The Champs-Élysées in Paris, Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Orchard Road in Singapore—almost every major metropolis has a famous boulevard where the fashionable gather. The following streets range from grand promenades to historical havens. All of them make for a fascinating stroll.
Lombard Street, San Francisco
Made famous thanks to its role in a number of hair-raising Hollywood car chases, this road stretching from east to west in San Francisco features an especially steep section with eight hairpin turns. It makes for a white-knuckle ride, especially if you have the misfortune to be driving stick, but the view is spectacular.
Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montréal
Sometimes referred to by its English moniker, the Saint Lawrence Boulevard, this elegant north-south street is an official National Historic Site of Canada and is central to life in the vibrant French-Canadian city. In the late 1800s, it was home to Montreal’s Jewish community and Yiddish was one of the primary spoken languages. Today, it houses part of the city’s Chinatown, as well as a host of cafés and galleries.
The Royal Mile, Edinburgh
No trip to the Scottish capital would be complete without a visit to this series of historic streets, which are home to all manner of shops, bars and eateries. Especially during the summer months, street buskers are a common sight. The Royal Mile takes its name from the fact that it runs almost exactly a mile between the gates of the Holyrood Palace and the Castle Esplanade.
Chandni Chowk, Delhi
Chandni Chowk, or the Moonlight Square, dates back to 1650 C.E. and is one of Delhi’s most culturally and historically significant marketplaces. While anyone with a phobia of crowds may wish to steer clear, the hustle and bustle of the area provides a look at the fabric of daily life in the city. The bazaar has made appearances in a number of Bollywood films over the years.
Although many parts of the Danish capital are picturesque, few are quite as splendid as this canal lined with regal 17th- and 18th-century brick townhouses. Many of these colourful facades now house waterside cafés and restaurants instead of private dwellings.
Royal Street, New Orleans
Running through the heart of the French Quarter, Royal Street offers a glimpse of the grandeur of old New Orleans. Stop to browse for unique souvenirs or listen to the sounds of live jazz performed nightly by local street musicians. If you find yourself feeling peckish, pause for an order of buttery oysters Rockefeller or powdered sugar-dusted beignets.
The Bowery, New York City
Walk the length of this iconic street in lower Manhattan and you’ll get an idea of the multicultural history of this endlessly shifting city. The Bowery touches on the edges of Chinatown, the Lower East Side and the East Village. For the full experience, be sure to head here after dark, when the liveliest part of this sleepless city is in full swing.
Once an undiscovered gem, Chefchaouen, or Chaouen, now teems with tourists hoping to grab the perfect Instagram shot. These winding cobblestoned streets are known for their vividly blue buildings, which have served as the backdrop of many a selfie.
Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem
Every year, thousands of Christian pilgrims from all over the world come to walk along the Via Dolorosa, a street that supposedly traces the torturous path of Jesus Christ as he carried his cross through the Old City. The Stations of the Cross are a series of marked spots commemorating scenes depicted in the New Testament of the Bible.
King’s Road, London
Stretching from Chelsea and Fulham in west London, this area derives its regal name from the fact that it was once a private road for King Charles II. For years, it served as the exclusive stomping grounds of the city’s upper-crust. Vivienne Westwood, Mary Quant and other famous fashionistas once called this area home.