We love discovering cities by foot. It offers a certain sense of accessibility that you can’t get by riding a bus or taking a cab. Plus when you’re eating all that delicious foreign food, you’re going to want to walk off all those calories! If you’re new to exploring new places via the manpower of your own two feet, then here is a list of some of our favorite and least favorite cities to explore by foot.
Best by Foot
Whatever you want in New York City it’s usually never more than a couple of blocks away. Manhattan is full of things to do, many of them within walking distance of downtown! There are also great walking opportunities between SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown.
If you do it right and choose a hotel in the city center and you may not need to take any transportation at all, with the exception of getting to the airport and back. Our first visit to New York came during the Christmas of 2009, and though it was freezing we spent most of our time walking up and down the avenues admiring the elaborate window decorations.
The center of Paris is also very pedestrian friendly with large sidewalks along the river and a central area that packs in a lot of action. We recommend starting off at the Louvre. There is enough art there to fill up your whole day even if you ran through every exhibit. Once you’ve had your fill of art, then mosey over to the famous Notre Dame. Stop for lunch at any of the cafes that serve sausage, cheese and a glass of white wine. Spend your afternoon wandering by the Seine, admiring the architecture and artists all around until you reach Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triumphe.
We loved all the pedestrian-only streets in Brussels. Although we only spent 48 hours in the city, we were able to explore most of it by foot. The city is nice and compact with most major attractions in the city center. A walking tour should include famous attractions such as Mannekin Piss, the comic book route, Grand Place and not so healthy servings of chocolate, French fries, mussels and Belgian beer on Rue des Bouchers. The only attraction that is a bit far is the Atomium, which is just a quick metro ride away.
Worst for Walkers
We tried walking this city and didn’t fare too well. Then we tried navigating the jeepney system and got even more lost. While there are many monuments and parks to see, along with the world’s fourth biggest shopping mall, it’s just not easy to do so by foot. And don’t even get me started on the traffic…
We love Taipei. It’s clean, has large sidewalks and lots to do. It’s also huge and spread out. All the stuff worth seeing seems to be on opposite sides of the city. Luckily the metro system is top notch and buses can take you just about anywhere you need to go. Cabs are also only a flick of the wrist away.
These are just a handful of the many options around the world! What’s your favorite walkable city?