29 Of The World’s Most Famous Streets

Sep 26, 2014

Category: Living

If a city is defined by its streets, then it should follow that our most famous streets will be situated in the greatest cities. To test this, we went looking for the best known streets we could find. With just one exception, they were all among some of the most notorious, vibrant metropolises on the planet. So in no particular order, here they are, 29 of the world’s most famous streets.

Station Number 9

Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem

Also known as the “Way of Sorrows” or the “Way of Suffering”, or sometimes just as the “Painful Way” – and who would argue – the Via Dolorosa is believed by many to be the route that Jesus took to the site of his crucifixion, while carrying the burden of his cross. Surely it must be up there among the roughest journeys ever made. Over the years there have been different versions of the route. The current one, marked by nine Stations of the Cross, was established in the 18th century. [Details]

The Bowery New York City

The Bowery, New York City

The eastern border of the slum area known as the “Five Points”, The Bowery was New York’s Skid Row, home to the homeless, prostitution, brothels and flophouses, and the turf of one of America’s earliest gangs, the Bowery Boys. It runs roughly between Canal Street in Chinatown, and 4th Street in the East Village, and is the oldest thoroughfare in Manhattan. The iconic CBGBs, which helped launch the careers of the Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads among others, is gone now, as is the color and dark romance of times passed. [Details]

La Pigalle Paris

La Pigalle, Paris

An area of Paris rather than one street, but including Place Pigalle and famous for tourism and adult entertainment, though likely not in that order. But if you want to experience some of Paris’ dubious night life, here’s where you’ll find the Moulin Rouge, the Divan du Monde – which very roughly translates to Sofa for the People – and also the Museum of Eroticism. Gotta love the French. Picasso, Van Gogh, and Toulouse-Lautrec all spent time in and around the Pigalle. [Details]

Harley Street London

Harley Street, London

If you’re going to have a heart attack or a sudden stroke, in fact, if you’re going to get sick in any way, or even feel just the slightest bit dodgy, Harley Street’s a pretty good place to be when you do. It’s full of doctors. Of course, to be on Harley Street in the first place means that you’re probably already sick. Unless, that is, you’re one of the more than 3,000 people employed in the medical profession here. The only problem might be that they’re mostly, if not all, private specialists, so it can be kinda pricey. [Details]

Chandni Chowk Delhi

Chandni Chowk, Delhi

One of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, it is said that you can buy anything here. That might be a stretch, but for sure the range is extensive, anything from the latest electronics to mishit doi, a Bengali sweet. It’s mad, chaotic, pure Indian culture shock. [Details]

Grafton Street Dublin

Grafton Street, Dublin

At the bottom of Grafton is Trinity College, at the top St. Stephens Square. In between are the stores and street performers of Dublin’s most famous paved walkway. Take a walk down Grafton and the music will come. Just off Grafton on Harry is the bronze statue of Phil Lynott, guitar at his side. [Details]

Orchard Road Singapore

Orchard Road, Singapore

Spend enough time in Singapore and sooner or later you’ll find yourself on Orchard. The name comes from the 1800s, when the road led to the area’s nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards. Today it’s about a mile and a half of the most popular shopping section of Singapore, rife with bars, cafes, and tourists. In 2009 it went in for a makeover. Orchard is sleek, clean, and green. [Details]

Carnaby Street London

Carnaby Street, London

In the 60s Carnaby Street was at the center of Swinging London, the time of hippies and mods. Emerging bands like The Who and The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix got dressed on Carnaby. Designers like John Stephen, dubbed “The King of Carnaby Street”, and Mary Quant, started out here. Bright-colored jeans, three button jackets, hot pants and mini-skirts. The Summer of Love was right around the corner. [Details]

The Shankill Road Belfast

The Shankill Road, Belfast

Known for its loyalist movements during The Troubles, including the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Ulster Defence Association, both of which were formed here, Shankill has been the scene of much violence between Catholics and Protestants. You know when you’re on or near the Shankill Road by the large number of flags flying, both the Union Jack and the Israeli star of David. [Details]

