Get Walking Directions With Google Maps

Take a hike, go on a walk, or get in a jog with Google guiding the way

Google Maps not only gives driving directions, but it also delivers walking, biking, and public transit directions in many areas. 

These instructions work on any mobile device using the Google Maps app or Google Maps on the web. That includes iPhones and Android phones from companies such as Samsung, Google, Huawei, and Xiaomi.

Person using Google Maps to navigate a city
Lifewire / Jaime Knoth

Get Walking Directions With Google Maps

To get walking directions (or biking or public transport directions), go into Google Maps on the web or your mobile device. Search for your destination first. After you find it, follow these steps:

  1. Select Directions (on the website, this is on the upper-left side of the open browser window).

    Screenshot of Directions button in Google Maps
  2. Select a starting point. If you're logged in to Google, you may have designated your home or workplace, so select either of those locations as your starting point. If you started on your mobile device, choose your current location as your starting point. Otherwise, type an address or location.

  3. To change your mode of transportation, select the Walking icon (it's located at the top of the left pane). By default, it is set to Driving, but if you use the mobile version and often go places using an alternative transportation method, it may have a different default setting for you.

  4. When there are multiple options for routes, Google offers directions for whichever one is most appealing. You can see an estimate for how long each route would take to walk.

  5. Drag along the route to adjust it if necessary. You may know the sidewalk is blocked along part of the route, or you may not feel safe walking through a particular neighborhood, You can adjust the route, and if enough people do it, Google may adjust the route for future pedestrians. 

    Screenshot of walking directions button in Google Maps

    Google is not always aware of road hazards such as construction zones, unsafe neighborhoods, or busy streets with inadequate lights. However, if you live in a great city for walking, the maps are usually pretty good. 

  6. Walking times are estimates. Google aggregates the information by looking at average walking speeds. It may also take the elevation and grade into consideration, but if you walk slower or faster than the average walker by Google estimates, the timing will be off.

Public Transportation Directions

When you ask for public transportation directions, Google usually includes some walking. That's what public transportation experts sometimes call the last mile. Sometimes that last mile is a literal last mile, so keep an eye out for exactly which portion of your public transportation direction involves walking. If you don't want to walk, order an Uber ride directly from the app.

Screenshot of walking segments of public transportation route in Google Maps

Although Google provides biking and driving directions, there is currently no way to combine biking, driving, and public transportation directions with Google Maps if you want to solve your last mile problem by biking to or from the bus stop. While it might be easy to dismiss this as a non-issue because the walking directions may overestimate the time you need to get to or from the bus stop, if you're using a different transportation method, you need different directions when you drive or bike. Pedestrians can walk in either direction on a one-way street, for example.