Where to run in Zürich
The where-to-run series is an instalment of guides that we have been doing for the first time this year. The guides provide you with insight into the best running places in cities that you might not know, want to visit or just have been moving to.
We have already covered a lot of cities now and this time we are going to Zürich. This city is the largest in Switzerland and it is a global center for banking and finance. Zürich is not only busy, but very cosy as it stretches on both sides of the river Limmat, which flows out of Lake Zürich (or Zürichsee). This picture beautiful town is an absolute must visit - and if you are a runner, you are about to find out that it's perfect for that too.
Zürich running guide:
We have teamed up with Kevin Thoma, the founder of the running crew 612 run, who are based in Zürich. Kevin has promised to give his best advice on the below:
- Best scenic/tourist run
- Best long run
- Best tempo run
- Best interval run
- Best park run
- Best soft surface run
- Best hill run
Read the full guide below and prepare to go find your passport and running shoes!
1) Best scenic/tourist run
We're always starting our run on Sechseläutenplatz. This is where Zürich every year in April celebrates the end of the Winter. Here you'll also find the Zürich Opera House and of course Lake Zürich with its gorgeous view. As soon as you start running along River Limmat, you'll pass the Grossmünster, city hall, central, the main station and national museum.
When you run under Kornhausbrücke, choose left to make your way to legendary Langstrasse and feel the buzz of this unique street. After reaching crazy Ole Ole Bar, turn left again until you reach River Sihl.
You'll soon reach famous Zürich Stock Market from where you'll follow Tram 8 until you see Paradeplatz, where the well-known Swiss Banks have their HQ's.
Now make your final turn right on Bahnhofstrasse - our version of Champs Elysees - and make your way back to Lake Zürich, where you can enjoy the view on Swiss Alps again.
2) Best long run
Since our airport is located close to the city center, we enjoy our long runs while aircraft spotting.
No matter where you start in the city just make your way to Bucheggplatz and follow the signs to Zürich Seebach and then airport. Choose clockwise or counterclockwise and enjoy the air out there.
If you're not that much into airplanes and you like to enjoy the miles more in the calm, you might find your happiness at the waters in Zürich. Running along Rivers Limmat, Sihl and of course at the lake is well known as typical longrun spots during preparation season.
3) Best tempo run
The best locations to push your pace are located outside the city centre in Kreis 5 and the western part.
West of Hardbrücke you will find long, straight and flat streets that make running on tempo quiet easy. Choose Pfingstweidstrasse, Aargauerstrasse and Vulkanstrasse that will lead you until Zürich Schlieren.
4) Best interval run
Even if you're not part of a Zurich based Track & Field Club, you can find a perfect "Track" to run outdoor intervals.
Starting at Prime Tower you will find a shut down train track that got filled up in our loved "track red". It will lead you around Pfingstweidpark. If you follow that track it will end at West Park after 800m. No cars - just running.
5) Best park run
Unfortunately, a "real park" is what is missing in Zürich. But you can make your way up to Zürich Zoo and follow the various ways through the forrest on Zürich Berg. It's the closest we can come to a park run :)
Another option would be the Panoramaweg from Hospital Triemli to Allmend. It's in the forest, but don't expect it to be a flat run. It's really hilly. But the view will compensate for that.
6) Best soft surface run
Running in Zurich will give you every possible kind of surface to run on and the mentioned runs are all mixed of these terrains.
But if you want to go for a different kind of run only on soft surface and gravel, go along the Elefantenbach. This is an insider-spot, which even people living all of their lives in Zürich often don't know about.
7) Best hill run
There's just one word for this: Uetliberg. Our local home mountain.
No matter where you start, there are a million ways to the top and the view will make this tough run worth the pain you will feel on the way up.