Nine out of 10 of the world’s most walkable cities are in Europe – does yours make the cut?


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Would you rather ditch the hire car to explore on your own two feet while on holiday? European cities are some of the most walkable in the world.

New research has revealed that the nine out of 10 best walkable cities are in Europe, with the list topped by Munich, followed closely by Milan, Warsaw and Helsinki.

The report by price comparison website Compare the Market Australia analysed walking distances, safety scores, public transport costs, as well as other factors to identify the best cities to get around without a car.

Outside of Europe, only Tokyo made its way onto the top 10 list, coming in just above Madrid, Oslo, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, which all scored highly.

Super accessible: People walk in Madrid at golden hour

European cities came out on top for walking trails, weather and safety

In some cities, driving is the only option to get around. In others, it’s easier to walk, cycle or use public transport.

To help people find their ideal walking-friendly city, Compare the Market Australia looked at eight individual factors to work out which are the best options.

They examined 53 locations, ranking them on how good they are for being car-free.

For each point, the locations were given a score between 0 and 1, with all of the cities profiled then ordered from highest score to the lowest.

Most importantly, the number of walking trails was taken into account, as according to the amount listed on the AllTrails hiking routes app. Amsterdam, Oslo and Helsinki scored particularly highly here.

Take in some of Helsinki’s most beautiful buildings by foot

Also taken into consideration was the level of safety in a city, average monthly rainfall, car-free places and the percentage of residents who live within a 1km walk of healthcare and educational spaces.

Focusing on car-free spaces was part of the research too, with the availability and cost of public transport and bike trails playing a part.

In the end, Munich came out on top, thanks to its largely pedestrian-friendly city centre, the charm of ornamental public buildings and expansive parks.

The data saw Europe in a very good position overall, with the continent taking up 20 spots out of the 53 cities analysed across the globe.

What makes Europe’s cities so good for pedestrian access?

Following Munich on the list is Milan in Italy.

It was found to be a particularly walkable place, with 80 per cent of its population living within one kilometre of healthcare and educational services.

Next up was the Polish metropolis of Warsaw. Despite being home to a total of 3.1 million residents, the research discovered the city centre is eminently walkable, with plenty to see along the way.

Amsterdam is perhaps best known for its proliferation of bicycles, but still came in 10th spot on the list, thanks to its easily-navigable canal walkways.

It’s a good place to live – or visit – if a city’s lack of cars is more important to you than mere walkability, with over 500 kilometres of bike trails.

“Looking at transport and amenities is a crucial step of assessing a potential home,” – or holiday destination – General Manager of Money at Compare the Market, Stephen Zeller, explains. “That means looking at the public transport links, and seeing how far away your nearest stop is, what time they run to, and frequency; as well as identifying routes that you feel safe walking.”

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