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Walk This Way: 11 Cities to See on Foot

Walk This Way: 11 Cities to See on Foot Photo

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Posted on September 15, 2008 in Trip Ideas

Everyone from the American Podiatric Medical Association to Walk Score to our own IgoUgo Forums have named the best walking cities in the US this year. But what about the world? Here are 11 international cities IgoUgo members recommend exploring on foot.

Lucca, Italy
artslover says: “By late afternoon, the day-trippers are gone and in the evening, the streets can be enjoyed for a leisurely stroll. Lucca is a walled city of manageable size that continues to lean more and more toward pedestrians and away from cars. Just about everything worth seeing can be reached on foot. Very few cars are found inside the walls of the Old Town.”

Stone Town, Zanzibar
greghuntoon says: “More than anything else, go to Zanzibar with an open heart, and an open mind. Pay attention to the prayer calls each of the five times during the day; this is a culture that beats to the rhythm of prayer. It's amazing to soak in. Walk through Stone Town, and you'll not regret it, even though you're guaranteed to get lost.”

Sopron, Hungary
Overlander says: “Sopron's best feature is its Old Town, which is a wonderful place to stroll, especially in early evening. There are lots of sidewalk cafés, restaurants, and bars to keep you well fed and watered, as well as quite a number of museums and churches to go through. This town is truly a delight, with a very different feel to it than even small towns just over the border in Austria, let alone the sprawling metropolis that is Vienna.”

Wellington, New Zealand
stomps says: “The city is built so compactly that all the quarters fit into an extremely manageable walking distance. I walked through three of the quarters in the span of one afternoon, with many pit stops along the way to peek into shops and snap a few pictures. I did the same the next day on my way to the train station, and it really wasn't a difficult walk at all.”

Salzburg, Austria
becks says: “Old Town Salzburg is a fantastic place to stroll, which is just as well, as most of the center is closed to motorized vehicles. The Old Town is in a long, narrow piece of flat land boxed in between the Salzach River and the steep, almost-vertical slopes of the Mönchberg Hill, which is crowned by the mighty Hohensalzburg Fortress. Streets are generally narrow and complemented by covered arcades and even narrower alleys connecting the main roads that are generally parallel to the Salzach River.”

La Paz, Bolivia
Kez says: “Although most of the streets are steep and narrow, we really enjoyed just wandering around the city. On arrival we made a conscious decision that we were not doing the tourist rounds and that we were ‘museum-ed out.’ We just wanted to mingle with the locals and enjoy the city on an everyday level, so this is what we did and we enjoyed our stay immensely. One of our highlights was walking around the huge markets, like the Mercado Negro where the locals go to shop.”

Lisbon, Portugal
Jose Kevo says: “Too good to be true isn't always the case. At least that's what I found in Lisbon, perhaps Europe's most understated and -rated capital city. Out of 17 European countries visited, Lisbon is the only place that inspired a second, prolonged rendezvous. And I'd go back tomorrow if opportunity presented itself. As in most European cities, the prescribed measure for getting around is to walk, and Lisbon definitely caters to the challenge! Bulging calves of older ladies, wearing flats or heels, can attest to that thanks to the city sprawling across seven hills. Stairs and steps are everywhere, so get in shape and be prepared!”

Hanoi, Vietnam
bettybetty10 says: “WALK, WALK, and WALK: Every hotel/guesthouse/hostel will have a good and simple map of the Old Quarter and Hoa Kiem Lake. These areas are surprisingly easy to get around, especially by foot. I was surprised that we rarely ever got lost, and when we did, we got back on track within minutes. We walked EVERYWHERE, and at the most, it took us about 30 minutes to get to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and 30 more minutes to walk around the lake. It’s also great exercise!”

Zurich, Switzerland
lcampbell says: “The first city on my first European adventure was Zürich and it was love at first sight. Narrow avenues paved with stone that was likely laid before America was a country...architecture like I’ve never seen...giant white swans floating on the river and lake...everything was perfect, even the light snow that was falling as I came out of the train station. Pedestrian-friendly Zürich has a rich history displayed in grand churches, ancient buildings, and impressive artworks. Stroll around stone-paved streets to discover hidden monuments and fountains mixed with modern accents like charming cafés and trendy shops.”

Melbourne, Australia
phileasfogg says: “One option is to walk or cycle, and that is a good way to see Melbourne: some of the city’s best sights are within easy walking distance of each other, like the Royal Botanic Gardens-the Shrine of Remembrance-Cook’s Cottage-Government House, or Victoria Market-Collins Street-Chinatown.”

Athens, Greece
actonsteve says: “Of all the cities in the world, Athens is perhaps one of the easiest to navigate around. After all, you have a pretty big landmark in the center called the Acropolis. Athens spreads itself out from this colossal mound. This city of four million people covers a bowl between two mountain ranges and the Aegean Sea. The towering 'high city' can be seen from almost anywhere in the city—an island soaring above the white concrete of modern Athens.”

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