Lace up your walking shoes! Europe offers some fantastic opportunities for walking and not just in the countryside and wilderness, but also in its cities rich with culture and history. Not only will you explore new places, but walking is also a fun recreational activity suitable for all ages. Here are my picks for the 9 spectacular walks in Europe:
Ringstrasse or better known as The Vienna Ring Road is a fabulous boulevard around the centre of Austrian capital. Waking down this boulevard you'll be able to see some of the finest architectural accomplishments in the world including the Vienna State Opera, Austrian Parliament Building, Rathaus, University of Vienna and many others. The Vienna State Opera offers fantastic tours of the place which I absolutely recommend. This unit also has a multitude of parks, squares and monuments like the ones of Goethe, Schiller and Johan Strauss amongst many. You're lucky if you head to Vienna in 2015 because the city is marking 150th birthday of Ringstrasse with numerous events and exhibitions.
The Castle District and The Old Town, Prague
Prague is definitely one of Europe's most beautiful cities and the best way to explore it is to start from the Castle District. The Prague Castle is the seat of the Czech president and it's one of the most famous attractions in the city. The views from the top are amazing and from here you can get down to the Charles Bridge which is flooded by tourists, musicians and painters. Continuing to the Old Town you'll see numerous historic buildings including the famous Astronomical Clock.
You don't get to walk in "the middle of the sky" every day. Well, that's what Meteora basically means in Greek. This complex consists of 24 monasteries located on immense rocks which were split by earthquakes a million of years ago. This place served as a shelter for those people who seeked spiritual isolation, and considering that they had to use ladders and ropes to inhabitate this unfriendly area, it's pretty amazing to imagine what they've done. However, only six remain today and they are part of the UNESCO's World Heritage List. Walking is definitely the best way to explore Meteora and to enjoy truly breathtaking views and that's the reason why so many tourist agencies offer interesting hiking tours.
Durmitor and Northern Montenegro
The best way to explore Durmitor national park is to start from Zabljak, which is the highest populated town in the Balkans. 18 glacial lakes also known as the "mountain eyes" add so much to the beauty of this place. The park has more than 200km of marked hiking trails that pass through pine forests and numerous springs. I also suggest a visit to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Pljevlja which is hidden in the woods and has one of the richest collections in the ex-Yugoslav countries.
Old Town, Warsaw
Surely there are more beautiful historic centres in Europe but Warsaw deserves to be a part of this list mainly because of the reconstruction of its urban core after the WW2. It's just amazing to walk its streets and to imagine that 90% of the city was completely demolished and that exactly looked like this. The historic centre is surrounded by Barbican - one of the few remaining fortifications in Warsaw. Other prominent tourist attractions in the Old Town include the Royal Castle, St. John's Cathedral and the Sigismund's Column.
If you want to escape from civilization Eastern Serbia is a place to go! This hidden gem is famous for its fascinating beauties, waiting to be discovered by more travelers. Picturesque villages located below Stara planina, the highest mountain in eastern Serbia, Zavoj lake with ideal places for camping and interesting geological forms are definitely gonna attract more travelers interested in adventure tourism to this area. For instance, Dry Mountain is a great place for hiking as it offers breathtaking views from the top and it often gathers mountaineers from various parts of the Balkans.
Skocjan Educational Trail, Slovenia
You definitely shouldn't miss Skocjan Caves once in Slovenia as this place ideally combines beautiful nature and cultural heritage. The underground canyon of Skocjan caves is the largest of its kind in the world and touring this place will make you feel like you're in an Indiana Jones movie! The most impressive part is walking down the stairs and reaching the bridge inside the cave which is located above the Reka river, some 45 meters above. The cave is surrounded by Skocjan and Betanja villages which are also part of the Skocjan Educational Trail and they are also worth exploring because of the rich cultural heritage and great hiking paths.
Inside the Stockholm Metro, Sweden
Metro is certainly not the best place for walking and exploring unless you're in Stockholm. The city has one of the most famous underground railways in the world, primarily due to the unusual and cool design of its stations that deserve to be discovered. Young artists have had the opportunity to exhibit their works here and the Stockholm metro definitely takes the pride in being the world's longest art exhibit! SL - Stockholm Public Transport even offers the free guided walks of the art in metro. You only need a metro ticket but the art walk is free of charge.
Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul
Walking down this street for the first time will surely never leave your memory. With a never ending flow of people, art galleries, cinemas, libraries, historical patisseries, cafes and restaurants you'll be like Alice in Wonderland. The only thing that can interrupt your walk are beautiful historic red trams which are the symbol of the city. However don't just walk the Istiklal street, but also explore the alleyways with markets and restaurants.