The perception of distance when walking through an urban area depends on several factors. In addition to knowledge of the physical length of a route based on known parameters such as the walking speed and the time or number of steps, this paper also discusses external factors such as the visual appearance and details of the route and internal factors such as the physiological effort or emotional states during the walk. It is not clear which of the latter factors are stored in memory and are used to estimate a perceived distance. The hypothesis of distance estimation on the basis of perceived and remembered effort is held by several researchers. The reported experiments tried to clarify that question with research in actual reality and virtual reality. In doing so, we were able to separate the component of real walking from other sources that possibly affect distance estimation. In addition, this work demonstrates the power of experiments in VR compared with equivalent experiments in reality.