The back of a young woman walking and walking along the pedestrian street in the evening in Bangkok, Thailand, travelers and tourists.
Lonely Planet has created five walking tours for Google Maps ©Shutterstock
It’s undeniably one of travel’s greatest pleasures; wandering the streets of a whole new city, soaking up its character and exploring its hidden wonders on foot. When the pavement-pounding wanderlust cannot be satisfied in reality however, we’ve come up with the next best thing. Below are five of our Lonely Planet city walking routes, specially formatted so that you can enjoy them online. Simply load up Google Maps, switch to Street View, and start your virtual adventure…
Map view: This is the default view of Google Maps.
Street view: To activate Street View, grab and drag the orange figure icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, and release when it is hovering over your desired map point. From here you will be able to move along streets by moving the cursor and clicking in the direction you wish to travel.
Photo sphere: These are indicated by small blue dots that appear when you have clicked the orange figure icon. Drag and release onto the dots to get a 360° on-the-ground view of your surroundings.
Havana, Cuba: Old Havana Walking Tour
This walking tour highlights Havana’s unique historical district, built up around four main squares. Start by dropping onto La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de La Habana, which anchors the Plaza de la Catedral, a complex square with bags of atmosphere and always awash with interesting characters (or, in this case, static images of them). Drop onto a photo sphere on the cathedral to look inside, return to map view and drop again onto the Plaza de la Catedral to explore.
People sitting on outdoor cafe tables in the Plaza de la Catedra
People sitting on outdoor cafe tables in the Plaza de la Catedral, with the Cathedral Of San Cristobal behind ©Lya_Cattel/Getty Images
Return to map view, and then drop onto one of the photo spheres on Plaza de Armas, once used for military exercises. The plaza is still guarded by the Castillo de la Real Fuerza, a beautiful 16th century star-shaped fort. Drop onto the castillo’s photo spheres to take a look around its perimeter. If you turn east, you’ll also be treated to a great view across Havana Port.
Tourists examine a poster at one of the stalls at Plaza de Armas selling books
Stalls at Plaza de Armas selling books, magazines, art and antiques ©lembi/Shutterstock
Just south of the castillo is Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, the former official residence of the city’s governors. Return to map view and drop onto one of the palacio’s photo spheres to take in the building, which is also home to the Museum of the City of Havana. Next, return to map view and drop onto a photo sphere along Calle Obispo, one of the city’s most bustling and lively streets. This is a great street to wander up and down. After returning to map view, drop onto the cluster of photo spheres on Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, a breezy open space watched over by the Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco de Asis. Finish your tour by dropping down at the photo sphere just north of the Terminal Sierra Maestra, and gazing out across the port.