WHAT DO BREATHING in the delicate perfume of alpine rock jasmine on an early-morning hike in the Swiss Alps, discovering a Parisian patisserie in the back streets of Hanoi and weaving through secret shortcuts to uncover Chicago’s underground pedway system have in common? They can all be done only on foot.
Exploring a destination by foot is a great way to gain a new perspective of a town, soaking in the sights, sounds, smells and scenery at your own pace. Guided walking tours amplify those sensations by providing an intimate look into the intricacies that make a destination so distinct, often providing a focus on art, architecture, history, food or nature.
Walking tour operators range from local guides booked through sites like Tours by Locals and Viator to expert guides booked through Context Travel. All the guides with Context Travel have a Ph.D. or equivalent certification in their respective fields for the tours they lead. Context leads private and semi-private tours in 50-plus destinations around the world covering a variety of interests. Explore the Louvre with an expert art historian on the three-hour Louvre Museum Tour: Crash Course, and walk the streets with a food writer or chef in search of Saint-Germain-des-Prés’ most beloved chocolates and macrons on the 2.5-hour Paris Pastries and Chocolates Tour. The company also offers more exclusive tours, like the After Hours Vatican Museum Visit and the Exclusive Early Morning Tower of London tour.
Many hotels provide private walking tour access for guests, like the complimentary neighborhood tours offered at all Triumph Hotels within New York City, including the Evelyn Hotel, The Frederick Hotel, The Iroquois Hotel New York, Hotel Edison, Hotel Belleclaire and the Washington Jefferson Hotel. The Cambrian Hotel, a member of Design Hotels, in Adelboden, Switzerland, gives guests direct access to the region’s top hiking guides, who create customized trips for guests with either simple hikes or more demanding routes with climbing sections.
Hyatt Hotels recently launched a program aimed at promoting well-being for its guests with a range of local experiences, many of which involve some truly unique walking tours. The experiences can either earn World of Hyatt loyalty points or members can use already accumulated World of Hyatt loyalty points to book adventures. These might include foraging alongside a naturalist in the mountains of Southern California, heading underground to navigate and explore the Chicago Pedway or taking a meditative hike through the Redwood Forest with a certified yoga instructor.
Unlike zipping through a city on a train or in a car, walking tours allow guests the chance to slow down and view the details, people and stories that bring a destination to life; just make sure to wear comfy shoes!
It’s entirely possible France’s most noteworthy eateries define the term “destination restaurant.” Examples of how some of the more enduring Paris restaurants have approached this is compelling. While hot spots like Le Drugstore changed with the times and tastes of clientele, others, like Café de la Paix, steadfastly stay true to the roots and recipes that have delighted guests for generations.
Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s staying power is rooted in the way it delivers continuity and consistency for long-time loyalists of the Grand Velas brand and anybody else seeking a luxury, all-inclusive experience. One of Grand Velas’s hallmarks is its activities, amenities and restaurants across its three buildings can be enjoyed by all guests, enabling them to do the destination their way. This is particularly important when groups have different ideas of how they want to spend their vacation time.
One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.
In 2025, Riviera River Cruises will launch two ships with sailing itineraries on Europe’s Danube and Douro rivers. Riviera Radiance will sail the Danube and offer six itineraries, including one exclusively for solo travelers, and three holiday itineraries. Riviera Rose will be based on the Douro River and sail one itinerary.
JetBlue, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are some of the airlines now charging passengers more to check bags at the airport than to purchase the service online in advance. In an effort to cover higher costs, more airlines increased baggage fees in 2024.
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
Condor Airlines recently introduced Condor Cards, a membership program that allows frequent Condor passengers to receive additional benefits. The two card options include World Activity Card, tailored to the needs of sports enthusiasts, and World Family Card, offering benefits for families or friends traveling together on vacation.