If you read my tour reviews and watch my travel vlogs, then you’ll know that I frequently take free walking tours in Europe. Sometimes I even take a few different free walking tours in the same city, just to get the very best understanding of the destination and it’s people!
But with so many free walking tours in Europe, it can be difficult to find the best ones. There is nothing worse than joining a tour with a terrible guide… and feeling too bad to leave early (I’ve been there!).
Which is why I wanted to share my own list of the best free walking tours in Europe. So if you find yourself taking a tour with any of the companies below, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
6 Of The Best Free Walking Tours in Europe!
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Various Cities – SANDEMANs New Europe Tours
If you’ve ever taken a free walking tour from a hostel in Europe, chances are you may have already taken a SANDEMANs tour. While many companies claim to have invented the model of free walking tours that exists today, no one business has been quite as successful as SANDEMANs New Europe Tours.
With free walking tours in Europe and America, the team are going global. And once you take one of their tours it’s easy to see why. Their guides always know heaps about the city they are leading their tours in but more importantly, they are almost always really fun!
I’ve gone on tours with SANDEMANs in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Hamburg, London, Lisbon, and Paris. And I can honestly say that I didn’t have one duff tour guide. I’ve also taken a fair few of their pub crawls, most notably in Brussels and Lisbon, all of which have kept me up dancing until sinful hours of the morning!
If you’re interested in hearing more of my experiences with SANDEMANs New Europe Tours, you might like the following articles:
- Blue Cocks, Bronze Nostrils & Nazi Burials in London
- Beauty & Bowel Movements at the Palace of Versailles, Paris (not a free tour but still fantastic!)
- Visiting Hamburg with MEININGER Hotels [travel vlog]
Amsterdam – 360 Amsterdam
I first met Dennis, one of the two Dutch co-owners of 360 Amsterdam, a couple of years ago and his passion for his city and his tour company was instantly infectious! Before long I found myself on his free walking tour and, despite having taken previous tours of Amsterdam and lived there for a few months, I discovered so many new secrets around the city.
The tour guides who work at 360 Amsterdam always seem genuinely pleased to see you. Whether you head into their office on Dam Square, or meet them at the free walking tour meeting point, they’re super quick to give as much advice about their city as they can!
If you’re interested in hearing more of my experience with 360 Amsterdam, you might like the following article: Exploring Venice of the North with 360 Amsterdam Free Walking Tours.
Bruges – Legends of Bruges
There are quite a few options for free walking tours in Bruges. SANDEMANs New Europe Tours even do a day trip from Brussels if you don’t want to stay overnight. Although I highly suggest you do because I love this city!
However of all the tours, the free walking tour with Legends of Bruges is my favourite. Most of the guides are young locals who have a fantastic way of making the history come alive. They also have fantastic tips on where to eat and drink in the city. That is, if you don’t want to pay to take their beer tasting class at The Bauhaus Hostel. Although again, I highly suggest you do!
If you’re interested in hearing more of my experiences with Legends of Bruges, you might like the following video:
- Visiting Bruges with St Christopher’s at The Bauhaus [travel vlog]
Budapest – Free Walking Tours Budapest
When I used to work as a receptionist and pub crawl leader in a hostel in Budapest, there were a number of free walking tours available for our guests. But of all of them, the tours run by Trip To Budapest were my favourites.
It’s been a couple of years since I last walked with them, but a quick look at their Trip Advisor reviews show that they’re still hugely popular.
As a bonus, I also found that their map of the city was the best one to use when I was advising guests on things to do and see! You can download it for yourself by clicking here, or just pick one up at your hostel!
Rotterdam – Hostel ROOM Tours
If there was ever a hostel that absolutely loved their city, it would be Hostel ROOM Rotterdam. I’ve spent countless nights in this hostel (you can read my review here) and can say from experience that if you’re looking for something in the city, whether it’s food, music, art or nightlife, the staff will know where to find it!
Which is why their free walking tours across the city are so intriguing. And to top it off – I absolutely love the Hostel ROOM staff. So if you’re looking for a fun tour guide in Rotterdam make sure to hit them up!
Vienna – Good Vienna Tours
My most recent experience of free walking tours in Europe was with Good Vienna Tours. As a city with a very rich history, Vienna also has very strict tour guide restrictions. All guides in Vienna have to pass an examination before getting their license, which means that they really know their stuff.
Of all the free walking tours that I’ve included in this list, I found my tour with Good Vienna Tours to be the most formal. I had a lovely guide who was very passionate about history and Vienna. But the tour seemed more like a traditional tour, than the fun and flexible free walking tours I’ve been used to elsewhere.
That being said, I learnt an awful lot on my tour with Good Vienna Tours and my guide’s tips on getting into the Opera House meant I got to see my very first Opera for just €13!
One thing to note is that while all these companies offer free walking tours in Europe, many of them also offer specialised paid tours. The tour I took to the Palace of Versailles is one example of many across Europe. So if you’re willing to stretch your budget then click on the website links to see what else these tour companies offer!
Have you taken a great free walking tour in Europe? Let us know in the comments!