Published on by Finishers

12 Marathons Around the World You Shouldn't Miss

Ready to escape the city for a run? It's easier than you think – you've got plenty of options! But how do you pick the perfect race for you? Don't worry, we're here to help! Check out our selection of 12 marathons from around the world, each as beautiful as they are legendary. Rest assured, you'll definitely find the perfect match for your running shoes.

Why not make the most of a trip and tackle the king of all race distances? We know 42.195 km is no joke, but believe us, it’s worth every step 🕯️. This distance is not only an extraordinary athletic challenge but also a perfect excuse to experience cities like never before 🌞. Many major cities have their own marathons. So, why not take advantage of the opportunity to run through private streets and immerse yourself in the local heritage? Sport and tourism go hand-in-hand, so pack your bags 🧳—Finishers Airlines is ready to take you to the best competitions around the globe 🥇.

1) Venice Marathon (Italy 🇮🇹)

  • Established: 1986
  • Participants: 10,000+

Fancy a romantic escape to the city of love and art? 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 Head to Italy 🇮🇹 to experience la dolce vita and witness the splendor of the "Serenissima" during the Venice Marathon 🤌. Held in October, when the weather is perfect for a strong performance, you'll adore the beauty of Veneto and this historic city. Keep in mind that most of the race takes place outside the city, but you’ll hit the renowned wall and finish line in the heart of Venice 😳. You’ll easily understand why it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site 🌍. Be prepared to run through the alleys of the Doge’s city, cheered on by musicians and locals. Beyond the picturesque marathon, there’s a half marathon and a 10 km 🏃‍♀️. The Wizz Air Venice Marathon is an unmissable event for any marathoner seeking a new challenge!

Find out more about the Venice Marathon 👈.

(Credit: Venice Marathon)

2) Frankfurt Marathon (Germany 🇩🇪)

  • Established: 1981
  • Participants: 20,000+

The third largest marathon in Germany by participant numbers, the Frankfurt Marathon offers a unique atmosphere of collective euphoria 🥳. The night before the race, fuel up at the pasta party and soak in the encouragement. Ja, it’s a true street festival! With pop, rock, blues, and traditional German music, you'll be energized 🎶. The course is lined with iconic landmarks: the German Film Museum, the Städel Museum, and Frankfurt Opera House are all part of the experience! 😍 You'll also run along the Main River, known as "museum embankment," home to about fifteen museums. The flat and fast course is considered the fastest marathon in Germany ⚡️. A great opportunity to aim for a personal best (PB) on this legendary distance. On average, finishers cross the red carpet at the Frankfurt Festhalle in 3h57 😉. Another highlight? The Mainova Frankfurt Marathon offers several distances: participate in the four-person relay marathon, the 4.2 km mini-marathon, or even a 420 m race for kids. Are you convinced yet?

Find out more about the Frankfurt Marathon 👈.

(Credit: Frankfurt Marathon)

3) San Sebastian Marathon (Spain 🇪🇸)

  • Established: 1978
  • Participants: 7,500+

Ready for some sun? 😎 Head to the Basque Country and its unique charm! The Zurich Maratón San Sebastián is a historic race (the second oldest marathon in Spain) held in a truly unique location. You’ll be amazed by the breathtaking scenery around you: the Miramar Palace, the Don Quijote y Sancho sculpture, and the stunning seaside will captivate you 🥰. For the grand finale, expect a spectacular finish at the home of the legendary Real Sociedad football club, inside the Estadio Anoeta 🏟! Not convinced yet? Consider the half marathon or 10 km also offered by the organizers. Bring your friends and family for a well-deserved fiesta filled with tapas.

Find out more about the Zurich San Sebastián Marathon👈.

