Famous Streets of the World and What Makes Them So Intriguing

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There are cities that attract visitors from all over the world for their beauty, historical significance, architecture, culture, and more. Did you know there are famous streets that are tourist draws as well? There are!

Here’s a look at some of the world’s most famous streets and what makes them so intriguing. From the bright lights of Broadway in New York to the historic cobbles of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, each street tells a story. They are home to iconic parades, legendary theaters, historical landmarks, and scenes of pivotal moments in history. These streets are not just routes on a map but destinations in their own right, offering unique insights into the character and history of their cities. They draw visitors who come not just to see but to experience the rhythm of life in these iconic locales.

1. Broadway– New York, New York

Broadway Theaters
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Broadway is world-famous for its theater district and Times Square (where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve), but that’s not all that makes it stand out. It’s also the city’s oldest north-south thoroughfare and was one of the first to get electric lighting.

2. La Rambla– Barcelona, Spain

La Rambla– Barcelona, Spain
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This tree-lined pedestrian street is only a kilometer (a little more than 0.6 of a mile) in length, but it’s nevertheless the country’s most famous. Visitors love all the vendors and attractions, and it’s a ritual from a fountain called the Font de Canaletes; it supposedly ensures that one day, you’ll visit the city again.

3. Abbey Road– London, England

Abbey Road– London, England
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The Beatles named an album for this street, so there must be something exceptional about it, and there is. It’s where the band members did the photo shoot that produced the image for the album cover, and fans flock here to recreate the scene. Note that if you’re the one being Paul McCartney, the right way to cross the street is barefoot.

4. Champs-Élysées– Paris, France

Champs-Élysées– Paris, France
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The number of pictures featuring the Arc de Triomphe makes this street possibly the most recognizable in the world. It is also the site of the annual Bastille Day military parade and the final leg of the Tour de France bicycle race.

5. Royal Mile– Edinburgh, Scotland

Royal Mile– Edinburgh, Scotland
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In reality, this is a series connecting streets totaling a mile in length and along which are many of the city’s most famous landmarks. One of those is the Heart of Midlothian, once the site of public executions. Back then, released prisoners would spit upon the location; today, visitors do it for good luck.

6. Lombard Street– San Francisco, California

Lombard Street– San Francisco, California
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This street’s claim to fame is supposedly the most crooked street in the world. Along a one-block stretch, eight hairpin turns were created to help drivers manage the steep slope of the hill. The speed limit there is 5 MPH, so don’t take this route if you’re in a hurry!

7. Hollywood Boulevard– Los Angeles, California

Hollywood Boulevard– Los Angeles, California
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It’s the main thoroughfare through world-famous Hollywood so that alone makes this street stand out. But it’s also the location of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you can see the embedded stars of more than 2,400 influential members of the entertainment industry.

8. Orchard Road– Singapore

Orchard Road– Singapore
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Locals and visitors alike love this street named for the fruit orchards the road once led to. Now, it’s a shopping hub with restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels as well. It’s also where the president’s residence is, and it’s known for its all-out Christmas displays.

9. Khao San Road– Bangkok, Thailand

Khao San Road– Bangkok, Thailand
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Believe it or not, this small road was once a major rice market and is now a major destination for backpackers. It has cheap lodging, and backpackers come here for a mattress and a pillow, to restock, or just to hang out after a great trip.

10. Wall Street– New York, New York

Wall Street– New York, New York
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Located in the heart of the city’s financial district, Wall Street is, in many respects, the financial capital of the world. It’s also the location of the New York Stock Exchange. The name refers to the wall that the Dutch who settled here built for protection.

11. Fifth Avenue– New York, New York

Fifth Avenue– New York, New York'
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This street runs through the core of New York’s fashion district. You’ll see a lot of stores with well-known designer names. A popular stop for people in the know is the Tiffany & Company headquarters; it’s a nod to the Audrey Hepburn classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

12. Beale Street– Memphis, Tennessee

Beale Street– Memphis, Tennessee
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Elvis fans will say that Graceland is the must-see place in Memphis, but many fans of the blues, which was a precursor to and influence on Elvis, will steer you to Beale Street instead. Today, it’s packed with clubs and bars, but back in the day, it was where legends like B.B. King and Muddy Waters established themselves.

13. Bourbon Street– New Orleans, Louisiana

Bourbon Street– New Orleans, Louisiana
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If you visit New Orleans without going to Bourbon Street, does the visit even count? We can’t say, but if you visit the Big Easy, you should consider at least one night at its most famous street, which is basically a gigantic outdoor party.

14. Via Dolorosa– Jerusalem, Israel

Via Dolorosa– Jerusalem, Israel
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The name of this street means “Way of Grief” in Latin. It’s the street where, according to religious belief, Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. Many Christians make pilgrimages to this location in order to walk in the final steps of Christ.

15. Vegas Strip– Las Vegas, Nevada

Vegas Strip– Las Vegas, Nevada
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For color and sound, there’s really no other street in the world like the section of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip. You don’t even need to like gambling to appreciate it; you can just stroll along and admire some of the world’s biggest, most spectacular, and most famous casinos. There are also things like carnivals, shows, and concerts you can enjoy.

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Robert Sihler is an educator, freelance writer, and rock climbing guide and instructor living with his family in Driftwood, Texas. In his spare time, he enjoys reading fiction, streaming films, completing crossword puzzles, and rock climbing. When he goes on vacation, he likes to visit the mountains of the West and climb remote, obscure peaks that have seen few or no prior ascents.