Free Walking Tours

  • Danskerb

    Posts: 286

    Oct 06, 2014 12:56 PM GMT
    They have free walking tours all over Europe.

    Have you ever done them?? And how much do you think is appropriate to tip these guides???

    They say they only work for tips and are not paid by anyone else. Is that true??
  • Danskerb

    Posts: 286

    Oct 06, 2014 12:58 PM GMT
    Oops. I thought I posted this in travel section. Sorry
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    Oct 06, 2014 3:35 PM GMT
    Never heard of it but I might try it, they have this in my city. Pub tour sounds fun maybe I can find a new place to hang out
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    Oct 06, 2014 3:36 PM GMT
    In my experience they usually met you at the train and walked you to a hostel.
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    Oct 06, 2014 3:41 PM GMT
    I have done it. I think 5 or 10 euros is okay. It was organized by people from a couchsurfing group. They weren't exactly guide, and they asked donation for printing flyers and handling some other logistics.
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    Oct 07, 2014 1:06 AM GMT
    Never experienced a "free" walking tour. There are "greeters" in Paris, that say they don't want tips. Haven't used them. I have done "London Walks." They are generally fabulous. Expensive enough - the guides being well paid - tipping is at a minimum. If they did it for "just tips," would depend on the time spent.

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    Oct 07, 2014 2:33 PM GMT
    I did Berlin Walks years ago. Interesting and worth it.
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    Oct 07, 2014 5:59 PM GMT
    The only one that I can recall doing was in Boston. The guide was paid by the National Park Service.
    Some large attractions (e.g. The Alhambra) have "free" walking tours within, but you have already paid an admission fee by that point.
    There were excursions in private cars from Bern, but there was a fee advertised up front.
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    Oct 07, 2014 5:59 PM GMT
    "Guided freewalking tour" sounds like an oxymoron.
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    Oct 07, 2014 11:56 PM GMT
    I went to Spain alone, so I joined free walking tour in Madrid (around the royal palace) and Barcelona (Gothic quarter tour and Gaudi tour). I had an incredible time with them. Much more fun than exploring alone because the guides were entertaining and knowledgeable.

    I gave the guide 5 euros as a tip. We had a group of about 15 people so I'm sure the guide probably got more than 75 euros for the 2 hours of the tour.

    I would join again if these free walking tours are available when I visit other countries.
  • austex85

    Posts: 572

    Oct 08, 2014 4:00 AM GMT
    5 euros is good. Usually there's a bunch more people since these walking tour guides hit up multiple hostels, so just play it by ear and see what other people do.
  • Danskerb

    Posts: 286

    Oct 08, 2014 8:37 PM GMT
    I'm actually working as a guide doing free walking tours. I was curious to see what kind of response people had first though.

    Half the posts in here don't seem to know what it actually is. for the most part though, it's a walking tour, but your free to pay what you think it's worth. (Bad guides make shit money).

    I started with a company called Sandemans. It's true they don't get paid. They actually take about 3 euros per person from the guides tour as a marketing fee. So if you have ever walked away without tipping, then you just cost someone 3 euros. How do they know how many were on their tour?? You signed up and were probably in their group photo(which people like to do as well)

    I work with a smaller organization now in which I'm part of the management team, so our marketing fee is smaller and goes to something I support more than mark Sandemans pockets.

    On my tours though, 5 euros is usually a disappointing tip. Although I live in a more expensive city, where wages are higher and cost of living. So maybe it depends where your touring.

    I just wish the conversation was more out spoken, at the moment it's hard to find a good resource on what you should tip these guides.
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    Oct 08, 2014 8:46 PM GMT
    London Walks charge 9 B.P.
    Paris walks charges 12 euros.
    (For tours in English)

    Your "clients" may not know that you are paid nothing but tips. If you are relying solely on tips, you may be giving away too much for too little. Some people are simply going to very cheap with tips.

    If you give a good talk (I know from experience that all the London Walks guides are extremely well qualified, and give practiced talks on their walks) maybe you should consider going out on your own.