I'm planning to make a Maastricht Free Tour, because we don't have any yet and I found local guides are too expensive and not suitable for the backpackers etc. Now I would like to know if there are others out there whom are here during the summer and would like to join me in setting everything up, are not afraid of giving tours, know more than me about websites, and hence making some money this way without speaking Dutch!
“I’ve been involved in couch surfing and I used to show the backpackers who stayed at my place around the city”, says Leona Reuter (26), who posted the above message on the Sharing is Caring Facebook page. “But now that I’ve moved to a smaller apartment, I’m not able to host them anymore. I really liked giving those little tours so that’s where the idea for a city tour started.”
The Free Walking Tour is a well-known concept in many European cities. The guide walks you through the city and tells you funny and interesting facts about it. The tour is free – you simply tip the guide however much you think he or she was worth.
Reuter received many responses to her Facebook message. “I never expected it to be that many. At the moment we’re figuring out all the legal aspects of the tour. The other day we went to the juridisch loket, the local legal office, but they were unprepared for our questions so we’ll have to go back another time.”
If everything goes according to plan, the first tours will run this summer. “From my experience with couch surfing I know that many backpackers visit Maastricht on their way to, say, Amsterdam, so there’s definitely a market for a free tour. But it would also be interesting for new students who want to learn something about their city.”
Reuter is already well acquainted with Maastricht. “I grew up here, which gives you a head start. For example, when I was little I learned that the church that’s now home to the Kruisherenhotel used to be a horse stable. For the information we want to give during the tour, we’re going to have to hit the books. Though for more interesting things, I think we’re going to talk to older people. They usually know facts that can’t be found in libraries.”