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“Quite a surprise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Free and Friendly Tours

Free and Friendly Tours
401a Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
+1 877-558-9671
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Ranked #6 of 122 Activities in Philadelphia
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Owner description: Take a Free and Friendly walking tour with us! It’s free, which means you tip us what you want. It’s friendly because we’re friendly folks. And it’s Philadelphia because we love it and want you to love it too. We’re a Philly company and we’ll show you the whole Philadelphia – or the whole of what’s in walking distance. We lend our friendship freely and we’ll gladly recommend a place to go out after the tour.
Wilmington, Delaware
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Quite a surprise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

I have l lived and played in Philadelphia off and on over the years, so was amazed at the amount of interesting places, history and fun tidbits that I didn't know before. We did the so-called "Cheesesteak Tour" (don't be misled, there are no cheesesteak stops), but rather some interesting buildings and insight into what you can then do yourselves later on your on (for instance, the Park Service has taken over quite a bit and turned, for instance, the old First National Bank into a free museum), quite a bit of Ben Franklin history, the start of Philly with the Quakers, and lots of question answering. We were quite lucky that only two of us showed up, so we had Mark all to ourselves. I felt bad for him because he only makes money on the tips, but he never let on that he might have been disappointed at the poor showing (it was supposed to rain and with free reservations, people do not feel obligated to show up). Rather, he was enthusiastic, winning, knowledgeable and very, very personable. My friend and I are already talking about taking the Billy Penn tour next because of how wonderful this experience was. I did not see this on TripAdvisor before I went and had no idea of what to tip. We ended up giving $15 each which might have been more than we would have if there was a big group, but he did such a wonderful job for almost 2 hours, that $30 didn't seem even enough for his time and expertise.

Visited August 2013
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  • English first
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Super tour guide - made me love Philly more!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

Mike was our guide. He was indeed super friendly and so excited about Philadelphia. We have lived in Philly for about 7 months now. But did not know all the interesting facts & places he showed us! Even if you live in the city, this is a trip worth taking!

We arrived late for our 10:30 but luckily they let us join the group.
taking this trip made me excited to live in this historic & dynamic city!
On weekends, he does a longer trip showing the colonial architecture and a walk down south street. We were so glad we took this trip. They cover details about the history and the city that you would never know if you took a walk by yourself :)

Visited August 2013
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Newark, Delaware
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Local college grads start tour company”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Free and Friendly Tours is a relatively young company, started by a couple of recent college graduates who had a love of Philly and did their homework to be able to relay a good amount of information. They run two tours daily: the Colonial Cheesesteak tour (lots about Ben Franklin and the Quakers) and the Billy Penn tour (which goes to more cultural centers related to the William Penn side of things). We took the Colonial Cheesesteak tour. It was just my family of four at first, and we were met by two other people about a third of the way in. Our guide smoothly added them in, gave quite a bit of history and took us past Ben Franklin's grave and around the old city major historic points. They are not pushy, but they do run on tips. so I gave him $30 for my family of four. I like supporting young start-ups, and he did a nice job - my parents liked it. Other free tour companies are a bit pushier, or list recommended tips on the website. I based my tipping off of those sites, but liked that there was no "standard amount" required for this company. He started off the spiel with "We do run on tips, but if I don't do a good job, give me a tip on how to improve, and that will be tip enough." I liked that. Great job Free and Friendly.

It is a walking tour, and we passed the Independence Visitor's Center, so there were bathrooms along the way. It took ~1.5 hours.

Visited July 2013
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Hampstead, MD
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Quirky and Fun!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013 via mobile

So much fun! Was at a work sales conference "on a shoestring" and this was the perfect solution! It gave our group an opportunity to see the sights, in an abbreviated timeframe. Mark and Mike work on tips! Basically you pay them for how you think they did showing you around Philly! Both were great so hopefully our group tipped them appropriately! Would definitely recommend them- they will work around your schedule too!

Visited July 2013
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Sacramento, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Excellent!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Mark Simmons, owner and operator of Free And Friendly Tours conducted our William Penn tour in Philadelphia. He was knowledgeable, fun, and easy-going! We loved the tour and gave him a healthy tip to show our appreciation. Free and Friendly is definitely the way to go!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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