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A city skyline at sunset with mountains in the background.

10 of the Most Walkable Cities in the World

Because urban hikes are the new hot girl walks—and if you’re gonna hoof it 10+ miles, you might as well grab a box of macarons and see the Eiffel Tower along the way.

Emma Lifvergren
March 21, 2024

The best way to get to know many cities when you’re traveling is to walk it. You’re just not going to get that good whiff of fresh croissants or stumble upon a gem of a thrift store from the plush comfort of an Uber. Plus, walking is just a good way to get in some extra cardio. The thing about a lot of the world’s most iconic cities is that so many of their main attractions are often in one spot, like a historic center, so they’re easy to bang out all at once—and if they aren’t, grab some comfy shoes, a cute fit, and get ready to walk.

People walking on a sidewalk lined with ornate lampposts in front of a large clocktower and a grand building with ornate towers in the background.

London, England

Unless you’ve never heard of the Beatles, Buckingham Palace, or tea before, London needs no intro. Some of its biggest sights like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, and the London Eye are near each other, but so many others like St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, or Notting Hill are a doable walk (or quick Tube ride) away.

People on the steps of an ornate glass greenhouse on the bank of a pond surrounded by green trees.

Madrid, Spain

A lot of the streets and squares in Madrid are pedestrian only, which makes leisure strolling a lot more enjoyable. The city center is pretty compact and there’s lots of parks, gardens, shops, and restaurants close together, in addition to the major attractions. All three of Madrid’s famous museums are within a 15-minute walk of each other!

A river flowing through a city with red-roofed buildings, a grand domed church, and a stone tower with mountains in the distance.

Florence, Italy

Charming Firenze was made to be explored on foot (really though, it’s over 2,000 years old—almost positive there were no Fiats back then). Wander the narrow, -cobbled streets, admire the Arno River from the famous Ponte Vecchio, and take the path that leads to Piazzale Michelangelo for panoramic views of the city.

A grand stone building with colorful domes and manicured hedges in the middle of a busy city square.
Mexico City, Mexico

CDMX is huge—like, sixth-largest-metro-area-in-the-world huge—but its individual neighborhoods are super walkable. Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Templo Mayor ruins, and the city’s main square, the Zocalo, all in the Centro Historico. Or hit up Coyoacan, the oldest area in Mexico City, known for its iconic market and the Frida Kahlo Museum.

An illuminated Eiffel Tower and bridge at night.
Paris, France

Thomas Jefferson once said, “a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” It’s so easy to get lost in the City of Lights, but in the best way. So close Google Maps and let your feet guide you from arrondissement to arrondissement, with only the Eiffel Tower as your North Star.

River cruise boats floating down a river with the colorful roofs of old buildings and a stone bridge in the background.
Prague, Czech Republic

Navigate yourself to Old Town Square and you’re already in the middle of a must-see area, where ancient buildings, churches, and the famous Astronomical Clock live. From there you can quickly walk to so many other sights—the Charles Bridge that spans the Vltava River and Prague Castle, to name just a couple. Def pay attention as you’re crossing the streets, though—the trams in Prague go pretty fast and always have the right of way.

Looking down from the top of a stone staircase flanked by traditional Japanese buildings and a blossoming cherry tree
Kyoto, Japan

Three of Kyoto’s most famous sightseeing districts—Northern and Southern Higashiyama and Arashiyama—are full of temples, teahouses, and scenic streets. The tranquil pedestrian Philosopher’s Path in Northern Higashiyama, abloom with cherry trees in the spring, is lined with shops, cafes, and a bunch of temples and shrines, like Honen-in and Ginkaku-ji.

A waterfront path winding past docked sailboats and colorful trees in a park on a sunny autumn day.
Vancouver, Canada

The Couve (as dubbed by locals) is unique in that it combines the absolutely bonkers natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest with buzzy city vibes. A lot of popular walkable spots are downtown on Vancouver’s peninsula, including the world-famous Stanley Park and its gorgeous seawall walk. The 5ish-mile loop around Stanley Park has beauteous views of the North Shore mountains, the downtown skyline, Burrard Inlet, and English Bay.

Colorful buildings along a canal lined with docked sailboats on a sunny day.
Copenhagen, Denmark

There’s a waterfront spot in Copenhagen where trampolines are built into the sidewalk—not even joking—so if that’s not a reason to amble through the city’s pedestrian-friendly streets, idk what is. Pop into the magical Tivoli Gardens, stop to get a Danish pastry, chill with the Little Mermaid, etc. And watch out for the street names! They can change halfway through without warning but hey, that’s the beauty of being on foot.

Colorful buildings with decorate iron balconies and awnings on a sunny day.
Buenos Aires, Argentina

In Argentina’s colorful capital it wouldn’t be weird at all to encounter couples dancing the tango in the streets, with its European-inspired architecture and the warm scents of coffee and medialunas wafting out of the cafes. Buenos Aires is made up of 48 vibrant neighborhoods, or barrios, and there are free guided walking tours offered every day of the week.

This is just the beginning of amazing cities where you can get your urban hike on. There’s Ediburgh, Munich, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Marrakech, the list just keeps going. You never know what can happen when you explore a city on foot—the day (and your feet) can take you anywhere.

About the Author

Emma Lifvergren is a writer at EF Ultimate Break by day and a food enthusiast, bookworm, and cat mom to Ruby the rest of the time. Emma has been to 16 countries, including a semester in Paris while attending UMass Amherst, where she graduated with a degree in journalism. She once walked around Vienna for 15 straight hours in uncomfortable boots and then traveled to Prague, where she limped through the rest of the trip like a champ (worth it).

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