For those traveling on a budget, spending a lot of money on a tour for every city is not practical. Fortunately, many major capital cities have free walking tours.
While traveling through Europe, we typically attended tours lead by Sandeman’s New Europe.
A little info about the company:
- Tours are offered in fourteen cities: Amsterdam, Barcelona (new!), Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Hamburg, London, Jerusalem, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Prague, and Tel Aviv
- “Famous across Europe for pioneering the innovative Free Tour concept” (according to website)
Why these tours are great:
- No reservations are required (even though they say you have to book a free ticket online, you can show up without one)
- Tours run year-round, rain or shine
- Every tour is available in English
- Tips-only basis – if you’re broke, at least give SOMETHING for their service!
Frequently paraphrased prior to each tour, the concept goes: “We believe that if money is given, it should be voluntary and in direct proportion to the quality of the tour and the budget of the traveler. Value for money goes a long way, and satisfied customers tip what they think the tour was worth!” Since these tours are tips-only, you can expect a quality tour from your guide. We went on the walking tours in Berlin, Edinburgh, Dublin, Hamburg, London, and Prague. I thought all of the tour guides were friendly, entertaining, extremely knowledgeable, and passionate about their (adopted) city, bringing their own personality into the tour, and always engaging the audience.
I didn’t take photos of our tour groups, but I found one on the website…. :)
Walking tours are a fantastic introduction to a new city, a way to get a broad overview of the history and gather your bearings. If you are going to any of the cities mentioned above, I would definitely recommend taking a tour with Sandeman’s New Europe!