Day Tours in Europe: by Bus, on Foot, and Your Take on Local Guides
There are hundreds of European day tours available by bus and on foot. Many of these are small independent operators offering a great value. But quality varies, all are an important commitment of time, and you want to choose wisely. Which ones are the best value and why?
Have you hired a guide in Turkey or Morocco? Right now we're particularly interested in getting your feedback about day tours in Turkey (especially Istanbul) and Morocco (especially Tangier). If you've had a good experience hiring a Turkish or Moroccan guide, we'd like to hear about it. Please include the guide's name and contact information. Thanks!
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Check out Rome With Jimmy! An amazing experience in Rome
Jimmy gave us a tour that was incredibly informative, interesting and humorous, all in one. It was extremely interesting, not only to get the facts, but to link a lot of the events from the time to what we see around us today. We only had time for the forum and colloseum tour but I'll be signing up for the whole lot next time I'm back. The website Rome With Jimmy was very easy to use as well!
New York, USA 05/14/2013
The Vatican with Roman Empire Tours was just amazing
I booked a tour with a company called Roman Empire Tours and got taken into the Sistine Chapel with only 2 other people while the place was still closed to the general public. Thoroughly recommend this as I went back through again later when the crowds were there and it was awful - a totally different experience. Our guide was Shane and he was fantastic. The highlight of our stay in Rome. Thanks again Roman Empire tours for a great Vatican experience!
San Francisco, USA 05/14/2013
Tuscan Trails Wine Tour
My wife Peg and I had a great tour with Todd Bolton through Tuscany. The wine was terrific, of course, and the views were magnificent. But what made the trip was the knowledge that Todd brought regarding the wine, the history of the region, the politics dating back to the Medicis and the Pozzis (if you go, as him about this), and the business of wine making. The day was full and the pace was perfect, and it felt very personalized. Peg and I talk once a week (while drinking Chianti, of course) on what was the favorite part of our trip, and this always tops the list.
Benicia, Califo USA 05/13/2013
We just returned from lovely 8 day trip in rome. It was made so enjoyable by these 2 women- Sara Magister 0039.339.3793813 and GiovannaTerzulli 0039.339.7425366 They are educated and willing to share the knowledge and enthusiasim of ancient Rome, churches, mosiacs, Vatican. Spending money for these guides made our trip! Thank you for recommending Rick. 200 euros for group of 5 for a morning.
dawn deal dahle
aberdeen, SD USA 05/13/2013
Cinque Terre hiking day trip from Florence
I just returned from a wonderful trip to Italy. We only had 2 nights in Florence, but I was dying to spend some time out of the cities. Luckily, I found a company that offered a day trip to the Cinque Terre, Walkabout Florence Tours. I highly recommend this hiking tour. It was definitely the highlight of our time in Italy. The tour was so reasonably priced (90 euros per person), especially considering it included all transportation (tour bus, train, and boat cruise) and an amazingly delicious lunch. Not to be missed! Didn't realize the Cinque Terre could be reached so easily as a day trip from Florence.
Seattle, WA USA 05/09/2013
Tours by Roberto
I have used Tours by Roberto in Tuscany 3 times (all different tours) and each was a perfect experience. He is passionate, very knowledgeable, and fun to be with. I was in Sienna with my daughter and called early one morning. He had space that day! He picked us up at our hotel and even took us to the train station after the tour since we were headed to Florence. I learned of Roberto from the Rick Steves' book and since have seen him on Rick's travel shows. He is well worth it for a great tour.
Orangeburg, SC USA 05/08/2013
Amazing! I would take any tour with Roman Empire Tours!
My 20 yr old daughter and I took the 3 hour Colloseum and Forum tour with Jimmy in Rome with his tour organization, Roman Empire Tours. Originally we thought we would just go by ourselves and last minute decided to book the tour. I'm so glad we did as we got so much more out of the experience! Jimmy is very charming, with his Irish accent, great sense of humor, vast knowledge of history, language, and his ability to weave it all together in a most interesting and thorough manner. He brought the whole tour to life and it went by very quickly. He is able to provide interesting historical stories and relate it to present day. I can't say enough good things about Jimmy: his energy and his ability to convey his love of history, Rome, linguistics, in such a fun way. By going on the tour you also avoid the lines, as he is able to take you straight through. The size of the group is perfect also, we had 6 people in our group, I think maximum is 8 (ironically we met a couple from our Colosseum tour accidentally on a bridge in Venice!). Bottom line, I wouldn't hesitate to take any tour with Jimmy!
Toronto, USA 05/07/2013
Capri Tour Infomation Tour
This tour of Capri, Pompeii and Naples was great! We were collected from the cruise ship's dock, after sending them an internet message on their website, and taken first to the island. The Blue Grotto was wonderful and the lovely villages were really pretty. We took a chairlift to the top of the island with our lovely guide, Anna, who had a wealth of knowledge about the bay, the island and all the history. From the top we could see Naples, Vesuvius, and the other islands. She took us to Pompeii and then briefly to Naples. It would have been great to see more, but we will come back for sure. It was a cool, inexpensive, stress-free day and I really recommend it. Anna was the best and their website is capritourinformation.com or at email@example.com
Wellington, This t New Zealand 05/07/2013
Roman Odyssey Vatican Tour
My husband and I highly recommend this tour which was extremely informative, intimate (small group), and the guide Rahul was very efficient and pleasant.
lorraine et jeff
ventura, CA USA 05/07/2013
Eye Prefer Paris Tours
Friendly, interesting and knowledgable of the area. Well worth it. Will book Richard's tour again next time.
