Review / Sandemans New Europe Tours

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Exploring a new city without an idea of where you're going can be daunting. You can find yourself aimlessly wandering around looking at pretty buildings but have no idea what the significance of it is. In come Sandemans Tours. I have previously done walking tours and absolutely loved them. The tour guides always have such enthusiasm for the city and a wealth of knowledge to share with the group.

My brother had been to Barcelona previously and recommended the Sandemans free walking tour. It is what it says on the tin. It's free. I booked a space online in advance to secure a space but you can just turn up to the meeting point around 10-15 minutes before the tour begins and sign up with one of the tour guides.

The tour started literally on the doorstep of the Jaume I metro station and we were immediately allocated a tour guide. His name was Erik and although he hailed from the good ol' USA, he had lived in Barcelona for 8 years and had an amazing amount of knowledge about the city.

We were taken through the Gothic Quarter and given a history lesson. I know right? Bore. But believe me, Erik told the stories in such an interesting manner and had my attention the entire time. How could I not listen when I was standing in one of the most amazing cities in the world?

The tour lasted around 2 and half hours and it wasn't at all at a fast pace and we even had an opportunity to have a quick toilet break or to grab a drink halfway through. At this time, we took the opportunity to book the bike tour of Barcelona which we had to pay for but at €18 each but we were happy to pay this amount.

As the tour came to an end, Erik answered any questions we had marked on a map some key sights worth seeing. The thing with these tours is that although they are free, the guides work off the tips they get from the group. Don't feel obliged to give anything to the guide as if you're on a budget, these tours are great. You can give what you feel the tour is worth; even if it's just a few Euros or you can just shake the tour guides' hand and part ways with a smile.

There are three other tours that you can sign up for but for a small price, this includes; tapas tour, bike tour and the Gaudi tour. We signed up for the bike tour and split into two smaller groups of 6 people. We ended up with Erik again as our tour guide and I definitely wasn't complaining. This tour lasted two and a half hours and we were taken to a different part of the city. It had been years since I had been on a bike so was a bit shaky but after a few minutes I was flying away and loving it. The streets are not hilly at all and was all on flat roads/pavements.

I would 100% recommend Sandemans Tours if you are looking for a walking tour. They currently operate in 18 cities; Edinburgh, Prague, Amsterdam to name a few. Check out their website here if you want to have a wee look.

Have you ever done a walking tour before? What are the key things that you look for?



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