Can You Guess The World’s Most Walkable City? Hint: It’s In Germany!

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When it comes to finding the best cities to explore on foot, some places truly shine. In this article, I’ll reveal the world’s most walkable city, and here’s a hint: it’s in Germany!

Walkability might sound like a niche topic, but it’s incredibly important for our daily lives. A walkable city means more than just a pleasant stroll; it directly impacts our health, environment, and community well-being. Walking regularly can boost physical fitness and mental health, reducing stress and improving mood. Plus, choosing to walk instead of drive helps lower carbon emissions, leading to cleaner air and a healthier planet.

What's the most walkable city in the world?Pin

Moreover, walkable cities foster strong communities. When we walk, we interact more with our surroundings and neighbors, creating a sense of connection and belonging.

Local businesses thrive as pedestrians frequent shops and cafes, and public spaces come alive with people enjoying all that the city offers.

So, let’s dive in and discover why this German city stands out as the world’s most walkable urban paradise.

Love Germany? Click here to download your free guide to 25 Incredible Things You Must Do In Germany In Your Lifetime. You won’t want to miss them!

And The Winner Is…

Marienplatz MunichPin
Marienplatz, Munich

When it comes to walkable cities, few places can rival the charm and efficiency of Munich. This Bavarian gem isn’t just famous for its beer gardens, historic architecture, and rich cultural scene—Munich has now been crowned the world’s most walkable city.

But what makes Munich stand out in a world where urban planning and sustainability are more important than ever? Keep reading!

Munich was declared the winner by Compare the Market from a study completed in 2024.

Why Walkability Is Important

Living in one of the most walkable cities in the world offers a multitude of benefits that can greatly enhance your quality of life. Here are some reasons why it’s important:

  1. Health Benefits: Walking regularly improves physical health by enhancing cardiovascular fitness, controlling weight, and strengthening muscles and bones. It also offers mental health benefits such as reduced stress and improved mood.
  2. Environmental Impact: Walking reduces reliance on cars and public transportation, leading to lower carbon emissions and less air pollution. It’s an eco-friendly choice that contributes to a cleaner, greener environment.
  3. Economic Savings: Walking saves money on fuel, car maintenance, parking fees, and public transportation costs. The financial savings can be significant over time.
  4. Convenience and Accessibility: Walkable cities are designed with pedestrian needs in mind, making it easier to access amenities like grocery stores, cafes, parks, and entertainment venues without needing to travel far.
  5. Community and Social Interaction: Increased walkability fosters a sense of community as people are more likely to encounter neighbors and participate in local events. This can strengthen social bonds and create a more vibrant, connected community.
  6. Reduced Traffic and Noise: Fewer cars on the roads lead to less traffic congestion and noise pollution, contributing to a more peaceful and pleasant urban environment.
  7. Safety: Walkable cities tend to prioritize pedestrian safety with well-maintained sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and traffic calming measures, making it safer for everyone, including children and the elderly.
  8. Cultural and Recreational Opportunities: Walkable cities often have rich cultural landscapes, with easy access to museums, galleries, theaters, parks, and other recreational facilities that enhance the urban living experience.
  9. Property Value: Real estate in walkable areas tends to be more desirable, often leading to higher property values and potentially better investment returns.
  10. Enhanced Quality of Life: Overall, walkable cities offer a more pleasant, enjoyable lifestyle with vibrant public spaces, easier access to necessities and leisure activities, fostering a higher quality of life.

Living in such a city can provide a balanced, sustainable, and enriching urban experience that aligns with contemporary values of health, social connection, and environmental responsibility.

Munich's Englischer GartenPin
Munich’s Englischer Garten

How Walkable Scores Are Calculated

Experts calculate these walkable scores by looking at a range of factors to help work out how easy it is to walk in a city. They look at different aspects that make walking there convenient and safe.

This includes factors like the number of walking paths, bike lanes, car-free zones, and how good the public transport is.

They also check how close people are to important places like hospitals and schools to see how walkable a city is. Additionally, they think about things like how much it rains, how safe the city is, and what amenities are available.

