Free Walking Tours are not just the perfect way to discover local culture and get under the skin of a city, but also a fantastic opportunity to meet other travelers & locals.
Travelling, and the memories you make, can often be as much about the people you encounter along the way as it is about the places you visit and the sights you see. You can meet some great, like-minded people when you're away from home and your regular everyday life, both fellow travelers and friendly locals.
Hostels, especially, are designed to be social places which nurture interaction and a fun communal atmosphere through their common areas and in-house activities, which is a great way to meet other people & perhaps venture out to explore together, while nightlife activities like pub crawls are also a brilliant way to meet other travellers for a night out in the local hotspots. But free walking tours are the ideal way to meet both locals and travellers in a very fun, social way, at a relaxed pace, all while getting cultured and getting to grips with the place around you.
The popularity of free tours is ever-growing as more and more travelers realise that it is a really worthwhile experience, not just because of the high quality and the fact that you remain in control of the value-for-money ratio throughout, but also because of the unique fun-factor involved. It's a naturally social event and very often you will meet other like-minded people with the same interests & passions as you, especially on themed free tours dedicated to a specific part of a city's history or culture – be it a free craft beer tour in Dublin, a free street art tour in Berlin or a free tour of the local food markets & delicacies of Santiago - chances are, you will meet and click with some fellow travellers who might just become some of your new best buddies.
The authentic locals
Free tours appeal not just to the budget conscious but to those seeking something better and more valuable than a traditional paid tour (see 'About free tours' on our homepage for more on this). Because the vast majority of free tour guides are young freelance or self-employed professionals, they are generally not bound by a particular script or company restrictions on what they can and cannot recommend (to see & do, where to eat, etc.). Their tours are very much about their passion for their city and their own local knowledge while, of course, being historically accurate and of the expected high standards of quality paid tours. It's more personal but also it's a very valuable asset to you, the traveller, to get real, honest recommendations, hints & tips about the city you're in from the local guides you meet on free tours.
On many of the free tours we have been on over the the years, we've always loved how easy it is to chat with the guides and fellow travelers. There's a great, organic sense of discovery about it rather than simply absorbing information. You engage in the process much more than when you enter a paid tour scenario where, from the outset, you've paid a fee for a service and perhaps that experience is influenced somewhat by the mentality that you are therefore in the, rather rigid role, of customer while the guide is in the professional role of seller. Free Tours seem to transgress this kind of 'contract' in many ways and the result is a natural two way-conversation, allowing you to interact with the guide, ask questions you want to know more about, and have a laugh with them, and this translates to the group as whole, allowing for fun interaction. Indeed, you forget that you're doing a tour for the most part.
We also love how, so often, much of the group or a few splinter groups will go to eat or have a couple of beers together with the guide and their friends after the tour, or arrange to meet up the next day to explore parts of the city, hit the beach together or visit a particular gallery and so on. It's a really beautiful thing and we at freetour.com are striving to help make free tours, and the people you meet on them, some of the happiest memories you will have from your life of travels.
So the next time you're on a city trip or visiting somewhere new, have a look at the free tours we recommend and book your spot to really discover authentic local culture, people, history & heritage in a fun, social, and rewarding way. Happy travels.