Welcome to the fourth instalment of Free Tour Heroes, a series from FREETOUR.com taking a closer look at some of our 2018 award winning free tour operators and shining a spotlight on the people, places and passions that make them and their tours award-worthy.

The annual FREETOUR.com awards honour those free tour heroes who go the distance to offer top quality free tour experiences, based on reviews, ratings, and feedback from the community of FREETOUR.com users worldwide.

Today we’re getting the local low-down on both Paris and Lisbon from Alex at the excellent Discover Walks!

 

In the Spotlight: Discover Walks


Twice voted the Best Free Tour Company Worldwide by FREETOUR.com users, in both 2017 and 2018, Discover Walks offer city walking tours in ten destinations, namely San Francisco, St. Petersburg, Barcelona, Rome, Prague, London, Madrid, Versailles, Lisbon and Paris.

 

Two young Paris city walking tour guides, a boy and girl, posing in front of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

 

Today we’re focusing on the latter two capitals, Lisbon and Paris, where Discover Walks offer twelve popular tours in total on the FREETOUR.com platform; two in Lisbon dedicated to both the Belém and Alfama districts, and ten in Paris, covering different areas including Montmartre, Notre Dame, The Latin Quarter, the trendy Marais district and even the sewers under the city!

 

What’s the most interesting part of your tours?


With so many tours, each with many fascinating elements, that is difficult to narrow down, and different people will like different things more than others, but I think in Paris people are surprised to hear why some locals hate the Eiffel Tower and the Montmartre so much. And in Lisbon, we reveal the one venue that locals don't like to tell tourists about. You’ll have to join us on the free tours to find out though!

 

What tips do you give visitors to Paris?


In Paris, don't miss the Luxembourg Gardens. Overlooked by the Luxembourg Palace, these gardens are an exquisite public green space to explore and are dotted with numerous remarkable statues, fountains and ponds. It’s also a great place to observe local Parisienne life as residents socialise, picnic, play tennis or chess, and stroll in the gardens. It’s located in Paris’ Left Bank so you’ll hear lots about the history of the gardens and palace on our Free Latin Quarter & Left Bank Tour.

 

Part of the Luxembourg Gardens in the Left bank of Paris, with people sitting on benches, walking around the pond in the centre, and manicured trees and shrubs in the background

 

What is a must do or see in Lisbon?


In Lisbon, you must go and get lost around Alfama. It’s the locals' favourite neighbourhood and the perfect place to get insight to authentic daily life in Lisbon as locals go about their day among the shops and cafes, narrow alleys, canary cages and colourful traditional fado houses.

 

A walking tour guide in Alfama, Lisbon, showing tourists the murals and colourful bunting and urban art of the area on a bright sunny day. 

 

Any dining recommendations in Lisbon and Paris?


In Paris, the culinary and French food scene is world famous, so you can find excellent food variety all over the city, but I’d recommend dining at an eatery on the river banks - that's where the food action is really happening at the moment here.

If you want a bit of Lisbon flavour, and to rub elbows with the locals too, check Largo de Carmo – a historic and beautiful plaza lined with really nice cafes and restaurants with outside seating, so you can dine alfresco. It’s particularly nice in the evening with a beer.

 

Largo do Carmo fountain, Lisbon, at night and decoreated with multiple small lights around its columns and hanging lanterns


How would you sum up these cities in one sentence?


Lisbon: Europe's trendiest city.

Paris: the place you are never done discovering, never!

 

What makes Discover walks tours award-winning, do you think?



  1. Guests tell us they like how our itineraries mix must-see landmarks and hidden gems. We combine the iconic and famous sights with the intimate local favourites, many which only locals actually know about.

  2. The personalities and the enthusiasm of the guides. We are all born-and-raised locals; you want a local to explore our city, not some expat!

  3. Our burning desire to make every guest happy with our city. We aim to make every tour an experience that is informative, entertaining and authentic.


 

A Lisbon city tour guide showing tourists an unseen iconic site during a free walking tour in Lisbon

 

What do you like most about being a free tour provider?


The joy of visitors when they discover our cities with us. Free tours tend to all be EXCELLENT, for the simple reason that guides live off of the tips that people decide to give at the end, so we really have to give excellent tours, but our guests are always so impressed by and joyful of the experience, and seeing that, in itself, is a real reward.

 

A city tour guide conducting a free walking tour in Paris, France, surrounded by some tourists

 

You can easily book your place on Discover Walks free tours on the FREETOUR.com platform and Free Tour app, there’s no booking fees or charges and you’ll get instant booking confirmation too. You can also rate and review the experience after you’ve done a tour, helping to inform your fellow free tour users as well as helping the community select the next winners of the FREETOUR.com awards.

Next week we get the local low-down on exciting Mexico City with not one, but two FREETOUR.com 2018 award winners - Estacion Mexico Free Tour & Mexico A Pie, to get insight on the best way to remove enchilamiento from your mouth, the story behind the world-famous song "La cucaracha", why Mexico is home to more Unesco Heritage sites than anywhere else in the Americas, and much more. Until then, happy touring!

 

NEXT WEEK’S FREE TOUR HEROES:  Mexico A Pie Walking Tours and Estacion Mexico Free Tour.