All these factors together help create a score that shows how friendly a city is for pedestrians. Urban planners and policymakers use these scores to figure out ways to make cities better for people who like to walk.

You can read more about how the score was calculated here.

Why Munich Wins

Munich’s triumph as the most walkable city in the world is no accident. The city’s urban planners have meticulously designed its neighborhoods to prioritize pedestrians.

Munich boasts extensive pedestrian zones where cars are either restricted or banned, making walking safe and enjoyable. A significant 86% of the city’s population resides within a mere kilometer of car-free zones which is second highest of the cities examined.


It’s also home to an extensive network of bike trails spanning a remarkable 1,468,623 kilometers, the second-largest globally.

The city’s public transportation system is efficient and well-connected. It’s also been ranked the 4th safest in the world.

Additionally, Munich shares another second spot for the highest percentage of residents living within close proximity to essential services like healthcare and education, with an impressive 85% coverage.

Munich’s abundant green spaces, such as the famous Englischer Garten, provide scenic and peaceful walking routes. The blend of historical charm and modern infrastructure makes Munich an ideal city for walkers.

Other Cities In The Top 5

While Munich leads the pack, several other cities are also renowned for their walkability. Here are the other top contenders:

  1. Milan, Italy: Milan seamlessly blends its historical charm with modern vibrancy. The city is designed with pedestrians in mind, featuring extensive pedestrian zones, well-maintained sidewalks, and easy access to public transportation. The grand piazzas, bustling shopping streets like Via Montenapoleone, and the serene Navigli area make Milan a delight to explore on foot.
  2. Warsaw, Poland: Warsaw has made impressive strides in urban planning, prioritizing pedestrian accessibility and safety. The Polish capital boasts wide, well-marked sidewalks, numerous parks, and a revitalized riverfront area that’s perfect for strolling. Whether you’re wandering through the historic Old Town or exploring the modern quarters, Warsaw offers a rich pedestrian experience.
  3. Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki is designed with a keen focus on sustainability and pedestrian comfort. The city features wide boulevards, ample green spaces, and a compact layout that makes walking both pleasant and practical. The capital’s unique blend of modernist architecture and natural beauty, such as the picturesque Esplanadi Park and the vibrant market squares, invites exploration on foot.
  4. Paris, France: The iconic city of lights remains a top destination for walking enthusiasts. Paris offers picturesque streets, riverside promenades, and plenty of public parks. The city’s layout, with its arrondissements and easily navigable blocks, encourages leisurely strolls past landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, along the Champs-Élysées, or through charming neighborhoods such as Le Marais.

These cities, along with Munich, exemplify the virtues of walkability, demonstrating how thoughtful urban design can enhance the quality of life for their residents and visitors alike.

Nymphenburg Palace MunichPin
Nymphenburg Palace

What You Should Do In Munich

So what does this all mean? That Munich is perfect to explore!

Don’t miss our itinerary for your time in Munich here.

And guess what? You don’t need a car!

Munich’s blend of efficient urban planning, rich cultural heritage, and commitment to sustainability makes it the preeminent destination for those who love to explore on foot. The city’s pedestrian-friendly design not only enhances daily life for its residents but also offers visitors a unique and enjoyable way to experience its many attractions.

As we strive to create healthier, more connected, and environmentally-friendly urban spaces, Munich serves as an inspiring model of what walkability can achieve. Whether you’re planning a visit or contemplating the future of urban living, Munich’s example showcases the profound benefits of prioritizing pedestrians in city design.

Read more about visiting Munich here. Considering Oktoberfest? Don’t miss our full guide to Oktoberfest here. You can also find all our travel guides to Southern Germany here.

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Sharon Gourlay in the Rhina Valley

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon first fell in love with Germany back in 2000 on her first visit. She loves the long history, the picturesque Old Towns, the castles, the food, everything really! Since then, she has visited many times and loves writing about Germany here so you can enjoy it too. In fact, Sharon loves German culture so much that she sent her kids to a German primary school in Australia. She especially loves Berlin and towns with charming Old Towns like Celle and Quedlinburg. Sharon also has a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and understands the nitty gritty of travel planning. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to Germany whether it's your first or tenth time!

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