Bellingen, NSW USA 05/06/2013
SPECIAL TOUR OF PARIS
I was introduced to Richard Nahem, An American living in Paris, through a NYC travel agent friend. At my request, he took me to the flea markets on Sunday – great experience and he was so knowledgeable about navigating us around of what we should see. On another day, we went to the Marais, Richard's neighborhood. Richard had a great pace in showing us through a section of the Marais, darting in and out of the old palaces, looking at the great food shops, seeing tucked away gardens and finding some great special clothing shops. Shopping in the Marais for everything is fantastic. Oh and best of all he took us to a delicious small, fairly new Italian restaurant (Yes, Italian) where everything was specially prepared by one wonderful man. I needed to do more shopping in another part of Paris, and Richard escorted me in and out of stores – and frankly what an eye he has – he helped get me one of the best handbags. My husband, friends and I really enjoyed meeting Richard and having him show us around Paris in a really leisurely fun way. We will never visit Paris without making sure Richard is available to take us to a new area of Paris. We look forward to seeing him soon.
Lakeville, CT USA 05/04/2013
Walking Tours of Italy
We took three tours in Rome, all through Walking Tours of Italy. Each was outstanding. The guides were great and we were able to see and do things other tourists were not. Our time in the Sistine Chapel was the highlight -- but it was all great. We highly recommend them!
Los Angeles, CA USA 05/03/2013
Slow Day in Tuscany Wine Tour
I second the recommendation for the Slow Day in Tuscany wine tour. Spending the day in the Tuscan countryside may have been the best day of our trip. Simon is knowledgeable, fun to spend time with, and speaks Italian fluently. We really enjoyed his company. We're still talking about lunch that day and the wines we tasted. slow-days.com
Bellaire, TX USA 05/02/2013
Drive to Pompei and the Amalfi Coast
I'd like to recommend Mr. Giuseppe Magnosi, Owner of ITALY DRIVING GUIDE limousine services for anyone planning a visit to Rome, Italy or nearby regions. (www.italydrivingguide.com).
Joseph was accommodating, pleasant, knowledgeable and informative on our drive to Pompei and the Amalfi Coast.
My family would definitely request his services again on our next trip to Italy. He made the day a memorable one!
Westchester, IL USA 05/02/2013
My girlfriend and I very much enjoyed our tour. John Tinto of Through Eternity Tours was very knowledgeable and professional. He understood what was important as well as its historical setting. He was able to add much of the historical context of what she showed. He spent much of his time explaining what was unique and special. His ability to communicate in english was fine. He was able to keep a dialogue even when the crowds were slowing us down. He was able to respond to everyone's inquiries about what he explained and what we thought we knew. He had a good sense of humor. He was able to deal with difficulties such as one tourist's lost of his receiver. I could not have thought of any better tour. We had originally contacted Context Tours for our tour, but they could not guarantee the tour unless we had to pay for the minimum, the total cost of which would have been more than twice the cost of Through Eternity Tours.
Robert De Goff
Berkeley, CA USA 04/25/2013
Jeremy Minsberg Berlin Expert
I just returned from Berlin. A friend of mine recommended Jeremy Minsberg. He is very knowledgeable and informed about Berlin. I highly recommend this tour.
San Rafael, Ca USA 04/24/2013
Paris Flea Market Tour
EYE PREFER PARIS TOURS
This was a highlight of my two-week trip to Paris. The Eye Prefer Paris tour is insightful and fun and the host, Richard, is incredibly charming and personable. We went to the flea market in St. Ouen on a Sunday morning and Richard made an overwhelming place accessible and interesting. My only regret is that I didn't have time to take a second tour during this trip. This will be easily fixed when I return to this gorgeous city. Be sure, if you get the chance, to sign up for the Eye Prefer Paris blog. The photographs are enticing (planning to purchase a few) and they make me dream about the city. The blog/newsletter is a great way to plan in advance and figure out what you want to see and do on your next trip. Could not recommend Richard enough. Also, Richard has an amazing eye for photography and he guided me toward some great shots while we walked to the subway. Make your next trip to Paris even more special and book a tour with Richard. If you don't see exactly what you're looking for ask him about it, there's enough flexibility to make the experience unique to your tastes.
Los Angeles, CA USA 04/21/2013
Eye Prefer Paris: Our experience did not align with the rave reviews posted here and on Trip Advisor.
Should have posted this when we first arrived back from France several months ago. We had two tours with Richard of Eye Prefer Paris. I actually found Richard here on this board when planning our trip to France. This was our fourth trip to Europe and since we had a fabulous time in Italy going with "semi-private" tours (we used Through Eternity in Rome and Florence), we thought that upgrading to private guides for the cities we toured in France would be even better.
Richard was very courteous and prompt in responding to e-mails. Initially we just wanted to hire him to tour the Marais, but when I asked if he could recommend guides for Versailles and the museums he helpfully set up guides for those experiences as well. When I requested a guide to give us an "city overview" tour with a driver the day we arrived, he told me that he guided that type of tour "all of the time" and would be happy to do it.
He met us with the driver at our hotel. We knew that we had the driver for two hours and that the final hour of the tour would be "on foot". Well, perhaps we were foolish, but we assumed that the final hour of the tour would be near our hotel, not on the other side of the city, which is where Richard lived. He even bragged that the tour was ending "around the block from his apartment" as he pointed us to a taxi stand. We were jet lagged and I was really annoyed as we sat in traffic for an hour in our taxi ride back to our hotel.
The "city tour" itself was very weak . Richard should not be guiding this type of tour. I sat behind him in the car and wondered why his head kept bobbing down and then back up. Well, he was reading from notecards. I've never experienced anything like that on a tour. And I never in a million years would have paid over 400 Euro for this tour (with driver), had I known that the person guiding it was so completely lacking in knowledge.
We let this go though, and decided that this just wasn't Richard's specialty. The guides set up for the other tours by Richard were just fine. He got a cut of the fee, but I understand that...a referral fee is acceptable.
After we toured other areas of France where we hired two *fabulous* private guides, we returned to Paris for one last day and night. I feel silly saying this now, but we saved Richard's Marais tour for last. The reviews for this tour are amazing and we thought it would be a great way to cap off our vacation. It wasn't.
