5 Reasons to Experience a City Walking Tour

Victoria : Albert Museum. Tapestry - Angeli Minstrentes, by Kotomi_

5 Reasons to Experience a City Walking Tour

I am mostly an independent solo traveler, hence usually not a big fan of organized tours. However, there are occasions in which a guided tour is an excellent option, as in big cities. Wonder why? Here are 5 reasons why I suggest experiencing a city walking tour.

The Buddhist Goddess Sitatara, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, by Peter Rivera

1. Getting the big picture

I can’t imagine anyone not feeling amazed in front of the Roman Forum, Brooklyn Bridge or the Eiffel Tower. But putting these landmarks in a broader context is not easy.

That’s where a guide is precious, helping to get the big picture and appreciate even more such wonderful works of art.

2. Focus on the best things to see

Cities like London, Rome, Paris, New York are so rich that choosing the best things to see when having only limited time can be a challenge. The same applies to big museum like the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the British Museum in London or the Louvre in Paris.

Too often I found myself exhausted and disappointed because I had spent too much time on minor (relatively speaking) exhibits and had no energy left to admire some masterpieces.

Last time I was in London I had a walking tour of the awesome Victoria & Albert Museum with Context Travel, a company specialized in small groups walking tours. It was my first visit to the world’s greatest collection of art and design and the guide, an experienced art historian, led me through the most important works including a small but wonderful book with drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci which I would probably have missed had I been by myself.

The V&A is so rich that it needs more than one visit to be explored. However, the guided tour enabled me to admire the best works and gave me a good introduction to the time of Queen Victoria.

Victoria : Albert Museum. Tapestry - Angeli Minstrentes, by Kotomi_3. Discover quirky facts and off-beaten areas

City walking tours are not only aimed at showing the most famous places, buildings and Museums. There are also quirky itineraries which are an excellent option for those interested in off-beaten areas and alternatives to the usual must-see places.

4. Meet other like-minded travelers

When traveling solo, a guided tour is a nice opportunity to meet other fellow travelers sharing similar interests. It may be only a matter of a few hours, or it might lead to share other experiences and… why not?… costs.

5. Gain a better understanding of local custom

Victoria-Albert-museumGuide Books are a great way to get an introduction to a city, but only someone living in the city can tell you about local customs and how they have been changing over time. Because a city is a living organism.

Have you ever experienced a city walking tour? How did you like it?

 

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Note: Context Travel kindly offered me a London Walking Tour and a Guided Visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum. As always the opinions are exclusively mine.

 

 

7 Comments
  • Pingback:Architecture Reflection in Johannesburg
    Posted at 11:20h, 24 October Reply

    […] the moment.  It was in London, during a fantastic walking tour, when for no special reason I started looking at the reflections in modern buildings covered by […]

  • Ayngelina
    Posted at 05:29h, 21 April Reply

    Walking tours are my absolute favourite thing to do in a city, if they combine food all the better!

  • Helen
    Posted at 04:43h, 21 April Reply

    My husband and I took a culinary tour with Context Travel in Paris. It was worth every penny! The docent was delightful, we ate our way around the Marais and learned a lot in the process – and had a great time! We highly recommend them!

  • Alhambra Tickets
    Posted at 11:59h, 11 April Reply

    These are really good reasons. Many people have a limited time on city breaks and guided tours can be a great way of getting to see all the best sites in a short space of time

  • OdessaWalks
    Posted at 11:20h, 29 March Reply

    Sometimes a place can be relatively small but so rich in history, that you need a guide to walk you thru the many layers of history and put things in perspective. Very much like in big cities

  • Nomadic Samuel
    Posted at 08:05h, 27 December Reply

    These are all very good reasons to do a walking tour 🙂

  • Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    Posted at 07:47h, 20 December Reply

    Gerard and I have had our fair shares of walking tours – Munich and Buenos Aires to name a few. All were great! I love the quirky facts off the beaten path and to be able to have someone speak to you about the city and history is far better than any guide books. =) Great post!

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