Lace up your shoes for these ultimate walking tours of Barcelona, London and New York

2018-12-30 14:30 - Saara Mowlana
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Rear view of young woman in front of Sagrada Famil

Discover how to explore these three iconic cities and their best sights in a day. (Photo: iStock)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore some of the world's most iconic cities in a day?

Well, shoezone have mapped out a colourful route through three popular city destinations: London, Barcelona and New York.

The nightmare of having to hitch a ride on the unfamiliar public transport veins can be daunting and walking is a great way to stay fit while travelling and also memorise some paths and routes to further explore on other days of your trip.

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See the mapped out routes below:

Barcelona 

Barcelona is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It is rich in history and runs thick with fantastic architecture (courtesy of Gaudí). There’s plenty to see and do, and fortunately many of the iconic sights sit comfy within walking distance. 

Plot the route below: 

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Spots you'll see along the route include:

  • Gaudi’s Casa Battló - With a multi-coloured, dragon-shaped roof and a central light well that distributes natural light throughout the house, this sight is a spectacular one to behold. 
  • The Sagrada Familia - This stunning cathedral is another masterpiece by Gaudí, it was started in 1882 and is still being finished. Construction is planned to end in 2026 - which marks the centenary of Gaudí’s death (he is buried here). 
  • Barcelona’s Cathedral and Gothic Quarter - Also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St Eulalia, Barcelona Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. It has a secluded cloister where 13 white geese are kept (the number is significant as St Eulalia was 13 when she was martyred). 
  • La Boqueria - This is one of Europe’s largest food markets. La Boqueria dates back to the 13th Century but has been held on its current site since 1853. It is a great place to pick up some fresh fruit, veggies, meat and fish, or merely to grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and cafes dotted around the area.
  • Castle Montjuïc - This sight is quite a walk - and uphill as well - but worth it for the view as the sun goes down. The castle's location offers 360-degree views of the city and the sea, which was why it was the ideal spot to build a fortress. The first stone was laid in 1640, but the current layout of the castle dates from 1753. Be sure to enjoy a picnic here as the sun goes down, or just enjoy the view, and congratulate yourself on a day well spent traipsing the magic of Barcelona
Barcelona mapped daily walking route

(Photo shoezone / Supplied)

London

London may appear big and daunting, but it’s actually quite easy to navigate and find your feet. Some of famous sights and attractions are located closer together than you might think, and it's eminently walkable. 

Plot the route below: 

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Spots you'll see along the route include: 

  • Buckingham Palace - Where better to start your journey than at the official royal residence of the UK monarch. The castle is very much in use today as both the Queen’s main London home as well as a venue for events and parties.  
  • Westminster Abbey - This Gothic church welcomes over one million visitors each year and has been the site of every coronation since William the Conqueror in 1066 (plus 16 royal weddings). The present church standing dates from 1245. 
  • The Houses of Parliament & Big Ben - Also known as the Palace of Westminster, this is the seat of the British House of Commons and House of Lords. The famous clock tower is often called Big Ben, but Big Ben is actually one of the bells within the tower and not the tower itself. 
  • The London Eye - A visit to London is incomplete without swinging by Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel. Boasting a diameter of 120 metres, a single rotation of the wheel takes 30 minutes - allowing passengers plenty of time to soak up the fantastic views that stretch across London. 
  • Shakespeare's Globe - Shakespeare's Globe is another must-see sight. It is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, which is a playhouse originally built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Today's Globe is a fully operational theatre, and sits around 230 metres from the site of Shakespeare's original. 
  • The Tower of London - This historic fortress dates back to the 11th Century and has had many uses, including a palace and a prison. It now houses the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. 
  • Tower Bridge - Dubbed as one of the most recognisable bridges in the world, Tower Bridge is famous for its two towers connected by road and walkways. The road section of the bridge can be raised in five minutes to allow traffic to pass on the river below. Around 40 000 people cross Tower Bridge daily. 
London mapped daily walking route

(Photo shoezone / Supplied)

New York

Like London, New York might seem huge and daunting if you’re not familiar with it, but thanks to the way Manhattan’s streets are laid out - in a grid pattern.

You'll find numbered streets stretching east to west, with numbers starting from the bottom of the island, while numbered avenues run south to north and are numbered starting in the east of the island. In fact, New York is actually pretty easy to navigate on foot.

Plot the route below: 

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Spots you'll see along the route include: 

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Popularly known as the Met, this is the largest art museum in the USA. The permanent collection contains over two million works of art - which spans across 5 000 years of world history.
  • Rockefeller Centre - Rockefeller Centre might be famous for its ice rink and massive Christmas tree, but there's so much more to it. It’s actually a complex of 19 high-rise buildings occupying 22 acres of midtown Manhattan. You can take a tour: visit Top of the Rock for a great view of Central Park and the Empire State Building, or just stroll around taking in the mesmerising architecture.
  • Times Square - Times Square is an area at the junction of Broadway and 7th Avenue, and is known for its huge billboards and adverts. It is the main hub of the Broadway theatre district in New York, and is a centre for the entertainment industry. It's been found that well over 355 000 people trek through here each day.
  • The Empire State Building - No visit to New York would be complete without the Empire State Building. Completed in 1931, it takes its name from the nickname of New York State. The monumental structure is comprised of 102 storeys, and is about 443 metres tall (including its antenna). It held the title of the world’s tallest building until the completion of the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in 1970. From its peak, you’ll get incredible 360-degree views across the whole of New York.
  • The World Trade Centre - Forever fixed in people's memories as one of the sites of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when it was almost completely destroyed, the World Trade Centre has been rebuilt over the following years (and continues to be). Underneath the complex is a museum dedicated to the September 11 attacks, and the footprints of the Twin Towers still remain as a memorial. In 2014 a new, nearly 542-metre tall skyscraper, One World Trade Centre (the same name as the original North Tower), opened. This is now the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth-tallest building in the world.
New York mapped daily walking route

(Photo shoezone / Supplied) 

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