Some of us love to research before our trips while some of us hate it. To those who hate it, thankfully there are multiple online travel agencies that do all the heavy lifting. One of the most popular online travel agencies that has been gaining popularity ever since it was founded in the late 2000s is GetYourGuide.
In this article, we will explore what makes GetYourGuide tick, and what we think about it. You can scroll down to our full-fledged review if you don’t feel like reading the what, who, where, and how.
Also if you are starting out Digital Nomading solo we highly suggest looking into our Remote Year Review. Remote Year not only makes daunting solo travels easier but also gives you a taste of what being a solo traveler is all about.
What is GetYourGuide?
GetYourGuide is an online travel agency (or an online marketplace) that sells activities or tours. More like experiences. These are guided tours you can partake in once you reach your destination. One website, thousands of experiences.
Now you may wonder whether they are legitimate or a scam. We don’t blame you for thinking that because that’s what plagues everyone’s mind when it comes to booking accommodation or any other service in a foreign destination. GetYourGuide is pretty legitimate. It was founded in 2007 and has more than 60,000 products worldwide in 150 countries, 22 languages, and 40 currencies.
In case it needs to be more clear, GetYourGuide is a third-party booking site that sells these tours. That means when you opt for a booking, GetYourGuide is the middle man (aka agency) between you and the tour operator or the host of the activity. The whole system works just like a flight booking or a hotel booking website.
All the activities/experiences are divided into four categories. Sports, Culture, Food and Nature.
The food section includes experiences like guided tours exploring street food in the Middle East or learning how to make macarons in a traditional French kitchen in Paris. Wine tasting, making pasta from scratch, exploring tapas bars, and so on. There’s a lot to explore here for those who are super passionate about food.
In the sports section, you can go from zip lining in the city to a guided walking tour of the Madison Square Garden. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone. And in the nature section, you can opt for a dolphin-watching cruise, a trek through the mountains, or even enjoy a sunset by the bonfire. All these experiences so that you can be one with nature.
Finally coming on to the cultural experiences, you can completely immerse yourself in the destinations by learning more about their roots and history. Some of the experiences we discovered here include exploring Berlin’s street art scene, a bike tour through the nooks and crannies of Paris, and changing of the Guard Routine in London.
It’s a pretty robust offering by GetYourGuide. Something that would require hours of researching and planning is available to you at your fingertips through the GetYourGuide mobile app. Or you can even access the website and look up your destination.
All of these activities/experiences listed on the website are run by local companies and local guides. They pay a certain fee to have their activity listed on GetYourGuide. All in all, GetYourGuide is just a reseller. However, some activities are organized and run by GetYourGuide themselves which are listed as GetYourGuide Originals and are known to be of top quality.
How does GetYourGuide Work?
- At first, you start by browsing the activities you like. You can check out their reviews, compare prices, and dig a little more deeper. There are multiple activities/experiences revolving around the same tour. You can pick the one you like the most with the budget that you are comfortable with.
- Specify the number and type of participants, preferred date, and language (if applicable).
- Opt for your preferred option and select a starting time (if applicable).
- Provide your details for the booking.
- If you’re interested in a cancellation upgrade for added flexibility, you can include it in your purchase. (More on the cancellation upgrade later in the article)
- Choose your payment method and finalize the purchase.
That’s it. Nothing too complicated. You can either make the booking on your browser or you can use the mobile app.
The Finer Details
In this section, we will be going through the finer details that makes GetYourGuide stand out from the rest.
1. Everything is laid out
We couldn’t help but notice how each activity/experience is detailed under the ‘Important Information’ tab. Usually, it can be a huge bummer if you opt for one of these only to find out you didn’t pack the right gear.
Not only does it help in managing your expectations but it also gives you pointers and instructions so that you avoid any future inconveniences.
2. Cancellation Upgrade
Most of the activities on GetYourGuide come with a 24-hour free cancellation policy. That means you can cancel your booking until 24 hours before the activity starts to receive a full refund.
