5 of Europe’s Most Walkable Cities….
There’s nothing quite like losing yourself in the backstreets and thoroughfares of some of the worlds most beautiful cities. Whether it’s basking in the sunshine, drama and sheer beauty of Rome or a chilly winters walk through the sites of in Berlin dripping with recent history, losing yourself in the atmosphere of your destination is always a thrill. In fact, it was my love of city exploration that inspired Aerska in the first place. Here is a little shortlist of my personal favourites…
1. Rome, Italy
A post about city exploring is not complete without Rome at the very top of the list. Italy aches with beauty from every corner, even when it’s not’ trying…and this is at it’s greatest in Rome. It’s a city with such deep history, stunning architecture and immense culture, you can’t help but fall in love with it immediately. Sure, it can get a little touristy, especially in summer with selfie sticks abound…but you can only forgive this, because when a city has this much to offer both the eyes and the taste buds, it’s hard to argue! If you’re happy with walking for up to an hour in any direction, you can cover most of the historic heart without resorting to transit at all. Even must see districts like Trastevere (for some of the best food in Rome) and Vatican City (a must see) are a relatively short walk from the centre.
2. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is a must see for any keen city traveller. The Historic Center is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is filled with simply stunning medieval architecture and picture postcard streets. it’s a very small city, largely pedestrianised, so it’s easy to traverse on foot. If the history and tiny ancient streets doesn’t draw you in, the retail therapy will! It’s a myriad of cute boutiques, stylish hotels, chocolatieres, cocktail bars, coffee shops and more. The people of Bruges feircly protect the aesthetics of their city, and it shows…a truly beautiful place with a certain mystique. Whilst you’re here, I highly recommend a trip to Ghent, only 45 minutes away. A university town with a funkier vibe, it’s the ‘less serious’ little brother of Bruges with plenty to offer!
3. Edinburgh, Scotland
Sure, this might be a little bias as a Scot myself! But I think nobody would argue Edinburgh deserves its place high on my list. Like walking into a Harry Potter novel – after all, they we’re born there – Edinburgh wows you with gorgeous gothic architecture, friendly people and oodles of history to absorb. The Royal Mile is the most visited street, but there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. Take a walk up to Arthur’s Seat standing above the city and you will be rewarded with the most spectacular view of the skyline, easily the best place to take it all in.
4. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is bursting with style, architecture and history of Portugal’s magnificent past. The Bohemian neighborhood of Alfama is a must, as is Sintra, the most colourful castle in the world. Save time for the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery and MUDE, otherwise known as the Museu do Design e da Moda – where you can find Portugal’s new modern side in fashion and design. Compared with much of Europe, Lisbon is a relatively cheap date – you can eat and drink very well, and stay in a beautiful hotel, for not much at all. Ensure you get your dose of Pastel de nata from Pastéis de Belém, and enjoy!
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
I have such a soft spot for Copenhagen – in many ways it’s a city of two sides, depending on the time of year. In winter, its the land of ‘hygge’, with cosy candlelit cafes and bars, warming fires and delicious indulgent treats. In the summer, the locals go just a little bit crazy… perhaps from being inside all winter! Every park and bridge becomes a hang out with parties, festivals and events in every corner of the city. Make sure to check out Nyhavn, the classic Copenhagen you have seen in all the postcards, Norebero for fantastic food and Christianshavn for its hippie community. If you have time, Malmo, Sweden is a short train ride across the Oresund, too – another beautiful city and a great contrast to the funky cool of CPH.