26 Oct Free Walking Tour: What It Is And Why It Is Worth Doing It
You are visiting a city never seen before, you have prepared yourself a program as a good traveler. You have been informed about the costs and travel times between one attraction and another. Perhaps you have also read online the history of the city or the main information and curiosities about the places you are going to visit. You arrive in the city and you realize, however, that you would like to know and discover more. Understand the customs and traditions , have someone from the place who can explain everything to you. And make you even more passionate. In this case, a free walking tour is definitely the one for you!
Let’s find out together what it is and why it is better to choose a free walking tour to live a beautiful travel experience!
Free walking tour: what it is and how it works
A free walking tour is a walking tour organized by local guides to visit a city “for free ”. The guides are usually volunteers, students, employees of hostels. Or local cultural associations with a passion for travel and the desire to share their knowledge.
The peculiarity of free walking tours is that they do not include a fixed cost or a single fee. This does not mean that the service is strictly free: you only pay if you are satisfied. However, it is very rare for a tourist to come out unsatisfied. These guides, in fact, are designed and studied precisely to surprise and leave the visitor speechless. It is a wonderful initiative to get to know the city at super affordable prices and to meet and get to know other people with the same interests!
As a rule, a free walking tour is a group walk of about two hours. Time may vary, depending on the location and available tourist attractions. Participants are of all types: solo travelers, couples, families, or simply curious. The walk is quiet and relaxed, the guides are usually local people who are keen to show the beauties of their city. The best thing is that even doing two free walking tours in the same city. You will hardly see the same things! In fact, each guide will take you to their favorite places and show you different corners of the city; just show up at the meeting point at the appointed time (it’s not nice to be late!) and your adventure will begin.
It is a real opportunity to visit a place with locals and discover their traditions, culinary culture, and a bit of local history. There are now many cities in the world where this possibility is offered!
Why choose a free walking tour during a low-cost trip
First of all, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of the city accompanied by a true local. A native, who can tell you about the main attractions. But also share curiosities and traditions, suggest the best places to eat (and places to avoid), or experience a particular experience. They are accessible to all: they are usually held in English or the local language. Even if you struggle to understand English, it is still very easy to follow them and the guides are always available to explain themselves in every way; after all, this job is also a passion for them! Not to mention that you will have the opportunity to meet people and make new friends and, why not, join other travelers!
Perhaps the greatest advantage is related to the cost: booking a tour of the city often has quite important costs. With a free walking tour, however, the price is up to you. The contribution is at will, depending on the degree of satisfaction. A free walking tour does not replace a licensed guide with a card, which you can always contact and book if you want to learn more about certain topics. I recommend that you contact a licensed guide especially if you are interested in a visit to the destination from an artistic, historical and cultural point of view.
My experience in Athens
As I already told you in the article on how to visit the Acropolis of Athens. The free walking tour is chosen by me and my friends for this trip was very special.
In fact, we filled out a sort of questionnaire in which we could indicate our attitudes, what we usually prefer to do during a trip and, above all, what we would particularly like to discover about Athens. We have indicated “typical food, street art, and nature”. We were then accompanied, in the evening, by a true Athenian, Dimitris, who came with his wife and two children. He took us to the National Astronomical Observatory of Athens where we were able to watch Saturn and Mars thanks to public access telescopes. In the meantime, we enjoyed a wonderful and exciting view of the illuminated Acropolis.
After that, we were accompanied on a tour of the neighborhoods of Athens famous for street art, to conclude with a dinner in a typical restaurant based on Greek delicacies: baked feta, moussaka, spanakopita, local wine. Our payment to Dimitris was not in the form of money. We asked him if he would like to offer dinner for him and his family. And he loved it, telling us all of his favorite dishes. The beauty of certain experiences is also this: conviviality.
Civitatis, a site that offers free walking tours
Civitatis is a very useful site to organize your tour of the cities you are going to visit. In fact, the platform offers a huge amount of tours both of long duration and of a few hours. With Civitatis it is also possible to organize day trips that also include transport, trekking, walks. And experiences with 24/7 assistance and free tour cancellation. Once the destination has been selected, simply indicate the “free” item on the price range and Civitatis will provide you with all the options enriched by all the appropriate details. You will be given information on the duration of the tour, the language of delivery, anti-covid provisions, accessibility, environmental sustainability, and the possible admission of pets.