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Did anyone use CityPals before in Prague or Budapest?

Did anyone use this the website CityPals to book tours by a local in Prague & Budapest? they seem to be all over the world but I never heard about them. https://citypals.com/

Posted by
1833 posts

Sorry if I fail to answer your specific question, because I haven't used CityPals, nor have I done a tour by locals in either Prague or Budapest.

I have used ToursByLocals and WithLocals (the first in Guadalajara, Mexico, the second in Berlin), and I think these all offer essentially the same thing: a non-professional guide to show you around.

Both of the guides I got from these sites were nice and did a good job, but you will not get the same kind of depth of knowledge or historical context you will get from a professional guide. They will show you the sights and tell you what you are seeing, but that's pretty much it. If you ask them questions, you won't get much detail.

It's fine if you want a broad overview. It was good in Berlin because it's a big city; I did the tour the day I arrived and it was a decent orientation. Later in my stay I revisited some spots and read a little more about them to get the detail and context I didn't get from the guide.

But I don't think I would use these services again. I prefer the kind of deep dive a good professional guide can provide.

Posted by
3 posts

Hi Lane, Thank you very much for your input. I see that CityPals has both professional (certified) guides and some that are more casual. I'll try it on my upcoming trip in July and will post my feedback here. Thanks Andrew

Posted by
356 posts

Speaking from the perspective of a professional tour guide specifically, and a person who works within the travel industry, more generally - always try to book directly through the service provider's own website, be they a tour guide or a hotel.

Resellers - such as CityPals, GetYourGuide, Viator, Booking.com, Hotels.com - just resell the product, but take a 20% cut. They make it harder and harder for small businesses to survive in an increasingly crowded market by effectively blocking the top of the search rankings with paid adverts, beyond what a small operator can afford. Their tactic - which is very effective - is list with us, or no one will find you.

Now, you might say - "it's only a 20% cut", but 20% of a five-day workweek is one full day. So before you book through a reseller, ask yourself - would I be content to work one day each week for free? (It's the same amount of work, just -20% pay.)

If the answer is "no", then you should click around a bit more, and book directly through the tour guide's own website.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you Marcus for your insight. I see what you mean from the perspective a of a tour guide. From the point of view of a traveler, I like to be able to select from a range of guides or locals that offer different experiences. To be fare to CityPals, they state that their commission is 16%.

I guess its similar to the Uber/ Lyft debate. Taxi companies are losing money but more people enjoy the opportunity of working as drivers and the clients end up paying less for the service.