Are you heading to a country for the first time? Don’t quite have a lay of the land, and are not quite sure what to see? Enter SANDEMANs NEW Europe tours. This awesome tour company provides free multi-language walking tours in 19 cities most of which are in Europe but can also be found in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and New York.
In addition to their free (yes, FREE!) tours, SANDEMANs also offers more specialized tours in each area for a small fee.
According to their website, here’s a little bit about SANDEMANs:
Every day, guides partnered with us show over 4000 people across 13 countries what the cities they call home have to offer. We believe in supporting local communities and are committed to giving a voice to these self-employed guides, who employ us to market their tours. By ensuring that every guide we work with represents our unique style of infotainment (mixing history and charismatic storytelling through the guide’s own personality and flair), we’ve become one of the most popular tour companies in the world.
The SANDEMANs mission:
- To ensure that everyone, regardless of their budget, is able to experience a world-class tour in the cities that we operate in.
- To redefine industry standards and set new expectations for the market as a whole.
- To support local communities and to give a voice to superb self-employed guides.
When recently in Berlin, my friend and I were introduced to SANDEMANs via TripAdvisor. Out of over 21,500 Berlin reviews, the company has been given 5 stars. It’s difficult to argue with that kind of an endorsement. So, we booked a tour. This tour was the free walking tour. We figured it was hard to go wrong with free and thankfully, were pleasantly surprised. The day of our tour was literally the coldest day on record, but our guide, Alice, did her best to keep us out of the elements as much as she could. She walked us through the city, hitting most of the highlights. By doing the walking tour, we were able to get our bearings, see important sites, and talk to her a bit about how best to get around the city. Alice was full of facts, but also made the walk fun and entertaining.
We liked our free tour so much, we booked a different one the next day. This one was a paid tour, but at $18 per person, we figured we couldn’t go wrong. Alice was our guide again. She helped us buy tickets and board the subway that took us an hour outside of Berlin to Potsdam. There we spent the day walking around the beautiful old city while learning about the history and culture of the area. I don’t know if we would have been confident enough to try and navigate subway and bus rides in order to get to Potsdam on our own, especially because it was our first time in the country. We were grateful to have SANDEMANs “hold our hands” so we could confidently explore the area.
Our last SANDEMANs tour in Berlin was to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. This full-day tour also required a subway ride out of the city and only cost $19 per person. It was a sobering and incredibly powerful day. Our guide this day was Chris. Once again, he was very personable and knowledgeable, and at the end of the day, made sure we were all pointed in the right direction to where we wanted to end up.
SANDEMANs is a great company. They run exciting and informative tours, are very reasonably priced, and are expertly run. On their website, they also offer lists of things to do in the area, trusted lodging, and “good to know” facts. I like them so much, I have already booked 5 more tours in Edinburgh, London, and Dublin for our upcoming summer vacation. If the rest of the tours are run like the ones in Berlin, the entire family will enjoy them thoroughly.
*UPDATE! We went on the tours in Edinburgh (FREE tour, and Dark Side tour), London (FREE tour and Old City Walking tour), and Dublin (FREE tour) and they were all great! Edinburgh and Dublin were our favorites but a lot of that was due to our fantastic guides. The Free Tour of London was great but if I were to do it again, I would skip the Old City Walking tour. It was a lot of walking with very little reward.
I cannot recommend SANDEMANs enough. They are an innovative and affordable company that offers a fantastic introduction to a city. Take a few hours with a free walking tour. Like me, you may quickly find yourself booking more tours during your visit because they are truly the best!