European best destinations 2024 - Riga

Running Routes in Riga

One of the best ways to discover a new city is to go running. It's healthy, energizing, and a completely novel experience in a new place. Running also helps you learn more about Riga because you will see all the subtle details, customs, and more hidden locations that you might otherwise overlook. Find the best running route for you by perusing the city's many running paths.

Discover the city one jog at a time 

The three parks

This running route goes through the city’s most scenic parks. As the road of Stabu street is slightly bending, during the evening you are running towards a spectacular sundowner. Run pass Viesturdārzs, on to Eksporta street, which leads to Kronvalda park – many locals choose it for their daily exercise. Then, quickly pass Elizabetes street and check in the park No. 2 - Esplanade – while being in the heart of the city, it’s surprisingly idle. Traverse it and move to the third park – Vērmanes garden. Take a finishing circle there and move back to Tērbatas street. 

Recommended by: Nora Romānova, a government employee. 

Running experience: Started jogging during the pandemic.

The Eastside

Ķengaraga promenade might as well have been designed with runners in mind. Moving further East you reach the remains of Mazjumprava manor that is entwined by a lush forest from one side and the river from the other. Chances are that along the way, you will meet a crowd of beautiful swans. The only drawback is that during the warm season, the promenade can get quite busy. Although, that can boost motivation.

Recommended by: Elīza Rušmane, a senior financial advisor.

Running experience: 8 years.

The Pārdaugava trail

The two leafy parks – Uzvaras and Arcadia is located on the left side of the river. Bursting with greenery, they are a stunning backdrop for exercising. The paths are asphalted, and you need to cross just a few unhurried streets. The winning moment is the stretch via the alley of linden trees, on the border of Uzvaras park. 

Recommended by: Dace Bargā, a communication specialist. 

Running experience: jogs actively for 9 months.

The circle

The route starts and ends in Viesturdārzs, even though it’s a stone throw from the city centre, it feels like miles away. From there zigzag your way in the Quiet centre, to Kronvalda park. Traverse the serene Centenary Alley up to the Bastejkalns park until the Monument of Freedom. Then enter the Esplanade park and exit to Elizabetes street, which will lead back to Viesturdārzs – there the Alexander gates work as a great finish line.

Recommended by: Daniela Kupriša, a personal trainer. 

Running experience: 7 years 

Two bridges

The trail combines the city centre, two bridges and the scenic Old Town. Run along Dzirnavu street to get to the Daugava promenade – one of the most popular spots for jogging. Then get on Salu bridge that has an excellent pedestrian section under the bridge – the vistas over the Daugava river are spectacular! Arrive at Lucavsala island – take a few laps here and turn to Bieķensalas street. Pass the modern architectural wonders – Latvian University academic centre, and the National Library and head to Akmens bridge, back to the city centre. Cross the Old Town (keep in mind that the streets are cobbled here) and have a grand finish by the Freedom Monument.

Recommended by: Eglīs Lūsis, an entrepreneur. 

Running experience: runs since 2015.

The urban run

Start and finish this trail with a lap around the Grīziņkalns park. Run through the bustling Pērnava street to reach the green and tranquil Great Cemetery. From there head to the spacious Skanste district where you can meet many like-minded runners. Continue running to the Quiet centre where you can take in Art Nouveau architecture along the way. Then turn to Dzirnavu street, passing all the restaurants, up until Kr. Barona street which will lead you back to Pērnava street. Take the final laps at Grīziņklans park. There – you have run 10 kilometres without even noticing it.

Recommended by: Kaspars Zālītis, a human rights activist. 

Running experience: runs for 6 years.

The sunset race

If starting from the left coast, get on Vanšu bridge – here you can be struck by a mighty breeze. Then head left to Eksporta street, turn on Hanzas street, pass the new venue hall Hanzas perons and head for Kr. Valdemāra street. From there turn to 11. November Embankment, up to Akmens bridge and back to the left river coast. Make a detour and drop in AB dam – there you can take a few breath-taking snaps that are especially impressive during the golden hour.  

Recommended by: Līna Lazdiņa, a medical resident at Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital.

Running experience: started running in March 2014.

The long-run

The best part of this circuit is the green area of Mežaparks with Ķīšezers Lake at the heart of it. Then move to Brīvības street. It’s surprisingly easy to jog there, just take the left side, that has no cycling lane. The roundabout in Jugla – the middle point is the most challenging. Then in Mežciems the road starts to get a bit hilly, but near the Gaiļezers hospital, you feel like you are in the countryside. 

Recommended by: Raimonds Zibens, works in sales. 

Running experience: Began jogging during the pandemic.

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