However, there are some activities/experiences where cancellation is non-refundable. In cases like these, GetYourGuide has partnered with Companjon Insurance to provide a Cancellation Upgrade.
At the time of payment, you can opt for a Cancellation Upgrade. You’ll have to pay an additional amount and the amount is determined by the type of activity. Note: Cancellation Upgrade is not applicable for all the activities.
With Cancellation Upgrade, you can rest easy knowing that you have the option to cancel your booking for any reason during the coverage period.
3. And the amount is fully refunded. The booking cost + the upgrade cost.
So in cases where your cancellation wouldn’t provide any refund, you can pay a little extra for the Cancellation Upgrade and have access to a full refund in case of cancellation. Kinda like insurance.
One drawback of this nifty feature is that the option to add a Cancellation Upgrade is not only limited to certain activities but also to those who are in the European Economic Area (EEA) at the time of booking. Hence you won’t be able to avail of the upgrade if you are booking from any other region other than EEA.
4. G Originals
If you are looking for quality, always go for GetYourGuide Original branded activities/experiences. These activities are hosted by the nice folks at GetYourGuide and they manage to ensure that the hospitality is always top-notch. The bar is set higher and you are more than likely to end your day with a smile on your face. Apologies if it sounds like we are marketing it, we were just blown away by GetYourGuide’s commitment to it.
Another benchmark for good quality activities/experience is the ‘Certified’ label. Activities/Experiences marked by the ‘Certified’ label are thoroughly vetted by GetYourGuide for quality. The only difference here is that the G Originals Activities are managed by GetYourGuide while the ‘Certified’ Activities are done by a third-party seller.
You can also filter all the activities with other labels like ‘Discounted Price’, ‘Likely to Sell Out’, and ‘Best Seller’. In order to look for a reliable, safe, and of good quality, we suggest filtering your results by ‘Best Seller’ and ‘Likely to Sell Out’.
4. Best Price Matching
You might want to buckle up your seats for this one. If you manage to find your booking elsewhere for a cheaper rate, GetYourGuide will refund you the difference. All you have to do is contact GetYourGuide’s customer care and forward them the link to the site where it’s cheaper. Upon verification, they’ll refund you the difference. No Questions Asked.
However, there are some terms and conditions to it. For starters, the location, number of participants, availability, and inclusions have to be exactly the same as your booking. GetYourGuide will check whether it meets their policy and then issue a refund if the criteria is met. Also, Best Price Matching does not cover discounts you might be eligible for on other sites.
5. VAT Inclusive Prices
Prices mentioned on the site and the app are always inclusive of VAT. You don’t ever have to worry about additional hidden charges or fees. Third Party Sellers who ask you to pay an additional fee during the activity are not legally allowed to do so and you can voice your grievance to customer care.
6. Is it Too Expensive?
Some may argue that going for these activities/experiences locally is a lot cheaper. While we may agree with that, you should bear in mind that there can be language barriers at your destination and a high likelihood of being ripped off in case you run into the wrong person. Hence, we believe booking your activities through GetYourGuide is simply better. And the gap between the prices of booking through GetYourGuide and through local isn’t that big either. You can also avail the different offers/discounts available on-site.
Sometimes you’ll come across situations where you are all set to book the activity well in advance only to find that the booking slots have not even opened up at all. In cases like these, you are bound to find the booking slots on GetYourGuide. If you tend to be one of those who like to stay ahead of the curve by booking everything well in advance, GetYourGuide bookings are the best way to go.
If you look hard enough, you’ll find some of the activities/experiences prices almost the same as the local prices.
Pros and Cons of Booking through GetYourGuide
Let’s be honest. GetYourGuide is not really perfect. Before we jump on to the reviews, let’s go through the advantages and disadvantages of using GetYourGuide. Let’s dig deeper and understand what makes GetYourGuide work its magic.
Pro – You’ll always be supporting locals
Most of us love to give back to the community whenever we travel. It’s also the fact that when you shop local, you completely immerse yourself in the rich culture and great vibes of the locale. And with sustainable travel being all the rage, shopping from MNCs is a big no-no.
