Photo courtesy of David Bunting (Images-NI)

Over time, the trend of ‘free’ walking tours has spread to towns and cities around the world, including nearly every major tourist destination in Europe. It is a concept that has numerous advantages, for both locals and tourists. Visitors get to experience and discover a place from a local person's perspective, avoiding tourist traps in the meantime, while local volunteers are provided with employment opportunities. For both parties it is a chance to meet new people, locals and visitors alike, and form new friendships. Discovering a new place on foot has its own benefits, both for the environment and for the tours' participants.

Free walking tours can be organised by companies, local communities or citizens alike. One example is United Europe Free Tours, an independent network of free walking tours operating through continental Europe that comes highly recommended. It forms part of a wider network of free walking tours, as can be seen with the examples provided in this section.

Examples

The Greeters

Author: Louise Hain - Published At: 2013-05-22 20:53 -
French greeters coordination team

The Greeters is a worldwide movement born in New York in 1992. Greeters are volunteers who propose to show their city to visitors through their own eyes. As inhabitant of the city, they tell their own story and share special places that mean something in their lives. This alternative to classic tourism fosters multicultural exchanges and fulfilment for the visitor and the locals.

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Links and other sources

  • Compiled here by Free Sofia Tour is an extensive list of free tours around Europe and worldwide.