The Valencia province is both big and small depending on who you ask. The city of Valencia though is quite compact. Despite that, it is very easy to miss all the wonderful little insider tidbits that one can easily miss as a tourist. Everyone travels differently. Some might like a structured regimen, with detailed plans of where and what they need to see.
Best Free Walking Tours In Valencia:
Others are a little looser and prefer to discover things on their own. No matter which way you lean, a walking tour of a city you’re visiting should always be on your to-do list. Here are the best walking tours of Valencia that you should add to your itinerary.
Spain and Tour Guides:
In Spain, unlike other countries, guided tours can only be offered by certified tour guides. Tourist guide training varies across the various regions, but the license is obtained after two years of tourist guide training and examination (some offered every two years only, while others are on-demand).
There are only three regions of Spain where no training or qualification is needed. It is not unusual for guides to speak more than three languages, and most are college-educated, some with masters even, so it is a profession.
This is a win-win for you as it means you can be sure that your tour guides will not only be knowledgeable about what you see but that they will also be proficient in the language they are conducting the tour in. Here are the best free walking tours in Valencia according to those who have done them:
Free Tour Valencia:
Easily the best known and highly rated free walking tour in the city. They were the first company to introduce the zero pay fee, and instead let the customer decide on the gratuity based on their experience. You can check out the great rave reviews they have accumulated with this model. They offer several walking tours including:
Walking city tour in the mornings:
This tour shows you around the old town including the seat of government, Valencia Cathedral, and even a bit of gastronomy facts with a visit to the Central market. Chances are you might already be staying at one of the hotels close by.
Free Tour offers an alternative Valencia tour that delves more into the urban landscapes such as the Colon market and the bullfighting arena amongst other landmarks.
A great street art tour is on offer most days. I bet you didn’t know that Valencia has a burgeoning street art enclave in the Carmen neighborhood. This tour seems to be very popular with younger people. It’s a great way to find things or hidden parts that you would have not even thought to visit because they look dodgy on the outside.
They even offer free tours in Alicante, another wonderful area of the Valencia region. You can check out all their tours here.
In addition to the same offerings as above, Guruwalks also offers free tours of the Turia and the City of Arts and Sciences, an old town essential Valencia tour, and a secret Valencia one along with some other fascinating ones.
Sightsee on two wheels:
There is also a bike tour on offer with them which is great for people who prefer to do the tour on wheels. It’s important to know that while the tour itself is free, you do need to pay the bike rental fee (a few euros). Find the tours on their site.
Tipping your tour guide:
Something that some people forget is that while the tour itself is free, a gratuity is still expected at the end. I have witnessed people just saying thank you at the end of the tour with not a single dollar given as a tip, even though they obviously enjoyed the tour. That is just rude, plain, and simple.
These people work very hard to make sure that your tour is enjoyable and it is often their only “job” and therefore they depend on the tips to live on. Please remember to reward them for their good work.
How much should you tip the tour guide?
A good rule of thumb is to give at least 50% of what the tour would cost had it been done with a regular tour company. The minimum should be 10 euros per person in my humble opinion. Most of these tours run anywhere from two to three hours, so that is the very least you should do.
If it was an especially enjoyable and memorable one, then you should definitely give more. Don’t just give them a round of applause. Show your appreciation. After all, they leave you with memories that you will cherish forever.
Have you ever taken a free walking tour? How much did do you tip your tour guide?
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