I grew up in the Canadian Rockies. Except for a year living in Vancouver (and of course weekend get-a-ways, and beach vacations) I’ve lived WELL above sea level. I grew up in Banff, a town where performance athletes travel to train at altitude. The elevation of my home town is just shy of a mile high. Fitness is my guilty pleasure, I love it, and I need it. At home, I’ll run for an hour in the mountains. On vacations, I always pack work out gear, and workout equipment. (It’s okay you can make fun of me. I am that freak who wastes 6 lbs of my checked luggage allowance of hand weights.)
When I get to a new city, I always google “trending” studios. When I was searching for “Barre Studios Amsterdam,” “Spin Studios Amsterdam,” and “New Fitness Classes Amsterdam,” I was surprised by how little I found. (I suppose, I might have had better luck googling in Dutch.)
I’m never one to let the fails of a good search get me down. So instead of wasting MORE time searching studios, I laced up and RAN. As I ran, I discovered a small “fitness” park. I made a mental note and kept running. I quickly came up to a much larger park that reminded me of NYC’s Central Park. The greenery was beautiful, the historic houses classic, the water serene, and the people watching PRICELESS.
As I ran, I found myself in Amsterdam’s VodelPark (Museum Park). My legs carried my past the Van Gough Museum, over a “lock laced” bridge, through trees and back around to where I started. Half way through my run, I realized my run was more a sightseeing expedition than a workout. I found myself perplexed by just how EASY my run was; 10 km deep and my legs were crazing more. (I’ll blame it on the sea level.)
With all the canals, greenery, and parks Amsterdam is a beautiful city to run in.
If you’re keen to discover Amsterdam via a run, check out the Tourist Run Amsterdam. If you book a run, they’ll pick you up at your hotel and “run” you through Amsterdam, as they share some of the cities history and magic with you. The tour is about an hour, and the small running group sizes make the tourist run a fun and fit adventure.
Or, if you’re somewhat like me and fear the idea of being slowed down by a friend that “alwaaays needs to walk,” you can find your own running loop. Strava has a list of Amsterdam’s most popular runs. Which range in length.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city to explore by foot, lace up and see it for yourself. If you’re keen to explore a new city with a running tour, check out RunningTours.net the organization features 150 different cities world wide where you can lace up and RUN.