It wasn't awful or anything like that, but it was average, at best. We knew it wasn't an historical walking tour, but Richard's knowledge of his neighborhood was minimal. My partner and I kept looking at each other with looks that said, "is *this* it?". We called it the "shuffling keyhole tour". As we shuffled all over the Marais and Richard pointed out interesting looking doors. Then he's have us look through the keyhole into the courtyard. There was no point to do this, just that Richard thought it was a cool courtyard. We walked into a few shops here and there that Richard found interesting, but unlike other experiences we had with private guides in other regions, Richard didn't seem to have relationships with the shop owners. Also, he speaks almost no french at all. And that kind of said a lot to us....that he didn't bother to learn the language after being a resident for seven years. He promotes the tour by saying that "you'll see the Marais with a Parisian". And I guess you do, as he does live there. But what you see is the Marais through the eyes of an American, who just happens to live in the Marais. That's the only way I can describe it.
It was a three hour tour and about half way through we took our scheduled break at "the best pastry shop" in Paris. It was 11:30. My partner and I each ordered a pastry, but Richard ordered a sandwich and a side. With every other meal with a private guide in France, the guide insisted that we not pay for their meal (even though we did), but when the bill arrived, Richard didn't budge. It was so odd and uncomfortable. We did pay for him, but we really didn't want to. And we had to sit for an extra 10 minutes while Richard finished his lunch. It just felt like he was trying to get a free lunch....it was 11:30 for cryin out loud!
And so I've been perusing this site and TA for our upcoming trip to Italy, and went back to look at reviews for the guides we used in France...just to see how accurate the reviews were. The only time we've had a guide, hotel, or restaurant that did not live up to the reviews of others (not even close) was Eye Prefer Paris.
And the sheer number of reviews is something that I wish I would have noticed before our trip, because a red flag would have gone up for me. I'm a numbers person by nature, and so I looked at reviews for another private guide we used in Provence (Experience Provence), and a much larger company (Through Eternity) we used in Rome and Florence.
Marlene of Experience Provence was *incredible*. She has 93 reviews on Trip Advisor and has been reviewed for 2.5 years. Even if you're lazy, you can't wait to write a review for her. She's that great.
Richard of Eye Prefer Paris has 160 reviews in just 2 years. Almost three times Marlene's reviews.
And Through Eternity is a company that is probably helping 50 separate traveling groups see just Rome...every day. They're easily doing 25 times the business that Eye Prefer Paris is doing. And yet they have averaged 160 reviews per year for the last five years. So, they do 25 times the business and only get reviewed twice as much as one guy in Paris?
On this board...Eye Prefer Paris has ten reviews, out of 57. The postings eventually fall off this board, and it's interesting that there's always such a high number of reviews for his company.
If we only had the Marais tour, I could have considered our experience a "one-off"....but we did two tours or two different days. So...not quite sure what to make of all of the positive reviews, let alone the sheer number of reviews.
But after this experience I will be doing much more homework than simply checking out review sites on the internet. I'd believe Rick's books in a second, as he has vetted those guides/companies. Otherwise, buyer beware!
New York, NY USA 04/20/2013
Jimmy and Roman Empire Tous... Look no further!
We chose Jimmy for our tour after reading the reviews on the graffiti wall here and we weren't disappointed. Jimmy was knowledgeable but was able to present the information in a lively and enjoyable manner. On the day of our tour, Jimmy was unwell but still turned up on time and provided an excellent tour although we were the only people on it! Thanks for a great morning at the Roman Forum and Colosseum, Jimmy!
Chicago, USA 04/19/2013
Informative Paris stroll. Go for it!
My Mom and I are in Paris for the week. As fans of the Eye Prefer Paris blog, we decided to hire its writer, Richard Nahem to show us the St. Germain des- Pres area. He was excellent! We felt as though we were hanging out with a witty, well informed friend from home. He really knows this city, and showed us things we'd have never found on our own. I highly recommend him - and his Eye Prefer Paris blog, as well.
olympia, Wa. USA 04/18/2013
Eye Prefer Paris Tour
I booked Richard for a Le Marais tour as a surprise for my wife and 15-year-old during their first visit to Paris. Even though I'd been several times, the history of the area and architecture was eye-opening to me! As others have said, Richard treats the tour as a friend would, and since a friend knows your interests, contacting Richard ahead of time to communicate your interests will pay dividends. In our case, my wife's interest in design and my daughter's interest in shopping and style were what I let Richard know beforehand.
We all had a blast! The variety of small clothing, design and nicknack shops was fabulous and fascinating for my ladies to explore. The stories behind the amazing 17th Century "Hotels" (residences) were so cool for all of us. Of course for me, the amazing food Richard happened to point out did not detract from the experience either. Time flew by, and we invited Richard to join us for lunch, so we got to chat with him even a bit longer!
Thank you Richard, for a memorable afternoon exploring Paris!
Doylestown, PA USA 04/18/2013
Jewish Roma Tours
We loved the Jewish Roma Tour with Michaella Pavoncello. She is an exceptional guide who shared a wealth of jewish and Roman history with our group. The tour took us to the jewish getto streets, the great synagogue, the jewish museum and more. Michaella's fun personality and clear english made the hours pass so fast, and the memories stay forever.
Atlanta, GA USA 04/16/2013
Jewish ghetto tour in Rome
What a wonderful treat to visit the small and vibrant jewish quarter in Rome. Micaella was a fantastic guide, with much knowledge, and enthusiasm, and to top it off, eating in one of several local Jewish restaurants in the area, where one can taste what might be consider the authentic roman cuisine. I recommend this tour wholehartedly.
Atlanta, GA USA 04/16/2013
Tour guides in Turkey
City of Sultans Tours. We used them and have recommended them to several of our female friends who were traveling alone and all have raved about the wonderful service and knowledgeable guides.
Venice Tour with Context Travel
Context Travel tour of Venice, Italy: Matteo provided the perfect overview of the story of the city and an excellent tour. We highly recommend using a walking tour when visiting Venice for the first time.
Laguna Niguel, CA USA 04/12/2013
Fantastic Day in Naples/Oplontis/Pompeii
My daughter (16) and I decided to use the train and make a long day trip from Rome to the Naples area. (Left at 6:30 a.m. and returned at 11:30 p.m.
