Whenever I visit a new city, I want to get an overview first and thus find the places I am really into. Two years ago I first tried a Free Walking Tour in Buenos Aires, which has since become my preferred way to discover new cities in a couple of hours.
It is a tip-based movement, which started in 2006 introducing people to new cities. The founder, Chris Sandeman, started this business in Berlin and has since expanded all over. In addition, many other companies have started to offer tip-based “Free Walking Tours”. The guides are often students or historians, with profound historic and local knowledge. The beauty about these tours is, that you are in mixed age and cultural group of people, who usually prefer to travel independently and thus have a quite some travel experience to share themselves.
Once I went on a business trip to Florence and found two different walking tours, which helped to gain a feeling for the city and its history effortless in a beautiful way.
As always, there are downsides to beautiful ideas, and Sandman has been accused of charging his guides for every guest and thus the guides push people for the tip. I have never had such an experience, but wanted to make sure, you have heard about it.
As summertime is up now and you might be traveling to a new place soon, I want to encourage you to give try a “Free Walking Tour”.