Based on the notion that when regular tour-guides get paid regardless of their performance, they might not deliver a top quality tour, free walking tours are purely based on the local’s love for his or her city and the interest in sharing knowledge with visitors.
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.
Links and other sources
- Compiled here by Free Sofia Tour is an extensive list of free tours around Europe and worldwide.