The Best Place to Take Audio Tours

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Someone listening to headphones while looking at a map
Posted: 11/13/23 | November thirteenth, 2023

I really like strolling excursions. The very first thing I do after I arrive someplace is take a strolling tour. It’s an effective way to get the texture of a brand new place, see the principle sights, and alter to the native tradition. You additionally get to fulfill an area knowledgeable information who can reply your questions and provide you with tips about different spots to take a look at (I at all times ask for suggestions for locations to eat, for instance).

But typically the dates and occasions that strolling excursions are supplied don’t line up with my schedule, particularly if I’m solely in a spot for just a few days or if I’m visiting when there’s a native vacation. I additionally wish to be spontaneous, and sometimes excursions are already stuffed up for the day or don’t enable last-minute registrations. Plus, I actually like going at my very own tempo when exploring a metropolis, and I don’t at all times really feel like being tied to a tour for 3 hours.

In the previous, this meant I used to be simply out of luck. But at the moment, there’s an alternative choice accessible: self-guided audio excursions.

With the prevalence of smartphones, it’s now potential to entry guided strolling excursions out of your cell system, supplying you with tons of freedom in terms of taking a strolling tour.

I’ve taken audio excursions world wide, and so they can actually run the gamut by way of high quality. Around goals to take the guesswork out of discovering high quality audio excursions by vetting native guides and compiling excursions from cities world wide in a single place.

In this evaluate of Around, I’ll share all the things you have to learn about utilizing this new tour market!

 

What is Around?

A screenshot of the website for Around, showing the different audio tours offered around the world

Around is a platform the place vacationers can discover and take self-guided audio strolling excursions in main cities world wide. Around vets native specialists who create and listing excursions on the web site, so that you at all times know that you simply’re getting a high quality tour information. (Around doesn’t run excursions themselves; they depend on native specialists.)

Tours usually final 60-90 minutes, although there are longer ones (corresponding to Full Immersion Verona) lasting upwards of 180 minutes. Keep in thoughts that the estimated occasions don’t take note of what number of occasions you cease and begin (and so they actually don’t account for that scrumptious pastry break!).

Since excursions on Around are created by native specialists, there’s a mix of detailed excursions on a specific subject (such because the nineteenth Century Skyscrapers Tour of Chicago, led by an expert Chicago tour information who focuses on structure and design) in addition to common overview excursions geared in the direction of first-time guests (just like the Berlin Highlights Tour).

Tours are primarily supplied in English, although there are some excursions in Spanish and Italian, with the intent of including extra languages quickly.

How Does Around Work?

All you have to take an Around strolling tour is a smartphone with GPS enabled and an web connection (no have to obtain a brand new app). Rather than the normal tour mannequin the place you pay per tour, with Around, you buy an all-access cross which helps you to take as many excursions as you need inside a time period, from 24 hours to 14 days.

A screenshot of the website for Around, showing pricing for 24-hour and 3-day passes

A screenshot of the website for Around, showing pricing for 7- and 14-day passes

This is a good worth when you think about that taking one strolling tour is generally round $5-20 USD, and for many cities on Around, there are at the very least three excursions presently supplied. If you’re visiting a spot for a weekend, the three-day cross is ideal, as you may take all of the excursions you need for simply $14.99 USD. Purchases on Around may be made in 5 predominant currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD) to keep away from trade fee charges.

If you’re extra of a sluggish traveler and staying someplace longer, or are visiting just a few completely different cities on one journey, there are one-week and two-week passes too.

Once you buy a cross, you’ll unlock all Around’s accessible excursions for that time period. As the corporate began in Italy, you’ll see probably the most cities represented there:

A screenshot of the website for Around, showing the different audio tours offered across cities in Italy

You’ll additionally discover excursions within the U.S., Canada, Australia, and all through Europe, with new cities being added on a regular basis. In reality, since I began scripting this submit, new cities have been added!

On every tour web page, you’ll see useful data together with the length, really useful place to begin, details about the knowledgeable information, a map of the stops, and a brief description of what the tour is about:

A screenshot of the website for Around, showing details for a tour offered in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Spain

I actually like how one can hearken to a 30-second preview of the tour. That approach, you may rapidly get a really feel for the information earlier than you determine to embark on an extended audio journey with them.

Each tour web page additionally shows a number of the highlights in visible type, which is tremendous useful for realizing whether or not the tour covers predominant metropolis landmarks that you simply won’t wish to miss:

A screenshot on the Around website showing photos of highlights that you would see on the Barcelona tour

While excursions all include a really useful place to begin, you can begin at any location on the tour. Upon beginning, you’ll comply with the route, guided by your map and the voice of your information. Once you attain an appointed cease on the tour, an orange button pops up. Hit the button to hearken to the information’s experience on the cease.

You can pause and replay every cease as many occasions as you want, which is helpful in busy cities that is likely to be loud or in any other case distracting.

In reality, when you’re within the metropolis the place the tour takes place, you may play every cease’s audio everytime you like. This is just not solely useful should you’re utilizing an older system that may battle with exact GPS (so it won’t acknowledge should you’re standing at an audio cease), however should you didn’t have time to complete the tour whereas strolling round, you may nonetheless study the knowledge whereas enjoyable in your lodge or hostel later.

And so long as your entry cross stays legitimate, you may take the entire tour once more should you actually wish to!

Pros of Using Around

Around takes the guesswork out of discovering high quality audio strolling excursions, and there’s so much to love about this newcomer on the tour firm scene.

I particularly appreciated how, with Around, you may:

  • Take expertly guided strolling excursions at any hour of the day
  • Stop, begin, replay, and are available again to excursions on a very self-paced tour expertise
  • Enjoy as many excursions as you need for one worth, with their limitless entry cross

Cons of Using Around

Around continues to be in improvement, which means that they’re nonetheless understanding the kinks. While they’re off to a fantastic begin, listed below are some locations I’d like to see them enhance upon:

  • More cities supplied (which is one thing they’re actively engaged on)
  • Downloadable excursions as you presently want an web connection to take excursions, which is one thing it’s possible you’ll not have whenever you’re touring
  • Short bios of the guides to focus on their background and experience (most are professionally licensed guides)

***

Around is a cool, reasonably priced platform with numerous potential. While there are plenty of firms providing strolling excursions lately, there nonetheless isn’t plenty of give attention to audio excursions. It’d be nice to have a go-to place to search out curated expert-led audio excursions world wide. I’m wanting ahead to seeing them flesh out a number of the options and add extra cities too. If you’re someplace that Around affords excursions, positively verify them out!

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

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