Take a virtual walk along the world's historic streets



Slide 1 of 31: Whether famous for colorful houses or their historical significance, these streets have one thing in common: you'll want to wander down all of them. While that's not possible right now, join us for a virtual tour. From scenic tree-lined avenues to boulevards with a story to tell, we take a look at 30 of the world's most beautiful and historic streets.
Slide 2 of 31: Located in Boston's historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, Acorn Street is often said to be the most photographed street in the US. Wealthy tradesmen and artists lived here in the 19th century, and today it's one of Boston's most famous attractions, instantly recognizable thanks to its Federal-style brick rowhouses and gas lanterns.
Slide 3 of 31: Usually visited by around 300,000 people every day, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is, quite simply, picture perfect. Just over 1.2-miles (2km) long, it's a straight tree-lined avenue, connecting two of Paris' main attractions: Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. The avenue, affectionately called Les Champs by locals, is home to some of the most exclusive designer stores in the city, as well as the famous Ladurée patisserie.
Slide 4 of 31: Arguably the most popular spot on the Italian island of Burano, Via Giudecca looks out to the lagoon, with the island's brightly colored houses lining the street and the canal. It's thought that the island got its signature look back in the day when fishermen painted their houses as bright as possible, so they would be easier to spot in the thick fog so common on the lagoon. A popular day-trip destination from Venice, Burano is also famous for its lace work.

Slide 5 of 31: New Orleans' loudest thoroughfare, Bourbon Street has become synonymous with the city's party life. Bright lights, throbbing music and wrought-iron balconies characterize the 13-block strip stretching through NOLA's French Quarter. Although some might think that it's named after one of America's favorite tipples, it was actually an honor given to the House of Bourbon (France's ruling family). Engineer Adrien de Pauger designed the city's street layout in 1721, while Louisiana was under French control.
Slide 6 of 31: Found at Bodega Tio Pepe in the Andalusian city of Jerez, Calle Ciegos is instantly recognizable thanks to the thick grapevines that have grown to create a roof over the street. Best known as Spain's top sherry producer, Jerez celebrates its wine heritage during the harvest in September, which is also usually the best time to see Calle Ciegos. Celebrations pay tribute to three culturally significant aspects of Jerez – wine, horses and flamenco. 
Slide 7 of 31: An unassuming road in Camden, north London, Abbey Road might seem like any other street in this sprawling city. However, it's exactly here that on the 8 August 1969 at 11:35am The Beatles and photographer Iain Macmillan had only 10 minutes to create the legendary image of the band crossing the road. Macmillan took six photographs, one of which ended up as the cover of the 1969 album Abbey Road – an homage to the Abbey Road Studios, where the album was recorded.
Slide 8 of 31: An American icon, the three blocks of Beale Street in downtown Memphis are synonymous with music. This is where blues, jazz, rock 'n' roll, country and R&B come together, and where some of the most famous names in music history have performed. Walking down Beale Street you'll hear music spilling out of the countless clubs, music bars and restaurants, and usually see visitors posing for photos near the arching blue sign that marks the start of the street.
Slide 9 of 31: It's simply impossible not to find a picture-perfect street in Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety. The small town in Italy's heel – Puglia – is famous for its unusual trulli homes, built from white-washed local limestone, with a characteristic conical rooves. The prettiest streets are in the historical heart of the town. Rione Monti is the more commercialized side with plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops, while Rione Aia Piccola is much quieter and still largely residential.

Slide 10 of 31: With a history that can be traced back to as early as the Qin Dynasty (221 BC–206 BC), Jinli has been a destination for traders and travelers for centuries. Opened in 2004 to tourists, Jinli is pedestrian only, offering a glimpse into the life of days gone by. The age-old stores along the street sell everything from Shu embroidery and folk handicrafts to lacquer products and calligraphy tools. There are also plenty of street-food stalls selling typical Chengdu snacks.
Slide 11 of 31: One of New York City's top tourist attractions, Times Square is where Broadway crosses over the intersection of 7th Avenue and W 45th Street. A totally bonkers display of flashing lights, huge screens and signs illuminate this stretch of road at night – however, it hasn't always been like this. In the 19th century the area was the center of New York City's horse carriage industry, until the first electrified advert appeared in 1904, just three weeks after the area was renamed Times Square.
Slide 12 of 31: Nicknamed the crookedest street in the world, San Francisco's Lombard Street is best known for its one-block section that features eight hairpin turns. The peculiar design was intended to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade, which was too steep for most vehicles to drive down. Today, it's a famous tourist attraction with usually more than two million visitors per year. Now see this street and more jaw-dropping photos of America from above.
Slide 13 of 31: One of Copenhagen's prettiest spots, Nyhavn is a 17th-century waterfront, with colorful 17th- and 18th-century townhouses rising either side of the boats and yachts docked in the canal. Tourists and locals alike usually sit down for a leisurely drink at one of the many cafés spilling out onto the streets on both sides of the canal. Christmastime boasts a magical Christmas light display.
Slide 14 of 31: Running through the heart of Scotland's capital, from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (the Queen's official Scottish residence), the Royal Mile has been at the center of Scottish history for centuries. Usually one of the most popular destinations for tourists, the street is lined with shops, historic pubs and cafés as well as top attractions like The Real Mary King's Close and Camera Obscura and World Of Illusions.

