There are certain cities where cars rule supreme, others where a bicycle or public transportation would do, and only a few where walking remains the only viable mode of mobility. Each of these ten cities invites you to roam through its boulevards, walkways, and parks on purpose or by chance. At the same time, it is tempting to rent a car or take public transportation when visiting a new city to see as many attractions as you can in the limited amount of time you have; some of the most memorable journeys involve exploring on foot. Of course, some cities are more accessible to navigate on foot than others; these are just a few of our favorites.
Florence , Italy
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Cars are prohibited or can’t fit in many of Florence’s neighborhoods. Even though the cobblestone streets might not be the best for breaking in a new pair of Gucci stilettos, walking is the only way to experience this ancient city truly. Don’t forget to look up for impromptu frescoes, fantastic architecture, and secret cafes as you meander down the Arno River’s banks and get lost in the winding lanes. Strolling along Arno’s Centro Historico side, you can see all six of Florence’s significant bridges.
Walk through the Boboli Gardens, up to Forte Belvedere and Piazzale Michelangelo for breathtaking views, and promenade up the pedestrian zone of Via Calzaiuoli to Piazza Signoria before continuing through the arched exterior corridors of the Uffizi. Pass the Ponte Delle Grazie, Ponte Santa Trinita, Ponte Alla Carraia, and the renowned Ponte Vecchio.
Paris , France
Bring your favorite pair of sneakers for a few days of roaming the streets of Paris. You’ll be so taken aback by what you see and taste on those required pastry stops that you won’t even notice your sore feet. Given that the city is full of natural beauty and authentic experiences, it’s almost easier to point out where you shouldn’t walk. You can begin by strolling through the Latin Quarter, crossing the Petit Pont from the Île de la Cité and Notre Dame over to the Left Bank and turning off Rue Saint-Jacques to take more secluded cobblestone side streets around Saint-Germain.
Also, through the Sorbonne University and St. Michel area, the Latin Quarter and St. Michel area, and finally ending up at the Luxembourg Gardens. Another popular route is to start at the Sacré-Coeur Basilica and wind your way to Pigalle through Montmartre, the produce and weekend art markets on the streets below. There are several shops and cafes, as well as tiny museums and undiscovered treasures, on the roads surrounding Le Marais, Place des Vosges and the Bastille.
This hilltop hamlet on the Adriatic coast has a certain allure and welcoming quality. You might spend hours traveling a relatively small distance in Dubrovnik’s old town, continually pausing to admire the architecture, the views, and the atmosphere because the entire area makes a classified part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the Pile Gate to the Ploce Gate, stroll through the city’s ramparts and ancient walls to see the Onofrio’s Fountains, monasteries, Sponza Palace, the Old Harbor, and Revelin Fortress. You can take the promenade from the Harbor to Banje Beach on foot. Beautiful views of the city and Lokrum Island continue eastward along the shore. Take a short ferry ride to Lokrum Island, where you may spend some time exploring the beaches, the monastery, and the lovely botanical gardens.
New York City, New York
All those women in running shoes and fine outfits serve as a reminder that in New York City, walking is often the most effective and quickest form of transportation. There is minimal risk of getting lost because the streets are all numbered. Per mile, aim to traverse around 20 city blocks going north to south. Discover entire neighborhoods on foot rather than planning a path from point A to point B.
Start from the southernmost point of Manhattan, near Battery Park, and proceed north toward Harlem through the Financial District, the West Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and the Upper West Side. Retrace the journey down the East side if your feet are up to it. Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Chinatown, fashionable SoHo, and the East Village are accessible by foot. Try a tranquil stroll around the Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park beginning around 190th Street for a reprieve from the towers.
