Some downtowns resemble giant simulators, where you can imagine a space without cars. Although they promise fun though, they are not funfairs. They are pedestrian areas in some of the most popular cities for tourists. Let’s see which are
10+1 CAR-FREE CITIES to visit at least once in a lifetime
# Europe, Africa, and the Americas
Can you walk around the world? No doubt it’s impossible, not even imaginable if not in the child dreams.
You can try to do it without using a car, which is a bit like the philosophy suggested by some cities whose historical city centers are closed to traffic, or whose characteristics are such as not to allow the passage of more than two-wheeled vehicles. Or four-legged.
We have chosen some of them closely related to Western culture, for example in Europe and North America. But for the more curious, there are also some in Africa and South America.
# Fes El Bali, Morocco
9,400 narrow streets so narrow that cars cannot pass, are the intricate labyrinth of streets and alleys that make up the Medina at Fes El Bali. It is one of the largest urban areas in the world where cars cannot circulate. You can walk on foot or on the back of a donkey, admiring the immense history, both human and commercial, that has made Fes El Bali a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
# Lamu, Kenya
Facing the Northeastern coast of Kenya, Lamu is an island where you go to find relax and, much to your surprise, discover the influences of each culture.
In the homonymous city center, cars are banned by choice. The pedestrian is allows you to wander through the best conserved Swahili settlement in the world, with Persian, European and Indian houses.
# Halibut Cove, Alaska
Halibut Cove is home to a tiny community, a few dozen people almost all artists, in a town that can only be reached by water. With no roads, the place is popular for hiking because it offers the double benefit of ocean and snow-capped Alaskan mountain scenery. Seemingly inhospitable, it is one of the best geared cities for touring, welcoming in every season.
# Fire Island, New York
On the East Coast of the United States, you can visit Fire Island, one of the very rare car-free places in the whole American continent. You can get around on foot or by bike, you can enjoy the ocean and about 40 km of coastline or do sports on the beach or cool off in the forest.
# Cumbrecita, Argentina
Cumbrecita is known as the smallest German town in Argentina. It is in the Cordoba region and is a village whose landscape is decorated with delightful Bavarian-style houses.
There are no paved roads in Cumbrecita, you move around on horseback or on foot.
# Gent, Belgium
In the Flanders’ capital, the choice to make the historic center pedestrian-friendly seems to have catapulted the city into a different era. From the horse-drawn carriage era to the era of soft mobility, there are no longer any signs of car roads, just bicycle infrastructures. Gent is often taken as a model by other cities.
# Giethoorn, Netherlands
Waterways, 170 romantic wooden bridges, colonial-style houses decorated with Dutch flowers, Giethoorn is the famed “small Dutch Venice”. Not far from Amsterdam, there are no roads in Giethoorn. The vehicle for personal mobility is the bicycle, the family one is the boat.
# Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is the southernmost city on the Croatian coast and is known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”. The old city, within the ancient walls, is banned to cars and all motorized vehicles by choice. It is a UNESCO heritage site that holds history at every turn, with the imprints that populations have left over time. You can find Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches.
# Hydra, Greece
A Greek island in the Gulf of Soronic, perhaps the most famous, no motor vehicles are allowed off the water in Hydra.
You can only get around on foot or donkey back, as well as circumnavigate by sea cab. The scenery is the classic Greek landscape, with blue and white houses and the alleys overlooking the sea, always offers a breathtaking view.
# Sark, France
The small French island in the Manche, is also known as a tourist observatory for starry skies, as it has no artificial lighting. Cars are banned by choice and all mobility is almost exclusively electric or towed.
Horse-drawn carts, while bicycles and vehicles for the disabled are electric.
The only motors allowed on the land are tractors, which also tow the ambulance.
How could we miss Venice? The wonderful city built on the Adriatic lagoon, perhaps the most famous city in the world without cars.
The lagoon sestieri count 177 waterways and over 400 bridges, to be crossed strictly on foot (once in a coach). The charm and mystery of Venice have enchanted everyone who has visited it, and sparked the fantasy of those who have not yet had the pleasure of seeing it.
Today cities are a bit like Gent, a hybrid that is trying to adapt to the modernity of cars, even if with roads designed in other eras.
What will those of the future be like?
Continue reading: The cities with an APOCALYPTIC aspect