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Travel By Foot: Most Walkable Cities Around The World

Planes, trains, and automobiles all have their rightful place in travel. However, many travelers love getting around town alone, especially avoiding crowded public transportation. Of course, some destinations are more walkable than others, but that makes them even more attractive to self-sufficient, health-minded globetrotters and environmentally friendly.

While walking around a new city, you can leisurely explore historically significant architecture, peaceful green spaces, and unique local attractions. Walking is also a great way to meet residents and converse with other interesting travelers. These are some of the most walkable cities worldwide – perfect destinations to travel by foot!

Amsterdam, Netherlands  Amsterdam, Netherlands
Credit: Amsterdam, Netherlands by Bigstock.com

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is a fantastic city for boating down canals and bicycling, and it’s also very walkable. Most of the city’s major attractions are located near the city center, and Amsterdam also has an excellent public transportation system. Be careful not to walk in the bike lanes to avoid getting hit because bikes have the right of way! Maastricht is another highly walkable city in the Netherlands, which is a great place to wander around without a guidebook.

Antigua, Guatemala Antigua, Guatemala
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Antigua, Guatemala

Travelers who love finding pleasant surprises around every corner will love walking around Antigua. This Guatemalan city is well-suited for exploration and local flavor in all directions. Antigua is a small city, and most of the top attractions are close to one another. Many hotels and hostels in town are within walking distance of restaurants and bars, so booking a rental car is usually unnecessary to explore the city’s core. But be careful and wear sturdy shoes because some narrow sidewalks have become cracked from years of weathering.

Edinburgh, Scotland Edinburgh Castle
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Edinburgh, Scotland

The Scottish city of Edinburgh is compact, making it easy and fun to explore on foot. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of attractions, including historic architecture and modern buildings, with plenty of quaint and festive pubs to stop at along the way. The café and restaurant scene is particularly inviting for locals and tourists alike.

Munich, Germany Munich
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Munich, Germany

Munich is a pedestrian-friendly city with many ornamental buildings and architecture best seen on foot. Take a stroll through the English Garden, the pedestrian mall at the Marienplatz, and walk past the Frauenkirche Cathedral. There are many art museums to stop in during your visit and lots of sidewalk cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Montreal, Canada Beaver Lake, Mount Royal Park, Montreal in autumn
Credit: Beaver Lake, Mount Royal Park, Montreal in autumn by © Marc Bruxelle - Dreamstime.com

Montreal, Canada

Several nicely walkable cities in Canada include Vancouver, Toronto, and Quebec City. However, Montreal is perhaps the most pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly. There are over 20,000 restaurants and cafes in the city that are all within walking distance. It’s easy to hop from bar to bar and shop to shop while exploring this region of Canada with strong French influences.

New York City, New York Times Square, New York City after dark
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New York City, New York

In the United States, New York City always tops the “most walkable” lists. This is a city where vehicle traffic is congested, and parking is challenging to find and expensive. These factors have contributed significantly to the city’s walking culture. Walking around New York City is practically an attraction all on its own, even if you have no destination in mind! Pair this with an efficient public transportation system, and rental cars become practically obsolete. To get an excellent overview of the city, start in Battery Park in lower Manhattan and travel through the Financial District to the West Village, Chelsea, and the Upper West Side.

Venice, Italy Venice, Italy
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Venice, Italy

Venice is one of the best walking cities in the world, mainly because cars are not allowed there, making it the ultimate pedestrian-friendly destination. Walking around Venice makes the experience feel authentic and will enable you to experience the little things and hidden gems that make it unique. If you aren’t looking to walk down streets packed with tourists, avoid traveling to Venice between April and September.

Florence, Italy Duomo Santa Maria Del Fiore and Bargello, Florence
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Florence, Italy

Another wonderfully walkable Italian city is Florence. The cobblestone streets are narrow in Florence, so foot traffic is favored over cars. Walking is the best way to discover the soul of this beautiful city, so take your time and get a little lost if you have time to wander for a while. There are many restaurants with outdoor seating, cafes, and architectural masterpieces to see, as well as six main bridges along the Centro Historico. Some top sites on foot include Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, and the Boboli Gardens.

Paris, France Montmartre in Paris
Credit: Montmartre in Paris by © Adisa | Dreamstime.com

Paris, France

Paris is one of Europe’s most walkable cities, with many things to see and do. Some of the walking highlights in Paris are the Latin Quarter and the Luxembourg Gardens. Take a stroll through artists and produce markets from Sacré-Coeur Basilica to Montmartre as well. Several beautiful walking routes also lead to the Eiffel Tower after passing by Pont de L’Alma and the Left Bank.

Marrakech, Morocco Marrakech, Morocco
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Marrakech, Morocco

The large city of Marrakech is a walkable destination in Morocco, with about two million people. However, the city is relatively compact and situated at the base of the beautiful Atlas Mountains. This is a place where the old meets the new. The new town is modern and perfectly complements the desert atmosphere, while many of the main historical attractions are in the ancient city of Medina. Check out the Koutoubia Mosque, the Badii Palace ruins, and Djemaa el Fna Square, and sample local food on the street.

Melbourne, Australia Melbourne
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Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne, Australia, has a little bit of everything – significant city sights, lush green spaces, and beautiful bay views. Both tourists and residents travel to this city on foot regularly. One of Melbourne’s best sites on foot is the St. Kilda Foreshore Beach, where you can explore local markets and restaurants while people-watching and relaxing.

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