Reviews and 3 pieces of advices from me

Traveling may be fun, but reading reviews and ratings of some city guides for Munich will frighten you unnecessarily. Are we losing our ability to communicate?

I myself have a 5-star profile as a city guide and artist and that means taking responsibility. If you come to Munich without a guide, there is a chance that you will be wasting a lot of time wandering around the city unintentionally. While you can use the internet to help you navigate, it’s not the same as having a “real” person by your side with plenty of knowledge of the city.

Make sure your guide really speaks the local language. In recent years more and more people have been working as guides who have neither experience nor knowledge of the city, culture or local traditions.

Finding out something about the history of a city may have become easier on the Internet, as more articles are available there, but the service of a city guide should be more than just repeating what one could otherwise read for free on the Internet.

Who wants two hours of history detention?

Our service consists in combining the available information and presenting it in a form that the visitor does not forget and that does not bore him. If someone introduces you to the city and talks about well-known facts and ends up begging for money, for me it is a sign that the person does not even know exactly whether the performance was worthwhile.

I get weekly emails from people asking if they can join my tours for free or why my services have a price. That’s why I decided to write this post.

When analyzing the reviews of platforms such as GetYourGuide, TripAdvisor or even Google Business, I found that guests often have false expectations. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you might be fooled.

What distinguishes a city guide for Munich?

Experience makes a big difference. Ask your guide or agency how long the responsible guide lives in the city, whether the person speaks German and what skills the professional has. Nobody can know everything, but on your vacation you should simply invest in activities that you enjoy. Some guides are artists (like me), entertainers (well, I am), others are historians, and others are just interested in the city. Avoid asking the wrong questions to a guide who has completely different skills. People who feel betrayed with the services of a city guide are to me similar to people who buy T-shirts without checking the size and find at home that the shirt is three sizes too small.

This tour is for first-time visitors only

A review in a travel platform

As I read this, I checked the profile of the traveler and the company responsible for the tour. The first question I asked myself was: If a traveler already knows the city, has experience and thinks they can assess this service, why couldn’t this person ask the simple question whether the tour is only for Is suitable for first-time visitors?

Of course, all city guides have a lot of historical information that travelers like to see, but what you get is what you bought. What makes guests dissatisfied with the tour is usually the result of quick price comparisons between different offers and the opinion that quality is not important. But the less you pay, the less you can ask for quality. You have to have priorities. If the price was more important when booking, don’t argue about the quality afterwards, for which you didn’t pay for either.

Guided tours for museums

What always inspires me enough is visiting museums. I started my guide career as a museum guide in the Glyptothek. Museums offer us the opportunity to see things of enormous historical and cultural importance and my explanations became more valuable from year to year in terms of content and the form in which I presented them. I believe my best presentation will be my last when I get the most out of my experience.

For example, if we visit the Art-Block (art area) in Munich, there is the Alte Pinakothek and much more, but only those who have visited these museums can tell you what is really inside. Here you can see works of art by the masters of the Renaissance and Baroque. There are some paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Altdörfer, Frans Hals and many other famous artists. Admission is usually 4 euros on weekdays, or just 1 euro on Sundays, but choosing just one guide for such an exhibition can be a terrible loss of time. You need the mix of entertainment and knowledge. Unless you check your guide’s references beforehand, better not to write a review.

People who don’t know how to behave in the museum need a guide not to write reviews like I read a few days ago. If you don’t act as expected, touch what shouldn’t be touched and act like an elephant in a china shop, then you will definitely have a lot of work writing bad reviews.

Stars in a rating don’t help anyone

A review should provide information about what you ordered or should order, how you received information, whether the information was correct, and whether the product (your tour) was exactly what you expected. If it does not meet your expectations, how did your contractual partner react? Did he offer you a refund?

When reading the reviews, I got the impression that the tour guide is held responsible for the lack of information. The company that offers the services must have a catalog of the services it has on offer. As a customer, you need to know what you are buying. You can’t pay for a FIAT and expect to drive a Maserati.

… At the end of the trip, we were only half a meter away from a very large hollow when we got out the door with no other option to get off the bus. ?? A driver ???? She had actually driven backwards a little to get closer to it ??? That was opposite the tourist information …

TripAdvisor review from a David R. from Philippines

(Women’s rights and respect for others are not flexible, please)

Sure, no one wants less for what is expected, but the online platforms are far too superficial and do not provide the necessary information, such as the information and backgrounds that a city guide has. If you read the reviews, you have to make a big difference between guide and agencies and that is not visible in the many feedbacks. In this case, David R. has invested a lot of time paying his respects to women, but how valuable is that for your next trip?

Browsing through the negative reviews, I noticed that it was often unclear who was really responsible for what. Things like “our train came too late …”, let’s be honest: “What does that have to do with the agency or the guide from a tour to Nuremberg?” Angry lines about how bad the train traffic was that day and, even worse, that Weather would have been too cold. But none of this has anything to do with the agency or the guide. That doesn’t really help anyone, because the statistics only provide a value like 3.7 in the overview and the details are lost.

Don’t waste time and money

Here is some advice that can help you achieve your goal:

  • Spend a little more time learning about the background from your guide.
  • Make sure you have informed the agency of your expectations. If they don’t meet your expectations, ask for a refund.
  • Are you going on a small group tour? Then ask how many guests are in your group. Anything over 15 people is not a small group.

Remember, guides are individuals and loners, just like you, you can’t pick anyone from a bunch and ask them to meet every unknown quality standard.

And one last word: if you enjoyed the tour, don’t forget to tip your guide. Tipping is not about the money, it is about recognizing the services of your guide.

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