Stockholm is often referred to as the Venice of the North. This is true in that Stockholm is comprised of a number of islands connected by bodies of water, but it's not true when it comes to the ease of finding great places to run. The city is full of water and also full of asphalt and running paths, not to mention full of active people who follow an active lifestyle. There are some idyllic runs to be had here, and if you follow the BTG mindset that "where there's water, there's a way," you're likely to find a well-trod running path.
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, was voted Europe's Greenest City in 2010. Stockholm itself sits scattered amidst a network of canals and islands. As one writer has put it, "water and land seem to crash into each other everywhere you look." Between the active lifestyle and the environmental friendliness seen all over the city, it's an extremely pleasant place to run. It's the sort of city where you take a deep breath during a run and smile just . . . because.
In addition to being known for it's active lifestyle, Stockholm is known for it's diverse culture. With a variety of restaurants, museums and theaters, it's hard to run out of things to do in this bustling city. Even if you're just riding the subway, you'll be traveling through the world's longest art gallery (68 miles / 109 kilometers). The majority of the subway's 100 stations include paintings, sculptures and mosaics.
As a city comprised of multiple Islands, it's worth taking a morning (or afternoon or evening) run from one island to the next in order to see everything there is to see in Stockholm.
- Having to "go" on the go: If you need to use the restroom while you're out running, walking or touring, be sure to bring some spare change. The public bathrooms are well kept because they charge an entrance fee!
- Sunday Morning: Arriving too early on a Sunday morning may result in sleeping outside of your hostel. Like many other European cities, this city does not wake up early on Sunday. Not even for tourists.
- Stav gang: Otherwise known on roller skis! Don't be surprised if someone whizzes past you while you're running on skis on wheels. Remember, the Alps aren't very far! Stay outta my way!
Did you know? In the book The Ultimate Guide to International Marathons (1997), written by Dennis Craythorn and Rich Hanna, the Stockholm Marathon is ranked as the BEST marathon in the world.