(Credit: Zurich Marathon San Sebastián)

4) Ultra Trail Angkor - UTA (Cambodia 🇰🇭)

  • Established: 2016
  • Participants: 1,500+

This time, we’re taking a long-haul flight to Asia, specifically Cambodia for the Ultra Trail Angkor (UTA). It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992 🛕. This race allows you to explore this ancient monument while indulging in your favorite activity: running! Wander through the rainforest and temples that look like they came straight out of a dream. Expect temperatures between 25°C and 30°C 🥵. This race offers a real immersion into history and culture with a challenging course featuring 380 m D+! This includes the 700 steps to the summit of Phnom Bok 🪜. For those craving more, there's also a 100 km and a 64 km. If long distances aren’t your thing, there are 3 more options: 32 km, 18 km, and 8 km 🏃. At aid stations and the finish line 🏁, you can meet the organizers and enjoy 100 kg of ice and 2 tonnes of fruit 🍦. Plus, the UTA promotes solidarity: each year, 3 to 4 NGOs collect donations from participants.

Find out more about the Ultra Trail Angkor (UTA)👈.

(Credit: Ultra Trail Angkor - UTA)

5) Zurich Barcelona Marathon (Spain 🇪🇸)

  • Established: 1978
  • Participants: 20,000+

The Routard guide for Barcelona recommends some excellent restaurants and plenty of tapas to enjoy... But Finishers has selected the unmissable race: the Zurich Barcelona Marathon! In March, why not warm up in the capital of Catalonia? 🇪🇸 If you’re feeling sporty during the winter, you won’t be disappointed by this sensational race. Expect perfect temperatures and a route that will leave you in awe 😲. The Zurich Marató Barcelona is known for its record-breaking potential 💨. This incredible marathon takes you across the city’s many landmarks like the Sagrada Familia and the Casa Batlló. With the marathon concentrated in the city’s center, made up of long straight lines and a seaside stretch, you’ll feel like a rocket 🚀. To prep for the challenge, consider signing up for the Barcelona Half Marathon a month before. Supported by 20,000 runners and cheered on by 60,000 spectators, you’ll be ready to fly through the Arc de Triomf and set a personal best on the legendary marathon distance! 😉

More details on the Zurich Barcelona Marathon 👈.

(Credit: Zurich Barcelona Marathon)

6) Zurich Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Madrid Marathon (Spain 🇪🇸)

  • Established: 1978
  • Participants: 40,000+

How can we talk about Barcelona without mentioning Madrid? It’s the epic "Clásico"! ⚽️ But this time, we’re ditching the football for a marathon. Held a month later, the Madrid Marathon is just as impressive as its Catalan counterpart! Be mesmerized by the Plaza Mayor, the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the Cuatro Torres, and the Royal Palace 🤴. Thanks to its Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series label, you’ll enjoy over 30 entertainment spots along the course: concerts, shows, and festive aid stations! The lively atmosphere of the Spanish capital might even make you forget the 360 m D+ 🥳. Going with family or friends? Sign everyone up for different distances: marathon, half-marathon, or 10 km. Enjoy a unique tour of the city and join the 40,000 participants from around the world 🌎 (110 nationalities), and vamos to the Zurich Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Madrid Marathon! 🕺

More details on the Zurich Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Madrid Marathon 👈.

(Credit: Zurich Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Madrid Marathon)

7) Malaga Marathon (Spain 🇪🇸)

  • Established: 2010
  • Participants: 10,000+

Looking for one last race before the year-end holidays? 🧑‍🎄 Lace up your running shoes and catch a flight to Malaga! This is Spain’s sixth-largest city where you can enjoy seaside running and beautiful blue skies. Let’s talk about the course! The race starts and finishes along the Paseo del Parque. You’ll run along the coast, soaking up the stunning Mediterranean views. After looping through the port and past the iconic Malagueta bullring ⚓️, you’ll cross the finish line with the sun in your eyes! 😎 This World Athletic-labeled marathon is flat and urban. When you register, 1€ is donated to the Ochotumbao Foundation 😄. But the race experience doesn’t stop there! The capital of the Costa del Sol has much more to offer: half-marathon, Christmas shopping, and culinary delights 😉.

More details on the Generali Malaga Marathon 👈.

