We all agree the best way to explore a city is to pound out the miles, street by street. Some cities however take on an almost magical experience when walking around them. If you are planning a big European trip, we suggest adding these experiences to your bucket list.
1: Rome: Baroque and Ancient Rome
The only way to truly appreciate the Eternal City is on foot. Around every corner is an amazing church, great coffee place or a remnant of the glory days of the Roman Empire. With iconic locations like the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the Pantheon, Central Rome would have to rank as the number one city to explore on foot in Europe. However hidden near by many of the famous landmarks are some incredible less frequented gems. Our tip; walk behind the Pantheon and visit the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Among some of the cool things here is a statue by Michelangelo, and it is free to visit!
2: Rome: Roman Forum & Colosseum:
Where else in Europe can you walk in the footsteps of the likes of Julius Caeser and Marc Antony? Probably nowhere. Let your imagination run wild as you stroll through the crumbling columns and decaying temples of Europe’s greatest Empire.
3: Dubrovnik: Walking the City Walls
Dubrovnik’s city walls are some of the best preserved in Europe. With a mediterranean setting and overlooking the compact streetscape below, this would have to be the best city walls walk in Europe. Oh, and don’t forget Dubrovnik is a Game of Thrones location so you can pretend you are manning the defences against a fierce attack!
4: Prague: Castle District over Charles Bridge
Wandering around the streets of Prague is truly like walking through a fairytale. Follow the paths from the Castle to the magical Charles Bridge and finish in the Old Town Square. Our tip; Do the walk a second time at night for the best views of the Castle District from the Charles Bridge.
5: Venice: All of it
Venice is unlike any other city in the world and it is not hard to get off the beaten track and stumble across dead end streets or secluded canals with a lone gondolier rowing by. Our tip; Take that map, screw it up and throw it in the bin (if you can find one). Getting lost in Venice is part of the charm and hey if you hit water just turn back!
6: Berlin: Brandenburg Gate to Checkpoint Charlie
Follow in the footsteps of World War II villains or Cold War super spies as you trace the path of the Berlin Wall. An eclectic mix of memorials, modern and communist architecture, no other city in Europe has been so shaped by 20th century history as Berlin.
7: Barcelona: La Rambla and the Gothic Quarter
La Rambla is without doubt the beating heart of Barcelona. An intense mixture of street performers, tapas bars, tourists and locals you can easily get caught up in the party like atmosphere. After walking the 1.2 kilometres duck into the adjacent Gothic Quarter and explore narrow cobble stoned streets quaint local eateries and the amazing Cathedral.
8: Ljubljana: Old Town
We think you would be hard pressed to find a more charming capital city than Slovenia’s capital. Colourful architecture, a beautiful and unique styled main square and one of the most colourful and photogenic fresh food markets, Ljubljana has it all. Probably our most underrated entrant in this list, but anyone who has visited Slovenia quickly falls in love with it.
9: Paris: The Louvre to Notre Dame
Nothing is more quintessentially Parisian than strolling along the Seine. This walk takes in some of Paris’ most iconic buildings and vantage points as well as delving into some of the city’s amazing history. Pop up market and antique stalls, incredible architecture and bookended by two of Paris’ most important sites this walk definitely beats taking the metro.
10: London: East End
Realistically we could write an entire top 10 purely on walks in London. However the East End takes the cake. From cool speak easy pubs and bars to an incredible street art scene, the East End has something for everyone.
Now its your turn. Do you love exploring new cities but get disheartened when you don’t know what you are looking at or where you are going? Thanks to our friends at GPSmyCity we are giving away 20 promotional codes to download a city tour of your choice for any IOS device (only) from over 400 cities world wide, and it is for free! All you have to do is share a photo or leave a comment below and tell us your favourite European city to explore on foot or even better, the European city you have always dreamt about exploring.
You have until January 8th to enter and winners will be announced on the 9th of January. We will announce the winners here on the blog as well as on our Facebook page (so make sure you give it a like if you have not sone so already) and we will be in contact shortly after to help you claim your prize. Good luck!
The wife and I have missed two of these (#3 & 8). I guess it’s time to head back for a trip to finish them off.
Some great ideas; Venice has been one of my favourite places to walk around so far!
Paris is the best walking city. Well, ok, London and Rome are too! Need to add Croatia and Slovenia to my bucket list.
Florence is one of my favourite European cities. Lots of narrow little streets with delicatessens, wine shops, clothing stores etc and a smattering of street art too. Look out for Clet Abraham’s work on the NO ENTRY signs around Florence.
I’m delighted you threw Ljubljana in with all those other high profile cities. I found the city centre around the canal quite charming, and the walk up to the castle was lovely. I was there in July 2010 and hardly saw any tourists, and I stayed in a old house converted into a hostel a few blocks from the centre. I got chatting to the girl on reception when I mentioned I was heading to Croatia next, and she said she can’t bear to drive there anymore because the Croatians see the Slovenian number plates on cars and throw rocks at them, a bitterness that still lingered over which country owns which parts of former Yugoslavian land, which was a shame, but it reminded me of all the beauty around there’s still a lot of tension under the surface.
I loved the walk in Prague from Charles Bridge through old town to the lookout at the faux Eiffel Towel, but I quite enjoyed walking around the old town of Tallinn in Estonia. I just thought it was adorable and full of history, and with the narrow streets and lack of cars and range of specialty shops and restaurants it had a really homely feel to it. I first went there in 2006, but I had a stopover in Helsinki in 2010 and I went out of my way to catch the ferry over just so I could experience Tallinn again, and it was just as good as the first time.
Saint Petersburg – commencing at St Isacc’s Cathedral, walk through the gardens to the Bronze Horseman statue of Peter the Great. Follow along the Neva River and see the Peter and Paul Fortess on the opposite bank. After reaching the Winter Palace (Small, Old and New Hermitage) explore the Summer Garden to reach the Church of the Saviour of Spilled Blood. Head towards Nevsky Prospect for some shopping therapy
Awesome Philippa. We loved St Petersburg and your walk really show cases the smacking architecture of the city. Nice one!
good article…… paris and london are the most interesting places…….:)
very intresting to read
It’s really wonderful to read about these awesome places around Europe. I always love to be such places. The way you explained is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing.