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Florence city skyline panorama - Florence - Italy

The Most Walkable Cities in the World

What makes a city truly walkable? It’s more than just having attractions clustered closely together. A walkable city must have excellent air quality, low crime rates, and good access to public transit. It should be safe, clean, and pedestrian-friendly. To determine the most walkable cities in the world, investment site Insider Monkey created a consensus methodology, drawing on walkability data from sources like Tourlane and WalkScore and then mapping out the walking distance between each city’s top five tourist attractions. Analysts then factored in air quality, crime, and safety indexes for each city.

Florence, Italy, emerged as the world’s most walkable city in the study, thanks in part to its compact and pedestrian-friendly historic center. Narrow stone lanes and picturesque piazzas guide visitors from one iconic sight to the next—the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Piazza del Duomo, and Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore are all within a 10-minute walk fo each other.

Woman with colorful shawl and sunglasses walking on famous old bridge, called Ponte Vecchio, in Florence. Concept of traveling italian landmarks.
rh2010 | Adobe Stock

Florence also scores well for walkability due to its clean, well-maintained public spaces and moderate air quality. With a safety score of 60.24, visitors can still feel comfortable walking around alone, even after dark. 

The world’s eight most walkable cities are all in Europe, with Riga, Hamburg, Porto, Madrid, Edinburgh, Tallinn, and Stockholm earning high marks. Just one American city makes it into the top ten most walkable cities—Boston. With a smaller city size and higher safety score than New York City, Boston is the most walkable city in the U.S

The 30 Most Walkable Cities in the World

  1. Florence, Italy
  2. Riga, Latvia
  3. Hamburg, Germany
  4. Porto, Portugal
  5. Madrid, Spain
  6. Edinburgh, Scotland
  7. Tallinn, Estonia
  8. Stockholm, Sweden
  9. Syndey, Australia
  10. Boston, United States
  11. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  12. Liverpool, England
  13. Bordeaux, France
  14. Copenhagen, Denmark
  15. Istanbul, Turkey
  16. Melbourne, Australia
  17. Prague, Czech Republic
  18. Budapest, Hungary
  19. Vancouver, Canada
  20. Bristol, United Kingdom
  21. Reykjavik, Iceland
  22. Munich, Germany
  23. Jersey City, United States
  24. Lisbon, Portugal
  25. New York City, United States
  26. Shanghai, China
  27. Vienna, Austria
  28. Toronto, Canada
  29. Montreal, Canada
  30. Dubai, UAE

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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