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Take a stroll abroad: from Sarajevo to Rome, the finest free walking tours in European cities

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Amy Swales
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There are few better ways of getting under the skin of a city than exploring it by foot.

But a brief wander around can easily lead to nothing if you don't know where the best spots are. Step in, guided walking tours that won't cost you a penny.

lonely planey best things in life are free

Courtesy of Lonely Planet's new guide to affordable holidays, The Best Things in Life are Free, find here a selection of completely free tours round cities such as Rome, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona (as well as a UK destination for those staying closer to home). These guided strolls will cost you absolutely zilch, so throw your wallet to the wind and prepare to get footloose and fancy-free...

The Best Things in Life are Free, £16.99, lonelyplanet.com/free

  • Barcelona, Spain

    Architect Gaudí made a big mark on Barcelona; this freebie walk from Runner Bean Tours focuses solely on him, from his first masterpiece, Palau Güell, to his unfinished magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.

    11am (and 4.30pm, summer); runnerbeantours.com

    Image: Matt Munro / Lonely Planet

  • Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Let Neno and Merima of Neno & Friends show you the must-see attractions of Sarajevo (featured in the main image), accompa­nied by a personal and passionate take on the country’s history, politics and thriving cultural scene.

    10.30am, Apr–Oct; sarajevow­alkingtours.com

    Image: Pete Seaward / Lonely Planet

  • Berlin, Germany

    Alternative Berlin allows you to see all the great gritty bits of the German capital: street art, skateparks, artist squats, multi­cultural neighbour­hoods, graffiti galler­ies, day raves, flea markets and more.

    11am, 1pm and 3pm; alternativeberlin.com

    Image: iStock

  • Rome, Italy

    What we like about the New Rome Free Tour is its timing. Leaving the Spanish Steps at 5.30pm for a scoot around key sites (Temple of Had­rian, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain), it’s good for solos who'd like evening company.

    5.30pm; newromefreetour.com

    Image: Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet

  • Kraków, Poland

    Freewalkingtour.com offers a number of guided walks in the Polish city. Choose the classic Old Town Tour; the moving Jewish Kraków; the pickle- and pierogi-filled Foods of Kraków; or the late-night Macabre Kraków.

    10am and 3.30pm, Mar-Oct (Old Town tour – others vary); freewalkingtour.com/krakow

    Image: Matt Munro / Lonely Planet

  • Brussels, Belgium

    This goes one step further than a regular gratis city tour – hook up with Brussels Greeters volunteers in advance to arrange a bespoke freebie, based on your in­terests – history, foot­ball or frites. Tips not required.

    brussels.greeters.be

    Image: iStock

  • Belgrade, Serbia

    Start with the Downtown Tour from Belgrade Walking Tours for an intro to the Serbian capital, then join the Zemun Tour (3pm, Saturdays), which focuses on the narrow streets of this old neighbourhood.

    11am and 4pm; belgradewalkingtours.com

    Image: iStock

  • Ljubljanica, Slovenia

    Meet a yellow-dressed guide from Ljubljanica Free Tour at the Pink Church for a tour of the Slovene capital – both its main sites and the secret bits only a local can divulge.

    11am; ljubljanafreetour.com

    Image: Rex Features

  • Zurich, Switzerland

    If you think lakeside Zurich is all cold corporate finance, join the Zürich West tour from Free Walk Zürich, which lifts the lid on the city’s grungier side – from factories-turned-theatres to the red-light district.

    3pm; freewalkzurich.ch

    Image: iStock

  • Bath, England

    The Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides has been running free tours of the Georgian city for 80 years. Tours start outside the Pump Rooms.

    10.30am and 2pm Sun-Fri, and 7pm Tue-Thu May-Sep, 10.30am Sat; bathguides.org.uk

    Image: iStock

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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