Give me one reason I should go on a walking tour with Discover Walks
Lali, Barcelona : Well, how would you like to explore our city – on your own or with a local? Most people think spending an hour or two with a local showing them the city is a big plus to their visit.
I think what we do is pretty unique – natives who are in love with their city take you around and look after you as if you were friends of our best friends.
Should I join a Discover Walks tour on my first day?
Lali, Barcelona : Yes! I recommend it, as much as you can. So many people tell us they are sorry they joined us late in their stay.
We’ll give you loads of information that you will want to use throughout your stay.
I too like it best when guests come on my tour on their first day – I can make suggestions to them so they make the most out of our city.
How much should I tip? Is there a suggested donation?
Pauline, Paris : So many people ask for benchmarks! That is so considerate of them. I now tell them – most tours charge €15 and up. Discover Walks is different – we don’t have a set charge, each guest pays what the tour is worth to them.
My best tip was €55 from one lady from Australia. She is welcome any time!
For me, if a guest gives me €15 at the end of our tour, he/she tells me I exceeded their expectations. €10 means I’ve done great. And €5 means I should try harder next time. And I like it this way – pressure is on me, I have to give a good tour! Fun, informative and personal.
How will I recognize the city guide?
Stefan, London : You won’t be able to miss our bright pink jacket. Not distinguished perhaps, but very distinctive!
How can FREE tours possibly make economic sense for the guides involved?
Stefan, London : Discover Walks isn’t making me rich, but most times guests are pretty generous with me. And this is a job I just love.
You are asking how much money are we making? We are all independent guides. About 50% of our income goes to marketing, brochures, websites etc. –all the ways that people find us. We keep the rest to ourselves as our net income.
How long do your walking tours last?
Molly, San Francisco : On average, 90 minutes. Time goes by very quickly, even for people who are not used to walking.
If you want to plan your next activity after one of our tours, allow under two hours.
Do you go inside the landmarks you mention?
Molly, San Francisco : We don’t go inside monuments, no. What we want to show you is outside, on the streets – it’s a feeling, people, how a neighbourhood lives and looks like.
Initially we did this in the interest of time, but overtime I have also noticed the outside architecture often tells the story better – if you take Notre Dame as an example, it is the flying buttresses, the gargoyles, the towers, the façade, the rose-windows – all things seen from outside – that are important and interesting.
Should I sign up ahead of time?
Thomas, Paris : Walk-ins are our normal way of doing. That said, early sign-ups are welcome, they help us plan our schedules.
It’s just parties of 8 or more need to sign up. Otherwise we may not be able to accommodate them.
How early do I need to show up for a tour?
Thomas, Paris : We accept everyone, so no need to show up in advance – nevertheless the walking tours start right on time, out of respect for people who are punctual.
Personally, I show up a good 10-15 minutes early. It gives me time to meet my guest before our tour.
Do you really walk rain or shine?
Martina, Prague : Absolutely we do. You can hardly tell a visitor to come back next week when the weather is nice, can you?
Some of my best experiences have been with the worst of weathers, if you can believe it – everyone else was home, the city was all ours!
I am not much of a walker, how fit do I need to be?
Martina, Prague : Our walking tours are not exercice! You won’t even notice you’ve been walking. Only people in wheelchairs need to be cautious – we always mention about wheelchairs in our literature.