The Best Guided European Tours

Traveling through Europe is exciting. Whether you’re exploring a medieval castle, shopping at trendy boutiques, wandering through ancient ruins, or sipping a glass of local wine, you can immerse yourself in the culture and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you spend as much time planning your excursions as enjoying them, however, you might feel overwhelmed. Booking a guided tour lets you take advantage of the best sightseeing opportunities while someone else takes care of the scheduling and preparation. These European tours are among the best.

Overome Tours

The mission of Overome Tours is to promote the history, art, and architecture of Rome and its surrounding areas. The tour guides are officially licensed and experts in Roman history. Most are university graduates with art history or archaeology degrees. They’re well-versed in multiple languages and devoted to giving guests a closer look at local hot spots.

The tour guides try to make every moment interesting. They’re passionate about the places that they take guests, and they recount anecdotes that go beyond the basics.

When you take a guided tour with Overome, you’ll visit some of the most famous landmarks in Rome and the Vatican. You won’t spend time waiting in line. Instead, you’ll get an in-depth experience. If you want to visit an unusual destination or create your own itinerary, Overome can do that for you too.

Overome offers private tours for kids and families, couples and small groups. A Best of Rome sightseeing tour with a small group takes you to some of the most significant monuments, buildings, and streets in central Rome, including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. It costs $40 per person. The Best of Rome private tour for kids and families costs $315 for up to four people.

Other Overome tours take you to:

  • The Colosseum and Ancient Rome
  • The Vatican and Colosseum
  • The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
  • Ancient Ostia

Viator

Like its parent company Tripadvisor, Viator is enthusiastic about helping people travel like an insider. The company works with thousands of tour operators to help you set up an itinerary just about anywhere you want to go. It’s like a travel agency just for tours.

You can choose from helicopter and balloon tours, workshops, day trips, food and wine tours, kid-friendly options, outdoor activities, custom tours, theme parks, walking and biking tours, and many others. Viator even helps you find shore excursions if you’re heading to your destination on a cruise ship.

Pricing varies depending on the tour and location. A hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Barcelona costs $35.72 per person, while a countryside day trip from Amsterdam to visit Dutch windmills starts at $141.72 per person.

You can get two types of discounts through Viator. Some promotional codes are sent to newsletter subscribers via email. Others are posted online from time to time. To get the deal, you have to click through the special link. Viator offers a low-price guarantee. Let the company know if you’ve found a better deal for the same tour with the same operator within 72 hours of booking yours.

Country Walkers

If you prefer a trek to a bus ride or cruise, Country Walkers may be the tour company for you. The company’s motto is, “Explore the World One Step at a Time.”

Although Country Walkers is based in Vermont, it operates on five continents. You can choose itineraries for guided or self-guided walking tours. Whatever you choose, you can immerse yourself in your experience.

Country Walkers comprehensively plans your itinerary. You’ll be guided to some of the best local eateries, and you won’t have to worry about your luggage because it will be transferred seamlessly to and from each hotel.

If you choose a self-guided tour, you’ll have detailed maps to work from. You won’t need a phone or GPS to guide you. You don’t even need to know the language. A representative is available 24 hours a day. All breakfasts and most lunches are included.

Guided tours are all-inclusive. You don’t have to worry about coordinating meals. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialize as you stroll. You can even choose a tour based on your activity level.

A seven-day, six-night tour through Sintra, Obidos, and the coast of Portugal costs $5,348 per person. An easy-to-moderate journey through Austria and Germany for eight days and seven nights costs $4,698. You can save money by referring friends. Travelers who complete one trip are automatically enrolled in the Encore Loyalty Program, which offers discounts on future trips.

SANDEMANs

One of the most popular companies in the world, SANDEMANs NEW Europe offers free tours in 19 cities. This tour operator is focused on boosting local communities. Although the tour guides are technically self-employed, they work through SANDEMANs to market their tours.

Speaking of the tour guides, they’re not your run-of-the-mill leaders. They expose guests to new places using a unique form of infotainment. Part theatrical performance and part history lesson, each tour is unique, stimulating and entertaining.

This is not a case where you get what you pay for. SANDEMANs strives to go above and beyond industry standards while making tours affordable for every budget.

Some European cities in which you can find a SANDEMANs tour include:

  • London, England
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Paris, France
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Copenhagen, Denmark

Most group tours are free. You can also book private tours starting from $140. The company recommends that you reserve a spot for any tour in which you wish to participate. If you value the tour guide’s direction and expertise, a tip is always appreciated.

Expat Explore

Traveling by bus can get you close to the landscape and let you travel to several countries in one trip. Expat Explore gives adults and children ages 10 and older the opportunity to see more of Europe than you might otherwise be able to on a single vacation. You can also choose to take an in-depth tour of a smaller area.

The tours are crafted by expats to give visitors an exclusive experience. A knowledgeable guide accompanies every tour. Vacationers travel in comfortable, well-appointed coaches. All have reclining seats, on-board restrooms, air conditioning, and entertainment systems. You’ll stay at comfortable accommodations along the way.

The Europe Escape is the most popular package. This 12-day European multi-country tour takes guests through eight countries and starts at $1,755. The price includes 11 breakfasts and six dinners, taxes and fees, guided walking tours, city tours, and coach travel. Return customers and early birds get a discount.

Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images

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