After much research we selected Pina Esposito as our guide for the day. Pina met us at the train station and had her driver take us to Pompeii first. (I would strongly recommend hiring a driver. It saved us a LOT of time which we spent sightseeing.) Pina spent about 4 hours showing us the major sites in Pompeii. She told us not only about the daily life, but about religion and politics as well. After Pompeii she took us to an excellent local restaurant for Lasagna and Oranges. We then went to Oplontis so we could see the frescos in-situ. There was no-one else there and it was amazing.
We finished the day off at the National Archeological Museum in Naples including the "Secret Cabinet." Pina showed us the highlights of the museum and then dropped us off for dinner at Da Mimi alla Ferrovia for a great seafood dinner. We would strongly recommend her as a guide. We had an extended 10 hour tour and had just the right amount of time. Pina is listed in Rick's Rome book and her cell number is: +39-366-6228217.
Tulalip, WA USA 04/08/2013
Through EternityTour: Vatican Museums and St. Peter's - In-depth Experience
Our family thoroughly enjoyed our "Through Eternity" Vatican Museums and St. Peter's - In-depth Experience . In addition to learning much more about the Vatican, its art and history than we ever would have on our own, it was like we had our own private crash course in Italian art, history, and religion! Even though the tour was more expensive than most of the others I found, I have no regret and feel the quality of the knowledge Cinzia shared was excellent. Her passion for what she was describing made it interesting to everyone in our group--even our 17 year old son who could have been easily bored with a less dynamic and informative guide. I really feel that this experience set us up to enjoy the other artistic treasures in Italy at a much higher level than we otherwise would have.
Madison, WI USA 04/03/2013
Rome tour guides
My tour was stopped by police. Turned out that the guide was not licenced. I wish I could remember his name, but I forget.
If you are travelling to Rome, be sure to ask if the guides are licenced. I was lucky to escape a fine, but my tour was completely spoiled by the interruption by the police and their accusatory questioning of my family, and I did not have my deposit refunded either.
New York, USA 04/02/2013
Borghese Gallery-Rome / Walks of Italy
For walking tours in Italy, "Walks of Italy" are the best I have ever come across. I cannot recommend them highly enough. I booked a tour with them for the Borghese Gallery, and WOI guide Joseph was INCREDIBLE. I cannot compliment Joseph highly enough for the Borghese Tour. It really was one of the highlights of my trip to Italy. I would not have got as much out of my visit to the Borghese, if I did not have Joseph as a guide. On the day, I was still heavily jet lagged and my asthma had decided to kick in (wonderful for climbing stairs), and heaven knows where I leave my brain on the first few days of any European holiday (30 hours travelling from Australia is always a bit of fun). But, thanks to Joseph, the tour was SENSATIONAL! Joseph kept us moving at the perfect pace - not rushing, not at all - but not moving so slowly that one is tempted to say "OK. I get it!". He really did present each piece perfectly. I got 200% out of the tour. I was very fortunate to be the only guest, and I do realize how much more difficult that is for a tour guide. Especially since I am not someone who asks a lot (any) questions. I just like to take it all in. But, again, I cannot fault Joseph. He was brilliant. Right down to flagging a taxi for me. I ended up with Rome's most cheerful taxi driver - I had forgotten to get the address of the hotel, and the driver thought that was hilarious. He found the hotel no problem. And I was not overcharged - I never have had problems with Taxi drivers in Rome. Walks of italy were professional from taking my booking, to giving excellent directions, through to the tour itself. Again, I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Hobart, Tas AUSTRALIA 03/31/2013
Rome With Jimmy was amazing. So glad we booked with him!
There is so much to do and see in Rome that it can be a bit intimidating, but Rome With Jimmy was like being shown around the city by a friend. He was welcoming and knowledgeable as he took us around the sites, stopping for pictures and questions as they came up. We never felt rushed or herded along as some tours make you feel, he had a story for every site we saw, talking not only about the historic sites but also modern day Rome. As a bonus, after spending way too much money on dinner our first night in Rome, Jimmy let us know where the best pizza in the city was located, not to mention the good, cheap Italian food. We ate a lot better the rest of our stay. We saw a lot but there is still more to see and I would definitely take another tour with Jimmy.
New York, USA 03/25/2013
Eye Prefer Paris tour
Having been to Paris numerous times before, we asked Richard, of Eye Prefer Paris, to show us a neighborhood that we wouldn't have seen. Our tour of the 9th arr. was fun and interesting, and Richard knew many of the secrets of this beautiful residential neighborhood.
Mill Valley, CA USA 03/24/2013
Sightseeing in France with Private Driver-Guide
My family needed a driver-guide for two day-trips outside of Paris during our recent trip. We found Christian - an American! (http://www.sightseeinginfrance.com/) - in an old review on Trip Advisor.
He is great. He is a professional driver who knows his way around France. We were able to create a full day out of trip to Giverny as well as Orleans for the fabulous Festival de Loire. Later in the week we went on an afternoon and evening trip to Reims to see the wonderful laser light show on the cathedral.
He is a wonderful driver with great stories to keep you entertained on long drives. He takes you behind the scenes and through the back doors to some of the most beautiful places in France.
He will create the trip you want - not the one in some book somewhere. If you want to visit a little town on the way or stop a cute café or vineyard to taste some wine, he will do it. He is there to translate when you can't read the menu or can't find something.
He also took us around the Arc de Triomphe at rush hour just for fun. (I wish I had had my video camera running since I saw most of it through closed eyes.)
We have hired guides all over Europe and Christian is one of the best.
Denver, CO USA 03/22/2013
My husband and I were in Berlin a couple of weeks ago and toured this historical city with the very capable Jeremy Minsberg. Jeremy was not only professional and knowledgeable, but he made the city come alive with his fantastic storytelling and great sense of humor. We went out on a frigidly cold day, but the time flew by nevertheless. It truly was the highlight of our weekend. I would recommend his services to anyone planning a trip to Berlin.
