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Top Ten Best Cities for Walking Tours

Updated on October 30, 2012
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San FranciscoParisBuenos AiresNew YorkTokyoSydneyAmsterdamWashington DCRomeLondon
San Francisco
San Francisco
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
New York
New York
Washington DC
Washington DC

 One of my favorite things to do whenever I travel somewhere is to find out if there are any local people who give guided walking tours of the area. I find that this is the best way to really get out within the city that I’m visiting, learn something about its nooks and crannies and also get some great photos for the scrapbook. If there isn’t a guided walking tour offered in the area where I’m visiting, I usually try to put together my own little walking tour through research about the best places to walk around in the area.

What I’ve found is that some cities are far better than others for walking tours. Some cities really offer some great guided tours and those are the best ones to check out. Other considerations include geographic size of the area, general weather conditions and safety concerns. After taking all of these things into consideration, here are ten of the top places that I would recommend for people who want to walk through a new city and learn all about it:

1. San Francisco, United States. Okay, so I’m biased because I live here and I love this city but I’ve also done tons of walking tours here and I have had a wonderful experience every single time. First of all, there are many different places that give guided walking tours of the city, including one called San Francisco City Guides which provides awesome free (by donation) tours of tons of different neighborhoods and historic sites. But even if you didn’t take a guided tour, San Francisco is great for walking tours for many reasons including that it’s geographically small so it’s easy to walk around; lots of other people are out walking; it’s a beautiful city with amazing architecture and tons to see; and it’s generally got comfortable weather. The one thing to note here is that there are hills everywhere so you really need to be in shape to do walking tours in San Francisco.

2. Paris, France. Paris is another city that provides really amazing walking tour experiences for many of the same reasons as San Francisco does. There are lots of people out and about walking through Paris so you’re in good company here. There are many different wonderful things to see. Getting lost in the little streets here is a joy because of the wonders that you discover. And although some times of the year are better than others because of the rainy season, it is possible to find good guided walking tours in Paris all throughout the year. Paris Walks is one of the most popular places to start when looking for guided walking tours there.

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of the things that San Francisco, Paris and Buenos Aires all have in common is that these are cities that have many different neighborhoods which are very distinct from one another. Exploring a set of neighborhoods or an in-depth look at one neighborhood is a great way to do a walking tour. That’s definitely an option in Buenos Aires where you can learn a lot about the history of the area by walking around with a tour guide. Buenos Aires is great for walkers because the weather is almost always good (although late autumn may be rainy and the summer may be humid).

4. New York City, United States. Some people are overwhelmed by the idea of doing a walking tour of New York City because the area is so big and so busy. However, it’s a really great place to see on foot. The key here is to focus on small areas within the larger metropolitan area and to really explore them in-depth with a focus on historical sites or cultural sites or whatever specific things interest you most in this city. Being out among the energy of the many people walking around in New York City can really make you feel energetic yourself!

5. Tokyo, Japan. If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of doing a walking tour in New York then you’re really going to be wary of doing one in Tokyo but the same deal applies. If you find a good walking tour guide and focus on specific areas or sights then this can be a great way to be out amidst the people of the city and to see the things that you want to see.

6. Sydney, Australia. There are so many different amazing sights to see in the beautiful city of Sydney and many of them can be seen with a well-planned walking tour of the city. The great thing here is that many of the major sights are all fairly close to one another so you can see a lot of the big tourist attractions in a short amount of time. This is great for travelers who want to see it all since they never know when they’ll get the chance to come back here again. There are many different guided walking tours here included at least one that’s free.

7. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amsterdam is one of the best cities in the world to enjoy a walking tour of in my personal opinion. It’s beautiful, it’s safe, it’s easy to walk around. It’s the kind of place where you can opt to take a guided walking tour (there are lots of them including ones that will safely educate you on the naughtier spots Amsterdam is known for) or you can just set up your own walking tour and go without a guide.

8. Washington DC, United States. If you’re going to spend some time exploring the capital of the United States then you should do it on foot. There are so many different museums and historical landmarks to see here that you can easily just park your car at the hotel and walk from one place to the next. There are guided tours or you can create your own. Sticking to the main historical areas for your walking is best here.

9. Rome, Italy. Another great place where you typically go to experience the history of the area is Rome. Although any city in Italy is fine for walking, Rome is a particularly good place to get a good tour guide who knows the historical landmarks inside and out and can walk you through them one at a time.

10. London, England. This is a tough one for many tourists to swallow because of how often it rains in London. But, if you can suck it up, get out your umbrella and put on your galoshes then you can really see the best sides of London with a walking tour. Like with other huge cities (such as New York), you’ll probably want to focus on a specific set of sights, a specific neighborhood or some other pared-down part of London. You can find lots of good walking tours that will give you insight into the history of the area (including odd tours like the Jack the Ripper tours). London Walks is a long-standing walking guide group to start with.