The Falls Road Belfast

The Falls Road, Belfast

Separated from the Shankill Road by peace lines is the Catholic Falls Road, scene of some of the worst violence of The Troubles. Tourists visit to see where these incidents took place, and to view the by now famous murals that depict the political events of the times. [Details]

Bourbon Street New Orleans

Bourbon Street, New Orleans

Bourbon Street was named after France’s ruling family, The House of Bourbon, around 1721. After a fire, the Spanish rebuilt, hence there’s more Spanish than French-influenced architecture. When the American’s bought New Orleans in 1803 with pocket change, Rue Bourbon became Bourbon Street. Today, it’s better known for its selection of beads, boobs, and beers, all of which are readily on display, especially during Mardi Gras week. An ironic favorite drink is the Hurricane, made famous by Pat O’Brien’s. [Details]

Savile Row London

Savile Row, London

Savile Row is known mostly for fine men’s tailoring, suits in particular. Handmade suits are said to start at around $3000, and go up from there. Inevitably, it attracts the rich and famous. Elton John, Mick Jagger, and Jude Law are all claimed to be Savile Row customers – and also, if you can believe Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Yasser Arafat. When he was alive, though. Not now. The Beatles’ Apple Corps corporation is situated at 3 Savile Row, the roof of which was the scene of their final live performance on January 30, 1969, otherwise known as the “rooftop concert”. If you missed it, it’s in the documentary film Let It Be. [Details]

La Rambla Barcelona

La Rambla, Barcelona

Federico Garcia Lorca, the Spanish poet, has allegedly said that La Rambla is “the only street in the world which I wish would never end.” The street has its beginnings around the year 1377. Today it is a popular tourist site, lined with trees and full of bars and cafes, street traders and performers, as well as being the site of Barcelona’s oldest theater. Joan Miro has a mosaic here set into the pavement of the promenade. [Details]

Camden High Street London

Camden High Street, London

The main street and area around Camden Lock is punk and goth and gold loops through noses and hair the color of fruit loops. It’s fish and chips, spiced Thai, Chinese and Indian, and a bevy of artisans selling bags made while you wait, wallets made from recycled tires, jewelry from recycled plastics. [Details]


Highway 61, USA

Is the “blues highway” the most famous road in American music lore? Some people think so.The original road began in New Orleans and went north through Memphis and on into Minnesota and Canada. Travel and music are practically synonymous, and Highway 61 was the quickest way for a legend and a lick to skip town. The road cries out with the fast-fingered ghosts of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, BB King, Sunnyland Slim, and many more. [Details]

Sloane Square Hotel 2013

Kings Road, London

The King’s Road is known as one of London’s most fashionable shopping streets, though it has changed over the years. Running through Chelsea, the name comes from it being a private road used by King Charles II. That was more than three hundred years ago. During the punk and hippie eras of the sixties and seventies, it became a popular hangout. Boutiques that came to define the punk look began here, like Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s Sex. [Details]

Broadway New York City

Broadway, New York City

Thirteen miles of infamy that slices across Manhattan, two more in the Bronx, and then on out the top and north to what real New Yorkers refer to as upstate – all twenty minutes of it. Broadway is most famous, clearly, for the ten or so blocks between 42nd and 53rd streets, or thereabouts, more often referred to as the Theater District, The Great White Way, or the heart of the American theater. Make it here, and you can make it anywhere. [Details]

Champs-Elysees Paris

Champs-Elysees, Paris

With the Arc de Triomphe at one end, the Place de la Concord at the other, and a slew of high and low end stores, theaters, bars and restaurants that adorn either side of this sweeping, tree-lined boulevard of Paris, is it any wonder that it’s one of the most famous boulevards in the world? It’s even got a classy McDonald’s. Hear “McDonald’s” with a French accent and it changes your ideas about Big Macs. [Details]

The Royal Mile Edinburgh

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Framed at one end by Edinburgh Castle, and at the other Holyrood Palace, this is the busiest street in the old town of Edinburgh. Today it’s a tourist attraction, lined with a mix of restaurants, pubs, and stores, and busier than normal during the Edinburgh Festival week. Hundreds of years of history embedded in the grounds and buildings have made this stretch of land famous. Once a volcano, the hill where the castle sits has been used as fortification for 2,000 years. There was also the 250 year period of burning and hanging witches. Or more accurately, those accused of being witches. [Details]

