12 Cities Around The World That Are Unexpectedly Good For Hiking

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When it comes to planning a trip, it might seem like one has to pick between the freedom of the great outdoors and the hustle and bustle of a city. But, that's not always true — you don't have to pick. There are cities around the world that are unexpectedly good for hiking, which means you can have your city adventure and your country escape at the same time. There are so many incredible cities, both domestic and international, that are backed up against a mountain, or beside a river, or next to a preserve. Having the ability to stay in a city, while having access to miles of trails is a pretty epic double-whammy, and gives you way more bang for your buck than you thought possible.

Here I've put together a list of cities that have truly natural hiking trails in walking distance or a very short ride from their urban center. Get the most out of your trip by choosing a dynamic location where your adventures are aplenty. Even if you're not into hiking, you can use the trails for other activities like birdwatching, biking, and in some cases, horseback riding. Not to mention, spending time in a new city can be exhilarating, but it will be nice to know that if you need a literal breath of fresh air, you can get it. Here are the best local international cities to hike in:

Portland, Oregon

One minute you're shopping in Downtown Portland, the next minute you're hiking through Forest Park, the biggest urban hiking trail in the entire country, and arguably the most beautiful, too. Enjoy 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, with epic city and country views around every bend.

Seattle, Washington

Washington Park Arboretum has 230 acres of natural landscape which includes hiking, walking, and biking trails, galore. Some trails are paved, others are not, you can choose how rugged you want your urban adventure to be.

Burlington, Vermont

Downtown Burlington feels very much like an urban city, but just a few steps off the main drag and you have access to the Burlington Bike Path, a converted railroad path that features eight miles of paved trails for hiking and biking. With epic views of Lake Champlain and The Adirondacks, you'll feel much farther away than you actually are.

Boise, Idaho

The Boise River Greenbelt has 25 miles of super rustic and rugged trails. Enjoy mountain views, river views, and experience an opportunity to see wildlife just steps from the city's center. The Ridge to River Trail System is another epic hiking option with over 190 miles of trails and the most stunning photo ops.

Dublin, Ireland

You probably don't think of Dublin as a hiking destination as much as you think of it as a great place to find a rustic pub, but the St. Stephen’s Green Park is a beautiful place to walk and take in a much more sobering view of the city.

Sydney, Australia

The Great Coastal Walk in Sydney is a super popular hiking area that includes cliffs and coastal views that are so epic and untouched, you'll have a hard time believing there's a manmade city behind you.

Lake Como, Italy

Did you know that you can hike above the Lake Como ridge line, and then stop for wine and pasta on the way? This is not a dream, this is a real thing and you can really do it, and definitely should. Or, take a guided Lake Como city walk to ensure you don't miss a thing.

Cape Town, South Africa

Stay in Cape Town, and then hike up over 3,500 feet to the tope of the world famous Table Mountain. Trails start down in the city, but if you want to get a head start, you can take a bus or car up a ways and start at a higher elevation.

Edinburgh, Scotland

You can hike an extinct volcano in Edinburgh, so you definitely should. Enjoy the Walkway Highlands and then find yourself in Arthur's Seat, overlooking the city you just came from.

London, England

You probably don't think of London as a lush city, but it is. The Thames Path hosts a total of 183 miles so you can take a pretty epic adventure through the city, by way of country-like greenery.

Queenstown, New Zealand

The Great Walks of New Zealand is one of the world's most beautiful hiking destinations, jam-packed with natural wonders, surreal views and non-stop photo ops.

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong has incredibly diverse hiking trails, featuring one 30 mile trail that goes through five different parks. Depending on what you're up for, you can do a tiny bit of the big trail on foot, you can drive to one destination and hike to another, or you can do the whole thing.