When heading off to Europe for a city break, the first thing we do when booking a holiday is to find the nearest parkrun!
With parkruns now taking place in 20 countries worldwide, we take a closer look at eight European capital cities that scan barcodes every week.
Berlin, Germany - Hasenheide parkrun
parkrun launched in Germany in December 2017 and has flourished over the winter months. As a country with a rich sporting history, and a city that is home to the fastest marathon course in the world, it’s no surprise that Berlin has embraced parkrun.
Taking place in Volkspark Hasenheide to the south of the city every Saturday morning at 9am. The two-lapper is walked, jogged and ran by over 100 parkrunners each week and offers PB-potential.
Post-parkrun refreshments are at Café Blume every week, where you can chat with the local volunteers and plan the rest of your weekend exploring all the history and culture that Berlin has to offer.
You can find out more about parkrun Germany here.
Copenhagen, Denmark - Amager Strandpark parkrun
When you think of Copenhagen, it’s impossible not to think of cyclists – the number one way to get around this beautiful city. However, two wheels are exchanged for a parkrun barcode Saturday morning.
Denmark was the first parkrun country to launch outside of the UK, starting in 2009 before Australia, Ireland and South Africa. In Copenhagen, you have a choice of three parkruns.
Amager Strandpark parkrun to the south east of Copenhagen is a flat, tarmac course with views towards Sweden or across the lagoon. The best way to arrive? By bicycle of course!
You can find out more about parkrun Denmark here.
Dublin, Republic of Ireland – Poolbeg parkrun
The Republic of Ireland welcomed parkrun in 2013 and has been fully embraced by people of all ages and backgrounds. There are now more than 70 different 5k events to choose from, with a dozen junior parkrun events too.
Dublin, on Ireland’s east coast, has always been a popular destination for a weekend getaway, but with 22 parkruns located within reach of the city, it features highly on the list for parkrun tourists.
To the east of the city is Poolbeg parkrun, with a course that passes through Irishtown Nature Park and post-parkrun coffee at Café Java in Sandymount Village. And remember, parkrun Ireland events start at 9:30am, so you even get an extra half hour in bed!
You can find out more about parkrun Ireland here.
Moscow, Russia - parkrun Зеленоград
Despite the challenges posed by the weather, size of the country and the language barrier, parkrun in Russia has grown rapidly since launching simultaneously in two Moscow parkruns in March 2014. Saturday mornings start with parkrun in three different communities, and parkrun has even reached Siberia!
The city of Moscow now boasts 15 different parkruns, with a 16th launching on Saturday 7 April, including parkrun Зеленоград in Zelenograd to the north west of Moscow.
Temperatures at parkrun in Russia have been known to drop as low as -30°C, so you will probably need that post-parkrun cuppa to warm you up for the rest of your stay in Russia.
You can find out more about parkrun Russia here.
Oslo, Norway - Tøyen parkrun
Whilst parkrun arrived in Denmark almost a decade ago, the free, weekly, 5k is a relatively new concept to the rest of the Nordic region – launching in Sweden in 2016 and then Norway and Finland in 2017.
In the heart of Oslo, next to the popular Natural History and Munch Museums, is the undulating Tøyenparken – home to Tøyen parkrun.
The three-lapper offers great views of the city, and whilst the hills may not make it the fastest parkrun course you’ll ever run, just remember that what goes up, must come down!
You can find out more about parkrun Norway here.
Paris, France - Montsouris parkrun
The city of love, incredible food, art and architecture is also now the city of parkrun! Two events, Bois de Boulogne parkrun to the west and Montsouris parkrun to the south welcome tourists and locals alike.
Particularly popular in April on the weekend of the Paris Marathon, Montsouris parkrun is a flat, fast, pathed, three-lapped course in Montsouris Park, with your post-5k refreshments waiting for you at nearby Café Le ChinChin. The ideal preparation for a day of sightseeing!
You can find out more about parkrun France here.
Stockholm, Sweden - Haga parkrun
Stockholm is the most populous city in the Nordic countries with almost one million residents, and it has great transport links with two airports located near Stockholm.
To the north of the city you will find Hagaparken – home to Haga parkrun. The mixed terrain two-lapper changes with the seasons, from snowy parkrun mornings in winter to glorious sunny mornings in the summer.
The most famous landmark on the course are the Copper Tents (above), although the park is also home to the heir to the Swedish throne, Princess Victoria, who has been spotted out running on a Saturday morning (though not yet at Haga parkrun!)
With lakes, lawns and forests to explore, it’s the ideal venue for a relaxing morning basking in the post-parkrun glow!
You can find out more about parkrun Sweden here.
Warsaw, Poland - Warszawa-Praga parkrun
The parkrunners of Poland are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your parkrun destination, with more than 50 events across the country.
To the east of the capital, Warsaw, you will find Warszawa-Praga parkrun every week in Park Skaryszewski, just over the Vistula River in the Praga district. The two-lapper is flat and handily located within reach of the city centre.
Among the attractions of Warsaw is the historical Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a number of museums and the biggest market in the city where you can pick up some souvenirs to round-off a brilliant weekend of international parkrun tourism!
You can find out more about parkrun Poland here.
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