A guided tour is a great way to get to know an unfamiliar city. And if an exciting tour does not cost a penny – it’s doubly pleasant. Free excursions appeared in European cities more than ten years ago and are becoming increasingly popular. Hiking tours are led by guides and citizens who love and know their city. The language of excursions is English. You can sign up by e-mail on the company’s website. The guide will tell you the city’s history, answer questions and show you interesting places that citizens prefer. If you like the tour, you can leave the guide a tip. We will tell you in which cities of Europe it is worth going on a free excursion:
1. London, United Kingdom
Free London walking tours are known for fascinating historical excursions. They tell about the sights and secrets of the British royal family and life in the Middle Ages during the terrible plague epidemics. You will learn how Soho and the “Merry Quarters” were born when London was England’s dirtiest, most vicious, and dangerous city.
Strawberry tours offer many tours, depending on the season. You will be told the 2000-year history of the city, discover the secrets of Victorian London, you will visit the Whitechapel quarter, where Jack the Ripper wielded, see the best street art of the city and discover Harry Potter’s London.
Excursions last 2.5 hours; online registration is required. We advise you to sign up for a few weeks because tours are popular and have limited participants.
2. Berlin, Germany
Original Berlin leads two free excursions: “History of Berlin,” where they will tell about the wars, triumphs, and tragedies that the city has experienced, and at the very end – funny urban legends. Tour “Alternative Berlin” passes through interesting bars, streets with street art, squats, theaters, and flea market. This tour covers several areas of Berlin, which you will travel between by bus and subway, so the organizers ask you to buy a day pass.
Next City Tours offers cold War berlin tours. You will learn how there was a change of ideology and denazification in Germany, about everyday life under the Iron Curtain, about the construction and destruction of the Berlin Wall.
Tours last 2-3 hours, start at 11.00 and 13.00. The schedule may vary depending on the season. It is mandatory to register on the site.
3. Amsterdam, Holland
FreeDam Tours leads historical tours three times a day: at 11.00, 13.00, and 14.00 throughout Amsterdam, the last 2.5-3 hours. You will be told how the fishing village at the mouth of the river for 8 centuries turned into a huge port and became one of the most beautiful capitals of Europe. The gathering point is the entrance to the ancient church of Audekerk. You need to register on the site, but often guides allow you to join the group at the last moment.
The New Amsterdam Tours offers five tours per day: 10.00, 10.30, 11.15, 13.30, and 14.15. You do not need to register online. Just come 15 minutes before the start to Dam Square, where a guide in a red T-shirt will be waiting for you. During the tour, you will be told about the history of the city and its iconic places – the Royal Palace, the Old Church, the New Market, the Anne Frank House. You will visit the Red Light District, the Jewish Quarter and learn incredible urban legends and anecdotes.
4. Madrid, Spain
Free Walking Tours Madrid takes every day at 11.00 a tour lasting 2.5 hours, during which they will tell how Madrid turned from a Moorish village into a brilliant capital, survived the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition and the civil war. You will visit palaces and monasteries, theaters, and cathedrals and find out where the oldest restaurant in the world is located, where young Goya once washed plates.
On Sundays, Madrid Travel offers a tour of rastro Madrid (flea market) through the old quarter of La Latina with interesting bars, galleries, and the largest flea market in Europe. The first half of the tour passes through the historical places of the quarter, the second – excursions to the flea market of Rastro, where you can find antique clothes, antiques, jewelry, and the rarest dolls of the 19th century.
5. Rome, Italy
Rome Ultimate Free Walking Tour is a rich tour, lasting 3 hours, starts at 11.00 and 16.00 every day. During this time, you will learn the history of Ancient and Christian Rome, learn to decipher the hidden symbolism of city statues and temples, and you will also be shown excellent restaurants in the city center, where locals go. The tour starts at the gates of Porta del Popolo and ends at the Vatican. Registration on the website or by phone is required.
Rome Free Tours lead tours at 10.00 in the Vatican and the Colosseum at 16.00 from Monday to Saturday. The tour lasts 1.5 – 2 hours. You can sign up on their Facebook page.
6. Paris, France
WeGo Walking drive around Paris rich and fun tours with a length of 3.5 hours, during which they have time to tell about how for 2000 the settlement of Lutetia became the magnificent capital of France, about medieval Paris – the city of kings, pilgrims, and knights, about the French Revolution, about the restructuring of the city in the 19th century by Baron Thosman, who created the modern image of the city. This is a top-rated tour, so we advise you to book seats 2-3 weeks in advance or earlier.
Discover Walks offers a 1.5-hour tour of Montmartre three times a day: at 11.30, 14.00, and 17.00. You will be told about the heyday of Montmartre in the early 20th century, when Renoir, Picasso, and Degas lived and worked here, about the emergence of cabaret and the construction of the sacré Coeur church. Registration is required.