When travelling, many people choose to see famous landmarks and other sites through organized tours. While these guided tours provide a safe and cost-efficient way to see the sights, they’re not the only option. Travel experts Rewind Stories named these 5 cities as their top picks for self-guided walking tours that provide an opportunity for travellers to explore on their own terms and at their own pace.
This article lists the best cities for self-guided walking tours in Europe, along with details about why each destination is so great for this type of tour. These cities offer interesting neighbourhoods with a variety of points of interest that are easy to explore on foot. They also have excellent local restaurants and cafes, making them ideal for an extended afternoon after a morning of exploring the city on your own.
Barcelona is a city which is famous for its Mediterranean vibe, stunning architecture and Catalan culture and history. If you’re visiting the city for the first time, you’ll have to make sure that you walk along La Rambla, the main downturn promenade, and soak up the historic beauty of the Gothic Quarter which is full of medieval buildings and modern bars.
If you’re looking for a place to start your self-guided tour then Plaça de Catalunya is the perfect location as it is the most central square in Barcelona. You can even gain a deeper understanding of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces or Picasso’s Catalan roots in Picasso’s Barcelona by touring the museums dedicated to them.
No description can do justice to Budapest, which lies halfway between east and west and is one of Europe’s great secrets. Known as The Pearl of the Danube or the Paris of the East, you’ll be able to see the city’s multiple main attractions such as the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the Parliament, St, Stephen’s Basilica and more.
A must-see place that you can’t miss would be the most iconic square of the city called Hősök tere (Heroes’ Square) where you’ll see the statues of the ancient rulers of Hungary. As a visitor, you should definitely consider taking part on a Jewish and Communism free walking tour if you have the time as Budapest has a very rich cultural history.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe where many people’s love of Portugal starts here. Some of the city’s most viewed places include the Alfama district which is characterised by hidden restaurants and shops on every street and amazing views of the Tagus River.
There is also a self-guided tour that will take you through the three most centrally located districts in Lisbon: Baixa, Bairro Alto and Chiado, each location carries stunning historical, social and cultural significance and has been described as the best place to view and enjoy the city life.
Paris is a must-see destination for walkers. Because Paris is such a large city, pairing down (or, even better, extending) your trip in order to experience the city at a more laidback pace is a great idea. Travel experts suggest walking the alluring Left Bank of the Seine, which stretches from Pont de l’Alma to the Port de Solférino, a distance of 2.3 kilometres.
There are various floating gardens, play areas, restaurants, and sun-drenched terraces throughout the landscape, as well as wonderful views of the city of Paris itself. While wandering the city on self-guided walking tours, you may wish to stop at one of its charming little bistros.
Those narrow, high-walled streets are a quintessentially Italian part of Tuscany, and what attracts so many tourists here. You can spend days walking through this charming urban setting, sampling wonderful food at tiny restaurants, people-watching on the Arno River, shopping at colourful outdoor markets, appreciating the ancient architecture, meeting locals, and more. Renting a car in this city would not be the best idea as you would miss out on Florence’s historic and unique streets.