No city can be seen well unless we walk around different parts of the city. The whole vibe of the place becomes divergent while we are on foot, observing smallest of details and the experience that we get is exclusive. That’s when most of the time, we start to think there is so much to explore. It is interesting to observe how we remember the roads clearly, compared to the times that we are driving. And trust me, nothing is better than taking some time out for a walk in a new city.
In all of this, the big question stands HOW? WITH WHO? I am sure many of us want to travel to a new place, but get confused on how should we plan our day, to see the most. I would suggest to find Free Walking tour in the city and take one. That’s right as the name suggests it is free, but they are so good, that we would appreciate and give them money for their time and talent. There is no minimum amount that they quote, but on the norm, one can give whatever amount that they wish to, depending on their liking, on how informative the session was and how entertaining the tour.
How does it work:- There are lot of walking tour companies, and one can choose after reading their reviews. They have a designated starting point where each person who has joined the group for the day meets and they start the day from that point. Having done three walking tours in my life, I think this should be mandatory on the list of things to do, if you are an explorer. They not only take you to the non touristy places, but describe the history. As it is said the best way to see a place is through a local living in the city, for me the best way is through walking tours and of course with the locals. It is best for people who want to see the place with a group, get to know varied people from all parts of the world.
One of my first was a walking tour in Edinburg and the next one was underground ghost tour there itself, where I met some amazing people who were a part of the group and we ended up discovering more places together. The recent one was at San Francisco city. They took us to the best parts of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, we walked through Chinatown, North beach and took the historic cable car ride to Nob hill. It was a 5 hour walk wherein we covered about 5 kilometers. They told us stories that were so interesting and facts that are rare to recall. We were a group of 25, and for that entire five hours, we became a family, making sure that no one went missing in between. I went on Free Tours by Foot and our guide was Britt. He was amazing with his explanations and gave us a list of restaurants of different cuisines during an hour of break for lunch. We started from Transamerica Pyramid and ended our tour there.
My favourite was the visit to the Grace Cathedral, especially the holy door of the cathedral which was super pretty. It took 28 years to carve the door and scenes of the Holy Bible are captured in the door which is also called the Doors of Paradise. The inside of the Cathedral was interesting with a combination of history and modern art. We walked around the neighborhood and then saw the view of the street from up the Nob Hill. It was splendid. After this , we reached Chinatown. It was surprising to know how Chinese immigration was stopped in 1882, and a city which was affected by earthquakes and wildfires started with a population of 500. The murals all around the place had some significance and by the end I lost the count. There were so many interesting stories that can only be experienced.
It was one of the most amazing visit to the city. Message in if you are looking for more details about this tour for San Francisco. Have you ever been to any walking tour? Share in your encounters, if any.