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What are some of the most walkable cities in Europe?
Cities that you can walk around are little gems, and they are abundant in Europe. They are easy to get around, transport is super cheap (obviously), it’s healthier, you see things that you otherwise wouldn’t, and it’s always a bonus when you can make your trip that little bit greener. I’ve compiled this list of the 15 most walkable cities in Europe for those who like me, like to rely on their feet as much as possible for transportation whilst travelling. And if you base yourself at or near the centre of these European cities (like near the historic centre, for example), your sightseeing can be done (predominately) by foot!
Tip: Don’t focus on the size of these cities. Obviously a city is not walkable if it’s hundreds or thousands of km². Most of the sights within these European walking cities are located within a few km² (like within the Old Town) so you can go by foot.
1. Wroclaw, Poland
Size: 292.8 km²
Located in western Poland along the winding Odra River, Wroclaw is a truly charming city full of cobbled-streets that are lined with colourful townhouses and miniature lovable bronze Dwarves (yes, really). The majority of the very best things to do in Wroclaw are clumped in and around the Old Town, making the city one of the most walkable cities in Europe. At Christmas, Rynek (the main Market Square) is transformed into a festive paradise, hosting one of the most underrated Christmas Markets in Europe.
Tip: If you’re planning a trip to Wroclaw, the cheapest way to get from the airport to the city is by public bus. Check out this how to get from Wroclaw Airport to city centre by bus step-by-step guide for more details.
2. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Size: 1,166 km²
A city where east collides with west, Mostar is one of the most unique places to visit in Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar is home to the most alluring Old Town which sprawls either side of the crowning glory, Stari Most. Stari Most is the world-renowned tall arched bridge which goes above the emerald waters of the Neretva River below – look down whilst crossing it and your legs might just turn to jelly. The Old Town is laden with Ottoman influence and some of the most delicious Millhouse restaurants, making it a haven for foodies!
Tip: Stick to the Old Town of Mostar and it will make for one of the best European cities to explore by foot! If you want to venture further afield, why not go on a day trip to Kravice Waterfalls, which is one of Europe’s most stunning natural wonders.
3. Zadar, Croatia
Size: 25 km²
The Croatian cities of Dubrovnik and Split are well known contenders for an Adriatic break, but Zadar may not be on your radar (psst… I’m a poet and I didn’t know it!). A petite peninsula city located on the Dalmatian Coast, Zadar is the perfect getaway if you’re looking for a European walking city that is a little more sedate that it’s counterparts, but without compromising on the atmosphere. Zadar truly is one of the most walkable cities in Europe on this list, and focus your stay on the Old Town (where all the good stuff is) and you’ll be able to walk end-to-end in approximately 15 minutes.
4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Size: 219.3 km²
One of the most visited cities in Europe (probably) and loved by oh so many travellers, you might not think that Amsterdam is walkable at all. And with 165 canals which total more than 100km (~62 miles) in length, I can see why. But when I spent 3 days in Amsterdam one December, the only time I used public transport was to get from the city centre to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (and vice versa). Granted, you will want something comfy for your feet, but walking from place to place in Amsterdam is one of the best ways to become acquainted with the city (I can assure you, you will see so much more)!
5. Bruges, Belgium
Size: 138.4 km²
If I asked you what you think of when you think of Belgium, you might say chocolate, waffles, beer, and Bruges. Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and is the absolute perfect stop on a 10 day Europe road trip from the UK. Medieval step roofed houses line the Amsterdam-esque canals, Gothic buildings edge the perimeter of market squares, and the finest Belgian chocolate shops are plentiful throughout the city. The historic centre of Bruges is where you need to be for the hustle and bustle and it is highly walkable, but if you fancy a change, then a bicycle is a pretty good option for sightseeing too!
6. Victoria (Ir-Rabat), Gozo
Size: 2.9 km2
Just a day trip away from Malta and one of the best summer city breaks in Europe in its own right, Victoria is the second smallest and therefore absolute most walkable city in Europe on this list, and is a true hidden gem! Known locally as Ir-Rabat, Victoria is the capital of Gozo which is Malta’s sister island. Taking centre stage is the Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient fortification which has served as refuge throughout the years. The streets beneath the Citadel are quaint and charming, and are lined with many squares, shops and cafes, perfect to stop and indulge in a slice of fresh cake!
7. Prague, Czech Republic
Size: 496 km²
Situated along the Vltava River, Prague is one of the most idyllic cities in Europe. Brimming with the most picturesque cobbled-streets and abundant with some of the finest Gothic architecture, walking through Prague is like falling straight into the pages of a children’s fairytale book. To make this Czech gem one of the most walkable cities in Europe, base yourself in or around the charming Old Town and you will be perfectly positioned to experience some of the best things to do in Prague.
