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Viator Tours

Has anyone had any experience with Viator tours. We did a couple of tours with them in Rome and were very satisfied.

I'm about to book a Tower of London tour with them, but the Yelp reviews of the company aren't very good.

Posted by
1443 posts

Viator doesn't provide any tours. They are a clearinghouse. They help travelers find and purchase tours offered by third-party companies.

If the specific tour you're interested in doesn't have good reviews, I'd think twice.

Posted by
5324 posts

It is true that Viator doesn't operate any tours.

However, we have taken many of Viator's tours in Europe, East Asia, Alaska, Australia and more.

We have never been disappointed or dissatisfied by a Viator tour. I always read the reviews of the specific tours prior to booking.

In researching for tours at specific locations, I have found Viator especially valuable where I was not able to find local tours easy to book on the internet. In particular, I used them extensively Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. I just did not find the ease of booking the local tours. Viator allows you to book in US dollars, pay for your tours prior to travel.

I have booked local tours other than Viator, particularly in Europe and found similar Viator tours that were priced at very close or almost the same price. I don't think Viator tours will add significant costs over the local tours.

One thing to look for with Viator is where the meeting place is for the tour, or whether the tour will pick you up at your hotel (depending on your hotel, this is common).

Posted by
1540 posts

Here is another vote for using Viator. I know they are a consolidator, but I have never had a bad tour......they have all been excellent!!! I have used them all over Europe.

Posted by
2900 posts

Take your tour with www.walks.com instead. A great company, London Walks. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. (Don't know which of these 2 duplicate threads will get deleted, so I've posted to both.)

With London Walks, you just meet at a designated spot, your Walks guide meets the group there, and all start off on the walk.

You pay your fee at that time. Their walks are inexpensive; usually from 7 to 15 pounds.

Posted by
5324 posts

In addition to taking Viator Tours, we have taken Free Walking Tours in several cities. Never had a bad one.

Posted by
8263 posts

Doesn't Viator own Trip Advisor now, or is it the other way around that Trip Advisor owns Viator? Anyway, that must be why the Viator tours keep showing up at the top on Trip Advisor. Didn't used to be that way. Now it's harder and harder to find tours that aren't filtered via Viator on Trip Advisor. You really have to keep scrolling down to find the direct link to the tour providers.

The problem we've seen with Viator on line here has been with miscommunication. For example: someone buys a tour via Viator, the tour operator doesn't get the info, the tourist is left waiting, misses the tour, and no one wants to reimburse for non-service. That said, I haven't seen a complaint for a while.

Posted by
408 posts

Why not enjoy the Yeoman Warder (beefeater) tour that's included with your Tower admission? Yes, the groups can be large but you can drop in and out as you please and the Yeoman Warders are expert at projecting their voice to be heard.

I'm a huge fan of London Walks (taking two of their neighborhood walking tours this weekend) but don't know how their tour of the Tower compares.

If you do see the Tower on your own, the best advice is to arrive at opening, go straight to the Crown Jewels before they get crowded, then circle back and take a Beefeater tour at your leisure.

I hope you enjoy your visit.

Posted by
362 posts

I have done three tours with Viator. One was great. One was okay. One was awful.

I'd read the reviews for the specific tour you are interested in taking. That's going to be a better way of judging if you want to do it than just reading about the company.

I've also done tours with Context. They're more pricey, but they do offer great tours.

Posted by
143 posts

We are in London now and had booked a tour through Viator for yesterday - it was cancelled two hours before it was to begin. The good news is that we still managed to get into the attraction we wanted to see another way (Kensington Palace for the Diana exhibit). More good news is that they have already processed a refund of my fees.

For the Tower of London - I would follow the advice in the RS guide -- get there early and go straight to the Crown Jewels, then circle back for a Yoeman tour. We did this last trip and had the Crown Jewels all to ourselves for a bit (got there at opening) and had a great time with the Yoeman!

Posted by
2900 posts

You don't really have to have a tour guide at the Tower of London. Pay, enter, go straight to see the Crown Jewels, then take the Yeomen Warder tour/lecture. Then go into the White Tower, see the armour and exhibits. Then wander around a bit outside, going up the winding staircases to the top of the wall and walk along to the rooms where the king lived in ancient times.

If you want to learn more about the Tower's history, you could go to the Tower's book store/gift shop and buy the Official Tower Guidebook. A bargain at five pounds. And a nice souvenir of your visit.

All you have to do at the Tower is walk right in and follow your nose to the main sights.

The Yeomen Warders and the employees who work in the White Tower will answer any and every question for you that you can come up with. Just approach them and ask your question.

Viator--I wouldn't book with them. If you want a private tour guide, get a Blue Badge guide.
Or go with a small group tour--www.walks.com

Posted by
404 posts

I've used Viator for two tours - one in Dublin to Newgrange and Hill of Tara, which was very good. And we used Viator to book a day tour from Florence to Siena and San Gimignano, also very good. I thought the communication on where to be when was clear and we had no issues with either tour.

Posted by
54 posts

I've used Viator twice and am planning on using them again this fall. I had a good experience with them. They usually give you the tour company that will be actually providing the service, like Evans Evans. So maybe if you have issues, it's better to contact the tour company directly. (I will say that Viator is slow to respond to emails. Not sure if calling them directly is better.)

The one complaint I have is that they try to pack in too much for a day tour. But other than that, I would recommend them. I just downloaded their app and it seems OK as well.

Posted by
54 posts

As I've said, I like Viator. But there is one glaring issue. They simply do not respond to emails. I've sent two emails to their customer service and have never received a reply.

Posted by
8263 posts

Since they are the consolidator and not the actual tour operator, you could end up playing ping pong with no one taking responsibility if something does go wrong. Just like air travel, eliminate the layers and book directly. And remember that these are the operators who have paid the TA fees to be listed, not necessarily the best available, but those who can afford to pay the fees.

Posted by
13325 posts

You don't really have to have a tour guide at the Tower of London.
Pay, enter, go straight to see the Crown Jewels, then take the Yeomen
Warder tour/lecture.

This is what I'd do as well. The free Yeoman Warder tours are very good - especially as they're provided by gentlemen who actually LIVE within the tower - and it's easy to do the rest of the complex on your own. We did it this way (although we saw the crown jewels later in the day) without feeling as if we missed anything. You can access all parts of the tower on your own that you could do with an organized tour.

https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/explore/yeoman-warders/#gs.SBTieJ0

Free tours of the White Tower are available as well:

https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/explore/white-tower-tours/#gs.yY=RIBY

Extra note: one of the more interesting buildings is Beauchamp Tower, for the graffiti carved into the walls from prisoners who were kept here, Just a bit about it:
http://www.londononline.co.uk/towerguide/Beauchamp_Tower/

Posted by
11450 posts

Why would you use Viatour if you can just contact the company directly and book directly with the company? I have done that and never had an issue..