7 car-free cities around the world that will amaze you
The thought of a car-free city might be bewildering to most of. Using other traditional means of transportation, or even our legs, seems like an outdated concept where time has stood still. However, its truly refreshing to know that many people still rely on using their bikes, boats or legs to get around, and to quote Steven Wrigh “Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time”.
Car-free cities come in many forms. Some are historic city centres that have banned cars to preserve its original forum and increase tourism. While other cities are car-free due to rural and isolated locations, or for being a canal city with no choice of transportation other than boats. Whatever is the reason, these towns offer a change of pace from the whirling engines and constant traffic of big cities.
The experts at Design 911 have rounded up 7 car-free cities that will make you want to book a plane ticket, ASAP!
Located off the coast of Kenya, with lots of history but little to no cars, Lamu is an incredibly interesting island with much to discover. It is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. Being a car-free island means only bicycles, donkeys and pedestrians are permitted on the streets. Its beautiful architecture reflects the influence of a historical mix of cultures ranging from Swahili, Arabic, Persian, Indian to European. This town will amaze you with its awe-inspiring nature, weather and architecture.
Fire Island, New York
Parallel to the outer barrier islands of Long Island, New York. Fire Island is one of the few car-free cities in the United States, where the only way to get around is by foot, bike, or golf carts. With its 26 miles of heavenly coastline scenery and amazing weather, it’s no wonder this island is being dubbed as a no-traffic paradise.
Fire Island is home to many historical landmarks, and it is considered a popular destination for the LGBTQA+ community, where every year on the fourth of July hundreds of drag queens gather to re-enact the 1976 act of solidarity known as the “Invasion of the Pines”.
La Cumbrecita, Argentina
Located in Argentina’s Córdoba Province, this tiny village will steal your heart with its alpine-inspired architecture and Bavarian-style houses. With no paved roads insight, La Cumbrecita is considered the first pedestrian town in the country, where the only option of transportation is by foot.
Probably the most famous car-free city in the world, Venice Comprises of 118 islands in a lagoon that’s shallow and is only 50 feet at its deepest. Venice amazes visitors every year with its 416 bridges, 177 canals, and beautifully coloured buildings which can be visited only by walking or boating.
Halibut Cove, Alaska
One of the only floating U.S. post offices, Halibut Cove in Alaska is a small community based in Kachemak Bay State Park which lies on a protected stretch of water called The Narrows. Most of its buildings sit on stilts or float on docks. With no paved roads to be seen, the only way to get around this car free zone is by foot, skiff, ATV, or seaplane. It’s truly the perfect base-camp to see Alaska’s glaciers, mountains, and wildlife.
The Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubbed as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” this UNESCO World Heritage site is a pedestrian oasis, with cars being allowed only on the outskirts of its historic walls. Dubrovnik includes a blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque churches which boasts stunning red-tiled roofs that look awe-inspiring at sunset.
Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy
Civita di Bagnoregio is a powerful magnate for tourists who are interested in seeing the beauty of this car free hilltop town. Its amazing topography lies in its unique location atop of mountain high above a canyon, single footbridge in and out. Historically, donkeys were used to make the trek to drop off supplies, however now mopeds are being used as the only way to drop supplies in and out the small town.