This GetYourGuide review will tell you everything you must know before booking a ticket, an activity or a tour on this third party reseller site.
Let me start this post by clarifying something: I have not been paid to write this GetYourGuide review. I regularly use GetYourGuide (and other third party booking sites, if necessary) as a traveler, I really like it and trust it and this GetYourGuide review is 100% based on my personal experience.
Get Your Guide is a website and app through which you can book skip-the-line tickets and guided tours to a variety of attractions around the world, as well as activities such as cooking classes (but not only). The whole idea is to make the process of booking a ticket or a tour much easier, so that you don’t have to spend hours researching online when planning a trip, and so that you don’t have to look for tickets and tours while at the destination (thus wasting precious time) – you can book from the comfort of your home.
Yet, I often see that less experienced travelers are reluctant to book tickets and tours via third party reseller sites such as Get Your Guide, generally claiming that tours are more expensive and that they’d rather use local providers. But is this really the case?
The idea of this post is to explain how Get Your Guide – as well as other third party resellers sites – work. I will to my best to highlight all the pros and cons of booking a tour, activity or ticket through them.
Continue reading for a full GetYourGuide review.
An In Depth GetYourGuide Review
What is GetYourGuide?
The first thing I ought to clarify in this GetYourGuide review is what Get Your Guide is.
Essentially, Get Your Guide is a massive online travel agency through which you can book skip-the-line tickets, tours, activities in a multitude of destinations across the world. It acts as a middleman between you and local travel companies and operators you would otherwise have trouble finding online.
So instead of browsing the web for a company that sells exactly the tour you are looking for, you just go on Get Your Guide and use their search button to find what you are looking for.
In some countries, the range of tours and activities offered by GetYourGuide is still limited as they are expanding their reach – that’s the case for countries in Central America, where I have traveled a lot. In that case, you really are better off booking locally once you are there, through the hotel or by going to the agency in person.
The offer is also a bit limited for activities such as hiking, rafting, climbing and anything that has more of an adventure or nature focus. But again, Get Your Guide is always working to expand the range of activities they offer.
But when it comes to the world’s most visited attractions, for which you must book in advance, Get Your Guide really is the best option.
Traveling to Rome? Make sure to read my post Seven Smart Ways To Get Tickets To The Colosseum And Skip The Lines.
Who runs the tours and activities on sale on GetYourGuide?
Understanding who runs the tours and activities sold on Get Your Guide is key for building your trust, so I want to make sure you get this fact right and decided to tackle this issue immediately in this GetYourGuide review.
One of the biggest objections travelers express against big third party booking sites such as Get Your Guide is that they prefer using local provides. What’s important to understand here – and one of the reasons that prompted me to write this GetYourGuide review – is that Get Your Guide is just a reseller – in the vast majority of cases GYG is selling tours that are run by those local companies that many would rather employ. So you can rest assured that your money is ultimately going to support local companies.
These companies have to pay a fee for their tours to be sold on Get Your Guide, but the advantages they get are by far higher than the costs of being there, because Get Your Guide is a significantly more powerful booking site compared to most smaller companies. In other words, small local companies will get many more customers than they normally would thanks to GYG.
Get Your Guide
Some of the tours sold on Get Your Guide are actually run by Get Your Guide itself. These are called GetYourGuide Originals and are synonym with top quality. Even in this case, the guides who run the tours are actually local guides.
I have done a bunch of these GetYourGuide Original tours in various locations – the Louvre and Versailles in Paris were my latest ones – and was impressed with the quality. In all cases I had a knowledgeable, friendly guide that could walk the group swiftly through the crowds and share plenty of insightful information.
Traveling to Paris? Make sure to read my posts Nine Smart Ways To Get Tickets To The Louvre And Skip The Line and Seven Smart Ways To Get Versailles Tickets And Skip The Line.
Booking tours and tickets with GetYourGuide
In this GetYourGuide review I want to show you that getting tickets and tours on Get Your Guide is super easy. You can do it on the website, or on the app you can download on your smartphone. In fact, I recommend using both as the app gives you access to mobile vouchers, so you don’t even have to print the tickets.
Here is what you have to do:
- Go to GetYourGuide website
- Use the search bar to look for the tour, ticket or activity you need to book
- Select the one you prefer after having read the description and the reviews
- Book using your full name, credit card or paypal, and email address
- Receive confirmation via email
- Download the app to use the mobile voucher
It really couldn’t be easier.
The only issue you may have is that for some attractions and activities you will find a myriad of entries. That’s because there are many different tours on offer: some last longer than others; some come with a live guide whereas others only offer an audio-guide.