Copenhagen, Denmark 03/19/2013
Jeremy Minsberg- aka TheBerlinexperts.com provided us with the best Berlin experience. He provided wordly insights from German, Jewish, and American perspectives. He knows the city and its history. He made the experience.
West Hartford, CT - C USA 03/17/2013
Guide Needed for Tangier-Morocco
Much has been said about Aziz in Tangier, but we used Hassan. He is a well educated young man who lives and breathes Tangiers and showed us the best of the city, has a clean comfort air conditioning van that will hold up to six persons (I believe, but we were only four) and the driver.
As it turned out Hassan charged us less than Aziz and about one half of what the ship's tour would have cost. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You should also be aware that there will be several 'guides' waiting at the dock who may or may not be trusted to take you to the places where you want etc. I suggest you go by recommendations and definitely forget about cabs!
Robert and Sue Wright
Hoffman Estates, IL, USA 03/17/2013
I planned a quick trip to Paris for 4 days with my mom and 2 daughters (ages 9 and 17). I booked 4 days of tours with Richard in hopes to keep the vast interests among my family engaged. Richard had all this covered! Walking the Marais, St. Germain and Ile St. Louis was fantasti with Richard pointing out the major sight-seeing icons of Paris, architectural differences among buildings, churches, chocolate, wine and markets. It was actually the drama behind the historical venues and mansions that was very entertaining. We LOVED it! We began each day meeting around 11am, touring and tasting Paris. Our tours included great shops and restaurants that weren't on the beaten path. If you like to avoid the touristy favorites, book a tour with Richard. Simply an unforgettable trip with my girls. AND, we even learned a little French! Paris avec les filles 2.16.13 to 2.21.2013
Philadelphia, PA USA 03/15/2013
Slow Day in Tuscany Wine Tour
A really nice day in visiting the less touristy side of Tuscany, including a castle , hill-top town and family run winery. Lovely day!
Boston, MA USA 03/13/2013
We used Ricks suggestion of Aziz Tours when we were in Tangier in 2010. We enjoyed the tour, because Aziz is connected with everyone - but we had a difficult time holding his attention because he was busy with phone calls. His assistant Redwoun (sp) was very attentive though, and we saw things we would not otherwise have seen on our own.
harrisburg, pa USA 03/12/2013
Eye Prefer Paris tour
I'd like to highly recommend the Eye Prefer Paris tour with Richard. Richard gives a true insider's perspective, taking my girlfriend and I to neighborhoods, shops and restaurants we would've never known existed. We bought fantastic cheese, sampled delicious chocolates, and perused many other shops [INVALID] from clothing to wine to finger puppets. Richard showed us old courtyards and gardens and treated us to stories about the Marais. Wonderful experience.
Ann Arbor, MI USA 03/12/2013
My family recently visited Rome and used Through Eternity tours and are very pleased with them. Our guides were all knowledgeable and fantastic and would highly recommend this company.
Livingston, NJ USA 03/12/2013
We just used Italy Cruises Private Tours for private tours out of Livorno, Citavecchia and Naples/Salerno. They are based in Rome and have drivers out of the other areas that they most likely subcontract. Riccardo was wonderful to communicate with, his prices were reasonable and drivers were knowledgeable and very personable. We had 3 groups touring with Italy Cruises Private Tours out of Salerno, Federico was our driver and the other two groups were very happy with their drivers. He required no up front payment. If you would book thru I.C.P.T., ask for Federico in Rome and Carlo in Florence!
Atlanta, GE USA 03/11/2013
My husband and I highly recommend, Luca Strano, (www.lukethedriver.com) for personalized guided tours of Rome and surrounding area. In fact we have used his professional services three times thus far; Rome sites and catacombs, Tivoli Gardens, and Hadrian's Villa and have booked our 2014 trip ahead. He is a native-born resident, speaks good English, and all our excursions have been well-planned and organized. Luca provides comfortable-clean transport, has a great personality, is trustworthy and dependable! It is a pleasure to spread the word about his professionalism to unknown travelers and friends alike.
Bend, OR USA 03/11/2013
We just came back from our trip to Italy and we highly recommend the tour company we used from Rome to Tuscany: www.drivearounditaly.com. Our driver really showed us the best of it, taking us to local wineries for wine testings, typical trattorias for delicious meals and we visited little villages where no tourists at all! I think we saw the real Italy thanks to Riccardo, our driver!
New York, N.Y. USA 03/10/2013
Charming Tour of the Marais
I very much enjoyed the tour of the Marais with Richard. I particularly appreciated his lively and informative account of the neighborhood's history. The Marais Richard showed us is a colorful district full of old world charm mixed with contemporary chic, great small specialty shops, impressive mansions, and a wonderful square and teashop. I'd like to go again!
Vienna, Austria 03/10/2013
Paris Walking Tour
I want to highly recommend Eye Prefer Paris and their tours. In 2011, I took the Market Tour and Cooking class and it was fabulous. A couple weeks ago, I returned to Paris and hired Richard (the owner) for a Marais Walking Tour and I loved it just as much. I have been to Paris many times and have heard all the raves about the Marais. I would go there and not understand what all the fuss was about, but now I know. Richard, who lives in the neighborhood there, took us on a several hour walking tour and now I finally get it! The Marais is rich with history, has fabulous shopping and stellar markets. Richard is professional, punctual, interesting, and, maybe most importantly, he is fun to be with. I would not hesitate in recommending him or any of his tours.
Milford, CT USA 03/05/2013
Great Holiday in Italy
We stayed in at the Albergo del Senato and it was truly the best place I have stayed in Rome. It was not the cheapest place, but it was by far the best place I have stayed and it has ruined me for other hotels. There are a lot of recommendations on it.
We used "Italy Cruises Private Tours" for transport both from the airport, to the hotel and then back to the cruise port. Then we also used them in Naples, and then a countryside tour when we arrived back in Civitivecchia and they discounted the whole lot. It was a great service.
