One of the best ways to explore a new city is by walking it. Thankfully, some of the most beautiful and iconic cities around the world are easily walkable and great for exploring. For those who don’t want to grab a taxi or hop on the bus to visit monument after monument, check out these walkable cities:
An incredible city in Europe is Paris, France. It’s a city full of treasures that are best seen strolling by at your leisure like the Sacre Coeur, the Opera and the cobbled laneways of the Latin Quarter. A riverside stroll along the Seine to take in the breathtaking Jardin des Tuileries and The Louvre is the perfect walk before heading over to Île de la Cité and Notre Dame. When your legs and feet tire from all the walking, take a rest at the amazing bistros and bars in the trendy Marais Head into the less touristy arrondissements like the 17th and see how the real Parisians live. Wander around the fresh produce markets in the Rue de Levis and pick up a crusty baguette and some cheese and picnic in the nearby Parc Monceau.
A great way to initially survey London is to get on the open-top busses and get your bearings before you tackle the city walking. For a wonderful day(s) out pick any part of this route. Start at Borough Market for some breakfast, go over Tower Bridge and then to the Tower of London, to St Paul’s Cathedral and then over the Millennium Bridge to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and on to a ride on the London Eye where you can get a fabulous view over London. From there walk over Westminster Bridge to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, head up past 10 Downing St to Trafalgar Square and on to Covent Garden for another bite to eat. On the way to Buckingham Palace, take a little detour to Hamley’s Toy Store. Then make your way to Harrods in Knightsbridge, get some scrumptious food from the food hall (after looking at $100-000 handbags) and head over to Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens to rest your legs after an adventurous walk! Like Paris, you can check out the museums another day.
Munich’s historical centre is a fortified city that is pedestrian access only. Most of the walking revolves around Marienplatz (the main square). There are free walking tours from there that meet under Mary’s Column. Be there at 11, 12 or 5 for the Rathaus-Glockenspiel which plays music like a cuckoo clock with little dancing figurines. Whilst it is quite interesting and kids will love it, I recollect it was rated the 2nd most overrated tourist attraction in Europe by Lonely Planet (but still worth going to). Climb the towers of Frauenkirche (“cathedral of our dear lady”) for great views of the city and towards the Alps. Also the towers of St Peter’s Cathedral (Peterskirche) offer similar spectacular views as does the New Town Hall – pick one of them. Go to Viktualienmarkt – a fresh food market for lunch or takeaway and eat by the Isar river and have a midday nap on the riverbank. Alternately check out Wiener platz market (smaller and less touristy). Walk along Maximillianstrasse – a lively street like Champs Elysees Paris or Oxford St London. Make your way to Deutches Museum – the German museum of masterpieces of engineering, science and technology. On your way to the beautiful gardens of the Englisher Garten, stop in via the Hofbrauhaus, one of the largest beer halls in Germany, for a beer or a meal.
Sydney is a city famous for its Harbour, so one of the best ways to explore Sydney on foot is walks based around the Harbour. Many sections of the Lower North Shore, including Cremorne Point and from Taronga Zoo to Bradley’s Head give a stunning view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and the walk to Bradley’s Head gets you into great Australian bushland. While there, it’s worth going to Taronga Zoo which both has spectacular views of the Harbour, and an amazing zoo full of Australian and world-wide animals. Walk from Luna Park, over the Harbour Bridge to Circular Quay (or even pay to do Bridge Climb) and catch a Manly Ferry to Manly and walk from Manly Wharf via many great ice-creameries to the famous Manly surf beach and on to the protected Shelly Beach. In contrast to the built-history of the other cities, this is the natural-history of the ocean.