But just in case, I am highlighting the most important steps below
Find the tour you want
As I have already stated in this GetYourGuide review, one of the very few issues (if it can even be called that!) you will encounter is that there is a very wide selection of tours, activities and tickets on Get Your Guide, especially for some attractions and some destinations. This means that you have to narrow down your choices.
You can do so by selecting the kind of tour you want, the price range, the language, the duration and even the services (see photo above).
The services bit is where you need to look for tours for wheelchairs or reduced mobility people, or for other things such as hotel pickup.
Once you get to your selection, you can sort the tours and activities by using the button on the top right hand side of the screen and sorting the tours by most recommended, price, and rating.
TIP: If quality is what you are after, make sure to sort the tours by the most recommended ones. This way you will see the best tours first.
GOOD TO KNOW: Tours that appear similar may have very different prices. You need to read the description to understand the difference in the prices. The price difference can usually be explained with what the tour includes. Some may literally only provide a skip-the-line ticket and nothing else. Others may include an audio-guide and others a live guide, a meal, and a range of other things. Guided tours with a live guide are inevitably more expensive (and a whole lot better, if you ask me).
Another thing you may want to consider when selecting the tour is the label it comes with. Some are labelled as “GetYourGuide Original,” others as “Likely To Sell Out,” “Best Seller,” “Certified,” “New Activity” and “Discounted Price.”
I have talked about the GetYourGuide Original in this GetYourGuide review already. The “Likely To Sell Out” label is used for activities that are very popular and for which advanced booking is mandatory – ie the Colosseum or the Eiffel Tower. The “Best Seller” label is used for activities that have the best reviews. The “New Activity” label is applied to activities that have just been added to the listing – you will notice that they will have none to very few reviews.
Going to Paris? Read my post Seven Smart Ways To Get Eiffel Tower Tickets And Skip The Lines.
I normally either go for the GetYourGuide Original or the Best Seller as I am after quality more than anything else.
Read the tour description
When you select a tour or activity, you will be taken to a different page (like the photo above) where you will be able to read a full description. This page is essential for you to get an idea of what you are about to get.
The first line under the photo of the activity is just the essential tour description. Right below, you will get a small section called “About This Tour” that gives you a schematic description of the tour, stating its duration, and other quick facts. You will then get a more in depth description, with the tour highlights, the full experience, what the tour includes (and importantly, what is not included).
You will also find important information on the meeting point and on what to bring and what to leave home.
TIP: Make sure to read the full tour description to understand what you are going to buy! I once bought an activity without reading, convinced it was going to be a guided tour and I was gutted to discover once I got to the meeting point I had actually just bought a skip the line ticket.
Read the tour reviews
If you continue scrolling down on the page of an activity, you will be able to see the tour reviews and finally you will see the name of the local company running the tour (see the photo above, I have circled the part you need to be looking at).
The good news is that only people who actually bought a tour on Get Your Guide can review it – and only after they have taken the tour: they will automatically receive an email inviting them to review their activity. That’s how you know that all reviews are 100% genuine.
Save the email
Once you make a booking, you will receive immediate confirmation via email. Make sure to keep this email as it has the booking reference for your tour, as well as other important information you may need ie the contact number and email of the local provider, should you need to call them for whatever reason.
Download the app
Once you pay, you will get immediate confirmation of your successful booking via email. I recommend downloading the free Get Your Guide app on your smartphone to keep on top of your bookings. It’s also the best way to save on paper, as for many tours you can simply show the voucher via the app.
You can download the app here.
One of the things I need to underline in this GetYourGuide review is that you can Get Your Guide allows you to book attractions months in advance, and even before tickets are put on sale on the official website. For example, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Vatican Museums will allow you to buy tickets up to 60 days in advance.
But if you like planning well ahead, you may want to get your tickets before those 60 days. And if you are anything like me, having to put reminder after reminder to yourself to do things, you may want to get it done as soon as possible and then forget about it until it is time to actually show up.
Last minute bookings
What if, however, you are not a planner at all? That’s where this GetYourGuide review comes handy, pointing out that on GYG you will also find last minute tickets.
Mind you, this is not something I recommend – especially as the most popular attractions such as the Colosseum or the Louvre get sold out weeks in advance. But you can definitely check to see if you can find some suitable activity or ticket for the day after or even for the same day.
You will definitely have better luck getting last minute tickets on Get Your Guide if you are a solo traveler – most operators, even those that sell on GYG, buy tickets in bulks and sell them to individuals so if you are alone, you definitely have better chances.
Furthermore, someone may have cancelled their tour or ticket and in that case you may be the lucky one able to do a last minute purchase.