(Credit: Generali Malaga Marathon)

8) Rome Marathon (Italy 🇮🇹)

  • Established: 1982
  • Participants: 25,000+

Do you hear the clash of swords, the roar of a lion, the crowd’s cheers? ⚔ Yes, you’re at the foot of the Colosseum at the start line of the Run Rome The Marathon. Along with 25,000 runners, you'll embark on a visit to the open-air museum that is the city of seven hills. From the get-go, you'll pass various monuments and museums in Rome. Prepare to face the St. Peter's Basilica, the Castel Sant'Angelo, and return to cross the finish line in front of the iconic Colosseum. If running the full marathon alone seems daunting 😨, don’t worry. The organizers offer the option to run the marathon in a four-person relay, a half-marathon, or participate in the 5 km "Fun Run". Rosa, rosa, rosam, ro... Put away your Latin books, the marathon of the eternal city awaits! 😉

More details on the Run Rome The Marathon 👈.

(Credit: Run Rome The Marathon)

9) Eindhoven Marathon (Netherlands 🇳🇱)

  • Established: 1959
  • Participants: 5,000+

Whether you’re a Sunday stroller or a speed enthusiast, the ASML Eindhoven Marathon is a challenge to add to your to-do list 💪. Head to Eindhoven, an authentic Dutch city that transforms for a weekend to host over 5,000 participants. Whether you’re tackling the marathon, half-marathon, quarter-marathon, 5 km, the 10 km and 15 km walks, or a charity run, you’re in for a treat. There’s something for everyone! All distances feature a flat and fast course 🏃. See you in the Netherlands next October? 😏

More details on the ASML Eindhoven Marathon 👈.

(Credit: ASML Eindhoven Marathon)

10) Oslo Marathon (Norway 🇳🇴)

  • Established: 2004
  • Participants: 20,000+

Mid-September, aboard your drakkar, you gaze at the surrounding fjords... 🔱 Suddenly, you see 20,000 brave Vikings launching into the 42.195 km of the Oslo Marathon. Tempted by the adventure, you decide to join them, running along the sea and into the heart of the "Tiger City" 🌊. A great schedule awaits! Whether you aim for the marathon, half-marathon, 10 km, or the ultimate challenge, the "Triple Oslo" (all three distances, totaling 73 km of joy) 😅, you’ll enjoy a flat, festive course 🥳. Expect to be cheered on by supporters and music bands 🎷. Regardless of distance, you might even spot Santa Claus (a bit early) in his homeland! 🎅

More details on the BMW Oslo Marathon 👈.

(Credit: BMW Oslo Marathon)

11) Copenhagen Marathon (Denmark 🇩🇰)

  • Established: 1980
  • Participants: 15,000+

From 1,000 participants in 1980 to 15,000 participants in 2024, the Copenhagen Marathon has come a long way 😅. During race weekend, the Danish capital pulses with sports energy. The Copenhagen Marathon gathers a true melting pot of 110 different nationalities 🌎 and is now a World Athletics labeled event, guaranteeing speed and quality! 👌 During your run, you’ll see the Little Mermaid statue 🧜‍♀️ and greet the Danish royal family at Amalienborg Palace. Don’t worry about getting bored; you’ll explore different districts of downtown Copenhagen in a festive atmosphere, not to mention the 12 aid stations along the route! Lucky for you, Copenhagen welcomes you in May, sparing you from the icy Danish winter. So pack your bags and join the parade! 🧳

More details on the Copenhagen Marathon 👈.

(Credit: Copenhagen Marathon)

12) Sofia Marathon (Bulgaria 🇧🇬)

  • Established: 1983
  • Participants: 1,000+

Next stop: Bulgaria! While you might not run into Alvaro Soler, you’ll meet all other participants of the Wizz Air Sofia Marathon 😆. Explore the capital of the Thracian city. Its lively streets and grand monuments await 🎉. The Saint Sophia Basilica and the Rotunda of St. George are must-sees in the Bulgarian capital. If the full marathon isn't your cup of tea, you can opt for the half-marathon, 10 km, or 5 km. Head to the Balkans; Sofia is waiting for you 🇧🇬.

More details on the Wizz Air Sofia Marathon 👈.

(Credit: Sofia Marathon)

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