Get off at any hotspot in England’s capital and you’ll see banners for sightseeing tours, prompting you to join right this moment- whether by bus, rickshaw, bike or foot. There certainly is an abundance of offers! Now, let me point you in a slightly different direction: matching your interests with self-motivated enthusiasts from Freetour.com (and others). They will be guiding you through town on their own terms, and in turn, you pay them as much as you like.
How it works
The donation based model allows you to decide on the amount of financial reward you feel is appropriate, which acts as a form of feedback to the tour guides, who are basically self-employed. The equation could easily be that ‘the more you give the more appreciation you show’, but equally the concept allows low budget travelers to join otherwise unaffordable tours! Of course tour guides are eager to offer a memorable experience for you that translates into cash for them, but no one will judge you if you don’t splash out!
Since the initiative to create tours lies solely with the guide in the first place, their ambition is to deliver quality content that engages and inspires you. How exactly they go about this is up to them, so be prepared for an unconventional approach fuelled by the desire to communicate their passion! If you were not satisfied with your experience you will not be required to pay at all. But (!) because this leaves the pro-active guide in a vulnerable position, your fairness and honesty will be appreciated on a conceptual level as well as practically.
Free tours aren’t designed to be a tourist thing only, it really is about learning something new – whether you are visiting town or use your spare time as a resident- it’s a nice way to connect to the city. The duration you’ll be on your feet for and participating in this special type of sightseeing varies, starting from about 2 hour trips to some that last up to 6 hours (and in turn have a recommended price tag). Have a look at their website to decide on a tour towards your new discoveries !
From Ghost Stories to Street Art
London is full of history and some locations come with quite a bit of mysticism. Tours dealing with ghosts and their assumed whereabouts will add a new dimension of your experience of the city! Further, what is really exiting is to unite past and present. Free Tour guides have picked destinations that will ground you in local knowledge as well as pointing to the bigger picture. For instance Street Art by Banksy carries messages that link society to international news and can be appreciated beyond the decorative aspects of his stunning art work. If that’s too contemporary and you rather feel like brushing up your basic knowledge of famous sites and its historical facts you won’t be disappointed to join a walkabout in central London.