love it too. I bring my running gear on every trip I go, even when I go city tripping for a few days. For one, I need to run. And, secondly, you get to see the city from a different perspective.

That said, some cities are friendlier to runners than others. During my travels in southeast Asia I tried to go for a run in Chiang Mai, it was absolutely terrifying. Never again. Other cities, like Valencia for example, are made for working out!

In the series, ‘Run and the City’, I will be exploring running options in cities across Europe. One city at a time. I’ll begin by playing a home game: Amsterdam.

Take a dekko at the map below, I marked all my favourite running spots in Amsterdam!

Short Runs


All the routes are marked with silver pushpins

The first location perfect for a run is the world famous Vondelpark. The park is around 3.5k in circuit and has an open air theatre which is perfect for some CrossFit exercises. The park is free of traffic and full of people exercising. The perfect spot for a city workout.

Other short, traffic free routes are Flevopark, Oosterdok, Westerpark and the Martin Luther King Park. All routes are marked with silver pushpins. Check out where they start on this map.

Medium Runs

5k routes are also all over Amsterdam. A run around Diemenpark is just about 5k, surroundings are peaceful, and on a hot day, you can even cool of in the water at the little sandy beach. Get there by bicycle or take tram 26. Another amazing route around the lake: Rondje Sloterplas. Catch tram 1 or 17 to Meer en Vaart and start your 5.9k run from here. Lastly, there’s a really nice short run in Amsterdamse Bos.

Long Runs

Richard running in Amsterdam Forest

Amsterdamse Bos is my absolute favourite place to run. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and become one with nature. It’s a popular spot, but not to worry. The city forest is three times the size of Central Park in New York. So there are plenty of quiet spots to be discovered. For runners, there are marked routes for all. 5k, 10k and even a half marathon! If you feel adventurous, take a chance and get off the marked route.

Besides running, there’s lots of other stuff to do here. Yoga, horseback riding,  paddle boarding and fishing are just a few of the activities. Start your adventure at the Boswinkel, where you can get all the info!

There are a few other long runs in Amsterdam worth mentioning. A 10k marked one is in South
Amsterdam and starts near the Olympic Stadium. It runs through the Zuidas, through the Amstelpark along the Amstel River and back.

If you want to do a longer run a great option is to follow the Amstel towards Oudekerk aan de Amstel en back to the park. This adds about another 10k to the route and is part of the yearly Amsterdam Marathon. You can also extend this run bij going all the way to Oudekerk aan de Amstel, run around the lake and go back. Beautiful up there!

Lastly, the Brettenpad is another really cool run starting in Westerpark. It’s a 12k cycling path mainly through nature. Marked with white and green dots on the ground. After 12k you finish at railway station Halfweg. From here, catch a train back to Amsterdam. Or, turn around and go for another 12k.

Put on Your Running Shoes

This is only a selection of my favourite places to go running in Amsterdam. Again, the Dutch capital is very runner friendly, so there are a ton of places to go for a nice run! I am looking forward to November, then I will go an explore the running scene in Lisbon. In the meanwhile, if you have any suggestions or stories about running in the city, I would love to hear about that in the comments!

Leave a Comment