Running in Madrid

We run nearly every day without exception. As we travel from destination to destination we always have to figure out where to run in our new, temporary home. Sometimes this is easier than others, but more often than not, it is a challenge. We scan the internet, we look for blogs, we check Strava and Mapmyrun.

We wrote what we couldn’t find on the internet: a quick guide for running in new locations. If there is info you’re interested in that we didn’t think to include, or there are places we should be running in that we’re not, please tell us. It’ll make our lives better, our research easier, and it’ll help all the other runners out there that are looking for places to run in new locations.IMG_20160702_130840556

Fast Facts:

When: 2 – 4 July 2016

Miles run: 25.3

Where we lived: Hotel to the east of Retiro Park

Pollution (self-made index 1-5): 2

Elevation: 2,200’

Shoes Worn: Nike Pegasus 31

Paavo’s age: 7 months

Quickscore (1-5 scale): 4


-Where did you run? – specific routes or areas

Along the perimeter of Retiro Park

Along the perimeter of Retiro Park

  1. Retiro Park – Within a half mile of our hotel and a determining factor in which hotel we chose for our two days in Madrid. We’ve run here before and finished a marathon in this area a few years back (Madrid Rock and Roll) so we knew the area was good. It did not disappoint. It’s a crowded park. I ran there twice. The first run there, a Saturday night, was surprisingly busy, even for 8pm. It was also light out until 10pm so I guess it makes sense. There is an outer perimeter loop that is about 5k in length. Simply follow the outside of the park (staying within the walls of the park though). There is plenty more that can be done in this park by weaving through and cutting across various sections. I wasn’t in a thinking mood and simply followed the perimeter.
  2. City tour not according to plan – I looked at a map prior to the run and tried to map out a route that included as many green spaces as possible. Following one of the main highways through the city was a lot of green. I thought I was following the path, I entered a park a few miles in, I thought “this looks really familiar”. And then I realized I’d somehow ended up back at Retiro Park – all roads lead to Retiro! I tried again and with this second run I was able to find Parque Roma, Parque de la Elipa, Centro de la Deportiva, Parque de la Quinta de la Fuente del Berro, and the massive Cemeterio de la Almudena – it was an 18 mile run! The point of listing out all those parks is to highlight that there are lots of parks and public spaces in Madrid for running. I only had two days to explore and I’m confident there are many other great locations.

-How accessible were the good running locations? Road, track, trail?

Right outside our door was runnable. It is a big city though with traffic and general busy-ness buzzing about. I managed to find dirt paths on my long run. I wasn’t looking for a track but I imagine they’re there and accessible.

Another view inside Retiro Park

Another view inside Retiro Park


Felt completely safe. No animals chasing me either! Feeling safe and not being on the lookout for stray dogs is something I appreciate more after these runs and two months of running in Mexico.


It was really hot! My phone said it was 99F when I started my long run on Sunday. However, unlike Cancun, humidity was not an issue and I felt much better running in the heat in Madrid than the sauna of Cancun.

-What was the running vibe?

Normal and part of the culture. Plenty of people run in Madrid. In Retiro there were runners around me the entire time.

-Best parts about running in city

I managed to find some trails on my long run around the city

I managed to find some trails on my long run around the city

Feeling safe to explore and having lots of places accessible for running throughout the city. We were there on a weekend so this plays a factor, but I felt like I could run in most parts of the city without worrying about cars, pedestrians, or overcrowdedness. I didn’t run in the center, which we walked around, and that part is likely best to avoid during the middle of the day. Overall, a very runnable city that feels like it’s open to exploration via running.

What did we miss? Other great places to run in Madrid?

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