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Global greeter network

I was watching Travel Detective on PBS tonight. One segment was about the greeter network. It’s ran by volunteers to introduce tourists to their cities. It’s free. It’s not a tour service.
https://globalgreeternetwork.info/
I’m wondering if any of you have used this service as a introduction to a participating city. What did you think?

Posted by
4637 posts

Yes, it's an excellent idea. The problem is - not too many participating cities. I would not mind doing it now and then when I am in Brno. Almost like my hometown.

Posted by
967 posts

I've done 2 Paris Greeter walks in Paris. Both people were very friendly and seemed to really enjoy sharing a neighborhood with visitors. It is requested that you make a donation to the non-profit that sponsors this but it is not required. (But why wouldn't you?)
The greeters won't accept tips but on both occasions I was able to talk them into letting me treat them to a coffee or gelato.
If you have the time to devote to this I recommend it.

Posted by
11562 posts

I haven't done one of these myself but I'm familiar with Big Apple Greeters in New York (they're part of that network). They've been around for over 25 years and receive mostly excellent reviews/ratings. As it's a volunteer organization, it is possible sometimes for bookings to fall apart on short notice or greeters not to be available on a desired date but it doesn't appear to happen often.

Posted by
941 posts

Thank you Secretary for the website correction. This new website is more user friendly. I found the old one from a Google search.
Thanks also to all for your experience input. Greeters looks like a great way to get an introduction to a neighborhood.

Posted by
2782 posts

I requested a Greeter this past Nov for Cordoba and Granada Spain. I used the .info website which does still send you to the city's greeter address same as the .com website...but I received no acknowledgement of my application or a greeter match. I emailed them again at the email listed to see if I could get a reply or confirmation, and still no response.
I was disappointed in the lack of communication as I was really looking forward to that interaction, but once in the cities, I found plenty to keep me busy.

It won't stop me from trying again.
I hear great things about Big Apple Greeters.
Here is a blog I like (as a solo traveler). I have permission to share her links.
https://solotravelerworld.com/solo-travel-free-guide/
She writes about both Paris and NYC programs.

Posted by
7639 posts

I have done walks with Paris Greeters three times, in 2011, 2014 & 2016. I plan to do another one in June. Obviously I find it time well spent to explore different areas of Paris with a local. In 2014 I submitted an application fo a Greeter in London. I never received a response.

Posted by
771 posts

Did a walk with a Paris Greeter in 2010 and loved it. It was for my family of 4 and she managed to fit in something for each of us. We saw a part of Paris we never would have found on our own.

Tried to set one up for Florence in 2016. First I inquired too early for a match, then they were unable to find someone for my time frame. But I did get very nice responses.

I think it’s a fabulous opportunity when you can get it.

Posted by
4637 posts

I looked at new links posted by secretary. This greeter network is a good idea, unfortunately many countries are not represented and I looked just to Europe. Just in quick look I noticed several countries missing: Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, some countries from former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia and I am sure I missed few more.

Posted by
5313 posts

Also have toured in Paris with Paris Greeters -- great! I specified that I preferred not to do stairs, and our Greeter modified his usual path through the Marais to include some time just sitting and talking. Takes a little while to match your request with an available greeter, but the lead time is worth it.

Posted by
2782 posts

One wants to remember this is a volunteer organization - built within the city but listed on the 'global' website for ease of access. Of course there will only be scattered representation.

Posted by
78 posts

Count me in as another very happy Global Greeter Network fan and cheerleader. My first "Greet" was in Paris in 2013. Since then, I have enjoyed a greet in Munich, and two in Milan. Across the board these are lovely people who want to show off their city to visitors. Without exception, each of my greeters were already waiting for me at the agreed-upon meeting location (and I always arrive a few mintues early!).

As previous poster mentioned, they absolutely are not allowed to accept tips. The Paris Greeters website is set up to accept donations, but I can't remember finding that option at the Munich or Milan site.

One "plug" for the Milan greeters. They just started their greets in February 2017. My husband and I were one of their first guests in March 2017. When I returned solo in October 2017, I met the same greeter (Betty) and her husband, Dino. I always bring a small gift from Atlanta as a thank you for my greeter, but in October, Betty had a gift for me -- two huge chocolate bars for me to take back home to my husband because she remembered how much he liked the chocolates in March.

Posted by
6174 posts

Toronto has an excellent Greeter program, as does Chicago. They have Greeters covering all sorts of neighborhoods, so you can sign up based on your interests and they will pair you with someone (hopefully on your chosen date and time). I got in touch with a Greeter in Toronto and had a good experience, and friends have had good experiences in Chicago. I think the program is a great idea overall.

Posted by
941 posts

Marti, thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with the greeters. I hope the greeter network expands to more cities.