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10 Of The Best Walking Cities In The World

Published 1 year ago on October 18, 2018
By Hugo

We can spend hours of our holidays stuck in traffic. It’s a side of travelling the tourist leaflets won't tell you about when you decide to book that romantic weekend break in Rome. Sometimes, the whole holiday can be dictated by bus times, long-haul train delays and major traffic jams- but it doesn’t have to be. 

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Choose wisely and your next holiday destination could be explored almost entirely by foot! In Europe alone, there are a plethora of cities that can be seen and explored by merely putting one foot in front of the other. 

Here, we detail 10 of the world's most walkable cities. 

1. Barcelona

Shutterstock/ Luciano Mortula - LGM

If you're ever contemplating a trip to one of Europe's premier cities, then your first port of call should be Barcelona. It has everything. Tawny-sanded beaches. Sprawling mountains. An easy-to-navigate city center. World-class culture. Mouth drawing tapas. A dry climate all-year-round. Best of all, not only is the main airport is little more than a 15-minute drive away, the majority of the city can be explored on foot!

If you find yourself in the popular Gotic quarter, everything from the Picasso museum and La Ramblas to the sprawling Barcelonetta Beach and the bustling city centre of Placa De Catalunya can be reached without setting foot on a metro. That said, for the popular tourist destinations, such as Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia, a short metro/bus journey is required should you be staying in the centre.

2. Copenhagen 

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Aside from the Swedish capital Stockholm, the Danish capital Copenhagen is perhaps Scandinavia's most famous location- and for good reason. Along with modernist architecture, cosy restaurants, and well-dressed locals, the Danish capital is brimming with a whole host of breathtaking localities, all of which are within reasonable walking distance.

However, if you want to cheat, Copenhagen has a range of white, electro-powered bicycles that are easy to rent for the day. Riding one of them will allow you to pretty much take in the whole city within one afternoon, from the central bustle of Tivoli to the quaint Nyhavn harbour.

3. New York

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New York is a dream city for those who like to always have something to do, so it's little wonder it is nicknamed The City That Never Sleeps. There's the 24-hour subway, which unlike London's tube network runs every day of the week, while shopping stores, whether they be clothing stores, drug stores or grocery stores, are usually open at all times. Best of all, despite being a sprawling metropolis, much of the city can be seen on foot.

Thanks to its handy grid formation and numbered streets, getting lost in New York isn't likely to happen. From Manhattan, you can walk to the popular tourist spots of Soho, Little Italy and Central Park with little problem at all. Times Square, the city's most popular attraction, is also pedestrianised.

4. Munich 

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Munich may be the third most populated city in Germany, but it is nowhere near the size of the German capital Berlin. Thus, tourists can visit this charming Bavarian city mostly on foot. From its pedestrianised streets to its historic public buildings, the walking-friendly landscape all-but guarantees visitors a memorable holiday. 

One of the best places to stroll through is the quaint and majestic English Garden, As one of Europe's largest parks. tourists can walk through an idyllic and bucolic utopia before rounding off the day at the lovely little Japanese teahouse.

5. Helsinki 

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One of the lesser-known but equally stunning Nordic cities is the Finish capital, Helsinki. As the city itself is fairly small and easy to navigate, government officials have cottoned onto this and made it one of their aims to make car ownership in the city "obselete" by 2025.

And that's not a lofty ambition. As most of the communities are interconnected, and only short distances to most of the amenities such as the signature cathedral, exploring the local shops, restaurants and bars by foot shouldn't pose too much of a problem. 

Just remember to dress sensibly in the winter.

6. Reykjavik 

Shutterstock/ Nella

For a remote, sparsely populated island in the Northern hemisphere, Iceland hasn't done badly. Not only does it regularly top the Global Happiness Index, but it is also one of the most visited destinations in Europe. After all, Iceland is a wondrous place, brimming with lunar-like landscapes, bucolic countryside, mythical hot springs, enchanting waterfalls, and much, much more. But with time being of the essence to many travellers, many of the most beautiful sights in the Land of Ice and Fire can't be seen in a weekend break.

However, staying in Reykjavik for a couple of nights will still assure you an unforgettable weekend. The city is mostly comprised of two main streets called Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur, so you can quite easily explore the cozy coffee houses, trendy clothing stores and elegant restaurants without setting foot in a taxi. 

7. Dubrovnik 

A Southerly city in Croatia, Dubrovnik is famed for its old town that has baroque churches and an aristocratic palace to explore all within the confines of its pedestrianized, ancient castle ruins. As such, one of Croatia's most beautiful destinations can be enjoyed entirely by foot.

Should you want to venture out of the old town, taxis are available outside the historic area.

8. Paris

Shutterstock/ Catarina Belova

The City of Lights may be one of the world's major cities, but with a population of little over 2m people, it isn't as big as one might imagine. The majority of the plush centre can be seen in little over two days. To star with, you could take an afternoon stroll along the Seine which will lead you to the cultural delights of The Louvre art gallery and the ecclesial wonders inside Notre Dame.

Once you've walked up an appetite, bistros and bars are aplenty in Paris’s animated Latin Quarter, leaving you with an hour's walk to the Eiffel Tower to top of a beautiful day. The steps of Montmartre, paved with cobbled walkways and cute cafes, is also perfect for wandering around.

9. Buenos Aires

Shutterstock/Milosz Maslanka

Fellow South Americans can often dismiss Argentina for being too European, but a city that has long been dubbed the ‘Paris of South America' is still as authentically South American as any other, only with more European influences. A walker's paradise, tourists can begin their journey in Buenos Aires by walking through the barrio of La Boca. A bemouth of local artistry, many of the streets are lined with frescoed and intricately painted townhouses, most of which were spawned from the vision of the local artist Quinquela Martín and the Fundación Proa art gallery.

Walk further, and you will come to Recoleta, a more affluent neighborhood in the Argentinian capital. A short stroll in this beautiful part of the city will allow you to marvel at the stunning burial of Eva Peron, the Cementerio de la Recoleta.

10. Vancouver

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The coastal Canadian delight, otherwise known as the city of Vancouver, sits below the dramatic North Shore Mountains, making it a perfect destination for urban walking enthusiasts. 

While Vancouver is argubally more natural than urban, walks in the city are still among some of the best in North America. If you've never been before, start by taking a stroll along the promenade situated on the False Creek shoreline.

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