While GetYourGuide may come off as a big corporate MNC, you can rest easy knowing that your purchases will ultimately end up supporting local businesses. As we mentioned earlier, GetYourGuide is a reseller. They sell tours operated by local companies, the very ones travelers might prefer supporting. Therefore, when you book through GetYourGuide, your funds essentially contribute to the backing of these local enterprises.
While these local companies do incur a fee for listing their tours on GetYourGuide, the benefits they gain far outweigh the associated costs. This is due to the fact that GetYourGuide stands out as a considerably more influential booking platform compared to most smaller companies. The exposure local businessmen are exposed to on this platform helps them attract a larger number of customers than they would typically receive.
Even the guides responsible for hosting GetYourGuide Original Tours/Experiences are locals.
Pro – You’ll be Spoilt for Choice
GetYourGuide’s website and mobile application are built in such a way that you will be overwhelmed with things to do. So many activities are listed that it basically cuts down your research time to almost nothing. Just type in your destination’s name and you’ll find a myriad of activities/experiences you can book.
Having all your options laid out on a screen is much better than walking everywhere and finding out the rates by yourself. All that energy expended for nothing. It’s even a bigger hassle if the climate of your destination is hot and humid. With all your choices laid out, all you need to do is select the activity/experience according to your preferences.
The website is pretty user-friendly and you’ll be booking activities in no time!
Pro – Authentic Reviews
Customers who have done an activity/experience through GetYourGuide can leave a review based on their firsthand experiences. While this may be normal for an online booking site, GetYourGuide only allows reviews from verified customers. That means if you haven’t made a booking through the site, you won’t be able to leave a review. We believe this should be the norm for all kinds of websites that offer goods/services but sadly it isn’t.
Through these reviews, you’ll get an idea of what the experience is all about and what are some of the things you should look out for. After all these reviews are from folks who have done these activities. Who better to listen to if not from the folks who have been there.
You can even search and filter reviews. With this feature, you can sort and navigate to those reviews with aspects that matter most to you, such as the quality of the guides, value for money, kid-friendly, and a lot more.
Pro – Browse with Filters and Labels
Filters and Labels are your best friend while navigating through all the activities. GetYourGuide has designed its website in a way that enables you to browse through the experiences according to your preferences.
You can filter your preferences with options such as:
Activities and tours can be further filtered by the language of your choosing. GetYourGuide offers up to a whopping 25 different languages. You even choose your preferred duration and the time of the day (i.e. morning, evening, etc).
Once you type in a destination name in the search bar, press Enter. After the search results are displayed, you’ll find an icon on the right side of the screen that says ‘Show More’. Upon clicking that, you’ll be further treated to an additional set of filters like ‘Categories’, ‘Attractions to Explore’, ‘Activities for every type of traveler’, and a lot more. You can even filter activities with ‘Wheelchair Accessible’, ‘Skip the Line’, and ‘Hotel Pickup’.
As we mentioned earlier, each activity is labeled as well. Some of the popular labels include ‘Likely to Sell Out’, ‘G Originals’, ‘Best-Seller’, and ‘Discounted Price’. You can search for activities using these labels as well as filters. With such a robust labels and filter system at your disposal, you can never go wrong in choosing your activity.
No more scrambling around meeting different vendors, and trying to bargain rates.
Con – Confusing Meeting Points
Many users have claimed that the designated meeting points are not clearly specified. In many cases, it was found that the designated meeting point was often shared among the various tours. There have been instances where one would stand in front of the Eiffel Tower, surrounded by 10-20 other tour companies. All these tour companies having a common meeting point can lead to a lot of confusion at the last minute.
While this experience isn’t solely attributable to Get Your Guide, we feel it’s worth mentioning for the purpose of caution. Get Your Guide consistently provides the meeting point and time for your booked activity, even sending a reminder a day in advance. However, it’s crucial to arrive well ahead of the meeting time, considering that multiple groups may be using the same meeting point, causing potential delays in finding yours.
