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5 Really Good Reasons to Join Free Walking Tours When Visiting a New City

Updated: Oct 23, 2018

Things to do in Tokyo | Day tour of Tokyo

Signing yourself up for a free walking tour is one of the most worthwhile things to do when you’re in a new place.

Even if you’re not a huge fan of guided tours - maybe because you’re used to travelling solo or you just don’t feel like it - we have all the right reasons why you should at least consider doing free walking tours for a day.

Aside from the fact that they come at no cost to you, here are obvious but often shrugged off reasons why you should join free walking tours when visiting new places.

Things to do in Tokyo | Day tour of Tokyo
A tourist reading the map | Image Courtesy of Annie Spratt / Unsplash

1. You don’t need to plan anything

If it’s not your first time to travel somewhere, you’d know how tiring and soul-sucking planning trips is (at least, for the devil-may-care kind of a traveller).

I can’t think enough of a greater alternative to explore a new locale without the need to plan anything for the day than a free walking tour.

Free walking tours have set itineraries. All you have to do as a tourist is to choose a specific route, pick a preferred date and time, and show up at the agreed meeting place.

Things to do in Tokyo | Day tour of Tokyo
A local tour guide | Image Courtesy of Garry Knight / Flickr

2. Local tour guides know best

The best walking tours are conducted by locals. So it goes without saying that local tour guides know his/her place better than anyone else.

Good local tour guides have lived in a place for years or decades, have seen it change over the course of time. They know when droves of tourists flock to attractions and when to avoid treading the same path. They won’t only show you what’s popular in the area but will always make sure that tourists get to experience something new, out of the ordinary places.

But the best local tour guides have mastered the art of storytelling, a key element of why history comes alive when they are told during guided tours. They have a good grasp on how to pick your brain. They know stories that’ll most likely pique your interest. And they’ll give you insider information on the best things to do, best places to visit, and the best restaurants around.

And isn’t the whole point of joining guided tours with locals that they could connect you to their beloved locale? Something that we can’t Google or find in guidebooks.

Things to do in Tokyo | Day tour of Tokyo
A group of tourists | Image Courtesy of Pixabay

3. Meet new friends from all over the world

For solo travelers, free walking tours are a great opportunity to share the wonders of a new place with someone else. But whether you’re a solo or with your friends or family, guided walking tours make for the best avenue to meet new friends. And more often than not, they come from different cities or countries.

Free tours with only one tour guide normally allow only a handful of tourists to join per tour. A handful might mean about 10 people per group, not beyond one tour guide can handle. Bigger group tours that have two or more tour guides might allow 20 or even more to join a single guided tour. That’s a whole lot of new friends right there.

Things to do in Tokyo | Day tour of Tokyo
A tiny clock | Image Courtesy of Lukas Blazek / Unsplash

4. It saves you a great deal of time

Depending on how long guided walking tours take, it usually means you’re going to hit multiple sites within the guided tour’s duration. If you’re pressed for time, this is one of the best ways to cut down on aimless wandering and focus on what matters.

When in a new place, it’s super easy to drift in the wrong direction. And when you do, it’s also super easy to lose your sanity. Instead of enjoying what’s before you, the situation sometimes overwhelms you, even to a point of getting anxious and grouchy. And you’re likely going to miss out on something.

A travel mistake like this one will surely screw up what’s supposed to be a fun day. With a tour with locals, you’re not only going to save your precious time, but you’re also avoiding such a horrible travel blunder.

Things to do in Tokyo | Day tour of Tokyo
A night market in Hanoi | Image Courtesy of Frida Aguilar Estrada / Unsplash

5. It makes you feel safe

Visiting a new city can sometimes feel a bit daunting. The idea of being in a completely new environment could feed your mind an awful lot of negative thoughts.

Maybe you’re traveling solo for the first time. Maybe it’s the new language. Or, maybe it’s the reputation of the place.

It’s always a good idea to start your adventure to a new city by joining a guided walking tour. Not only does it make you feel safe, being associated with a local actually make you safe. They’ll do their jobs to the best of their abilities to shoo away the bad elements.

After all, safety should be the utmost concern of tour guides.

Any Experience in Free Walking Tours?

Once you’ve taken the leap by signing yourself up to a free walking tour, make sure to remember a couple of things.

  • Bring water and light snacks with you.

  • Wear a comfortable pair of shoes.

  • Dress appropriately.

  • Don’t be grumpy, and smile for your sake.


Tokyo Localized provides visitors and travellers to Tokyo with a unique perspective of this great city, what makes us unique is that our tour guides live and work in Tokyo, have a passion for this city and love meeting and welcoming new faces. Find out more about our Unique Day and Night Tours of Tokyo - we can't wait to meet you!


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