Slide 15 of 31: One of the most famous tourist streets in the world, there's nothing quite like the buzz of Barcelona's La Rambla. The nearly mile-long street connects Placa de Catalunya with the Cristopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. A border between the city's historic Barri Gòtic to the east and El Raval to the west, La Rambla was once a sewage-filled stream that separated the city from other settlements, but it has slowly developed into one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.
Slide 16 of 31: The Philosopher's Path (Tetsugaku no michi in Japanese) is a narrow stone path following the flow of a canal in Kyoto's historic Higashiyama district. While most of the year it's just a pleasant walk, the surrounding trees are bursting with color during cherry-blossom season in spring, making it one of the city's top spots for hanami (cherry blossom viewing).
Slide 17 of 31: Fans of American family comedy Full House, or the brilliant Mrs. Doubtfire starring Robin Williams, will recognize this stretch of road in San Francisco as the location of the family home in both. It also hosts some of the most famous painted ladies in America. A row of American Victorian houses, the Painted Ladies were finished in bright colors in order enhance their architectural details.
Slide 18 of 31: A Greek island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is famous the world over for its exclusivity, jaw-dropping hotels and signature white-washed streets. Broken up by the blue window and door frames and other eye-popping accents, Mykonos' streets are some of the most beautiful in the world. There's also a very practical reason behind the blindingly white walls – it helps keep the houses cool during the hot Greek summers.
Slide 19 of 31: Nestled on the Swedish island of Gotland, the remote Viking town of Visby is the island's largest settlement. The walled town is a center for art, theater and classical music and is known for its own speciality cuisine that makes prominent use of saffron. One of the most charming parts of town is Fiskargränd (Fisherman's Alley), a narrow, cobbled lane in the north.
Slide 20 of 31: A straight line connecting Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum, Via dei Fori Imperiali runs past some of Rome's most important historical sites, including the Roman Forum. Built by the order of dictator Benito Mussolini between 1924 and 1932, the road is only open to buses and taxis. Serious archaeological excavations have happened on both sides of the road over the years, and it's thought that significant Imperial Roman relics are still to be found in the vicinity. Take a look at these fabulous photos of fascinating Roman ruins around the world.
Slide 21 of 31: Located on the Costa Verde, a coastal area known for its greenery, Paraty is an old colonial town, established by the Portuguese in 1667. Its colorful historic center, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is fully pedestrianized and much of its architecture, including its cobbled streets, hasn't changed for 250 years or more. A peculiar feature of the historic center are the raised doors – this is due to the high tides that flood the city in the mornings. Many visitors come here specifically to take photographs of the flooded streets and the reflections of the colorful buildings.
Slide 22 of 31: Located in the Rif mountains in northwest Morocco, the hilltop town of Chefchaouen has long been famous for its bright blue streets. Although it's not entirely clear why the whole town is painted blue, many believe the color was introduced by Spanish Jews who settled here after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. The Blue Pearl, as it's otherwise known, is one of the most charming destinations in all of Morocco and its winding blindingly blue streets are only made prettier by local sellers displaying their colorful handicrafts. 
Slide 23 of 31: Hong Kong's most popular street is the bright, buzzing Nathan Road. Often called The Golden Mile, it runs from close to Victoria Harbour to Prince Edward and Sham Shui Po and is instantly recognizable thanks to the abundance of neon signs. Littered with mega malls, shops, cafés and restaurants, it's also one of the top places in Hong Kong to sample the local cuisine.
Slide 24 of 31: Believed to be the route Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion, Via Dolorosa isn't only a tourist attraction, it's a significant pilgrimage for many Christians who travel to Jerusalem to walk the Way of Sorrows, as it's otherwise known. The route covers about 2,000 feet (600m) and stretches from Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Slide 25 of 31: A medieval shopping lane dating back to the 1600s, Bristol's Christmas Steps is one of the few areas in the city that survived the notorious bombing raids during the Blitz. The original steps were constructed in 1669, however, today only four flights of steps (from 1865 and 1881) remain. Home to a variety of unique shops and art galleries, Christmas Steps is part of the Christmas Steps Art Quarter that has its own theater, museum and several pubs, cafés and restaurants.
Slide 26 of 31: What began in 2011 as an art installation for Águeda's annual art festival has turned into the city's most famous attraction. Today, four of Águeda's streets are turned into a colorful spectacle with the help of more than 3,000 umbrellas, usually attracting thousands of tourists.
Slide 27 of 31: One of the most popular streets in Córdoba, Spain, Calleja de las Flores is a narrow passageway close to the landmark Mezquita-Catedral. With charming arches and romantic views of flowerpots filled with geraniums, it's also one of the most photographed attractions in this Spanish city. These fantastic travel photos will make you feel better about the world.
Slide 28 of 31: For much of the year this street in the German city of Bonn is just a pretty cobbled residential road – however, during the Kirschblütenfest (the Cherry Blossom Festival) there's an incredibly beautiful cherry blossom display. The locals take the festival very seriously and enjoy the live music events, countless food stalls and pretty lights illuminating the trees. Now take a look at 50 of the most beautiful small towns in the world.
Slide 29 of 31: Dating back to medieval times, The Shambles in York is known for its beautifully preserved Elizabethan buildings with overhanging timber frames. A narrow, cobbled lane, The Shambles was once a street full of butchers' shops and you can still see the hooks and wide shelves on which they would have displayed their produce. Today you'll find plenty of charming cafés and boutique shops in their place. 
Slide 30 of 31: Nestled among vineyards, Colmar is a dreamy collection of quaint medieval houses, canals and floral displays – and Quai de la Poissonnerie, which runs alongside the Launch River, is like something out of a fairy tale. Visitors usually take a boat trip or admire the half-timbered fishermen's houses on a casual stroll, pausing at one of the bridges to drink in the view.
Slide 31 of 31: Although Quebec City isn't short of romantic streets, Rue du Petit-Champlain has to be the prettiest, especially come Christmastime when it's generally covered in snow. One of the oldest commercial streets in North America, it's now a pedestrian-only boulevard located at the foot of the cliff below the Château Frontenac. Named after Samuel de Champlain, who founded Quebec City in 1608, the charming street is home to boutique shops and family-owned restaurants, many of which have been here for decades. Now discover the stories behind the world's most ancient cities