TIP: Make sure to download GYG app for last minute searches of tickets, tours and activities when you are already at the destination.
Canceling or modifying a booking
This is probably my favorite GYG feature. Unfortunately I have had to make use of it lately. In fact, the ease with which I could first modify, then cancel my booking when I saw other travelers who bought their tickets directly via the official website struggle to do the same is what prompted me to write this GetYourGuide review.
When many countries went into lockdown and traveling off limits a few weeks ago, many have had to cancel their pre-booked tours and in my case it was seamless, since I had booked my tours with Get Your Guide. Other travelers who had booked directly with the site didn’t have quite the same experience.
Get Your Guide usually allows you to modify or cancel the booking of a ticket, tour or activity as long as you do it 24 hours before it is scheduled. In the case of a cancellation, you will receive a full refund that usually shows up in your bank account within a few days.
This is a vital feature, and Get Your Guide makes it really so easy for its customers. There is no such thing as having to send emails, making phone calls (for which chances are you have to wait in line until an operator picks up your call) and sending follow ups. All you need to do is getting the confirmation email and scroll down on the message until you get to the bit that says “manage my booking” and select whichever option suits you best (see photo above).
Many people object to getting skip-the-line tickets on Get Your Guide vs. the official site of the attraction because they are more expensive.
For example, if you want to buy a ticket to the Louvre via the official website, it costs €17 (€15 + €2 for the booking fee). If you buy it on GYG, the same ticket costs €20 (€17 + €3 for the booking fee).
This GetYourGuide review is meant to unveil the mystery of the price difference.
First of all, let me point out that not all attractions are more expensive on Get Your Guide. Some are; but some cost exactly the same amount as they cost on the official site.
Secondly, you are paying that extra money for the possibility of booking well in advance when official sites may not even sell tickets yet; or for the chance of getting tickets when they are sold out on the official site.
Finally, in my humble opinion it is worth paying those few extra Euro or Dollars for the ease of booking as well as for the ease of cancellation.
GOOD TO KNOW: Prices on GYG always include VAT.
Get Your Guide price guarantee
GYG clearly states that if you manage to find the same activity or tour cheaper elsewhere, they will cover the difference. You may wonder if this is true, and I can say it actually is as I have had used this feature myself once, when I visited Vietnam with my sister.
We had booked a guided tour of the Mekong Delta departing from Saigon on Get Your Guide and soon realized that the tour costed much less when bought locally. We emailed the customer service who quickly reviewed the situation and we got a refund of the price difference in no time.
Make sure to read my post 15 Things To Do In Saigon In Just 3 Days.
I am sure by now, reading this GetYourGuide review you drew the conclusion that I am GYG biggest fan. I probably am indeed, but this doesn’t mean I can’t see its shortcomings. Let me highlight them below.
Information about the activity can be confusing
One of the main shortcomings of Get Your Guide is that in order to fully understand what you are getting you really need to read the description – it is not immediately clear whether the option you may be selecting is a guided tour or just a plain skip the line ticket. Even I got confused when I bought my ticket to the Eiffel Tower.
Meeting point isn’t always easy to find
This has actually little to do with just GetYourGuide, so I am not even sure it is fair to include it in this GetYourGuide review. I suppose I will, just for the sake of warning you.
Get Your Guide always tells you the meeting point and time for the activity you have booked; and sends you a reminder a day in advance or so. But you have to make sure to be there even earlier than the meeting time, because the same meeting point will be used by many groups and it may take a while to find yours.
Still few options for tours in some parts of the world
As I have said at the very beginning of this GetYourGuide review, Get Your Guide is an excellent booking platform for skip-the-line tickets, tours and activities in major tourist destinations. You will find a great offer for places such as Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, the United States as well as South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Israel.
Unfortunately, the offer isn’t quite as wide for lesser visited destinations such as Nicaragua (one of my favorite countries), Ethiopia or Sri Lanka.
The good news is that this is slowly changing and more and more places are now being listed on Get Your Guide.
Still few options for nature-centered activities
Nature lovers will also notice that activities such as guided hikes or adventure activities are still few on Get Your Guide. Again, since I have been traveling and blogging full time and using Get Your Guide to book tours and activities, I have noticed that the range of activities on offer has improved a lot, so I just assume it will continue to improve.
Get Your Guide declines any liability for errors and misinformation on their site that is imputable to the companies actually running the tours it sells. For example, if you are meant to get lunch during a tour but you end up not getting it, you should complain to the company running the tour rather than GYG.
Get Your Guide accepts various methods of payment both on its website and app, including credit and debit card; PayPal; Google Pay and Apple Pay.
