Whether it’s for their historic nature, inherent uniqueness, or simply because they are the heart and soul of their city, these 10 famous streets are worth the journey in and of themselves.
When it comes to notable sights and attractions in Paris, the Champs-Élysées is one of the city’s most famous. Running through Paris’ 8th arrondissement, it attracts tourists the world over for its historical presence in the city, but also for the chic little cafés and shops located throughout the avenue. Its western end leads all the way to the Arc de Triomphe, one of the city’s most popular monuments, which visitors can climb for a breathtaking shot of the Champs Elysées before them.
2. Lombard Street
This famed San Francisco street is truly one of the city’s coolest spots to visit. After all, with a one-block stretch on Russian Hill that includes eight sharp turns, the “crookedest street in San Francisco” is sure to pique even the most travelled tourist’s curiosity. With a city known for its steep hills, this design was originally meant to allow cars to go down the road safely and slowly. Slow indeed: the recommended speed limit is 8 km per hour. If you’ve got a car in tow on your California excursion, we highly recommend a drive down Lombard if you can. It won’t be a speedy thrill ride, but it certainly will be a fun time trying to navigate each turn.
3. Abbey Road
The iconic pedestrian crossing that was featured on the Beatles album cover in 1969 has since become one of the most famous streets in the world. Since the record’s release, many fans have made the pilgrimage to central London’s Abbey Road to mimic the image of John, Paul, George and Ringo crossing the street.
4. Fifth Avenue
A fashionista’s paradise, Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is one of the priciest shopping streets in the world. Particularly between 49th and 60th Streets, this avenue is lined with some of the world’s most well-known and most expensive stores: Cartier, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Armani, Versace and more. Visitors looking for sartorial finds are wise to come to New York City with a loaded wallet. For a film buff, a stop at the Tiffany & Co. headquarters comes standard, with a coffee and croissant in hand to imitate Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
5. Santa Monica Boulevard
For all the California dreamers in the world, Santa Monica Boulevard is where they long to be. Lined with palm trees, the 4.5km thoroughfare runs through West Hollywood, dotted with shops, cafés, bars, and restaurants, making its way all to the Santa Monica Pier with a welcoming view of the Pacific Ocean. It’s pretty hard to believe that, as late as the 1980s, Santa Monica Boulevard was not landscaped, with practically nothing but abandoned railroad tracks.
Tokyo’s fashion district was built up from the ashes of an 1872 fire, and then rebuilt after a series of bombings during World War II left the area practically in ruins. Nowadays, it’s the booming epicentre of Tokyo, housing hip restaurants and art galleries, important names in fashion from Caroline Herrera to Chanel, as well as flagship electronic stores like Sony and Apple. It’s reminiscent of Broadway in the midst of New York City’s Times Square but with a culture and identity all its own.
7. Beale Street
Significant when it comes to Memphis’ rich music history, Beale Street is where the likes of Louis Armstrong, B.B. King and Muddy Waters perfected their respective sounds, contributing to the city’s distinct bluesy sound. Now considered a National Historic Landmark District, tourists flock to Beale Street year-round to take in the live and lively entertainment, be it in one of the many bars and clubs or the various outdoor street performers.
8. Bourbon Street
The heart of New Orleans‘ French Quarter, Bourbon Street comes alive at night – and we’re not only talking about Mardi Gras! Lined with strip clubs, bars, restaurants and shops, it’s practically a non-stop party on weekends, allowing visitors to get the most of NOLA’s nightlife. A bar crawl with friends is essential, and with traditional Louisiana music as the soundtrack to your night, it’s bound to be one you’ll never forget. Just beware the morning hangover.
9. Via Monte Napoleone
Milan: it’s one of the major fashion capitals of the world. Via Monte Napoleone (the latter half of its name was due to Milan being the capital of the Napoleonic Italian Republic at the start of the 19th century) is a street steeped in history, which also happens to house a slew of popular boutiques, from world-renowned brands like Bulgari and Dior to upscale local Italian designers. It’s a fashion mecca for budding designers and everyday fashionistas alike.
10. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Stretching block after block (after block) on Hollywood Boulevard, the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles boasts over 2,500 pink stars on its sidewalks, honouring a myriad of celebrities for their achievements in the entertainment industry. With approximately 10 million visitors every year, many tourists pose for the requisite ground shot alongside the star of their favourite celebrities, both past and present. And, on your way from one end of the boulevard to the other, a stop at Mann’s Chinese Theater (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theater) where many celebrities have left their mark – literally – is a must.