A walk to remember

Acorn Street, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Located in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, Acorn Street is often said to be the most photographed street in the US. Wealthy tradesmen and artists lived here in the 19th century, and today it’s one of Boston’s most famous attractions, instantly recognizable thanks to its Federal-style brick rowhouses and gas lanterns.

Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris, France

Usually visited by around 300,000 people every day, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is, quite simply, picture perfect. Just over 1.2-miles (2km) long, it’s a straight tree-lined avenue, connecting two of Paris’ main attractions: Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. The avenue, affectionately called Les Champs by locals, is home to some of the most exclusive designer stores in the city, as well as the famous Ladurée patisserie.

Via Giudecca, Burano, Italy

Arguably the most popular spot on the Italian island of Burano, Via Giudecca looks out to the lagoon, with the island’s brightly colored houses lining the street and the canal. It’s thought that the island got its signature look back in the day when fishermen painted their houses as bright as possible, so they would be easier to spot in the thick fog so common on the lagoon. A popular day-trip destination from Venice, Burano is also famous for its lace work.

Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

New Orleans’ loudest thoroughfare, Bourbon Street has become synonymous with the city’s party life. Bright lights, throbbing music and wrought-iron balconies characterize the 13-block strip stretching through NOLA’s French Quarter. Although some might think that it’s named after one of America’s favorite tipples, it was actually an honor given to the House of Bourbon (France’s ruling family). Engineer Adrien de Pauger designed the city’s street layout in 1721, while Louisiana was under French control.