I prefer the area by the Pantheon. I found I could walk almost everywhere in that area. The metro system is one of the worst I've seen for a big European city. It really isn't designed with tourism in mind. The thing to do in Rome is roam Or learn the bus system. I'm a walker myself. But cabs are plenty and pretty affordable also. Definitely pick the ancient center for your home base. It's SOOO nice, at the end of a long day, to not have to navigate yourself back to an out-of-the-way place. Just my opinion anyway.
Good luck planning! It's a lot of the fun!
Los Angeles, CA USA 03/04/2013
Context Travel tour of Venice, Italy
We had a wonderful tour of Venice booked through Context Travel, Monica was our guide, we had a wonderful day - could not have asked for more!
Sydney, NSW Australia 03/03/2013
I am a travel agent and I have used Angel Tours for my groups and for individual passengers. I have just returned from a trip to Italy and once again Angel Tours was my tour company of choice and they surpassed my hopes and expectations. Tatjana is a wonder at coordinating my groups and offering tour options that I didn't think of. Ben was our tour guide for most of the tours in Rome and I can't say enough good things about him. As you have read and will continue to read, he knows his stuff and how to present it. Thanks for all of the information and for sharing some very special sights with us Ben. I have now done the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, Colosseum and Forum, Eco Tour, Underground Rome, and Christmas Walking Tour with the Angels in Rome. I have also shared Pompeii, Amalfi coast and Florence tours with their guides there. I have booked their guide in Venice for clients. I have had incredibly knowlegable tour guides on each and every tour. They have recommended many wonderful restaurants also. I can't say enough good things about this company and it's staff. Mille Grazie Angel Tours! You know I will be back, after all, I threw a coin in Trevi Fountain!
Lacombe, AB Canada 03/01/2013
I would recommend getting a private guide, it takes about an hour and a half to get to Rome from the port but with a guide/driver you can cover everything frorm the forum to the vatican and the Pantheon,the Spanish Steps,the famous "Wedding Cake" and even throw in Orange Park and Trevi fountain. They can buy the entry tickets in advance which will allow you to skip the line. We always use Riccardo Ciardi he can be reached at email@example.com or you can check out his websites www.italycruisesprivatetours.com.
I remember our first time it seemed like a whirlwind but we did cover it all in one day including the Coliseum.
I suggest you this company.
Woodstock, IL USA 02/28/2013
Voila, nous avons découvrez le charme du Marais
With the wonderful guidance of Richard, our family has discovered the charm of the Marais. Our family of five: Mom, Dad, three daughters (ages 16,14,11) spent a lovely morning with him on a walking tour of the Marais. Richard unfolded fascinating facts and juicy historical gossip which enthralled all of our age ranges. He also introduced us to many chic boutiques and speciality stores as well as quite a few museums that whetted our appetite to explore after we finished our tour. Richard was knowledgeable, thoughtful and interesting. He offered to answer not only all of our questions about the Marais but Paris at large. We highly recommend Richard as a tour guide.
Baltimore, MD USA 02/27/2013
Walks of Italy
Walks of Italy provided my husband and I with excellent guides for three wonderful tours in Rome, i.e., The Vatican, The Colosseum and an Evening Stroll to visit several of the major sites. Each tour guide (Camilla and Flaminia) was very knowledgable and surpassed expectations in providing extra information to help us enjoy and appreciate our time in Rome. Even when the weather was awful, they never rushed us or showed any sign of wanting to be done so they could escape the cold and rain. Both the Vatican and the Colosseum tours included areas not seen on most tours and each was rich in detail. The evening stroll was a good orientation to Rome, informative and romantic.
Wellington, Florid USA 02/26/2013
Roman Empire Tours are fun, informative and deep with knowledge! We will book again.
Our tour guide (Jimmy) was a really enjoyable person to spend a few hours with wandering around one of the most special places in the world. The aspects of the tour that set "Roman Empire Tours" apart are two fold. First the guides have English as their first language, I know this sounds a little odd but honestly this allows real time complex questions beyond "how old is this or that". Secondly the knowledge base goes beyond a simple recital at one or another piece of artwork. You get the feeling that these guys really like their jobs and really care that you get a sense of their enthusiasm for the artifacts you are looking at. Brilliant. Well done and well presented.
Pittsburgh, USA 02/25/2013
Miles to Miles
We traveled to Italy in September and October 2012. We choose to use Miles to Miles for two tours in Rome. We had Maria, very informative, and concerned for our safety and enjoyment while she led us on the Colesseum Underground and Ancient Rome Tour. Her knowledge of Italian history was amazing, and her personality delightful! For our second tour, the Day Trip to Pompei and the Almalfi Coast, we were picked up in an airconditioned Mercedes van by Marco, who drove us to Pompei, where we met our guide, Francesco. He was very animated and full of many details about Pomei and its history. We then rejoined our driver, Marco, who took us to a fabulous lunch spot on the Almafi Coast. Both tours delivered more than we expected and included espresso stops! Miles and Miles graciously solved a big scheduling mix up due my mistake. We will use them again on our next trip to Italy. Thanks to Rick Steeves for mentioning them in his tour book!
Eureka, CA USA 02/25/2013
We used one of Rick's recommendations - Monetti Taxi - for a day tour of the Amalfi Coast and Carmello Monetti was absolutely amazing with his knowledge of the area, the people and how to visit so many sights in one day. He is such a gracious host. We were picked up at the ship in Sorrento, carted all up and down the coast, then to Pompeii and made it back to the ship in plenty of time. Carmello made our day - he is great! He is at www.monettitaxi17.it.
