The best free Free walking tours in English
By Sophia Moss (follow Sophia on Twitter: @EndlessMoss)
Free walking tours are an excellent resource for any traveller. Walking tours are a great way to get to grips with a new city and learn where all the landmarks are, they are an invaluable source of history and local knowledge, they are fun and entertaining, and best of all they are entirely free! Most major European cities have a number of voluntary tour companies who run a number of donation-based walking tours pretty much every day of the year.
These tours are free to take part in (donations are encouraged, but not mandatory), all the tours listed below are English speaking, and most of the time you can just turn up and join in! During my trip around Europe last year I ended up going on a walking tour in pretty much every city I visited, so here is my guide to the best free walking tours in Europe!
#1 | Alternative Berlin Walking Tour | Germany
The Alternative Berlin walking tour is one of the best tours I have ever been on. It is a definite must for anyone who is interested in Berlin’s subculture and street art scene. If you take this tour you will get to see amazing artistic collectives, you’ll learn more about street art and Berlin’s art scene,and you’ll get to see Kreuzberg where you’ll find all the best clubs, restaurants and bars. The guides are friendly and informative, the tour is interesting and refreshing and it will totally change your perspective of Berlin.
When? 11 Am and 1 Pm Every day except Christmas Day and New Years Day.
Where? These tours meet outside of Starbucks located next to the TV Tower entrance in Alexanderplatz, Berlin.
Duration: The tours last about three hours.
#2 | Brasov Free Walkabout Tour | Romania
The Brasov Walkabout tour is a must for anyone visiting this mysterious Transylvania city. Brasov may be small, but it is rich in over 800 years of history. Highlights from this tour include the town hall and Black Church, the 3rd narrowest street in Europe, a lesson in the proper way to impale people and some of the most beautiful churches you will ever see in your life.
Your friendly and knowledgeable guide will teach you about Romania’s architecture and medieval culture, you’ll learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Dracula, you will gain a deeper understanding of Romania’s experience with communism and you’ll leave with a far greater understanding and appreciation of Transylvania.
When? Every day at 3 pm.
Where? This tour meets next to the fountain in the Piata Sfatului (Town Hall Square) located in the centre of the Old Town.
Duration: around 2 hours ½ hours.
#3 | Frankfurt Free Alternative Walking Tour | Germany
The Frankfurt Free Alternative Walking Tour is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about this crazy city. This tour starts by taking you through the infamous Central Station Neighbourhood, where you will learn about Frankfurt’s drug laws, shooting rooms and red light district, and then you will proceed to the old town. Along the way you will pass by Goethe’s house and learn more about the famous German writer, you’ll see tons of amazing buildings including the Old European Central Bank, Town Hall, Paul’s Church and Ancient Police Station, and you’ll even get a glimpse of spider-man!
When? Every Day at 2 PM.
Where? The tour meets on the corner of Kaiserstasse/Moselstrase in front of the Gold Exchange building at Kaiserstrasse 9. This is about one minute walk away from the Starbucks just across the road from Frankfurt Central Station (Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof).
Duration: Around 2 ½ hours.
#4 | Free Sofia Tour | Bulgaria
This tour should be at the top of your list if you’re planning on visiting the Bulgarian capital. The free Sofia tour is a great way to discover this city and learn about the capital’s diverse history, architecture and attractions. You will visit tons of beautiful and awe-inspiring landmarks including St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and Hagia Sophia, you’ll learn how to navigate your way around this hugely diverse city, and you’ll see everything from the Roman ruins of Serdica to communist relics.
When? 11 Am and 6 Pm
Where? Outside of the Royal Palace of Justice
Duration: Around 2 hours.
#5 | Good Vienna Tours: Free Walking Tour | Austria
This tour is especially ideal for anyone who is only in Vienna for a few days. The tour will take you into the heart of Austria’s capital where you will see tons of beautiful buildings, statues and landmarks, you’ll learn about Vienna’s rich and sometimes devastating past and you’ll gain a better insight and understanding of this beautiful city. You’ll also get tons of information about things to do in Vienna, you’ll get a handy map of the city, and you’ll meet some interesting people along the way!
When? 10am and 2pm Every Day
Where? Outside Albertinaplatz in the 1st District
Duration: 2 ½ hours.
#6 | Bucharest Walkabout Free Tour | Romania
This popular tour is a great way to get your bearings around Romania’s capital. The Bucharest Walkabout tour is especially ideal if you are only in Bucharest for a short time because in just two hours you will see loads of attractions and landmarks including Dracula’s citadel, Stravropoleos Convent, Victory Boulevard, The Old Town, and the Palace of Parliament among others. You’ll learn about Romania’s communist history, you’ll discover why Vlad Dracula is still a national hero in this region, and you’ll end up taking some truly excellent pictures.
When? Every day at 3pm. There may also be a tour at 10:30 am depending on the time of year.
Where? Unirii Square Park next to the fountains. This is about a 6 minute walk from the Old Town.
Duration: A little over 2 hours.
#7 | New Europe Tours: Prague | Czech Republic
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. When you visit this city you’ll want to see as much as possible, so what better way to make sure you don’t miss anything then with a free and informative walking tour! This free tour of Prague will take you to see major landmarks including the Astronomical clock, the Old New Synagogue, the Old Jewish Quarter and Prague castle. This tour will also give you tons of information on everything you see so you’ll gain new insight into this city and learn how to navigate your way around in just a few hours!
When? There are several free tours that take place each day at 10am, 12pm and 2pm. For more information click here.
Where? The tour starts in Old town square in front of the Czech tourism office centre.
Duration: This is a very popular tour so the duration will depend on the size of the group and the tour guides discretion.
#8 | Budapest Free Walking Tour | Hungary
Budapest is an amazing and iconic city which is rich in history, culture and architecture. This free walking tour will take you to see some truly impressive landmarks including Buda Castle, Chain Bridge, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Royal Palace and Matthias Church. By the end of this tour not only will you be able to navigate your way around Hungary’s capital, but you’ll also gain inside knowledge of Budapest’s tremulous and often violent history.
When? This company does two free walking tours per day. The morning tour is at 10:30 am and the afternoon tour is at 2:30 pm.
Where? The morning tour starts outside Deak Ferenc ter near the church statue, and the afternoon tour meets outside of St. Stephen’s Basilica. For more information please see here.
Duration: The morning tour takes 3 hours and the afternoon tour takes 2 ½ hours.
#9 | New Rome Free Tour | Italy
Tourists who visit Rome can find themselves paying way too much for tour buses, ‘professional’ guided tours and other common tourist traps, but luckily you do also have the option of discovering the eternal city for free. This tour takes you on an amazing scenic route with highlights including the Spanish Square, Temple of Hadrian, the Pantheon, Trevi fountain and much more.
When? 9:30am and 5:pm every day.
Where? The tour meets 10 minutes before the start time at the bottom of the Spanish steps by the Keats Shelley Museum. Please note that although this tour is free you will need to book in advance to take part.
Duration: 2 Hours.
#10 | Undiscovered London Tour | UK
London may be one of the most expensive cities on the planet, but even our famously overpriced capital offers several free walking tours! The Undiscovered London free walking tour takes you around all the standard attractions in the ‘royal London’ zone including Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, but you’ll also get to discover little streets that you may have never seen before, if you’re new to the capital you’ll have a chance to get your bearings and gain a sense of direction, and you’ll learn about London’s history from Roman times to the present day.
When? Every day at 11am.
Where? The tour meets outside Green Park station by Diana Fountain.
Duration: 2 hours.