When you travel out of the country (or even within your own country, honestly), you sometimes just want to know the basics of where you are. You can spend probably too much money on a hop on hop off bus, but oftentimes there’s a free or at least relatively cheap option – a guided walking tour.
Walking tours are usually conducted by locals who know a LOT about the city that they live in, and you’ll oftentimes hear stories that the whitewashed tour buses and even brochures and books won’t tell you about. You can find paid tours easily enough but I think the free ones have the potential to be better, since the guides are working for tips ;-).
Google can be your friend when looking for a tour. Just do a search for FREE WALKING TOUR (or just WALKING TOUR, if you’re willing to pay) and the name of the city you’re interested in. Chances are you’ll find dozens of options, so then you just have to whittle it down to a tour that will work best for you in terms of location, date/time and theme. You can even search for (FREE) WALKING TOUR REVIEWS and the name of your city of interest and you should get a bunch of Trip Advisor reviews to help you with your decision.
If it’ll help, I found a few websites that list a bunch of walking tours from around the world. I can’t give any opinions or advice on any of them but they’re here, if you want to use them for reference:
- The Ultimate Guide To Free Walking Tours Around The World – goes into depth of several dozen walking tours on each continent, including meeting points, schedule, how long each tour is, the points of interest it covers, how to make a reservation and recommended tip amount. Of all the free walking tour websites I found, this seemed to have the most information.
- Freetour.com – will help you book budget and free tours in 100+ cities. You have an option to specify free vs. paid tours, as well as walking, biking, daytime, nighttime, foodie, etc. You can further narrow your tours down by language, which is nice.
- Free Tours By Foot – has 15 cities listed on their main page (8 U.S., 6 Europe, 1 Middle East) but they partner with similar tour companies around the world so they cover a good couple of dozen cities around the world (note: many of the “not our tours but done by partner companies” are either self-guided or with a paid guide).
- Sandemans New Europe Tours – cover 19 major cities in Europe, although not all of the tours that are listed are free (it looks like one free tour for each city and several tours that are paid). The website is not as intuitive as I’d like – you have to search around to find what’s covered in each tour.
Are there any walking tours you’ve been on that we could potentially add to the list? Please let us know. Thanks!
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