Robert and Betsy Hicks
Saraland, AL USA 02/25/2013
Le Marais, Paris, with Richard of "Eye Prefer Paris Tours"
We had a delightful and informative tour of the Marais neighborhood - and while I'm sure many people can provide an educational tour, Richard really went the extra mile in customizing to our interests. We had extended family and friends ranging in age from 6 to 57, and he made sure to work with our pace, answer our many questions, and provide lots of tips for the rest of our trip. We scheduled our tour for our first day in the city, so we could not only see what he wanted to show us, but also pick his brain on places to eat, times to visit landmarks, etc., and he did not disappoint. He showed us so many great places, we ended coming back on our own the next day to investigate in more detail. We saw beautiful architecture we never would have found on our own, learned a great deal of the history of the city, found all the best little spots for food, and got some wonderful family photos. He packs every minute and covers a lot of ground, so wear comfortable shoes and bring some water if it's a warm day. Richard clearly loves sharing his neighborhood with visitors, and cares about giving his guests just the personalized experience they're looking for. http://www.eyepreferparistours.com/
Hoffman Estates, IL USA 02/21/2013
Chianti region tour guide Anna
My wife and I took two Chianti area day tours with Anna of Cooltours in Sept. 2012 and we highly recommend her. Anna is a very interesting and friendly person who is fun to be around. She is very knowledgeable about the history and archaeology of the region. The time we spent with her was the highlight of our trip. She took us to places that we would never find on our own including a wonderful lunch at an organic farm with a spectacular view of the Tuscan countryside. Anna's contact information is at her website: www.cooltours.it
Portland, OR USA 02/20/2013
Tangier Guide referral
Our trip to Southern Spain was a short one, but we were so happy we made the time to cross on the ferry Tarifa-Tangier-Tarifa and visit Morocco for one day. We used the services of Hassan, an outstanding tour guide. He provided us with much historical information and knew how to plan a day to avoid crowds. Both Hassan and his wife, Majdoline, are knowledgeable, friendly and professional with excellent English. Hassan took us to several local spots for great food, and knew the history of Tangier and the culture of Moroccan people wonderfully. He took us to mosques, palaces, museums, cruising down the Casbah and Medina, the spice market, etc.
You can reach Hassan at: firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
William S. King
Seattle, WA, USA 02/19/2013
Real Rome Tours better than we could have ever expected
We did 2 tours in Rome with Real Rome Tours and we were so well looked after by Ferdinando and Tiziana that even though I have never commented on line before I have to say how great they both were. Hugely knowledgeable and so warm, flexible and friendly. Worth every penny. We were accommodated in every way and really enjoyed their company. The information they shared with us made our trip to Rome so special and we really felt that we had a full experience of all that Rome had to offer during our brief trip. Anyone who wants to know more about Rome should tour with Real Rome Tours. Thanks so much guys - you are great!!
Dublin, USA 02/14/2013
Jewish Roma Tour (Sara)
I had the pleasure of Sara Pavoncello as my guide and she was wonderful. Never having known much about the Roman Jewish community (really anything about them) it was fascinating to learn about their storied and proud history. Sara's tour of the Jewish Museum was wonderful and she added so much more to the experience than if I had done it alone. We then toured the Ghetto area and her passion and knowledge of the area and its history are just like she grew up there, which she did.
I fit this tour in on a 10 hour layover in Rome and could not think of a better way to have spent the time. Don't hesitate.
Suffern, NY USA 02/13/2013
Richard nahem, tour guide in Paris
I had the pleasure of having a 3 hour walking tour of the Marisa area of Paris with richard naham . On every street Richard had interesting facts to tell about the history of his neighborhood. It was a pleasure having him as my tour guide.
Latham, Ny USA 02/09/2013
Ben from Angel Tours
Ben from Angel Tours was amazing. Great sense of humour and full of fantastic facts about the various sites we visited. A definite recommendation for those visiting Rome.
Dubai, USA 02/04/2013
I had the most interesting tour of the Marais area Of Paris with a very good tour guide .Richard Nahem of I Prefer Paris guided tours. It was informal yet concise. Richard asked us a few Questions and after hearing what we wanted he gave us a fabulous tour for four hours. We shopped, ate a delicious lunch, looked at monuments , listened to very stimulating history of The area. Richard paced us accordingly as we kept Stopping to look and see all the wonderful places we Passed by .Richard gave us a very informative "insiders" tour of The Marais.
New York, N. Y. USA 02/02/2013
Vatican & Sistine Chapel - Through Eternity - Go Early!
With Rick Steves' Rome guidebook as our reference, we chose a Through Eternity walking tour this time. Our family of four, including a 22 and a 24 year old, had an outstanding tour with Guido in late December. We chose the semi-private 5 1/2 hour Vatican tour with the early entrance to the Sistine Chapel. Luckily, it turned out it was just the 4 of us (the max could have been 7). Each of us agreed it was fabulous, and so worth the 7:30am start so we could enjoy the Sistine Chapel without the crowds. Although we had all visited years before with an excellent Context Travel tour, it all felt new and fascinating. Very professional Guido was amazing with his extensive knowledge, clear narrative, and art history discussions. He took time to answer our questions and kept us learning and interested through our entire tour.
We definitely recommend Through Eternity Tours and Guido, and look forward to signing up for more walking tours when we return to Rome.
Montclair, NJ USA 02/02/2013
Guided Ancestry Tour in Calabria - AMAZING
When it comes to researching and then guiding a tour of your family's roots in southern Italy, I cannot imagine having a better experience than our family of 10 had earlier this month with My Bella Vita. Laura, our researcher and guide to the tiny Calabrian mountain village of Mongrassano, was friendly, patient, attentive, and continued her research all day as we met people in the town (from which my wife's grandfather immigrated to the U.S.). The bus was awesome and the driver, Massimo, professional and friendly. The certified documents we received from the town (with birth, marriage and death dates of ancestors, secured by Laura in advance of our visit) are so important to my wife's family. After visiting the village, we enjoyed a characteristic five-course lunch at an agriturismo in San Fili, included in the price, along with a day of advanced research, transportation, the driver, and Laura as our guide. Suffice it to say, we were very impressed. No one in our family will ever forget the day My Bella Vita provided for us, especially my 77-year-old father-in-law who, thanks to Laura, visited the church his father and grandparents were baptized in, and was able to see his family's home in town. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. One piece of advice? Ask to keep the time of the lunch a bit more flexible, just in case you meet people in your village and want to spend a little more time. But like I said, I would never use another company for ancestry travel in southern Italy. Remarkable service.
