The key to expat happiness abroad can easily be contributed to how much a person can explore via foot...
19 June 2019| Last updated on 19 January 2020
Walking isn’t just good for your heart, it’s great for the environment.
And a completely free mode of transport, it’s the very best way to see and explore a new city.
May was National Walking Month, so we’re celebrating some of the best and most pedestrian friendly cities around the globe.
The maze-like streets of Marrakesh are made for exploring by foot. From hours wandering around the souks learning about exotic spices and textiles, to a visit to the Jemaa El-Fnaa square to see street performers and taste incredible street-food. And the perfect end to a day walking around Marrakesh? A long leisurely stroll around the peace and serenity that is the Menara Gardens.
Vancouver isn’t just great for those of us who love walking, the city actively promotes pedestrian travel and has implemented new and exciting ways to make Canada's third largest city walking friendly city. Not only is the city itself walker friendly, but it’s home to the one of the best urban parks in North America.
You can walk from downtown to Stanley Park, and then enjoy the 1000 acres of unspoilt outside space. The park includes incredible views and the Lost Lagoon. For spectacular views of the whole city, take a stroll across the Lions Gate Bridge.
The city has a comprehensive strategy in place to reach the goal of being the world’s greenest city by 2020. As part of this, the city has implemented a new pedestrian signage system, made up of over 200 signs and maps that make exploring the city even easier.
Despite being one of the larger cities on the list, the Capital of France is actually very walkable. The French Government have made a number of changes in recent years to encourage Parisians and tourists to spend more time walking through the historic and beautiful city.
You can easily walk between each and every show stopping landmark and museum. And for residents of the city, walking prevents long queues in the infamous Parisian traffic. The Montmartre area of the city is particularly pedestrian friendly, with its romantic narrow winding streets, delicious cafes, and coffee spots.
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If you’re in France and seeking adventure by foot, why not try the Transhumance. Every year you are welcomed to join in the 70km trek, split over 5 days, where you accompany the Dordogne’s sheep and their herders on the journey from Rocamadour to Luzech.
Florence is the perfect city to explore by foot, not least because automotive transport throughout much of the city it restricted to permit holders. The city is home to such a wealth of historical sites and buildings that you need to take your time walking around to really take it all in. Thankfully, almost every street is lined with excellent cafes, bars and delectable restaurants so you can take a break at any time.
Walking or travel by public transport are the main modes of transport for residents of the city too. So, if you’re looking to live in greener city, where your commute is as simple as slipping on some comfy shoes and strolling through historical sunny streets, maybe this could be the place for you.
More from Italy:
If you’re in Italy seeking adventure by foot, why not consider taking on the Cinque Terre walk. With 5 picturesque villages linked by a coastal path, this is one excellent walk. Take in the individual beauty of each spot, whilst overlooking the crystal blue sea.
5. Buenos Aires
Famed for incredible, European style architecture, exciting and diverse neighbourhoods and an infectiously lively culture, the capital of Argentina is the perfect place to explore by foot. The tourism board runs free walking tours every day of the week and these tours book up quickly. With English language and bi-lingual tours covering some of the city’s highlights, enjoy a free walking tour over either 5 or 11 miles!
The city is the perfect place for fans or architecture or street art: exploring by foot will give you the chance to really take in everything that Buenos Aires has to offer. There are even specialised walking tours available that cover myriad of specialist interest areas.
6. New York City
The Big Apple is the USA’s most walkable city, with the block structured streets making it incredibly easy to navigate. Not only will the city feel instantly familiar (thanks to the millions of TV shows, adverts and Films filmed here), but the city is made for exploration by foot. So much so that the city government has plans to make key areas (such as Times Square) completely pedestrianised.
While in New York, whether as a tourist or resident, you have to take advantage of the incredible views from the Brooklyn Bridge and explore the 843 acres of Central Park. New York really is a walker’s city paradise.
More from the US:
And if you’re looking for a thrill seeking and challenging walk while in the US, why not give the Bryce Canyon a go. In Southwest Utah the sunset colours of the jagged spikes that make up this walking landscape are truly awe-inspiring.