If you’re lucky enough to live in a highly walkable city, you’ve probably already seen many of the highlights. But have you been on the city walk?
City walks are great for discovering things about the city you live in or that you’re visiting. And how many of us actually know a great deal about the cities we live?
So whether you live in one of the 10 best cities to walk in or you’re visiting any of the cities on our list, why not book yourself on a walking tour and learn some fascinating facts.
Here are 10 of the most recommended city walks in the world.
Freedom Trail — Boston, USA
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long path through historic Boston showcasing 16 historically important sites associated with the American Revolution and the early history of the United States.
Some of the highlights include the Massachusetts State House, home of the American patriot Paul Revere, and the Old North Church, famous for its role in signalling the lanterns that warned of the British march to Lexington and Concord.
The Boston trail also takes in the Granary Burying Ground, which is the final resting place of many notable figures, including Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams, and the site of the Boston Massacre where a deadly confrontation between British soldiers and colonists took place in 1770.
Other notable buildings include the Old State House which is now a museum and historic site where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston and the Old South Meeting House, a historic church where the Boston Tea Party was organised.
Thames Path Walk — London, UK
The Thames Path is a scenic and iconic long-distance walking trail in London alongside approximately 184 miles (296 kilometers) of the course of the River Thames.
Although the path officially starts at the source of the river in the Cotswolds, visitors to London should stick to the route along Queen’s Walk. This is where you will find most of the iconic sites, cafes and bars.
The rich history of London means that many of the most iconic historical landmarks are on or visible along the Thames Walk. Along the way, you’ll encounter several notable landmarks, including Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern, the London Eye and the Parliament Building with its famous “Big Ben” clock tower.
The panoramic vistas of London’s glorious skyline also give you a sighting of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Gherkin, touted as the “most recognised silhouette in 21st Century architecture.
Kyoto Imperial Palace Park — Kyoto, Japan
The Kyoto Imperial Palace Park (Kyoto Gosho) is a historic and tranquil park located in the heart of bustling Kyoto. It encompasses the grounds of the former Imperial Palace, providing visitors with a serene oasis that gives you a calm and contemplative space away from the frantic atmosphere of the city.
The park houses several beautifully ornate buildings, including the Imperial Palace itself, which was the residence of the Emperor of Japan until the capital moved to Tokyo in 1868.
Known for its meticulously maintained gardens with serene ponds, stone bridges, and seasonal flora, Kyoto Imperial Palace Park is with vibrant cherry blossoms, vast lawns, wooded areas, and a unique checkerboard pattern of white gravel paths and moss-covered squares.
To enter the Imperial Palace buildings, you need to join one of the free guided tours, which are available in multiple languages. These tours provide valuable insights into the history and significance of the palace.
Largo di Torre Argentina to The Colosseum — Rome, Italy
Rome is blessed with stunning architecture and dozens of fascinating walking routes, but one of our favourites is the walk from Largo di Torre Argentina to the Colosseum.
This route takes you through the heart of the city, passing by historic landmarks, ancient ruins, and charming neighbourhoods with the waft of pizza and tonnes of sumptuous gelato on display.
Start in Largo di Torre Argentina, the historic centre of Rome, known for its Roman Republican temples and as the site where Julius Caesar was assassinated.
Then head southeast toward Campo de’ Fiori, a lively square known for its daily market selling fresh produce and artisan goods. Continue southeast to reach the stunning Piazza Navona before heading to the iconic Pantheon.
On the way to The Colosseum, take in Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Arch of Constantine, all of which film buffs will recognise from one film or another. The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre offers you the opportunity to explore this iconic symbol of ancient Rome, which once hosted gruesome gladiatorial contests.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk — Sydney, Australia
The Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk is a popular and iconic experience offering breathtaking panoramic views of Sydney’s skyline and the city’s famous harbour.
You can either start the walk from the city side, near The Rocks district, or from Milsons Point on the North Shore side of the harbour. The primary attraction is, of course, an unobstructed view of Sydney’s skyline, the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, and the harbour itself. The vantage point from the bridge offers excellent photo opportunities.
For those seeking an even more exhilarating experience, the BridgeClimb allows participants to ascend to the summit of the bridge’s arches with the guidance of professional climbers. This guided tour provides unparalleled views and a unique perspective on the city.
The bridge is accessible 24-hours a day and is stunning both during the day and at night when it’s illuminated. Consider taking the walk at different times to experience both perspectives.
The High Line — New York City, USA
The High Line is an elevated park and greenway that runs through the Chelsea and Meatpacking District neighbourhoods on the west side of Manhattan, New York. The Hudson River is visible in the distance.
Built on a former railway line that once carried freight trains, the oasis has been transformed into a beautiful linear park and urban pathway, offering visitors a unique and picturesque way to experience the city.
The High Line is characterised by its lush landscaping which changes with the seasons, making it a beautiful place to visit year-round. Temporary and permanent art installations and sculptures are also featured to enhance the cultural experience as you walk through the park. The High Line occasionally hosts public art programs, exhibitions, and performances, adding to the cultural vibrancy of the park.
Charles Bridge to Prague Castle — Prague, Czech Republic
The walk from Charles Bridge to Prague Castle in Prague is arguably one of the most breathtaking walks through the historic heart of any city. In part that’s because there is a somewhat steep climb up to the castle. But the higher you get, the more breathtaking the views of the city are.
Begin your walk by crossing Charles Bridge from the Old Town side (eastern bank) to the Lesser Quarter (western bank). The bridge is adorned with ornate statues and offers beautiful views of the Vltava River and Prague Castle in the distance.
As you exit the bridge, you’ll find yourself in the charming Lesser Quarter neighbourhood. Follow Nerudova Street, a picturesque and cobblestone-paved street lined with colourful facades, shops, and restaurants to the beautiful St. Nicholas Church.
Then head up the hill to Hradčany Square (Hradčanské náměstí), a spacious square in front of Prague Castle. Here, you’ll find the Schwarzenberg Palace and other historic buildings.
Continue walking uphill to the entrance of Prague Castle. The castle complex is a sprawling architectural wonder with several notable attractions, including the stunning Gothic Cathedral dedicated to St. Vitus, the Old Royal Palace, and Golden Lane.
Montmartre — Paris, France
Montmartre is a historic and picturesque neighbourhood located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It’s famous for its artistic heritage, stunning views of the city, and unique village-like atmosphere. Its elevated position on a hill in the northern part of the city gives you incredible views of France’s stunning capital.
The most prominent landmark atop Montmartre is the impressive white-domed basilica of Sacre-Cœur dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The walk also takes in the world-famous cabaret lounge, Moulin Rouge, a stark conflict of interest between the two cultural interests.
As you stroll through Montmartre’s winding, cobblestone streets, you will find the neighbourhood has a unique, village-like charm. If you enjoy art museums, stop off at the Montmartre Museum famed for its association with famous artists like Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Van Gogh.
Stop off for a beverage in the Place du Tertre. This charming square is known as the “Artist’s Square.” Here, you’ll find numerous open-air cafes and artists creating and selling their artwork. It’s a great place for people-watching and getting your portrait done.
If you like wine, you should also head to the Montmartre Vineyards. They only produce a limited quantity of wine each year so are not readily available outside France.
Bosphorus Strait Walk — Istanbul, Turkey
A walk along the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul is a captivating experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the unique blend of European and Asian cultures while enjoying breathtaking views of the city’s waterfront.
As you walk along the Bosphorus, you’ll pass by opulent waterfront mansions and palaces that showcase the city’s rich history and architectural diversity. Some of these mansions have been converted into museums or event venues.
The strait is adorned with iconic bridges, including the Bosphorus Bridge (15 July Martyrs Bridge) and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, connecting the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. These bridges are illuminated beautifully at night.
The European side of the Bosphorus features a waterfront promenade called the Beşiktaş Sahil Yolu, which is perfect for a leisurely walk or a jog. It offers stunning views of the Bosphorus and the Asian shoreline and the opportunity to watch traditional ferries, private yachts, and fishing boats.
Also take in Ortaköy, a lively neighbourhood where you can sample delicious street food, Çırağan Palace, a former Ottoman palace, and Çamlıca Hill, for panoramic views of the Bosphorus.
Dubrovnik City Walls — Dubrovnik, Croatia
The Dubrovnik City Walls in Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic fortification is well-preserved and encircles the city’s Old Town.
Walking along these ancient walls offers visitors a chance to explore Dubrovnik’s rich history, stunning architecture, and spectacular panoramic views of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, the shimmering Adriatic Sea, and the nearby Lokrum Island. It’s especially stunning during sunrise or sunset.
The walls date back to the 9th century, and you can see various fortifications, towers, and defensive structures that were built and expanded upon over the centuries. You will also find the walls are punctuated by several fortresses, including Fort Lovrijenac (St. Lawrence Fortress), which played a key role in the city’s defence.
Other notable monuments include the imposing Minceta Tower, the highest point on the walls and was featured in the TV series “Game of Thrones.” Also, St John’s Fortress, located at the southeastern corner of the walls, this fortress houses the Maritime Museum, which showcases Dubrovnik’s maritime heritage.