5 Most walkable cities in Europe

BY Reader's Digest Editors

4th Sep 2023

3 min read

5 Most walkable cities in Europe
Walking on holiday is a great way to stay fit, but also to see the sights a city has to offer. Here are the five most walkable cities in Europe
If you’re able to, wandering the streets of a new city on foot is an unrivalled way to take in all the sights and sounds. You’ll probably catch some hidden gems that you may have missed if you were tucked away on a train or bus—and there’s no denying that walking is a much more eco (and wallet) friendly form of transport, too.
That being said, some cities aren’t the most welcoming to pedestrians. To help you get out and explore, language learning platform Preply has ranked Europe’s most walkable cities. They analysed the walking distance between top attractions and now Beth Grayson reveals which cities in Europe are the easiest to explore on foot. 

1.     Seville, Spain

Seville in Spain takes the top spot as Europe’s most walkable city, offering the shortest walking route between the top five tourist attractions.
Visitors to this charming Spanish citycan explore the impressive Plaza de Espana public square, before wandering over to the UNESCO-listed palace of Real Alcazar and Seville Cathedral. After that, it’s only a short trip on foot to visit the beautiful Barrio Santa Cruz neighbourhood and admire the Torre Giralda bell tower looming above.
With just 20 minutes of walking between these attractions, you can really make the most of your time here.

2.   Venice, Italy

Venice is renownedas a haven for pedestrians, so it’s no surprise it ranks as the second best location for walkable city breaks.
"Walking is the best way to explore the bridges over the canals the city is famed for"
There are endless enticing alleyways to explore, as well as plenty of stunningly ornate bridges over the crisscrossing canals that the city is famed for.Just under half an hour of walking here will take you on a tour of the impressive Grand Canal, Doge's Palace, St Mark's Square, Basilica and bell tower, all in only 1.3 miles.

3.   Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal
Nestled along Portugal’s picturesque coast, Porto comes in third with its top attractions all covered by a 30-minute walking route.
Meander along the Dom Luís I Bridge over the Douro River, head to the Clérigos Church Bell Tower and enjoy a riverfront promenade along the Cais da Ribeira. The Stock Exchange Palace—which is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO—is also just a short walk away.

4.   Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy, secures its place as the fourth most walkable city in Europe thanks to its stunning array of attractions that can be seamlessly explored on foot. In only 33 minutes, visitors can take in the splendour of Florence's top-tier destinations.
"In just 33 minutes, visitors can take in the splendour of Florence's destinations"
A 1.6 mile route covers the awe-inspiring Piazzale Michelangelo;the renowned Uffizi Gallery; the Piazza del Duomo where you can marvel at the magnificent Florence Cathedral; and the Galleria dell'Accademia, home to Michelangelo's masterpiece, the statue of David.

5.   Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece
The capital of Greece ranks in fifth, with a slightly longer – but very worthwhile – route of 2.1 miles between its top-rated tourist attractions.
Visitors to Athens can begin their journey at the Acropolis, ascending to discover the ancient Parthenon that stands as a testament to the city’s ancient legacy. A seamless transition leads to the Acropolis Museum,with the quaint neighbourhood of Plaka waiting to be explored in the shadow of the Acropolis. The National Archaeological Museum is also close-by, housing a treasure trove of artefacts that proudly display Greece's impressive archaeological heritage.

The best UK cities to explore by foot

Oxford, England
For anyone looking to get out and explore closer to home, Preply’s study also revealed the top most walkable cities in the UK.
Oxford topped the list as the most pedestrian-friendly UK destination, with only 2,310 steps needed to take in its five main attractions:Bodleian Library, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Pitt Rivers Museum, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, and the hallowed halls of Oxford University.
"Oxford topped the list as the most pedestrian-friendly UK destination"
Brighton comes in second place,with just half an hour of walking taking visitors along a route that includes the bohemian North Laine, the Royal Pavilion fantasy palace, the tiny boutiques of The Lanes, the fairground rides of Brighton Pier and Brighton i360 observation tower.
York follows in third,jumping up to a total of 48 minutes needed to take in all its most impressive sights – but the ancient walled city may just be worth it.
Banner Credit: Venice (Jeremy Maude)
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