Wellness and Renewal

Best City Walking Tours

A truly walkable city lets your feet be your “ride.” So you don’t burn through your travel budget. Or have to navigate a maze of transportation in a language not your own. Check out our list of top walker-friendly cities worldwide; each provides an intimate feel for the ultimate in wellness and renewal, so you can focus on your walking adventure -- minus the headache of navigating logistics.

Sydney
This city offers cosmopolitan flair with stunning views, both top prerequisites for walkability. Take in the scents at the Royal Botanic Gardens, the oldest botanic garden in Australia. Peel back the layers of the Sydney Opera House with its distinctive roof of “shells. Step back in time at The Rocks, Australia’s first convict settlement that’s now home to a liberated scene of cafes, bars and galleries. More of a beach buff? Walk the cliff tops between Bondi and Coogee beaches. For the 3-mile walk between both, apply sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat and, above all, have a G’day.
Amsterdam
Amsterdam offers a refreshing take on “live and let walk,” thanks to its flat, clean streets. Start by touring Amsterdam’s most prominent feature: its 17th-century concentric canals, more than 100 miles long, which make this city the “Venice of the North.” If you live to shop, the Jordaan district, beckons you. Enjoy boutiques and open-air markets along the mile-long stretch. If you’re drawn to art, a few street turns brings you to Museum Square. Glimpse the largest collection of paintings and drawings in the world by van Gogh, known in his day as a formidable walker.
Cape Town
What separates and connects us is fodder for thought in Cape Town. Walk the cobblestone streets of Bo-Kaap, a township originally settled by Muslim descendants of slaves brought over by the Dutch. Take a cable car up Table Mountain, and walk along the 2-mile plateau from which you can see the entire city of Cape Town below. About 7 miles from Cape Town, explore Robben Island, a prison from the 17th to 20th centuries roughly 2 miles off the coast of Cape Town that includes the prison cell that former President and Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela occupied for 18 years. Bear witness to a rock pile started by Mandela and added on to -- one stone at a time -- by other political prisoners.
San Francisco
You can walk to your own beat in San Francisco. Revisit one of the homes of the Beat culture at North Beach. At Haight-Ashbury, wax nostalgic for the 1967 Summer of Love, when as many as 100,000 youth converged here. Run for the Hippie Hills, where drum circles, jugglers and shiny happy people mingle. In the mood for a flat, more open expanse? Feel the breeze of the San Francisco Bay on a 2-mile walk along the waterfront, The Embarcadero, down to Fisherman’s Wharf, where performance artists, sea lions and a panoply of fishing vessels make up the local scene. Top off your walk with a nearly 2 mile jaunt across the Golden Gate Bridge, the most photographed bridge in the world.
Jerusalem's Old City
Take your pick from among 7 gates to enter this 3,000-year-old city; the most popular is Jaffa Gate for its close proximity to taxis. Imposing 16th century Ottoman walls surround the city, which is divided into 4 quarters: Jewish, Armenian, Christian and Muslim. Once you enter the fray, your walking pilgrimage takes you through the relics of 3 ancient faiths: the Western Wall (Jewish), Dome of the Rock (Muslim) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Christian). Wind down your journey with pizza or falafel in Jerusalem’s Arab Market, accompanied by a spicy political opinion or two, if you ask for it.
Bordeaux, France
The narrow streets of this medieval French town may not be well suited for cars, but they are for your feet. A flat city by the banks of the Garonne River, Bordeaux is sometimes called “Little Paris.” But this city has plenty of individuality all its own. For heavy duty walking (and shopping) head to Rue Sainte-Catherine; one of the longest shopping streets in Europe. Then kick back in Quai de Bacalan, a waterfront area with outdoor restaurants and cafes.

You Might Also Like

More Travel Inspirations

DIY Blog Cabin
DIY Blog Cabin Sweeps

Enter for a chance to win a grand prize worth almost $900,000!

Food Network Grilling On the Road
The Best Summer Eats On The Road

Find FN chefs' favorite ice cream, BBQ, and burgers across the country.

Cooking Channel Adventures in Cooking
Learn a New Cooking Skill

Get creative in the kitchen and see cooler ways to cook from Cooking Channel.

 

See Also

Explore the US Virgin Islands

Kinga goes sailing and kite surfing at the US Virgin Islands National Park.

Travel 911

Get tips for travel emergencies, including lost luggage, stormy weather, ...

Marianela’s Beaches

Get Marianela Pereyra’s picks for what to see and do on California’s best ...

Parahawking in Paradise

Led by a hawk, Rachel goes paragliding for the best views of Torrey Pines.