Walking tours gaining popularity in European cities, says travel company


If you want to visit tourist sites on foot, Rome may be your best bet, as there are tons of historical sites like the Roman Forum that are within city limits. — AFP

When it published its latest guide, Lonely Planet highlighted the trend to visit tourist sites on foot or by bike, as optimal means for slowly voyaging through unknown regions and really taking the time to discover them. Of course, some destinations are more suitable for this kind of travel than others.

Locals know that if you’re cycling in Paris, France you can usually outpace the cars. But using your legs is also a good way to get around. While this type of vacation is feasible in the City of Light, it’s less the case in other major tourist destinations around the globe such as London, England unless you concentrate solely on the must-sees around Big Ben and Westminster (but that would be a shame!).

The slower pace of travel on foot is in fact an approach gaining ground, and not only among backpackers, as spotted by the Lonely Planet guide at the end of 2023. So-called “soft” travel, or travelling “on foot or by bike”, is truly in vogue. For instance, the Portuguese Way, which links Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela, was an unprecedented success last year, according to Lonely Planet.

For a city break all on foot, Spain offers the most opportunities, according to searches and bookings made on the Guruwalk platform, which organises free pedestrian tours worldwide, spotted by The DailyMail.

In this Top 100 list of the best destinations to explore without ever relying on the metro or bus, Spain appears 28 times!

Barcelona in Spain is also a great city for walking tours. — PixabayBarcelona in Spain is also a great city for walking tours. — PixabayFirst and foremost, of course, is Barcelona. Meanwhile, Madrid is ranked fourth, although the Spanish capital requires a bit of stamina if you’re relying solely on your feet to discover Retiro Park, without missing out on a stroll as far as the Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral.

It’s worth remembering that the methodology of ranking is based above all on popular walking tours.

Other popular Spanish cities for these types of visits include Seville (15th), Toledo (16th), Valencia (21st) and Granada (27th).

France is another option for visiting the sites by foot. There are seven possibilities, including Paris (11th), Bordeaux (47th), Strasbourg (51st), Toulouse (67th), Nice (81st), Marseille (82nd) and Lyon (95th).

However, it is Rome that really stands out as the most popular destination for a visit without any means of transport.

Meanwhile, the only United States city on the list is New York in the 53rd spot. – AFP Relaxnews

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