I have found some of the best little gems in a city, just by walking around.
Sure, zipping around from landmark to landmark by taxi or bus might be efficient, but we lose the opportunity to see all the little details that make up the essence of the city. That’s why if you really want to explore a city, it’s best done on foot.
Of course, there are some destinations that are more walkable than others. That, paired with time constraints, can make walking a little less than ideal. But if you have the ability and the time, it can really make for a memorable trip.
You’ll notice a common thread between these locales. Many of the world’s most walkable cities are also steeped in history. That’s because they were established long before faster modes of transportation came along, and being walkable was a necessity.
To be honest, exploring a walkable city is a nice change of pace for those of us that live in cities that are less than friendly for pedestrians. It is wonderful to be able to meander down the streets and take in the sights at a slower pace.
If this sounds right up your alley, these are the most walkable cities around the world! Take some time to explore them, one step at a time.
Related: The Most Walkable Cities in the U.S.
The history of Florence, Italy stretches back almost 3,000 years, so it makes sense that this city is best enjoyed on foot. Like you’re stepping back in time, wander down the city’s narrow streets and discover tiny alleys, historic church facades, beautiful gardens, and remarkable medieval architecture everywhere.
As an added bonus, much of the traffic in Florence is restricted to buses, taxis, and residents with permits. Many of the must-see landmarks are all within relatively easy walking distance of one another. And if you need to give tired feet a rest, head over to the Central Market for a quick lunch at any of the bars and restaurants located on the first floor.
Known as “The Red City” thanks to the color of its brick, this ancient walled city is a sight to see. Marrakech, Morocco has stood for nearly 1,000 years, so it is walkable by design. Take your time wandering through the streets to see just how rich in history it is. You’ll find mosques, palaces, and lush gardens. Don’t miss the Saadian Tombs and the Badi Palace; immerse yourself in the culture by enjoying the local cuisine and soaking in hammams (public baths); and see the remarkable Jardin Majorelle, a garden and villa complex that was started by the famed French painter Jacques Majorelle in the ‘20s and later restored by fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent.
Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is enchanting. The city is full of canals, quaint cafes, brightly-colored homes, world-renowned museums, and tulip fields. Most of these charming things can only be found when you take the time to walk along the streets, so take a leisurely stroll! It’s also a wonderful city to explore by bicycle, too.
While you’re here, don’t miss the Rijksmuseum. The museum is housed in a magnificent Gothic and Renaissance building, but inside is where you will find an incredible collection of Vermeers and Van Goghs.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, is often called the “Paris of South America.” Take a walk around the city, and you can easily see why. It is filled with beautiful, European-style architecture, but also boasts a lively cultural scene and bustling neighborhoods. While the city itself is massive, with sights spread out all over town, many points of interest are relatively close together, making it a great walkable city to visit.
The center of Buenos Aires is the historic Plaza de Mayo, and it’s a great place to begin. It is lined with the presidential palace and other stately 19th-century buildings. This is where the modern city developed outward from and is also home to the Pyramid of May, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and more.
We can’t really talk about strolling through charming, walkable cities without mentioning Paris, France. The City of Lights begs to be explored at a slower pace. There are so many quaint, charming details to take in, like small corner cafes and intricate architectural details.
Stroll from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame along the banks of the Seine, head to the Louvre Museum to see 10,000 years of history packed in one institution, and take a breather at one of Paris’ many bistros and bars. Don’t miss the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, or head over to the Musee d’Orsay for a less-crowded museum experience.