I am planning on doing some morning runs while I travel in Europe this summer (Italy, France, Austria, Prague, Germany, Amsterdam). Is it safe to run in all countries (and if not, which ones should I avoid?) I've heard that it's considered bizarre behavior in some places. I am female, and will likely be running with another female traveler. Thanks for your help!
I have run in Germany, Austria and Italy with no problems. But, I was a middle-aged, male runner. I do not know for female runners. In Germany and Austria there are a lot of walkers/pedestrians so it might be safer in a crowd.
I am female and have run in a number of European cities---London, Paris, Oslo, copenhagen, all over Ireland, Munich, and Venice. We get up early and run, trying to go in parks or areas where we won't encounter a lot of people trying to get to work. It's not so much considered "bizarre" as just something the local residents would not do themselves. In most countries, they go to a sports center to do their running. (Exception was London, where we saw a number of other runners). But it's OK for tourists, and I've always felt perfectly safe.
One thing that might be fun if you're in a small town is to ask if there are groups that run together. In Vernazza (Cinque Terre), for instance, there are 3 or 4 locals who take the early train each morning to the nearby town to train at the track there. I think they would welcome you! If you're going there, email me and I'll let you know who to talk to!
I've run all over - Italy, France, Germany, UK - never had any issues - I'm a 5'4" male asian, so not a big guy - if there are 2 of you, you should b fine - if you are running in Paris - all the bus stops have maps on the outside, so if you get lost (like I did), u can easily figure out where u are - also the English and Scottish are very friendly and will help with directions - also got lost in Amsterdam, but people there speak excellent english, so I was able to get back to my hotel after quite a long detour - and LOTS of dog poop in Amsterdam - and I'm talking Great Dane size!
Without question, go nuts.
I can't run anymore due to health issues, but I've run all over Europe (amongst other places). Frankly, there is no better way to explore a city (Venice, Prague, Oslo, Paris) or the countryside (Provence, the Alps, Cappodocia in Turkey).
Get up early and go, and if you get the chance please run in Venice or Cappadocia ... talk about getting lost! You'll see fellow runners more likely than not.
Running is not considered weird. We had to dodge the hordes of runners, coming at us from both sides, while trying to enjoy the Parc Butte-Chalmont in Paris.
I cannot remember being anywhere in Europe where there were not great numbers of runners at every hour of the day-- both male and female