Q: Why do you offer free tours?
A: Free Tours by Foot offers tours at no upfront cost. In fact, our tours operate on a pay-what-you-like model. We believe that everybody should be able to enjoy an educational tour experience and discover and learn about this great city of Washington D.C., regardless of your budget. We also strongly believe that you should not have to pay for a tour in advance, without having experienced it first. We think that you should decide how much you think the tour was worth when the tour is finished. As you can imagine, our tour guides have to work extra hard to earn your appreciation. You name the price.
Q: Do I have to make a reservation or can I just show up?
A: Yes. Reservations are required
for guaranteed spots on all tours. Reservations help us determine the number of guides we need to ensure that our groups remain manageable and enjoyable, and they allow us to notify you of changes to the tour due to weather or anything that could disturb the tours. . Groups of 6 or more MUST contact us before reserving
. Walk-up guests for these tours will be permitted if space is available. However, we strongly suggest contacting us before walking up to a tour.
Q: Why should I submit my phone number when making a reservation?
A: This is optional. You will receive your reservation confirmation and a reminder on the day before your tour via email. We do recommend, however, that you hand in a phone number by which you can be reached on the day of the tour. This way, your tour guide can get in touch with you if there are any short notice changes to the tour.
Q: We are a group of six or more. Why can’t we make a reservation online?
A: From experience we know that larger groups have the tendency to bail on us last minute or to involuntarily interrupt the tour. We want all our tour guests to enjoy the tour, therefore, we cannot allow groups of 6 or larger.
Occasionally, we will allow groups of 6-9 persons who wish to join our public tours. In these cases, we ask that you to pay in advance $12 per person to join the 2 hour tours and $24 per person for the 4 hour tours. As long as we are given more than 48 hours notice to cancel a tour, we are happy to refund the payment and cancel the reservation. You can do this on the Book Online page.
Groups of 10 or more must contact us for private tour.
Q: What happens if we arrive late to the tour?
A: Please, please, please try to be on time. We recommend arriving at the starting location ca. 10 minutes before the tour starts. We also recommend checking with your concierge or online how much time you need to make it to the tour on time and allow some extra buffer time. You don’t want to be the person arriving late and having to call and interrupt the guide in the middle of a tour. Your email reminder that you receive the day before the tour should list the tour guide’s name and phone number. Any late arrivals with reservations who do not contact us may have their reserved spots allotted to walk-up guests. Not contacting us or at a very late notice might affect your future reservations.
Q: I have changed my mind and cannot come to the tour. Do I have to let you know?
A: Yes! Please give us at least a 24-hour notice before your tour starts. Our number of spots are limited and we often have to send away interested guests, because there is no more space. By letting us know in time (at least 24 hours ahead) that you cannot make it, we can open up the extra spot to other interested guests. We do work on the honor system, so please understand that if you make a reservation and don’t show up or bail on us last minute, that this might affect your future reservations.
Q: Can my children attend a tour without me?
A: While we do love having younger visitors join us, we do require they attend the tour with an adult.
Q: Do the tours ever get cancelled for weather?
A: The show must go on! Our tours go out rain or shine. Dress appropriately for the conditions. If the weather is bad your guide will include as many “bad weather” indoor stops as possible. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. However, Free Tours by Foot may cancel or postpone the tour due to extreme weather. Please contact us or check our website for updates.
Q: Where does the tour start and end?
A: Every tour page has a map for the starting and ending location and map listed.
Q: What is an appropriate amount for a name-your-own-price tour?
A: Another good question. People always ask why we offer tours for no upfront cost that our competitors charge good money for? Well, we feel that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy a tour at a price they can afford, so our tours are “name your own price”. We also think that you should not pay for a tour, if you have not yet experienced it. Loved your tour and tour guide? Let him or her know! We appreciate whatever you feel is fair. You name the price. We are that confident in the quality of our tours. How can you beat that?
Q: Which Metro stop should we use to get to and from the Mall tour?
A: The nearest Metro station to the start of the “National Mall Tour Walking Tour” is the Federal Triangle station (blue and orange lines).
Read our blog post on HOW TO GET TO THE NATIONAL MALL.
Q: Where can we park near the tour?
A: Parking near the monuments is limited. The best websites that that we have found for information on parking are listed below:
Q: Will my kids like these tours?
A: That really depends on your kid. But generally all of our tours are suitable for children. Our tours are designed to be suitable for people of all ages.
Q: How long are the walks?
A: Most of our tours are a little over one mile (1.6k) in length. The tours are approximately 2 hours in length. The 4-hour All-in-One tour will obviously include more walking (about 2.2 miles) and you will stop for refreshments and bathroom breaks half way through during that particular tour. If you have problems with walking longer distances, we recommend you booking the private tour, so you can decide how fast the tour moves.
Q: I bought tickets on your website. Now I can't go. Can I get a refund?
A: Yes, but you must give us 24 hour advanced notice from when your tour starts.
Q: What do I need to bring to the Food Tours?
A: Some appetite. At the food stops, you will choose what treats you would like to sample (or eat in whole). Try them all or none at all. Unlike other tours that charge around $45 with some excluding food, on this tour, YOU choose what to eat and how much to spend. Suggested amount to bring for snacks is $10-$15, depending on your appetite!
Q: Are your tours wheelchair/stroller accessible?
A: While we will do all we can to offer accessible tours, not every tour can accommodate wheelchairs or strollers. Our Capitol Hill and Arlington National Cemetery tours do have stairs and unpaved sidewalks and cannot accommodate wheelchairs or strollers. For this reason, we ask strollers only be used if they can be folded/carried when necessary.
**Please note that ANC is currently under construction making this tour not accessible until construction is finished. We have not be given an estimated date of completion***
Our neighborhood tours (Georgetown, Eastern Market, U Street) are narrow and bumpy sidewalks and while they are officially accessible, they can be difficult to traverse. All other tours are easily accessible and require no alteration to the tour!
Our bus tours, however, are not wheelchair accessible. Strollers must be foldable and be placed at your feet as there will not be storage area.
Q: Can we bring our dog?
A: We love dogs, but unfortunately not all guests do. We ask guests not to bring dogs on the public tours. We do offer private tours and with the exception of Arlington National Cemetery and Capitol Hill, we do not mind if pets are brought along!
Q: How can I go inside the White House?
A: You need to contact your congressman months in advance to see if they will hook you up.
Q: How much does it cost to do a private tour?
A: Check our Private Group Tou
r link for more details.