Any city that hosts the Olympics understands the athletic mindset, so Barcelona definitely understands runners. With hills, mountains, flats, beaches and beautiful open roads, you'll find a great run no matter where you stay in BCN. One run from Las Ramblas to the beach and back is sure to get you hooked on everything this city has to offer (just watch out for the nude beaches!). And while its Olympics may have been in 1992, you'll relive their magic when you head to Montjuic to run the Olympic Stadium. Barcelona's athletic culture extends to its atmosphere, making it one of the liveliest cities in Europe. Couple that with its mild climate, and you've got a perfect place to run and party in any season.
Barcelona is not only a great place for running - it's an unforgettable location for racing. The Cursa de El Cortes Inglés, one of Barcelona’s longest-running races, holds the Guinness World Record for most participants in a race: 109,457 in its 1994 event. It still registers about 50,000 runners every spring and is one of the largest road races in the world. And don't forget the Barcelona Marathon is another race that has been drawing runners from all over the world for nearly 30 years. This year, the March marathon celebrated the highest participation numbers in its history: rising from 6,311 runners in 2007 to 7,978 this year.
- Pickpockets: You know there is a pickpocket problem in a city when you are sitting on the Metro and the recording tells you to keep your bags close by, zipped up, and in your control at all times.
- Spandex: Spandex isn't just for running anymore. The Spanish are known for their tight clothing. which makes packing an easy job for runners! You can wear those spandex to run, and then to dinner (Just don't tell anyone that you never washed them).
- Statues on Las Ramblas: Las Ramblas is one of the most famous streets in Barcelona. While it runs only 1.2 kilometers (.75 mi), it may take you two hours to go from top to bottom if you take the time to take pictures along the way. But beware, the statue that you just took a picture of may actually be a person who jumps out at you if you don't give him a euro!
Did you know? Drivers in Barcelona are considered among the worst in the world, with accidents occurring in the city every nineteen seconds! This can go up to ten accidents every second on weekends, which makes it safer to walk than to drive. A majority of Barcelonans therefore prefer to be pedestrians, and at any given time most roads are thronged with people on foot. Barcelona devotes large portions of the city exclusively to pedestrians - approximately 130 hectares, which is equivalent to about 260 football fields. So if you are in Barcelona you might start loving to walk (Or run!).