6 Famous Streets in Europe to Walk Along
If you’re about to embark on a rail journey, you probably favor tracks over tarmac. But don’t reject roads simply because they lack the charm and efficiency of rail. Here are six famous streets in Europe worth getting off the train for.
Famous streets in Europe
1. Champs-Élysées | Paris, France
The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in Europe, if not the world. This epic tree-lined avenue runs between the Place de la Concorde and Arc de Triomphe. It just oozes French finesse with its neatly aligned café tables, through to its miraculously chaotic traffic. The Champs-Élysées is just under two kilometers long (1.2 miles) and is an impressive 70 meters (230 feet) wide. Though you may know it from popular culture, or as the dramatic finish for the Tour de France, it actually dates all the way back to 1670.
Within walking distance: Dozens of cafés, restaurants and high-end stores, with easy access to the Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, and Place de la Concorde.
How to get there: There are eight main railway stations in Paris that receive trains from specific directions. All offer easy metro access to the Champs-Élysées.
2. La Rambla | Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona’s La Rambla may draw comparisons to Paris’s Champs-Élysées, but a walk down this often chaotic road is a thoroughly Spanish affair. It connects Placa de Catalunya to the famous Christopher Columbus monument. Although it’s less than two kilometers long, it’s vibrant and intoxicating. This pedestrian-only zone is perfect for people watching and soaking up the more touristic side of Barcelona.
Within walking distance: Restaurants and cafés tend to be pricey in this part of town. But there are plenty of free sights nearby, including the Christopher Columbus monument, harbor, and Gothic Quarter.
How to get there: There are regular trains to Barcelona Sants from throughout Spain, including hourly trains from Madrid. There are also long-distance trains from the south of France. La Rambla is 20 minutes away on the L3 metro line.
3. Rua Nova do Carvalho | Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon’s Rua Nova do Carvalho has a slightly sordid history. The dockside street was, after all, the original hangout for the city’s more undesirable characters who frequented its dingy nightclubs. But these days it’s a vibrant pink stretch of road that attracts a wide range of patrons looking to soak up that Lisbon party atmosphere. It has helped defined the new era of this enthralling city.
Within walking distance: Bars, pubs, and clubs that cater to all tastes and budgets. River views are a short walk away.
How to get there: Regular trains to Lisbon run from both south and north of Portugal. Once at Lisbon’s Rossio Train Station, Rua Nova do Carvalho is a 15-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride towards the riverfront.
4. Kärntner Straße | Vienna, Austria
Most of Vienna’s streets, avenues, and boulevards have a regal presence that makes them thoroughly captivating. But the Austrian capital’s iconic Kärntner Strasse still manages to steal the show. It runs from Stephansplatz out to the Wiener Staatsoper on the famous Ringstrasse. The majority of its charm lies between the Opera House and Hofburg Palace. You’ll find a unique mix of traditional stores and dramatic architectural throwbacks to the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Within walking distance: Numerous interesting boutiques and high-end stores, as well as the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
How to get there: Vienna is a major rail hub in Europe, with regular trains from throughout the country and across the continent. Once at Vienna Hauptbahnhof, take the S2 train to Wien Mitte. You’ll end up within walking distance of Vienna Old Town.
5. İstiklal Avenue | Istanbul, Turkey
This iconic pedestrian street is a hive of activity. Apparently, more than three million people walk the famous Istanbul avenue of İstiklal each weekend. You’ll find bars, restaurants, clubs, boutiques, theatres, libraries, and galleries sharing the bustling space. The architecture is an equally fascinating mix of genres, with most dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries.
Within walking distance: Hundreds of fascinating attractions line the street, which eventually leads you to the famous Taksim Square.
How to get there: There are daily trains from Greece and Bulgaria to Turkey’s borders, which offer regular connections to Istanbul’s Sirkeci Terminal. From there, the city’s light rail and metro system will connect you to Taksim Square.
6. Via Toledo, Naples
Naples isn’t short of iconic historic avenues. But there’s a certain energy defining Via Toledo that makes this one of the city’s most captivating avenues to walk down. Although the famed Spaccanapoli, or “Naples Splitter”, draws much of the tourist attention, there’s a genuine buzz and authenticity that flows down Toledo until it spits you out in the relative tranquility of the Bay of Naples at its very end.
Within walking distance: The famous streets that make up Spaccanapoli are nearby, and dozens of coffee shops, stores and pizza places line this street. The Toledo Metro stop is also an intriguing sight. Saint Ferdinando Church and Castel Nuovo are close to the southern end of the street.
How to get there: There are regular trains to Napoli Centrale from throughout Italy, including hourly trains from Rome. Once you get there, the L1 metro will transport you to Via Toledo.
Europe is packed full of famous streets that you can easily reach with your Eurail Pass. Today, many of these focus on high-end shopping and dining. But next time you find yourself on a bustling boulevard, take a moment to step aside and absorb the atmosphere that makes it so unique.
For more iconic places to visit:
7 famous artworks in Europe (and where to find them)
6 famous museums in Europe worth your time
6 famous filming locations in Europe