Lisbon is famously hilly… which is great news if you are into hill training. Unfortunately, for runners favouring a more gentle run, running in Lisbon can be a bit of a challenge. But there are some great running routes – so don’t despair! Here is a summary of my favourites:
Riverside: Baixa/Cais do Sodré to Belém
This is probably the most popular route for anyone visiting Lisbon: Running along the river Tejo/Tagus. It is completely flat, and the route is easy to follow much Praça do Comércio all the way to Belém and beyond. Most of the street works in the area are completed, which makes this route easy to follow – and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most amazing sights: From the breathtaking start in Praça do Comércio, along the port and reclaimed docks and passing April 25th Bridge, MAAT and finishing in Belém.
The full route to Torre de Belém is a little over 7 km – so a neat 15 km run for the weekend if you run around the Praça once or twice. For a shorter run, an alternative is to take public transport out to Belém – and return one way.
Riverside: Parque das Nações and Vasco da Gama Bridge
This is a much more modern scenery around the riverside on the other side of Lisbon: You can get to Oriente station, and run along the riverside (again, flat) to Vasco da Gama Bridge, then back up, and run to the other end of Parque das Nações – and back again to Oriente. The run is a bit shorter than the one to Belém: around 6km one way, 12 km by the time you return to Oriente.
The main attraction here: Modern Lisbon at it’s very best.
Town running: São Sebastião to Praça de Comércio
This is a pretty nice route for a relaxed run: Take public transport to São Sebastião (El Corte Ingles). You need to get up the hill at the start (to the oversized Portuguese flag) – but from there on it is an easy run almost straight down to Praça de Comércio along Avenida and Baixa. Amazing architecture, grand buildings and regular stops at intersections make this a perfect run for an easy start.
One way is 3.5 km.
This is far more hilly … but the rewards are great views over Lisbon. If you are serious about training up hill – this is probably for you. You can make up different routes as you go along. Overall, you could spend a long time running around here – or just run across the mountain: one way is around 5 km.
The highlight: The derelict old restaurant with the most spectacular view over Lisbon.
If you want to run (nearly) a marathon, the easiest way is to run from the Vasco da Gama Bridge all the way to Algés – and back. A less ambitious version: Take the metro to Moscavide and then run along the riverside one way, taking the train back from Algés. The full run is roughly 20km – and you get to see all of the stunning riverside of Lisbon (and a few more “up and coming places”) on the way.
Happy running… For more ideas about runs and different routes (although some going up steep hills), you can also check out the Nike Run LX facebook page. They post maps of their forever changing runs mostly starting at the Nike store in Chiado (Sadly only in Portuguese).
Have you got a favourite run in Lisbon? Please share your favourite running locations below!