Calle Ciegos, Jerez, Spain

Found at Bodega Tio Pepe in the Andalusian city of Jerez, Calle Ciegos is instantly recognizable thanks to the thick grapevines that have grown to create a roof over the street. Best known as Spain’s top sherry producer, Jerez celebrates its wine heritage during the harvest in September, which is also usually the best time to see Calle Ciegos. Celebrations pay tribute to three culturally significant aspects of Jerez – wine, horses and flamenco. 

Abbey Road, London, UK

An unassuming road in Camden, north London, Abbey Road might seem like any other street in this sprawling city. However, it’s exactly here that on the 8 August 1969 at 11:35am The Beatles and photographer Iain Macmillan had only 10 minutes to create the legendary image of the band crossing the road. Macmillan took six photographs, one of which ended up as the cover of the 1969 album Abbey Road – an homage to the Abbey Road Studios, where the album was recorded.

Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Streets of Alberobello, Italy

It’s simply impossible not to find a picture-perfect street in Alberobello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety. The small town in Italy’s heel – Puglia – is famous for its unusual trulli homes, built from white-washed local limestone, with a characteristic conical rooves. The prettiest streets are in the historical heart of the town. Rione Monti is the more commercialized side with plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops, while Rione Aia Piccola is much quieter and still largely residential.

Jinli, Chengdu, China

Times Square, New York City, New York, USA

One of New York City’s top tourist attractions, Times Square is where Broadway crosses over the intersection of 7th Avenue and W 45th Street. A totally bonkers display of flashing lights, huge screens and signs illuminate this stretch of road at night – however, it hasn’t always been like this. In the 19th century the area was the center of New York City’s horse carriage industry, until the first electrified advert appeared in 1904, just three weeks after the area was renamed Times Square.

Lombard Street, San Francisco, California, USA

Nicknamed the crookedest street in the world, San Francisco’s Lombard Street is best known for its one-block section that features eight hairpin turns. The peculiar design was intended to reduce the hill’s natural 27% grade, which was too steep for most vehicles to drive down. Today, it’s a famous tourist attraction with usually more than two million visitors per year. Now see this street and more jaw-dropping photos of America from above.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark

One of Copenhagen’s prettiest spots, Nyhavn is a 17th-century waterfront, with colorful 17th- and 18th-century townhouses rising either side of the boats and yachts docked in the canal. Tourists and locals alike usually sit down for a leisurely drink at one of the many cafés spilling out onto the streets on both sides of the canal. Christmastime boasts a magical Christmas light display.

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, UK

Running through the heart of Scotland’s capital, from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (the Queen’s official Scottish residence), the Royal Mile has been at the center of Scottish history for centuries. Usually one of the most popular destinations for tourists, the street is lined with shops, historic pubs and cafés as well as top attractions like The Real Mary King’s Close and Camera Obscura and World Of Illusions.

La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain

One of the most famous tourist streets in the world, there’s nothing quite like the buzz of Barcelona’s La Rambla. The nearly mile-long street connects Placa de Catalunya with the Cristopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. A border between the city’s historic Barri Gòtic to the east and El Raval to the west, La Rambla was once a sewage-filled stream that separated the city from other settlements, but it has slowly developed into one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.

Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto, Japan

The Philosopher’s Path (Tetsugaku no michi in Japanese) is a narrow stone path following the flow of a canal in Kyoto’s historic Higashiyama district. While most of the year it’s just a pleasant walk, the surrounding trees are bursting with color during cherry-blossom season in spring, making it one of the city’s top spots for hanami (cherry blossom viewing).

Steiner Street, San Francisco, California, USA

Fans of American family comedy Full House, or the brilliant Mrs. Doubtfire starring Robin Williams, will recognize this stretch of road in San Francisco as the location of the family home in both. It also hosts some of the most famous painted ladies in America. A row of American Victorian houses, the Painted Ladies were finished in bright colors in order enhance their architectural details.

Streets of Mykonos, Greece

A Greek island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is famous the world over for its exclusivity, jaw-dropping hotels and signature white-washed streets. Broken up by the blue window and door frames and other eye-popping accents, Mykonos’ streets are some of the most beautiful in the world. There’s also a very practical reason behind the blindingly white walls – it helps keep the houses cool during the hot Greek summers.

Fiskargränd, Visby, Sweden

Nestled on the Swedish island of Gotland, the remote Viking town of Visby is the island’s largest settlement. The walled town is a center for art, theater and classical music and is known for its own speciality cuisine that makes prominent use of saffron. One of the most charming parts of town is Fiskargränd (Fisherman’s Alley), a narrow, cobbled lane in the north.

Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome, Italy

A straight line connecting Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum, Via dei Fori Imperiali runs past some of Rome’s most important historical sites, including the Roman Forum. Built by the order of dictator Benito Mussolini between 1924 and 1932, the road is only open to buses and taxis. Serious archaeological excavations have happened on both sides of the road over the years, and it’s thought that significant Imperial Roman relics are still to be found in the vicinity. Take a look at these fabulous photos of fascinating Roman ruins around the world.

Streets of Paraty, Brazil

Located on the Costa Verde, a coastal area known for its greenery, Paraty is an old colonial town, established by the Portuguese in 1667. Its colorful historic center, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is fully pedestrianized and much of its architecture, including its cobbled streets, hasn’t changed for 250 years or more. A peculiar feature of the historic center are the raised doors – this is due to the high tides that flood the city in the mornings. Many visitors come here specifically to take photographs of the flooded streets and the reflections of the colorful buildings.

Streets of Chefchaouen, Morocco

Located in the Rif mountains in northwest Morocco, the hilltop town of Chefchaouen has long been famous for its bright blue streets. Although it’s not entirely clear why the whole town is painted blue, many believe the color was introduced by Spanish Jews who settled here after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. The Blue Pearl, as it’s otherwise known, is one of the most charming destinations in all of Morocco and its winding blindingly blue streets are only made prettier by local sellers displaying their colorful handicrafts. 

Nathan Road, Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s most popular street is the bright, buzzing Nathan Road. Often called The Golden Mile, it runs from close to Victoria Harbour to Prince Edward and Sham Shui Po and is instantly recognizable thanks to the abundance of neon signs. Littered with mega malls, shops, cafés and restaurants, it’s also one of the top places in Hong Kong to sample the local cuisine.

Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem

Believed to be the route Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion, Via Dolorosa isn’t only a tourist attraction, it’s a significant pilgrimage for many Christians who travel to Jerusalem to walk the Way of Sorrows, as it’s otherwise known. The route covers about 2,000 feet (600m) and stretches from Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Christmas Steps, Bristol, UK

Umbrella Sky Project (R. Luís de Camões), Águeda, Portugal

What began in 2011 as an art installation for Águeda’s annual art festival has turned into the city’s most famous attraction. Today, four of Águeda’s streets are turned into a colorful spectacle with the help of more than 3,000 umbrellas, usually attracting thousands of tourists.

Calleja de las Flores, Cordoba, Spain

One of the most popular streets in Córdoba, Spain, Calleja de las Flores is a narrow passageway close to the landmark Mezquita-Catedral. With charming arches and romantic views of flowerpots filled with geraniums, it’s also one of the most photographed attractions in this Spanish city. These fantastic travel photos will make you feel better about the world.

Heerstraße, Bonn, Germany

For much of the year this street in the German city of Bonn is just a pretty cobbled residential road – however, during the Kirschblütenfest (the Cherry Blossom Festival) there’s an incredibly beautiful cherry blossom display. The locals take the festival very seriously and enjoy the live music events, countless food stalls and pretty lights illuminating the trees. Now take a look at 50 of the most beautiful small towns in the world.

The Shambles, York, UK

Dating back to medieval times, The Shambles in York is known for its beautifully preserved Elizabethan buildings with overhanging timber frames. A narrow, cobbled lane, The Shambles was once a street full of butchers’ shops and you can still see the hooks and wide shelves on which they would have displayed their produce. Today you’ll find plenty of charming cafés and boutique shops in their place. 

Quai de la Poissonnerie, Colmar, France

Nestled among vineyards, Colmar is a dreamy collection of quaint medieval houses, canals and floral displays – and Quai de la Poissonnerie, which runs alongside the Launch River, is like something out of a fairy tale. Visitors usually take a boat trip or admire the half-timbered fishermen’s houses on a casual stroll, pausing at one of the bridges to drink in the view.

Rue du Petit-Champlain, Quebec City, Canada

Although Quebec City isn’t short of romantic streets, Rue du Petit-Champlain has to be the prettiest, especially come Christmastime when it’s generally covered in snow. One of the oldest commercial streets in North America, it’s now a pedestrian-only boulevard located at the foot of the cliff below the Château Frontenac. Named after Samuel de Champlain, who founded Quebec City in 1608, the charming street is home to boutique shops and family-owned restaurants, many of which have been here for decades.

Now discover the stories behind the world’s most ancient cities

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