Sandemans New Europe Tours are a walking tour company that can be found in Europe, the USA and Middle East. They offer free walking tours in 18 cities across 13 countries, as well as additional tours that have a small fee. The company uses freelance, self employed guides, so even though the main tour in each city is free, the guides work for tips. Free walking tours are a great way to get ‘the feel’ of the city you’re in and ‘find your feet’.
Sandemans have three main missions within the company. They aim to:
Ensure that world-class tours are available to every traveller, no matter what their budget, in the cities that they are in.
Change and redefine the industry standards within the market, setting new expectations that must be met.
Support and give a voice to amazing, local self employed guides, therefore supporting the local community.
The History Of Sandemans Tours
Sandemans New Europe Tours were creation of Yale graduate Chris Sandeman. The company was founded in 2003, pioneering the concept of a free tour. This new concept put the power back into the traveller’s’ hands, allowing them to reward only brilliant tours and tour guides that have reached and even exceeding their expectations. The concept of a gratuity-based model means that high quality tours are available to every traveller, from luxury travellers to backpackers on a tight budget.
Since the first tour, the company has continued to grow. Now Sandemans tours run in 18 cities shows the sights to 1.5 million visitors every year. They employ 170 employees and work with over 400 free lance guides.
About The Guides
As I have already mentioned, the guides are all self employed and local. Sandemans only work with guides that have a unique style of ‘infotainment’, which means that they mix history and storytelling with their own personal flair.
The easiest way to describe the relationship between Sandemans and their guides is that the guides use the company to market their tours.
Cities Where Tours Are Available
Tours are available in Europe, the USA and Middle East. Here is a list of cities where you can at least find a Sandemans Free Walking Tour:
My Personal Experiences
I have personally been on the free walking tours in:
I have also purchased extra tours in:
Edinburgh (Dark Side Tour)
Barcelona (Gaudí and Modernisme Tour and Tapas Experience)
As you can probably tell, I fell in love with these tours with my first tour (which was Amsterdam). I’ve never been disappointed. Every tour is different, even if you retake the same city tour. Each guide takes you to and tells you about the places and people that interest them. The guides are passionate and informative and happy to answer any questions. They are just as happy to help you after a tour as on a tour. Even if you have a query that has absolutely nothing to do with the tour, the guides are happy to help.
I can’t recommend these tours enough. I love them. I’ve been shown numerous ‘hidden gems’ that i wouldn’t have found without going on these tours.
When I arrive in a city with a Sandemans Tour, it’s the priority, especially if the city is new to me. Going on a walking tour gives you an idea of the city, learning some shortcuts and local areas.
But I will also say, please remember to tip on the free tours. Especially if you’re even half as happy with the tour that I usually am! A Sandemans Tour really is a great way to get to grips with a city!