The Most Beautiful Cities To Run In, According To Instagram

Alice Duthie
on 29 May 2022
  • New research by reveals the most beautiful cities for a run, based on Instagram hashtag data
  • Australia’s most popular running cities are Melbourne, Sydney and Geelong
  • London ranks as the most picturesque running city globally, followed by Dubai and Paris, with Melbourne taking the fifth spot and Sydney in 18th
  • America is the most picturesque country for runners overall, with five US cities featuring in the global top 10  

With many people taking to the streets for their daily morning jog or post-work run, has researched over a million hashtags for 600 global cities on Instagram to reveal which urban landscapes provide the most beautiful scenery for runners. 

The number of hashtags for #run{city} were counted and compared for cities in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. 


Instagrammers are pounding the pavements and getting their cameras ready to capture Australia’s most beautiful urban running backdrops. With vast, beautiful parks and plentiful running routes, Melbourne tops the list as Australia’s most beautiful city to run in, with a staggering 38,200 hashtags under #RunMelbourne.  


New South Wales city Sydney follows behind with almost 15,200 hashtags, whilst Geelong’s breath-taking bay running routes secure the city’s position in third, with over 6,700 hashtags.   

Perth lands a spot in fourth place with plenty of running groups sharing their sunrise jogs along the water from South Beach to Port Coogee.  

Brisbane rounds off the top five, following closely behind Perth with over 4,100 posts under the #RunBrisbane hashtag.

Australia’s Top 10 Most Picturesque Running Cities 

RankCityInstagram Hashtags
9Gold Coast1,266

Over 38,200 mentions for #RunMelbourne: Many of the posts under #RunMelbourne show off the city’s urban, waterside locations with various routes affording views over the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers. The city also provides many green spaces popular for runners including the Royal Botanic Gardens and Princes Park.

Almost 15,200 mentions for #RunSydney: With the world’s largest natural harbour, naturally many Sydney-based runners include the infamous Sydney Harbour and Sydney Opera House in their Instagram post backdrops, as visitors seek to explore the city by foot. With numerous bays and quays there is no shortage of places to explore with your morning run. 

Over 6,700 mentions for #RunGeelong: Just a short drive from Melbourne, Geelong boasts plenty of running routes including many trails along the Barwon River, allowing runners to capture all the beauty nature has to offer before uploading their inspirational running posts to the ‘gram. For those looking for a countryside run, the You Yangs Regional Park is a great running spot, just slightly further from Geelong.

Dan Cartner, Senior Marketing and E-commerce Manager at commented:   

“Taking running selfies or uploading shots of jogging in a group can be an incredibly motivational tool, both for the runner themselves and their friends and family on social media. With a staggering 56 million posts under the hashtag #run alone, we were curious to find out which cities were posting the most running photos on Instagram, as a method of inspiration to encourage people to hit the streets and find their own urban stride!   


“London ranks as the most picturesque running destination in the entire world, but our research showcases that people across the globe are lacing up their running shoes and uploading shots of their cities following their endorphin-filled workouts. From the romantic streets of Paris and Berlin to densely packed sky-scraper cities such as Chicago and Melbourne, clearly running is something we all have in common, and enjoy sharing on social media!” 

In the global rankings, just behind London is Michigan lakeside American city Chicago, with over 56,950 hashtags for #RunChicago. Following the ‘Windy City’ are fellow US locations Boston and Houston, Australian city Melbourne and Paris in France.  


Top 20 Most Picturesque Running Cities Globally 

RankTop global citiesCountry No. of hashtags   
1London United Kingdom 96,400 
2Chicago USA  56,960 
3Boston USA  54,600 
4Houston USA  50,180 
5Melbourne Australia 38,200 
6Paris France 32,570 
7Baltimore USA  31,530 
8Austin USA  29,090 
9Calgary Canada 26,850 
10Ottawa Canada 26,160 
11Detroit USA  23,730 
12Toronto Canada 22,960 
13San Diego USA  20,390 
14Berlin Germany  16,540 
15Charlotte USA  16,370 
16Seattle USA  15,620 
17Dallas USA  15,600 
18Sydney Australia 15,200 
19Lagos Nigeria 15,000 
20Vancouver Canada 14,180 

Cities in North America are clearly favoured by runners, with a staggering 14 cities in the top 20 located in the continent, including American cities San Diego and Detroit and Canadian cities Calgary and Toronto, amongst others.  

The US sprints into the lead as the most popular country amongst those who enjoy a run; the nation has 10 cities in the top 20, which altogether amass a staggering 12.4 million posts under running-related hashtags on Instagram. The Windy City is the US’ most popular destination for runners, but Baltimore, Austin, Detroit, San Diego, Charlotte, Seattle and Dallas are also amongst the cities that feature.   


Most Picturesque Running Cities in Europe: As London takes the top spot globally, it’s also the front runner for Europe, followed by Paris with 32,570 hashtags and Berlin with 16,540 hashtags. Spanish cities fall just outside of the top 25, with Madrid (26th) and Barcelona (27th) boasting 9,530 and 8,220 hashtags respectively.  

running paris

Most Picturesque Running Cities in North America: Despite the often extremely chilly weather in Chicago, the city takes the top spot for running in North America. Every October Chicago hosts its iconic marathon, and for those looking to train or just enjoy a leisurely jog, the city’s most popular route is the Lakefront Trail.   

Most Picturesque Running Cities in South America: Colombia’s bustling capital Bogota is the most popular running destination in South America, perhaps due to the city’s recent investments into parks and cycling routes – many of which are open for runners. Following Bogota is Santiago in Chile and Argentinian city Buenos Aires.  

Most Picturesque Running Cities in Asia: Japanese metropolis Toyko hails as the most beautiful Asian city to run in, affording runners stunning views of the city’s iconic landmarks such as the Imperial Palace and some respite from the urban jungle in the leafy Yoyogi Park. 7,600 hashtags rank Seoul in second place, whilst Emirate city Dubai rounds off the top three, with over 6,900 hashtags showcasing runners hitting the city streets, beaches, and lakeside tracks.    

Most Picturesque Running Cities in Oceania: Often dubbed the ‘running capital of Australia’, Melbourne stands as the most Instagrammed city amongst runners in Oceania, and the fifth most popular city globally. The city’s staggering 38,200 hashtags show runners training for marathons and enjoying runs in some of Melbourne’s most beautiful parks. Running backdrops of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House make up some of the 15,190 hashtags for Sydney, which follows Melbourne. Over in New Zealand, the top running cities are Wellington, with 3,810 hashtags and Auckland with 2,440 hashtags.   

running melbourne

Most Picturesque Running Cities in Africa: Nigerian city Lagos’ 15,000 running hashtags crown the city as Africa’s most popular running destination. Plenty of photos under #RunLagos capture people training for the annual Lagos marathon – a 42km race which features various famous athletes and Olympians. Cape Town in South Africa ranks in second place, with 7,360 posts revealing glorious natural running landscapes such as Lion’s Head in Table Mountain Park and various sunshine-filled seaside runs.  

A full breakdown of the most Instagrammed running cities can be found at:


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