No Cars Allowed: The 10 Best Pedestrian Streets Around the World

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No Cars Allowed: The 10 Best Pedestrian Streets Around the World
Thanks to a major push toward converting traffic-clogged streets to pedestiran only in the latter 20th century—and the subsequent global success of those conversions—many major cities have thriving car-free areas at their centers. Scroll through the slideshow for our favorite pedestrian streets around the world, from Denmark to California.
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    1. Strøget (Copenhagen, Denmark)
    Known as one of the longest (if not the longest) pedestrian shopping streets in the world, Strøget covers 1.1 km of Copenhagen’s historic city center. Since the strip eliminated vehicles in 1962 (and expanded in the years following), its success—and tourist draw—has influenced other cities to implement the same type of areas. Today, Strøget—which technically includes a few different streets—is popular for its mix of ultra-high-end brands, budget-friendly stores, restaurants, street performers, and Danish landmarks.

    Plan Your Trip: Copenhagen
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    2. Rue Mouffetard (Paris, France)
    From the market stalls to the outdoor cafés, this street in the Latin Quarter balances the fulcrum between global influence and French tradition—in an almost quintessentially modern Parisian way. It’s a cobbled epicurean wonderland, where you can stroll past a crepe stall, cheese store, sushi bar, and vegan dessert shop in a few minutes. The street has evolved into a modern landmark and neighborhood center. Bonus fun fact: Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises mentions the street.

    Plan Your Trip: Paris
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    3. Carnaby Street (London, England)
    Spanning 13 streets with more than 100 shops and 60 bars, restaurants, and cafés, Carnaby Street is a lively hub in London’s West End. The strip has a long, colorful history as the birthplace of Swinging London in the 1960s, home to Lowndes/Carnaby Market, and creative hub for the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Paul McCartney. The street was converted to walkers only in 1973 and has since continued to draw artists, musicians, designers, and shoppers through its iconic welcome arch.

    Plan Your Trip: London
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    4. Qianmen Street (Beijing, China)
    With its traditional Chinese architecture, history dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and modern shopping outposts, Qianmen Street embodies Beijing’s knack of harmoniously juxtaposing the old with the new. The contemporary iteration of Qianmen Street—named so in 1965—was rebuilt after the original street was destroyed and later renovated before the Beijing Olympics in 2008. In addition to big-name shopping, the strip boasts long-standing landmarks such as Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, first opened in 1864, and Lao She Teahouse.

    Plan Your Trip: Beijing
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    5. Flower Street (Curitiba, Brazil)
    Also known as Rua das Flores or Rua XV de Novembro, Flower Street gets its moniker from the gardens throughout the pedestrian mall. A gathering place, shopping center, and historic district wrapped into one, Flower Street is beloved by both tourists and locals for its buzzing energy, lush greenery, and Brazilian goods.

    Plan Your Trip: Curitiba, Brazil
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    6. Buchanan Street (Glasgow, Scotland)
    Since it banned vehicles in 1978, Buchanan Street has evolved into an epicenter of Glasgow’s shopping district characterized by a vibrant collection of shops, street performers, and Victorian architecture. The street is best-known for its impressive lineup of stores, including John Lewis, Lush, and Urban Outfitters, and Buchanan Galleries mall center, home to The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Although the area is pedestrian only, it’s easily accessible via the Glasgow Subway’s Buchanan Street stop.

    Plan Your Trip: Glasgow
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    7. Cat Street (Tokyo, Japan)
    Stretching between the main drags of street fashion capital Harajuku and Shibuya attractions is Cat Street, an alleyway-style pedestrian mall characterized by quirky shops, innovative restaurants, and bustling foot traffic. It’s one of the best—and most unusual—spots in Tokyo for people watching and window shopping. In short? You’re going to want to have your phone out from the moment you step onto Cat Street.

    Plan Your Trip: Tokyo
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    8. Lincoln Road (Miami, Florida)
    There are few better ways to spend a warm Miami Beach day than with a stroll through Lincoln Road, a pedestrian strip just blocks from the beach. While the shopping covers all the mall must-haves—including an Apple store, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and two Starbucks—a diverse mix of restaurants offer outdoor patios and indoor air-conditioning ideal for a midday break. And come sunset, grab a cocktail and bite at Juvia, a penthouse-level rooftop restaurant and bar atop a parking garage designed by Herzog & de Meuron.

    Plan Your Trip: Miami
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    9. Via Dante (Milan, Italy)
    Between the street art sales, castle fortress views, and Italian boutiques, Via Dante—the stretch between Castello Sforzesco and Piazza del Duomo—is a dazzling example of street design for pedestrians. Lined with boutiques, restaurants, and theaters, it serves as both a connecting pathway and shopping thoroughfare.

    Plan Your Trip: Milan
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    10. Third Street Promenade (Los Angeles, California)
    Just two blocks from the world-famous Santa Monica Pier and easily accessible via a newly opened metro stop, the Third Street Promenade spans three jam-packed, car-free blocks. Bordered on one end by the Santa Monica Place mall on one end, and Wilshire Boulevard on the other, restaurants, stores, and fame-seeking street performers line every inch in between. Although it’s been limited to pedestrians for decades, the Third Street Promenade is almost constantly evolving with new openings, remodeling, and hot street performance acts.

    Plan Your Trip: Los Angeles
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