Hidden Gem: Free Walking Tours

When traveling, I always try to learn about the place I am exploring. I want to be immersed into the culture and style. I love to know the history behind a place.

As a fan of touristy sites and historic locations, I have always elected to take some sort of guided tour when traveling to large cities. But as a college traveler on a budget, I’d rather put my money towards other things…or not spend as much on guided tours, since they can be pricey.

When planning a family trip to New Orleans, I was scrolling through Pinterest when I came across a list of Top-Free Things to do in New Orleans. #1 on the list? Free Tours by Foot.

Free Tours by Foot is a company that offers walking tours of major cities, like New Orleans, for (you guessed it!) free. The tour guides are passionate about their work and while the tour isn’t entirely free, you get to pay what you want. Based on how you like the tour and how good of a job your tour guide does, you get to pay how much to pay them! New Orleans is just one of the cities that offers this service in the USA. The tour does require a reservation, simply to ensure groups aren’t too big. Free Tours by Foot is available in New York, Chicago, Boston, Charleston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and San Fransisco. Within each city, there are tours that highlight different neighborhoods or themes (NOLA had a cemetery tour!) and most cities offer ghost tours, as well. They also are available in London. Most tours are 2.5 hours long.

Free Tours by Foot is also available in Canada through Tour Guys! The beautiful places shown on these tours include Ryan Gosling Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.

If you are traveling to Europe, and are going to more than just London, Sandeman’s New Europe Tours offers the same type of service. They provide tours in  Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Jerusalem, Lisbon, Liverpool, London, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Prague, and Tel Aviv. You can also use them in New York… if Free Tours by Foot doesn’t have what you want. Their tours range from 2.5 hours to 6 hours… In some places, you don’t even need a reservation! You just have to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the tour start time!