With summer in full swing, I wanted to share with you some of the free tour guide offerings around the world, that are available for you to book. These are great, because you get to meet locals, who share their hometowns with you , and give a local perspective on the area. You can learn so much more, than just what a guidebook will spoon feed you. We personally used one of these when we visited Tokyo awhile back, and it was totally free and totally worth it. As I have stated in my Tokyo trip report, one of the guides took us to her tea ceremony and let us be a part of it. It was a lot of fun, and we learned a lot more than a boring 300 page guidebook.
Sandeman’s New Europe Guided Tours: This company offers free walking tours of various cities across Europe, and Israel. They have stellar reviews, and come highly recommended amongst travelers.
Buenos Aires FREE Tour (Argentina) : Another great service to use for getting a start when in Buenos Aires. These folks have been doing this for a while, and you just show up at the meeting place and look for the guides in the green shirts. Tours last anywhere from half and hour to two hours, and cover the history and culture of Argentina! They also have stellar reviews.
Tokyo Free Guides : This is by far one of the best free guide services I have tried. The guides are super friendly, and they will have a solid record of providing free , enthusiastic guides, to show you around Tokyo. If you don’t speak a word of Japanese, these guides are VERY helpful in getting you into the local non-touristy districts, and restaurants. You just have to pay for their train fare, and a lunch, which I think is more than fair.
Singapore Footprints: The “walkaholics” will hit up the bustling places of Singapore; show you the famous street food stalls, the fast paced business district, and the ethnics sections of town. Tours are every Saturday and Sunday at 4:15PM, and take about 2 ½ hours, so bring a good pair of walking shoes!
Free guided tours, and walking tours are a great way to save money when you go somewhere new. They also help you find the best deals around town, hit up the local eatery joints, and know shortcuts, cuz they know where everything is. Be sure to tip your guides, as ALL of these folks are doing this as a voluntarily. Happy Travels!