I travel alone quite frequently and so I am always forced to push myself out there and meet people. It can be a daunting task to talk to strangers initially, especially when you are alone. Fortunately there is a great way to meet people when traveling that is extremely easy and fun.
Enter: Walking tours
During my first trip to Europe in 2013, I decided to participate in a number of free walking tours. I had planned to just learn about the history of cities, gain some insider tips, and get acquainted with a city’s layout. I had no idea that it would be such a wonderful place to meet people.
In Barcelona, I met people from the United States, South America, and Europe. In London, I met people from Asia, Canada, and the United States, and in Paris, I met someone from Australia. In addition to gaining travel buddies wherever I went, I also met new and interesting people from around the world.
How To Find Walking Tours:
There are a number of free and paid walking tours across the world. A good way to search for free walking tours is by typing “free walking tours (city)” in your search engine. Don’t just look at the page on top. Click through a couple of links, read user reviews, and determine which one(s) would be the best fit for your travel style. The same goes for paid tours, do your research to make sure you fully enjoy your experience.
If you are a solo traveler (or even if you have a friend or two with you) I highly recommend taking a walking tour as they are a great way to meet people!
*Modified July 2014
Walking Tours I Have Taken:
- Chicago: Walking tour with Hostelling International Chicago (2014) – learned about the history and architecture of the city [free for guests]
- New York City: Walking tour with SusanSez Walkabouts NYC (2014) – learned about the history of the city and explored healthy food options in NYC
- New York City: Tenements, Tales, and Tastes Tour with Urban Oyster Tours (2014) – learned about the immigrant history of NYC and did some food tasting [Affordable]
- Paris: Walking tour with Sandemans New Paris Tours – learned about the layout and history of the city [free]
- Barcelona: Sandemans New Barcelona Walking Tour , Sandemans Tapas Tour, and Sandemans Modernism Tour (2013) – learned about the history, food, and architecture of Barcelona [Walking tour was free; Tapas & Modernism Tours were a reasonable cost]
Have you been on a walking tour before? What was your experience?