Best running routes in Amsterdam
Amsterdam boasts plenty of parks, green spaces and woods that are perfect for a spot of sport. Some of our favourites follow, including route recommendations and distances.
Diemerpark and Nesciobrug
In the last 14 years or so, Diemerpark has undergone an amazing transformation from rubbish dump to neighbourhood park with playing fields, an open-air theatre and the largest variety of flora and fauna in all of Amsterdam. Run across the 780-metre-long Nescio bridge through the greenery for two-and-a-half kilometres, and, weather permitting, cool down with a dip by the urban beach.
Standard round: 5 km
Many Amsterdammers uphold that Flevopark, located east of the lively Indische Buurt neighbourhood, is the city’s most beautiful. It’s also perfect for running: the distance markers along the canal are handy for interval training. Or take it easy and do a leisurely round while enjoying the scenery. Should you be in need of refreshment, there’s a café and bar right in the centre of the park.
Standard round: 2.3 km
Amsterdam’s newest park provides the loveliest green spaces in Amsterdam Noord. There’s a running route along the North Holland Canal, which splits the park in two, that’s ideal for interval training or sprints. If you’re after a challenge, you can also start at Kalkoenstraat, do a lap of the park and then return by running along the canal.
Standard round: 2.7 km
Vast Amsterdamse Bos – nearly three times the size of New York’s Central Park – might just as well have been designed with runners in mind. Go cross-country and find your own trail through the woods, or follow one of the designated routes: Five kilometres along the Bosbaan, 10 kilometres for half a lap of the Bos or, if you’re feeling particularly vigorous, lap the Bos for a half marathon. All three routes start at the Boswinkel and partly incorporate the same paths, which is handy if you’re running with someone wanting to complete a different distance.
Standard rounds: 5, 10 or 21 km
Amsterdam's centrally located Vondelpark is the perfect spot for a quick early morning or late evening run. Due to the park's popularity and city proximity, you'll find many like-minded runners on the track too. It can get busy, so it's a good idea to keep to the side of the path and keep your eye on bikers. This route is a great way to take in the beauty of the city's famous park and is well lit to boot.
Standard loop: 3.3 km
This park and lake form a gorgeous backdrop for sporting endeavours. Cross the park (three-and-a-half kilometres) or circle the lake (five kilometres). If it’s dark, use the bike path. Each June, the park plays host to the Gaasperpark Run, with routes for children (one and two kilometres), beginners (five kilometres) or pros (10 kilometres).
Standard round (Gaasperpark): 3.5 km/5 km
Standard round Gaasperpark and Gaasperplas: 6 km
Because of its many sandy paths, Rembrandtpark is great for running, and you might find yourself having run 10 kilometres without much noticing it. Neighbouring canal-side Postjeskade makes for a nice variation.
Standard round: 4 km
Sloterplas, a lake in Amsterdam’s Western Garden Towns, is a local favourite for walking, running and boating. A round around the lake is five-and-a-half kilometres, with the added bonus of a view of sailboats, canoeists and anglers. The route is so popular that there is a competition taking place each year: the Sloterplasloop.
Standard round: 5.5 km
The royal park in Zuid is ideal for beginners, with its hard paths and a round of two-and-a-half kilometres. More seasoned runners can choose to continue to the nearby Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, a picturesque village, or to nearby Amstelpark.
Standard round: 2.5 km
Running along the River Amstel is not only beautiful, but also a great way of enjoying sights of the city. Start by Koningsplein, run past the Royal Theatre Carré and carry on to Amstelpark, and you’ve gone a distance of five kilometres. If that’s not enough, continue for another seven kilometres to lovely Oudekerk aan de Amstel. From here, you can return to the city using public transport. But… if you run back along the same route, you’ve run more than a half marathon.
Standard route: 5 km
Long route: 23 km
Westerpark and De Bretten
Westerpark offers plentiful options for runners: enter the park on Houtmankade, take the asphalt paths past the ING Bank and return the same way. Or you can go the quieter off-track route, which leads you on narrow, sandy paths along calm waters. Take your wallet and reward yourself with a nice cappuccino or refreshing juice in one of the park’s pleasing cafés, such as Koffie ende Koeck or Bakkerswinkel. Ready for going the extra mile? Once you’ve reached the ING, continue past Sloterdijk Station to the versatile De Bretten park: a beautiful piece of nature and greenery with reed, woods, creeks and a wealth of rare birds.
Standard route Westerpark: 5 km
Standard route Westerpark and De Bretten: 12 km
If you're looking for a decent central run with more of an urban perspective then Zeeburg is just the route. It offers waterside views as you head out to Zeeburg with the option of returning via Java Island taking in contemporary and traditional architectural cityscapes along the way.
About 7 km
Uninterrupted running routes
On occasion of the European Athletics Championships of summer 2016, which took place in Amsterdam, the City of Amsterdam launched four new running routes that don’t involve stops or traffic obstacles. They are located in Flevopark, at the Marineterrein, in Westerpark and in Martin Luther King Park and are marked with silver signs and distance markers.