8. Marmaris, Turkey
Size: 878.09 km²
Located in the southwest of Turkey, Marmaris is a popular port city for sun-worshippers and water sports lovers. Surrounded by forested mountains and crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean, the scenery around Marmaris is purely enchanting. Thanks to the long and winding pedestrianised promenade, Marmaris is one of the most walkable cities in Europe and you can reach notable places like Marmaris Marina, Marmaris Castle and the bustling Bazaar easily by foot!
9. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Size: 21.35 km²
One of the most famous cities in Croatia for its jaw-dropping surroundings and uniquely beautiful appearance, Dubrovnik is certainly somewhere you should factor into any itinerary for Croatia. World-renowned as one of the sets for the well-loved series Game of Thrones, there are many amazing things to do in Dubrovnik regardless of whether you are a fan, such as walking the city walls, visiting Fort Lovrijenac or swimming at Buza Beach. Because everything you’ll want to see is encased inside the city walls or just around it, Dubrovnik is one of the best walking cities in Europe.
Tip: Something I didn’t realise before travelling to Dubrovnik is that the areas surrounding the Old Town are hilly and there are lots of steps (there are a fair few in the Old Town too). Be sure to check out these 6 travel tips for Dubrovnik before you go!
10. Antwerp, Belgium
Size: 204.5 km²
Perhaps one of the lesser visited Belgian cities after Brussels and Bruges, Antwerp is a cosmopolitan port city located a stone’s throw from the Dutch border. The second largest city in Belgium, Antwerp is the capital of the diamond trade, boasts a vibrant nightlife, and is home to a maze of medieval streets and historical landmarks. If you stay in the historic centre of Antwerp, you should only need to rely on your feet to get you from A to B. Be sure not to miss the 16th century guild houses of the Grote Markt (Great Market Square)!
Tip: Not only is Antwerp one of the most walkable cities in Europe, due to its abundance of cycle lanes, it’s a great option on two wheels too!
11. Innsbruck, Austria
Size: 104.9 km²
Located in a perfectly-picturesque setting, the Austrian city of Innsbruck is hemmed in by (sometimes) snow capped mountains and the greenest Alpine pastures, and is split by the Inn River. Colourful buildings line cobbled boulevard-style streets and open squares, and historic gems like the Golden Roof and the 17th and 18th century houses of Maria Theresa Street call Innsbruck home. The fifth largest city in Austria and capital of the state of Tyrol, Innsbruck is more like an oversized town making it one of the best European walking cities!
Tip: Innsbruck has its own train station, so why not venture off to nearby towns for a day trip to add to your Austrian experience? The nearby town of Hall in Tirol is another perfect example of a medieval old town.
12. Konstanz, Germany
Size: 55.65 km²
Located on the shores of the mighty Lake Constance (Bodensee) which borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Konstanz is probably not the first city break in Germany to spring to mind when you are planning your travels. But just because you haven’t heard of it, don’t discount it. A lively University city located in the southwest of the country, Konstanz boasts a beautifully preserved old town dotted with lovely little cafes and restaurants. A short walk away you will stumble across the Swiss border – I’d suggest catching a train from Kreuzlingen to the charming Swiss town of Stein am Rhein.
13. Valletta, Malta
Size: 80 ha
At only 80 hectares, Valletta is the smallest city on this list and therefore undeniably most walkable city in Europe. The baroque stonewashed city is brimming with fountains, gardens, viewpoints, churches, statues, narrow lanes, and historical buildings which can all be easily explored by foot. Be sure to stop at Submarine for lunch, where you will sample some of the tastiest ftira bread sandwiches in Malta. At Christmas, Valletta is transformed into one of the most magical cities in Europe with its impressive festive lights that span the length and width of its charming streets, so it’s an enchanting time of the year to visit.
Tip: Accommodation in Valletta can be more expensive than in surrounding areas like St Julians and Sliema. If you are staying in St Julians, check out this how to get from St Julians to Valletta guide for all the information you will need.
14. Krakow, Poland
Size: 327 km²
One of the cheapest cities in Europe, Krakow is a romantic, fun and lively city all rolled into one, where culture and history erupts throughout the streets. Located in southern Poland along the idyllic Vistula River, Krakow is one of those liveable cities that you visit and think it could somehow be home. One of the most walkable cities in Europe because the main sights are dotted in and around the Old City Walls, some of the main sights to see are Wawel Castle and St Mary’s Basilica which takes pride of place on the eastern corner of the main square.
15. Split, Croatia
Size: 79.38 km²
The final of the Croatian gems on this list of the most walkable cities in Europe, Split is a city quite like no other. Split Old Town is built around Diocletian’s Palace – an ancient Roman palace which was constructed between the 3rd and 4th century. Modern Dalmatian life is charmingly intertwined with the ruins of the Roman era, which will make your imagination run wild! A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s easy to get to nearby islands like Hvar and Trogir, and there is no shortage of things to do in Split like admiring the views from Saint Domnius Bell Tower or walking the Riva to Marjan Hill.
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