I took in a free walking tour at 10:30 this morning. Many of the major tourists cities have free tours. These are typically walking tours of a small area around sights that are close to one another. They are usually in the oldest part of a city because that’s where most of the historical events have occurred. They are normally 3 hours in length and some up to 4 hours. Almost all include no entry to main sights like museums or cathedrals and provide no transportation.
Here’s how they work; you meet guides at a designated location and time and take the tour. You can go online and book a reservation, some will require reservations, or just show up. They will be wearing t-shirts, hats or have umbrellas and signs with the tour name on them, you can’t miss them. If the group is to large they’ll add another tour guide and split it into two groups. At the end of the tour you can tip the tour guide whatever amount you feel the tour was worth.
The guides are usually very entertaining and knowledgeable. They will give an overview on the cities history, important sights, dining and customs. I like taking these free tours on one of the first days I am in a city as they familiarize you with the city quickly.
The guides aren’t paid so they will only earn what you tip them. Normal cost on tours is 10 – 12 Euros plus tip so if the tour was good, tip them the €10-12 you would have normally paid for a tour.
The intent is, if the tour was good enough you’ll sign up and do some of their other theme tours. There’s no high pressure but, they will tell you about the other tours available through their tour company.
After the tour I found the restaurant/market like a whole foods. It had everything from soup to desserts. I had a large bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup, a baguette, salad from a awesome salad bar and a Lemon torte with meringue. All for €13.50 and was I stuffed.
Another walking around the old city parts until about 5:00 and the dogs were barking. Time to rest my wheels tonight.