Chicago, USA 01/29/2013
Guided Day Tour of Napoli
I highly recommend Yellow Sudmarine tours. Daniela met us at the train station, arrived on time, and led our family of 10 people (ages 19-76!) on a fascinating stroll through Naples, providing not only history, artistic observations and cultural information, but also personal time and attention to each of us. She then drove two of us to the airport after the tour to claim lost luggage--all on Christmas Day! If you visit Napoli--and the company also leads tours of Pompeii and other sites--Daniela should be your guide. She reveals her city to you a little at a time, neighborhood by neighborhood, safely and thoughtfully...and even teaches a bit of Italian along the way!
Chicago, USA 01/29/2013
Guide for Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, etc - EXCELLENT
Fabrizio of "Leisure Italy" led our family of 10 persons from the States on an introductory stroll of bella Sorrento, and then the next day met us at Pompeii for an historical walk of the excavation site: he was, at all times, friendly, courteous, highly-informed, and warm. He taught us a great deal, made us laugh, and worked so well with a group that ranged in age from 19 to 76 years old! Fabrizio was so kind, he even used his cell phone to help us track down some lost baggage, and led our Pompeii tour on the morning of Christmas Eve. Prior to our trip, his communication via email was also outstanding. If you or someone you know plan to visit the Napoli, Sorrento, Capri area (with Pompeii, of course), this is an exceptional guide you can rely on. Grazie mille, Fabrizio, e' buon ano!
Chicago, USA 01/29/2013
Roman Empire Tours! An Irish story teller in Rome!!
We heard about Roman Empire Tours from this site. Their website paints an accurate picture of his company; knowledgeable and enthusiastic but not pompous. Our guide, Jimmy brought his own reproductions of the Sistine Chapel on our Vatican tour which he produced with a flourish from his inside pocket so we could find shade in the courtyard while he outlined the highlights rather than crowding around the public displays which were unfortunately in the sun. His anecdotes were funny and he was able to answer all of our questions. We were glad we had also booked a Colosseum tour with him for the following morning. Not every guide can paint a picture which brings the Roman Forum to life. We would recommend Jimmy as a guide for anyone visiting Rome.
Coventry, England 01/28/2013
Miles & Miles Tours
Great tour of Rome that maximized our time and gave us that special service from Marco and Naomi. We had only a day and it was a fantastic tour. Would do it again in a heart beat
Coaldale AB, cad 01/27/2013
Tour of Orvieto and Civita
My wife and I followed Rick Steves' guide book advice and contacted Miles & Miles Tours for a day trip to Orvieto and Civita. We couldn't have been more pleased with our decision. Our tour guide, Francesco Miglio, cheerfully greeted us at our hotel and was outstanding as he showed us the highlights of these beautiful hillside towns just a short drive from Rome. Francesco's enthusiasm and knowledge of the region made the day that much more enjoyable and we truly felt like family by the end of the day. Our only regret was that we had so little time together. We hope to return to Italy again one day and we would definitely contact Miles & Miles for all of our touring needs. With any luck, Francesco will be available to show us the sights!
Mike & Sue Ciocci
Springfield, PA USA 01/26/2013
Florence and Tuscany Day Tours (Paolo)
Private guide, Paolo Russo, specializes in walking tours of Florence and province. Paolo is a seasoned professional with a passion for Italian art and history. With iPad in tow, he provides detailed information with photos which offer a more meaningful experience when he demonstrates how Italy's art is linked together. Paolo's energy and enthusiasm makes his tours stand out and you may find yourself saying, 'is everyone else having this much fun!?'
A Sorrento native, Paolo's English is superb as well as his German. I highly recommend hiring Paolo Russo to guide you through the many famous museums and landmarks of this wonderful city. He is an expert on the Uffizi Gallery and Santa Croce Church, just to name a few. Paolo knows the best places to eat and he will share some of the local hidden gems with you.
Scotts Valley, CA USA 01/21/2013
Tuscany Transfers and Driving Tours (Marco)
Marco Bauknecht will introduce you to Tuscany in comfort and style. Our day trip to Siena and San Gimignano was wonderful. His Mercedes sedan and his excellent English offered an elevated tour experience. Marco's attention to detail in his stories of the hill towns and their history adds intrigue and interest. Not to mention his contacts in the region. He made reservations for a VIP luncheon and wine tasting at Tenuta Torciano which, for me, was the "Tuscany Wine Tasting Experience of a Lifetime".
Marco offers a tour that is pre-planned while offering an assortment of things to do and places to see. I highly recommend hiring Marco Bauknecht to drive you through and around Tuscany. He has the inside scoop!
Marco is based in Florence. Email: email@example.com
Scotts Valley, CA USA 01/21/2013
Me and my wife had a very good experience during our last trip to Italy, visiting the Amalfi Coast and Siena with www.drivearounditaly.com. Very informative driver guides who spoke excellent English and who showed us the best of the 2 areas. We highly recommend this tour company!
Robert and Paula
San Diego, Ca USA 01/14/2013
Through Eternity - Vatican
At the recommendation of a friend, we booked a Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica tour with Through Eternity. I second the recommendation. Our guide, Laura, was excellent – knowledgeable, friendly, efficient. She held the attention of adults as well as our two teenage daughters. We had hard-copy guidebooks as well as Rick's audio guides on our iPhones (which we used and appreciated greatly at smaller sites), but having an in-person guide helped us appreciate the vast treasures we were walking past even more.
St. Paul, MN USA 01/12/2013
We are planning a family holiday in Europe for Summer 2013. These reviews are very helpful as we plan an itinerary for five people, including three teenagers.
North Vancouver, BC Canada 01/03/2013
Rome Tour Guide-Francesca
I highly recommend Francesca Pagliero, an experienced tour guide in Rome. She was fantastic. Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chappaqua, NY USA 01/02/2013
Fantastic Tour Guide in Florence
Angelo Alterio is THE private tour guide to hire in Florence. He was phenomenal!! His email: email@example.com.
Chappaqua, NY USA 01/02/2013