Vancouver , British Columbia
You won’t be dissatisfied in Vancouver if you enjoy walking or hiking because the city comprises a planned physical activity. You may see breathtaking views, inner-city beaches, public art, lighthouses, and other major attractions as you make your way around the peninsula shore on a six-mile walk in Stanley Park. Visit Granville Island’s stores, cafes, and Public markets by taking the lovely promenade along False Creek. Walk through the city’s distinctive houseboat neighborhood Sea Village from here, over the Stamp’s Landing footbridge beneath the Cambie Street Bridge, and finish at the ScienceWorld dome. A 1.5-mile walk through Ambleside Park offers views of the Lions Gate Bridge, duck ponds, sculptures, coastal mountains, and water. You may also wander along Marine Drive to find various stores and eateries.
Munich , Germany
Munich allows you to experience Bavarian city life thanks to its primarily pedestrian-friendly city center, the allure of attractive public buildings, and sizable parks. View the Frauenkirche cathedral and the Glockenspiel mechanical clock while strolling along the Marienplatz from the Kaufinger Straße pedestrian mall. Walk a few blocks east and north through the University neighborhood from the Alte and Neue Pinakothek art museums into Schwabing’s Leopold Straße, the main boulevard packed with sidewalk taverns, eateries, and cafes. Continue to the upscale Maximilian Straße, where you will find designer stores. Stroll through the English Garden on a warm day before finishing with a beer at the Chinese Tower.
Edinburgh , Scotland
Edinburgh is small enough to explore on foot while still having a contemporary atmosphere and being steeped in history. Although the Georgian New Town has modern architecture, the medieval Old Town may be where the city’s heart is. The Royal Mile, which runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace and is packed with quaint pubs, hip cafes, taverns, and restaurants, is a great place to retrace the steps of kings and queens.
From Edinburgh City Center, travel five miles to explore the old Dean Village, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Water of Leith boardwalk, and Stockbridge before strolling through the medieval Old Town’s cobblestone streets. Finish at the Botanic Gardens or travel outside of the city to St. For a birds-eye perspective of Edinburgh, travel to Margaret’s Loch and climb 823 feet to the top of an extinct volcano to get to Arthur’s Seat.
Boston is a wonderful city for walking because it has a beautiful waterfront, pedestrian-friendly streets, and historical lessons at every corner. On the 2.2-mile Freedom Trail, retrace the steps of the patriots—the ones from the 18th century, not the NFL variety. Try Harborwalk, a public path that runs alongside the water and passes through East Boston, Charlestown, the North End, Downtown, South Boston, and Dorchester. It runs from Chelsea Creek to the Neponset River. There are many public artworks, parks, and cafes along the route if you need to rest.
Melbourne blends physical activity with cultural or culinary pursuits, from the city to the parklands, the bayside to the lush suburbs. The arcades and laneways of Melbourne’s central business district provide glimpses of vintage Victorian architecture, indie restaurants, and shops. The St. Kilda Foreshore’s beach is excellent for walking since it connects Port Melbourne with Elwood and beyond. Windsurfers, fairy penguins, topless sunbathers, marketplaces, parks, and waterfront restaurants are visible as you stroll around the curved bay. A Melbourne tradition, walking through “The Tan” (Royal Botanic Gardens) entails sharing the two-mile path skirting the Yarra River with professional athletes, lunching women, and nature enthusiasts.
With fantastic weather for most of the year, you could easily navigate inner Sydney on foot and then use public transportation for the more difficult portions (like crossing over from the Eastern Suburbs to the North Shore). You can see the famous Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge as you travel from the Rocks neighborhood on the city’s edge to Circular Quay to the Royal Botanic Gardens and The Domain.
A two-mile journey will take you around cliffs that encircle the Pacific Ocean from Bondi Beach to Bronte. Stop by Tamarama or Manly Beach’s mile-long waterfront to enjoy some people-watching at one of Sydney’s best people-watching beaches. Swing by Oxford Street and go to Darlinghurst by way of Woollahra, Paddington, and Darlinghurst. Along one of the city’s main thoroughfares for fashion and entertainment, observe how the streetscape and the types of people change.