Are you planning a trip somewhere and want to get the most out of it? Well, you are lucky because, for most destinations, you can now find at least one Free Walking Tour available. We all know how expensive traveling can be, therefore free walking tours are a great way for everyone to join regardless of their budget. Discover a new city in an informative, original, and fun way! You will hear fairy tales about queens and caliphs, devastating battles, brave warriors, politics, power struggles and so on.
What will you need? Only your camera and energetic mood! You can join a Free Walking Tour every single day of the year, with rain, hail, or sunshine!
1. What does a free walking tour offer?
If you happen to stay somewhere new for a couple of days or just a short period of time and do not know where to start, then embark on a wonderful 2-hour historical adventure. The exact journey and sights may vary slightly every day since guides have their own favorite stories, routes, and experiences to share.
How can a walking tour be for free?
Many of you may have traveled various distances to get where you are at the moment. Some of you might be day-trippers, while others might be on holiday and it can be difficult to enjoy all of a city’s best attractions without spending a fair amount of money. Therefore, some tours are offered on a “pay what you think it’s worth” model. This means that the tour is for free, and voluntary tips are welcome at the end of the tour, as a way to thank and support the tour guides.
How does it work?
Depending on the city and the company you choose, you’ll be offered a certain type of experience. However, there are some things that all free walking tours have in common. Are you curious? Alright, let’s check our which:
All free walking tours have a meeting point where people gather before the activity its self actually starts. This usually takes place in the core of the city, for example, in a famous square, so this makes it easy for people to find it. You can either come across the tour whilst wandering around the center and asking a guide about the program or by booking your spot online. Recognising the guides is quite straightforward as most of them wear some kind of uniform that have “Free walking tour” written on it, along with the company logo. They might also be holding an umbrella with the same features.
Discover the most emblematic spots
After having found the meeting point, you will be guided in a journey through history and culture. You will stop by several emblematic monuments and buildings. Here, your guide will give you insight to the various events that occurred, which made them an important symbol of the city or even the region. Throughout the tour you will learn about battles, deceived kings, civil wars, politics and traditional events that now make the place well worth a visit. Furthermore, once you have visited all the sights, most guides also give some advice on where to eat and drink. Explore all the emblematic spots and choose your favorite!
2. Why choosing a free walking tour?
So, now you might be wondering, why should I join a walking tour? Can’t I just wander around the city on my own and look some things up on the internet? Well, attending a free walking tour certainly has several advantages compared to the latter:
Those who organise free walking tours believe that everyone has the right to a quality tour regardless of their budget. At the end of a free walking tour, you are the one who can value the service. Tips usually go from 5 euros to 40 euros per person/family, but don’t stress out about it. It is called free walking tour because the aim is to offer everyone a service regardless of what they can afford!
Free walking tour guides are usually experienced, passionate about the city they are giving a tour of, and in the majority of cases local. As a matter of fact, most guides are love what they do and enjoy interacting with tourists. Who knows, you might even become friends and have the chance to experience a real cultural exchange!
We strongly advice you to check the company’s reviews online before you actually attend the tour. Most of the guides you find in the main squares are reliable and professianal and you rarely need to worry about the quality of what you are going to experience. However, it is always a good idea have a quick check. No one wants to waist two hours of their day, especially on a day trip!
Most tours are designed in a way that both adults and children can enjoy them. Moreover, it is usually suitable for people with reduced mobility.
3. How can I attend a free walking tour?
Even though it might look complicated, attending a walking tour is actually pretty easy. Here are some tips on how to look for one:
Find a guide in the city centre
As we mentioned before, once you arrive in the city centre, look for guides in the main square. They usually wear a uniform and hold an umbrella. Don’t be afraid to approach them and ask for information, it’s their job to help you out! They will tell you the main stops of the tour, what you will learn and how long it will take.
Another option is to look for walking tours online. In this way, it will be easier to find one that meets your standards and needs. Moreover, it is less stressful, as you don’t have to go hunting for the meeting point. You just need to type the address in google maps and can set off! Here are some platforms you can use to look for Free Walking Tours:
A walking tour takes approximately 2 hours. I know it sounds long, but believe me, it is worth the effort. Once you end the tour you will feel as though you got to know most of the city’s history and culture. As a result, you will feel satisfied with your trip and with the way you spent your time.