To walking tour, or not?

I have a thing for walking around cities, no planned destination or route in sight, more 'let's go this way and see where we end up'. And it works more often than not. You get to see things that otherwise you may never have discovered if you caught the train or underground. You can come across cafe's, shops, buildings or even views you never would have spotted otherwise.

And to be honest, you will always miss things. But there's no better way to learn about the city you're in or explore new neighbourhoods you never would have on your own, than from someone who lives in the city, who knows the best places, who can give the best recommendations and who know's about the history.

Whilst we were in Chicago, we did a walking tour around the Lincoln Park area, through the side streets and off the beaten track areas, learning all about the gang history and Al  Capone's involvement. We did this through 'Free Tours by Foot' where we spent two hours walking around the area. The tour was free, and then at the end, we tipped the guide with how much we thought it was worth. Without this tour, I don't think we would have ventured into this part of Chicago - and we got to learn some fun history facts.

In Stockholm. I made the questionable decision to do two (two hours long) tours in one day. Let me tell you, my feet killed by the end of the day. The first tour was through the 'main' part of the city (Norrmalm and Ostermalm), taking in the important landmarks, like the Kings and Queens streets, Kungstradagarden and even the H&M head office. The guide for this tour was super enthusiastic and informative, which made the two-hour walk through slush so much more fun. Walk 2 was through Soldermalm, showing us some amazing views and outlooks over the city. The best part was finding the viewpoints that I could come back to later.

It's got the added bonus as well that you actually get to see the city, rather than walking around on your phone, trying to find the right way, or searching about random facts about where you're going. Although you are in sometimes a large group, you really do get to feel like a local, walking around and knowing where you're going. I guess whilst you're walking around in a group, it is kind of obvious that you're all tourists.


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