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  • profile image

    Vina 3 years ago

    Knocked my socks off with knoweedgl!

  • profile image

    Cityrailsaints 3 years ago

    SYDNEY!!!! My home city

  • profile image

    Nick 4 years ago

    I would recommend Free City Walking Tour around Sydney with FreeToursSydney. Check out their website: I had a really good time walking with them. The tour was fun and quite interesting. I would never discover those little interesting places in Sydney on my own. Of course guys work for tips but it was worth it.

  • travelholidays profile image

    travelholidays 4 years ago from India

    Great hub and the listing is superb . I like 7th point yes it is "Amsterdam, Netherlands" really marvelous city in the world :)

  • kashmir-ladakh profile image

    kashmir-ladakh 5 years ago from usa

    Interesting hub i have found the city of leh ideal for walking tours.

  • profile image

    zag 5 years ago

    I would also recommend Warsaw walking tours. There are many companies which provide driving and walking tours. I participated with walking tour of Warsaw ( and it was great.

  • profile image

    liz 6 years ago

    Family In New York is a company that specializes in personal custom New York tours. Most of their tours are done on foot and using public transportation (the way actual New Yorkers get around!)! Totally worth checking out if you are looking to make the most of your time in NYC!

  • profile image

    Monday 7 years ago

    Why should you do a free walking tour? It is because like any good travelers, you are CLEVER! And because you know that solid value is best delivered by passionate locals. FREE BUDAPEST WALKING TOURS in Budapest.

  • profile image

    lcartwrightp 7 years ago

    I have to agree with you on walking in New York! I took this tour with this guy named Garry. He took me around Greenwich Village and taught me history, told me stories, and showed me the best food I've ever had. So then I asked him for another tour of Chinatown, which was also great. Check out his website: He will do a customized tour for whatever you are interested in. Hope you have a great time like I did!

  • profile image

    Uncle Sam 7 years ago

    I just took a walking tour in New York, I think it's amazing how much you can miss in your day by day life, I strongly recommend this experience.

  • swosugrad09 profile image

    swosugrad09 7 years ago from Oklahoma

    I agree Washington D.C. is awesome and there is so much to see. Wish I could go around the world and check out their walking tours. Philly PA has a great one as well. Great hub!

  • profile image

    Lindy 7 years ago

    When I'm walking around in a strange city , I usually have the next destination plotted on my street map and can tell which direction I need to head with north printed of course on the map. Often I look around trying to figure out, say which way is west, so I pull out a small pocket compass. That works.

  • profile image

    samr 7 years ago

    pakistan is best!

  • profile image

    Siew Cheng 7 years ago

    haha, if you are interested to write about 10 worst cities for walking, you have to include some cities from China and India.

  • profile image

    Annette Noble 7 years ago

    i've recently spent some time walking around the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and came across these great self guided mp3 tours they were a great addition to my own little walks!

  • kev8 profile image

    kev8 8 years ago

    Great idea for a hub,there is no better way to see a city than by foot.I thought you might be interested in this website It gives suggested walks for cities around the world!

  • profile image

    victoria 8 years ago

    Great hub- these are some good places

  • audio tour profile image

    audio tour 8 years ago from Australia

    Sydney Australia is also a great city for walking. There are a number of walks around the harbour and beaches and great walks through the central Sydney CBD and also the historic Rocks area.

    The walks can be short or long depending on your time available.

  • Wanderlust profile image

    Wanderlust 8 years ago from New York City

    I would add Barcelona to the list, great city to explore by foot! Amsterdam and New York are definitely perfect for walking tours - center of Amsterdam and Manhattan are quite small, so could be easily covered in one day.

  • cindyschulson profile image

    cindyschulson 8 years ago from San Diego, CA

    Great hub- I love traveling and walking so this is perfect. Another great city to walk through is my home town of Montreal. In fact, one neat thing you can do is walk across the city via Mt. Royal, which is a huge mountain that traverses the centre of the city. In the summer, you will find people running, taking the sun, and every Sunday there are bongo drummers and lots of people dancing. In the winter, on the mountain there is an ice skating rink and a toboggan run. Of course, there are lots of other places to walk and experience in Montreal, but that is one fun one not to be missed. Cheers!

  • profile image

    artspeck 8 years ago

    Great Hub Kath.

    Some of these cities have Big Red Bus Tours which I understand is a World Wide Franchise.

    Hop on anywhere and hop off where you like and get the next bus along, usually either an hour or half hour service.

    All with an audio track in most languages.

    Great Value too.

  • tulwave profile image

    tulwave 8 years ago from Orlando,Fl

    Really cool Hub. I definitely will try this next time I travel to any of these or really any other big city. Probably a great way to make some friends in those places as well.

  • Robin Marie profile image

    Robin 8 years ago from USA

    Oh I'd love to spend some time walking around Paris! Great Hub!