Lombard Street San Francisco

Lombard Street, San Francisco

With more curves than J.Lo’s catsuit, if there’s a windier street somewhere in the world than San Francisco’s Lombard, we don’t know about it. There is, of course, a good reason for such a crooked street. Meandering, or switchbacking, is about the only way to safely drive down a mountain. [Details]

Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles

The Boulevard today is most famous for the fifteen-block stretch of sidewalk embedded with over 2,500 five-pointed stars made from terrazzo and brass. The stars bear the names of the Hollywood elite, and attract millions of visitors each year. The first permanent star was created on March 28, 1960, for director Stanley Kramer. There were eight names on display before his, but they were temporary and in a different location, set up as a kind of show case for what it would ultimately look like. [Details]

Downing Street London

Downing Street, London

There’s just one thing that makes this dead end street that lies down the road a bit from Trafalgar Square famous. It houses the headquarters of the British Government. Number 10, where the Prime Minister lives. Used to be you could walk down to the front door and have a chat with the copper on duty there. But those days are long gone. Next door is Number 11, where the Chancellor of the Exchequer lives. That’s the guy, or woman, with their hands on the money. [Details]

Fifth Avenue New York City

Fifth Avenue, New York City

The spine of Manhattan and home to New York’s centerpiece stores like Saks, FAO Schwartz, and Tiffany’s, Fifth Avenue splits the island into east and west. The best time to visit may be in December, when the tree at Rockefeller Center is hauled into place and lit, and the store windows are decorated for the holidays. Crowds line up outside and shuffle along the sidewalk, and the smell of roast chestnuts from the street vendors hangs in the air. As you move uptown the stores disappear to be replaced by the museums and what’s become known as Museum Mile, the best known of them being the Met and the Guggenheim. [Details]

Abbey Road London

Abbey Road, London

The name of the Beatles’ eleventh studio album and as of August 2014 their best-selling, but also the road outside the Abbey Road Studios, made famous by the album cover with the band members on the crosswalk. The goal of tourists who find themselves on Abbey Road is to recreate the cover, and thousands do every year. You may be able to catch someone doing it live here. [Details]

Lan Kwai Fong Hong Kong

Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong

Famed for its night life, award-winning dining, and more than 80 restaurants and bars, Lan Kwai Fong is the street and extended area around it that’s popular with tourists and ex-pats. Before World War II, it was a popular haunt of hawkers or street vendors. [Details]

Hyde Park Corner London

Hyde Park Corner, London

With up to six lanes of traffic and shared cycle and pedestrian lanes, is this the biggest traffic circle in the world? We don’t know, but six main London streets converge here and it’s not a place for the fainthearted. But there’s lots to see close by as you circle around, trapped on the inside lane. Hard Rock Café is on the corner, Buckingham Palace and Harrods are just down the road, and Hyde Park itself as well as a litter of memorials and statues are all right there as you pass by. Hotels like The Dorchester and the Ritz are in the area, too. If only you could get to them. [Details]

The Vegas Strip Las Vegas

The Vegas Strip, Las Vegas

Anywhere you can lose a half million dollars over a weekend is bound to create some noise around the world. The Vegas Strip, with its casinos and spectacle entertainment, is unique, the epitome of a night out. [Details]

Khao San Road Bankok

Khao San Road, Bankok

If you’re backpacking around Asia, don’t be surprised to find yourself on the Khao San Road. Historically, Bankok has always been a hotspot for young travelers, cheap and convenient to depart from, offering budget accommodation and an exotic taste of the Orient. Much of the activity today centers on and around Khao San, where you’ll find music, traders, strange delicacies, and the chance to swap stories with fellow travelers. [Details]

Wall Street New York City

Wall Street, New York City

Today the landmark street is the home of the New York Stock Exchange, but go back far enough – sometime during the early 1600s – and the street marks the northern boundary of New York City, what was then New Amsterdam. Stories vary, but one is that a double wall was erected after an unfortunate skirmish with a native tribe, with the space between the walls being what we now know as Wall Street. [Details]

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