Get Your Guide contact emails and numbers
You can contact Get Your Guide via email directly through the website or the app.
If you would rather call, there are several numbers you can reach out to 24/7. Among them, there are:
USA +1 844-326-5840
Canada +1 844-326-5840
Support is available in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.
You can also send messages on WhatsApp at +49-151-23457858 – this is the number for English messages. The chat is available also in other language, on other numbers.
My last Get Your Guide tour
The last tour I have taken that was booked on Get Your Guide was a tour of Versailles. I was actually meant to go on a guided tour of Berlin in early March, and on a guided tour of Etna wineries in Sicily in mid March, but we all know what happened – thankfully I could cancel my bookings easily and got a full refund.
The Versailles tour I did was a GetYour Guide Original. I picked it because it seemed to be just what I needed – a good introduction to the castle and its history and plenty of time on my own afterwards.
I couldn’t have been happier with my choice.
The meeting point was actually very easy to reach and clear – the offices of the company running the tour, so there could be no mistake – and I made sure to get there plenty in advance.
The guide gathered the group and then walked us to the entrance, where we swiftly went through security. She knew exactly where to take us so we wouldn’t waste any precious time.
She was incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable, and she managed to guide a group of 20 visitors through Versailles in a way that we hardly noticed the crowds. She had just the perfect pitch in her voice that kept us all glued to what she said – including children. She never failed at answering questions. In other words she was perfect.
Other third party resellers
To do Get Your Guide complete justice with this GetYourGuide review I need to compare it to a few other popular third party booking sites. Below are a few ones I have used and you may have come across.
Walks of Italy
I am a huge fan of Walks of Italy and their partner company Take Walks. Compared to Get Your Guide, the offer is much smaller: they only focus on a handful of cities in Europe and in the United States, and only sell guided tours but no activities and skip-the-line tickets.
The price of tours on Walks of Italy varies widely, and they can be as cheap as €30 and as expensive as €170 and even more.
Tours sold on Walks of Italy are only conducted in English – which I assume the majority of you have no issues with. They are of really good quality – they only work with the best local companies.
The cancellation policy is not as flexible as that of Get Your Guide – you will get a full refund if you cancel within 72 hours for group tours, and a week for private tours.
All in all, this is a very good company to book guided tours.
The Tour Guy
The Tour Guy (or The Rome Guy for tours in Rome) is one of the best tour booking sites around. Many travelers swear that the tours of Rome taken with The Rome Guy are absolutely the best. Tours are in English only.
The website is very easy to use (though not visually appealing, at least to me) and once you select the tour the short description will pop up right under the main photo, giving you an idea of what you will see and do during the tour.
My main concern is that anybody can leave a review on the website – whether they have taken a tour or not.
Tiqets is very similar to GetYourGuide, but it offers less options than the latter.
All tours and tickets sold on Tiqets come in the form of mobile vouchers, so you don’t need to print them. It’s an overall reliable company with a good customer service in a variety of languages.
What I don’t like about Tiqets website is that there are very few filters, so you really have to scroll down the entire page to find what you are looking for. Another issue is that they claim they aren’t obliged to change or refund your ticket, as that is up to the supplier. So in a way that makes me prefer Get Your Guide.
Having said that, Tiqets is a good, reliable company to use provided you are sure about what you need.
I will pick Get Your Guide over Viator any time. Viator was recently bought by TripAdvisor. They are probably the largest third party tour reseller with a selection of more than 200000 tours and activities. You can find the tour you need by using the many filters and then listing them according to your preference. Yet, the website is not visually appealing, and finding the information you need may take you a while.
Civitatis is my least favorite third party tour reseller and I much prefer the other companies mentioned above. Though they operate in many countries, they have a very small selection of tours and activities, with literally only just one option per attraction. This has the advantage that you hardly have to do any searching, but the big disadvantage that you don’t have much to pick from in case an attraction is sold out.
I went on one of their tours last December – a guided tour of the Masada when I was visiting Israel with my mom. I was hardly impressed with the tour – in fact, I was so disappointed that I ended up writing a long complaint email as the bus was taking us back to Jerusalem (that’s how infuriated I was).
All in all, my recommendation is to pick tours on GetYourGuide instead.
In case it was not clear when reading this GetYourGuide review, I love Get Your Guide. I find it the most reliable, trustworthy third party tour booking site around, simple to use and visually appealing.
There is a huge range of activities and tours, so I am pretty sure you will be able to find just what you need.
Whether you have a great experience or a complaint, Get Your Guide will be ready to listen to your feedback. And, quite importantly, you won’t have any issue in canceling a tour, or changing a reservation.
Do you have anything to add to this GetYourGuide review?