It’s not just hotels & rentals, online accommodation site Booking.com also regularly curates travel content from the feedback they receive from guests who have stayed and experienced a hotel and its location. This time they researched the perfect cities for a car-free holiday after delving into endorsement data from over 26 million travelers (Phew!). These cities are best explored on foot, bike or using public transport. To give your feet a much-needed rest at the end of the day, there’s also helpful suggestions on some great spas & stays. If you’re ready to ditch your car and exercise those leg muscles, read on…
And if you’re asking yourself “why walk?” let me tell you there’s no better way to experience a city first hand than on foot. Number one – you burn all those calories after last night’s heavy dinner; Number two – you get to explore every nook and cranny that a car can’t get you to like that hidden alley selling Harry Potter memorabilia; Number three –you don’t have to hunt for parking space and we all know how expensive and what a pain that can be.
Let’s take a look at the world’s most walkable cities. Are you ready to put on your walking shoes?
Munich – You will find pretty Bavarian scenes at every turn in Munich’s pedestrian-friendly city center. A must see would be one of Europe’s biggest parks; the English Garden where you can explore idyllic lakes, historic follies, beer gardens and even a Japanese teahouse. A little beyond this urban oasis, it’s easy to while away hours’ window shopping and enjoy the ornate public buildings and the Frauenkirche cathedral.
Kyoto – Kyoto is a fascinating blend of ancient history and modernism and is known for its temples, tea ceremony and flower arrangements. Besides exploring the city on foot, do also make use of the city’s public transport as many of the sights are relatively spread out. A particularly interesting walk is around the Kiyomizu-dera temple where shrines and stalls selling snacks make up a lively hub of activity.
Helsinki – The city is well known for its dedication to creating walkable neighborhoods and a car-free population. Walk around taking in the Scandi design and feast your eyes on cutting-edge aesthetics, blending seamlessly with Finnish heritage.
Bordeaux – Take a walk through the streets dotted with neoclassical buildings, pedestrian boulevards and fountain-filled squares and you will be able to sense the city’s laidback atmosphere. Check out the Place de la Bourse with its ‘miroird’eau’, the largest reflecting pool in the world. The city is very bike friendly and has an impressive public transport system.
Florence – On foot happens to be the best way to experience Italian life from sipping on an espresso or enjoying dappled sunlight in the magical Boboli Gardens to crossing the Ponte Vecchio – the only bridge the retreating German army left standing during the Second World War. The cobbled streets add to the city’s charm and many of them are open to ‘pedestrians only’ which makes walking a delight.