Sometimes travelling is hard when you’re on both a time and money budget. But there are definitely ways to get the most out of a city without costing yourself more than you have to.
European destinations are always packed to the brim with must-see locations, however, deciding where to start or what to miss out on when you’re short on time can be close to impossible without the help of a professional. This is where tours come in handy.
However, tours can be pricey and most of the time you’re stuck on an overcrowded bus with just one window for viewing.
Free walking tours are the only way to do it when it comes to experiencing a destination first hand. These tours are run by trusted companies or can even be available at your hotel. Experienced guides will walk you through the city and point out everything you would have missed if you were just driving through.
Tour guides are often locals who know the ins and outs of their city and, because the tours are free, it’s also likely they’re volunteering their time which means they truly care about showing tourists the best spots.
One company that has really conquered the free walking tour business in majority of Europe is SANDEMANs New Europe Tours. With more than 450 locals guiding tourists around 20 European cities, if you’re heading anywhere on the continent, you’ll most likely have access to a free, high energy, and information packed tour. Most tours are between two to three hours and conveniently run multiple times throughout the day.
As one of the less conventional and more geographically confusing destinations, Amsterdam is best explored with the help of a guide. Amsterdam 360 is well known for their free daily walking tours. The generous two and a half hour exploration lets you experience the true atmosphere of the beautiful city without all the hustle and bustle of busy tourist areas like the Red Light District. Instead, you’ll see historical architecture, canals, bridges, churches and more.
Strawberry Tours is also another fairly dominant company that takes people not only around Europe for free but also North America, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa. Their tours aren’t too exhausting and all you have to do is follow the strawberry umbrella to avoid getting lost.
Although they’re technically free, guides are generally volunteering their time, so some form of a tip is usually expected. Of course, how much you tip or whether you tip at all is entirely up to you and usually depends on the quality of the tour. You should also never feel tied to a tour, if it’s boring, feel free to let your tour guide know you’re leaving early and go off and do your own thing.
It might take a few duds to find the tours that suit your style the best, but it’s definitely worth it when you are able to thoroughly explore cities for the cost of absolutely nothing!