If you’re a passionate runner travelling on business to one of these European destination, you don’t have to rely on boxed-in basement hotel gyms. You can maintain your routine by taking in fresh air while simultaneously site seeing.
“Be flexible. Being on a business trip can be stressful and time-consuming.” says Simon Paregger, a fitness coach and personal trainer at the 5-star hotel Das Central in Tyrol. If the weather is not great or you cannot fit in a run, consider HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or Tabata (4-minute workouts) “Pack resistance bands, they fit in every suitcase.”
European cities radiate culture, history and incredible coffee trails. Running’s an excellent way to tour sites in between meetings while maintaining your fitness.
Start: Shangri-La Hotel
Located in the 16th Arrondissement at the Shangri-La Hotel, start your route heading towards the Paris Musée Guimet, Europe’s largest Asian Art museum (round building). Continue to Palais de Tokyo, a museum of contemporary and avant-garde art.
Run past Palais Galliera, (fashion museum) and Musée du quai Branly (African, Asian and Oceania museum), distinctly recognizable by the green trees and plants scaling the building. Follow the road past Les Deux Abeilles, a Parisian tea salon (with the best savoury tarts!). Pass the iconic Eiffel Tower. Continue down Champs de Mars (a large green lawn known as the former military exercise ground). Finish the route at Les Invalides at Grand Palais, (the grounds and work of Louis XIV). Here you can stretch and admire the glass roof on the Champs-Élysées in the 8th Arrondissement, where Henri Le Roux, a master chocolatier awaits your cravings.
Start: Hotel Kempinski
Option 1: 6 km (circuit, small slopes)
The Ring Boulevard is one of the most famous and beautiful boulevards in the world. Leaving the hotel Kempinski, located on the tree-lined cycle-only path, turn left and follow the path in a circle. You will pass the Rathaus (town hall), the Natural History Museum and also Burggarten (Vienna Garden), as well as the Opera, before finishing at the Danube Canal. To make your route longer, run loops at any of the parks you pass by. Head back to the Hotel Kempinski to savour apple strudel with a strong coffee to start your day, or cocktail to wind down.
Option 2: 2 km (quick/easy, extendable)
This route can be as short as 2 km or as long as 17 km (2 km run ends when you see Augarten Bridge and Aspern Bridge).
Turn right as you leave the hotel and head towards the Danube Canal (former arm of the River Danube). Run along the banks (used by pedalists and pedestrians). Along the Danube Canal are cool cafes and beach bars when the weather is warm. You can visit Vienna’s largest legal graffiti zone on this run.
Start: Armani Hotel
A popular running route for business travellers and fashionistas visiting Milan during Fashion Week (September).
The Brera district is a pedestrian-only walkway marked by the iconic Duomo di Milano, which leads all the way to Castello Sforzesco, passing through Sempione Park and the Arco della Pace, before winding down to the Duomo Cathedral.
Continue past Duomo Square (through the Fashion District) before running back to the hotel to enjoy an Armani-inspired smoothie with your breakfast buffet or step out to the historic bakery Marchesi (since 1824) – heaven for chocolate-addicts.
Start: Hotel Downtown Camper by Scandic
Hundreds of tiny islands make up Stockholm’s archipelago. If you feel the need to stick to a regular running route shared by locals, head straight for the iconic Djurgården, a haven of great running routes.
For a more unique run, try the recommendation of the Hotel’s lifestyle concierge, Kristian Hell, who helps his guests stay fit and healthy while on the road. He suggests “6-Island Jump:” Start at Downtown Camper and head towards Stadshuset, (the city hall on the water). Head towards Västerbron (with epic city views). Run across to Lånholmen (you’ll see wooden boats lining the water). Keep running towards Monteliusvägen and Mariatorget (a hipster Swedish coffee hotspot). Continue to Götgatan before stopping at Gamla Stan (old city of Stockholm). If you have energy, keep going to Riddarholmen, past The Royal Palace and Parliament House, back to Downtown Camper and relax at The Nest (the city’s greatest rooftop spa).
Start: Shangri-La Hotel, London
Do you dream of running along the River Thames? Start at the Shangri-La Hotel in London and run east to the Tower Bridge, then cross the bridge towards the Tower of London (the 1000-year-old fortress). Make your way to St. Katherine Docks on the north side of the river and past the HMS Belfast towards London Bridge, moving forward to Shakespear’s Globe Theatre and finding your way to Tate Modern Museum (contemporary art). If you have time and energy for 10 km, climb up to St. Paul’s Cathedral and run to The London Eye (giant ferris wheel) before finishing at Westminster Abbey.
Start: Puro Hotel
Poznan is the trade show capital of Poland – perhaps for all of Europe. With a constant trail of visiting exhibitors, a much-favoured route lies along the River Warta.
Head straight across the busy road towards Park Citadella, with over 89 hectares of greenery. If you don’t like running in circles, head straight to the River Warta: run down and up the River Warta as far as your legs can take you (a very safe bike path and lined with vibrant bars later in the evening).
Start: Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron
10 km: Start at the Schloss, turn right to the huge park towards the nursery, Zmugg. Move in the direction of Almkanal, until you reach Pflegerbrücke. Turn left to Keltenallee, a huge and picturesque park of Hellbrunn (note a huge yellow palace: Volkskunde Museum). Continue your run towards Schloss Frohnburg, where The Sound of Music was filmed (the scene where the baroness plays with the children) before returning to Hans Donnersberger Park and back to Schloss Leopoldskron.
If you find yourself in the heart of Salzburg, Hotel & Villa Auersperg owner, Bettina Wiesinger, suggests the following route:
Start at the hotel and run towards Schranne (a famous market in the heart of Salzburg). Head directly to the famous Mirabell Palace & Gardens and run along the River Salzach until you reach Mullner Bridge and cross the river. Run through to Linzergasse & Platzl (Mozart’s former residence is nearby) and back to the hotel.