Exploring on Foot

There’s nothing I enjoy more than getting out and exploring a new place and the best way to do that, in my opinion, is on foot… but what’s wrong with an open top bus tour I hear you ask – surely you get to see more in a short space of time?  Well, maybe…

I can see the attraction of bus/sightseeing tours if you are short on time or if you have restricted mobility… you get to see all the major tourist attractions in a city with very little effort on your part.  But how much of the city do you truly experience whizzing around on a bus with lots of other tourists?

Exploring NYC

I love wandering the streets because you see a different side to a city that you won’t necessarily experience on a tour… you mix with locals as well as tourists, you find hidden side streets, restaurants and bars, etc as you walk around.  You see things that you can’t possibly see from a bus which sticks to the main roads and drops you right outside the main tourist attractions! I have stumbled upon some great places whilst wandering aimlessly round the backstreets of various cities: markets, bars and restaurants, quirky galleries and fascinating museums…

Borough Market, London

I’m also keen on street art (or graffiti art if you prefer) and wandering the streets is a great way of finding interesting pieces of art on the walls.  And what about all the talented street performers you can find in most towns and cities…

Flamenco performance in Mijas, Spain

But nowadays you can have the best of both worlds by checking out some of the guided walking tours on offer in many cities, focusing on all different aspects of the area – from ghost walks to street art tours – there are walking tours to suit every interest!  And this is what we plan to do on our next visit to London… pick a walking tour which focuses on an area of London we are interested in finding out more about (blog post coming soon!).

Shoe Shop on Camden High Street, London
My tips for exploring on foot:
  • Make sure you have comfortable shoes on if you plan to spend most of the day on your feet!
  • Make sure you check the weather forecast before you head out – wandering the streets in the pouring rain is no fun!
  • Pick an area to explore – in a big city like London you can’t hope to cover it all on foot, so choose an area that appeals to you.
  • Pick up a map and see what there is in the area you are planning to explore – you don’t want to miss anything interesting.
  • Do a bit of research first to ensure the area is safe (particularly if you are heading out in the evening) – all big cities have areas that are best avoided!
  • Find out about guided walking tours in the area you are interested in – they are normally reasonably priced and you can learn a lot in a couple of hours.

So what are you waiting for – lace up your trainers and get out there and explore!

Happy Exploring!

Kate 

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26 thoughts on “Exploring on Foot

  1. Great tips! I have had some amazing walking tours on my travels. In particular Prague has great walking tours which are free and just tip the guide at the end.

    1. I love walking tours – you see and learn so much and they’re so economical! I’d like to visit Prague too…
      Kate x

    1. You’re welcome – hope they were helpful! Me too – it’s one of my favourite things to do!
      Kate x

  2. This is an awesome post. I enjoy wandering around places when I travel to discover the many wonders and soak up the atmosphere. I normally don my comfy shoes and walk until I get tired then stop somewhere to eat and people watch.

  3. I totally agree, on foot is the best way to really experience a new city. I did an open-top bus tour in Marseille when I was there on a cruise years ago, and that was perfect at the time because we only had a couple of hours and we could get off at any stop we wanted and catch the next bus to keep going.

    1. Open-top bus tours are definitely the way forward if you have limited time – you see a lot in a short time…
      Kate x

  4. My mom and I keep saying one of these days we are gonna go on a girls only vacation and visit NYC. I would love to visit broadway. These pictures are beautiful.

  5. I would love to just go some where at random & get lost in the streets for days. A new place can be so interesting & you can learn so much!

  6. I love big cities and yes, the best way to explore the city is by foot! You get to see so many things along the way and experience the energy of the locals too.

    1. I love walking around and exploring new places (and finding new things in places I’ve been to many times before too)!
      Mijas is beautiful – I can highly recommend a visit!
      Kate x

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