Con – Same Tour Multiple Organisers
Some would say that this may not really be a con due to the saying ‘the more the merrier’. Nevertheless, we have decided to categorize it as a con because it did bug some of our team members. Sometimes, there can be multiple tours listed on the site on an X location. All the pictures may say they are radically different from each other but they tend to be the same tour hosted by different organisers. Don’t fall for the pictures and make sure you check the reviews before you move on ahead with the booking. Last thing you would want is double booking the same tour while it may seemed like you booked two different tours.
Con – Limited Choices in Lesser Known Parts of the World
As mentioned in the initial part of this GetYourGuide review, the platform stands out as an excellent choice for booking skip-the-line tickets, tours, and activities in major tourist destinations. It boasts a pretty solid selection of popular places like France, Italy, Spain, and all the other major tourist destinations.
However, if you are traveling to a lesser-known country, the platform doesn’t really sport a great collection. For example, if you search destinations like Ethiopa, Sri Lanka, or Goa, you may not find much. You’ll have to roll up your sleeves and go old school. And by that we mean, talking to the locals and finding out things to do. You’ll not be able to prebook anything and will most likely have to book directly with the operators after you have landed.
The encouraging news, however, is that this scenario is gradually evolving, with more destinations being added to Get Your Guide’s listings over time.
Con – Not a lot to do for Nature Lovers
If you are into activities like trekking, hiking, or rucking, we hate to break it to you but there are not too many options for these types of activities. GetYourGuide is a suitable option if you will be booking an activity from every category so you get the best out of everything. But if you are only into nature, then your best bet is to look into some other booking platform. It’s also important to note that this varies from region to region. Some regions may have a pretty robust offering for nature activities. But it can’t be said the same for all regions.
GetYourGuide is aware of this and they have been adding nature-centered activities from the past few years. So much so that the range of activities on offer has improved a lot and will keep doing so in the future.
What do the Travelers have to say about GetYourGuide.com?
Now that we have covered what GetYourGuide is all about, let’s dive a little deeper into what other travelers have to say about this super popular booking platform. We make sure that any review we come across is carefully vetted and then posted on this article. You see, we believe in authentic reviews and not the marketing carried out by the company or its partners. In this section, we assure you that you will be seeing the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Rated 4.0 out of 5 from almost 28000 reviews, it seems GetYourGuide has garnered quite a bit of reputation. If you still doubt whether GetYourGuide is a legitimate booking site or not, you can be assured that it is verified on TrustPilot. Trustpilot sports a pretty strict verification process.
Some of the recent reviews on Trustpilot are overwhelmingly positive. What’s more exciting though is the fact that the team behind GetYourGuide is pretty efficient at partnering up with vendors who take things above a notch. You’ll not just find the usual boring activities, but also activities and experiences that are totally unique and new on the market.
However, we did find a couple of reviews where a traveler had a negative experience. Here’s what they had to say:
Thankfully the customer was refunded promptly. However, we also like to point out that GetYourGuide is just a middleman, and the listing for this particular tour could be posted by the tour company itself.
While this customer was unhappy with her overall experience, what you can do to avoid situations like this is go for the Cancellation Upgrade. The whole purpose of this nifty little feature is to avoid situations like these and get a full refund.
Here’s what people at Reddit have to say about GetYourGuide:
Overall, the folks at Reddit have had a pretty positive experience with GetYourGuide.
Our Verdict – GetYourGuide Review
For starters, we love the fact that GetYourGuide permits verified reviews only. When you are an avid traveler, one of your most primal instincts tends to be staying safe and not getting scammed or ripped off. GetYourGuide does not pull any stops when it comes to its legitimacy. From verified reviews to verified sellers, GetYourGuide has won our hearts due to its legitimacy alone.
Think about it this way. Viator is one of the leading and largest online travel agencies that also deals in tours/activities. While GetYourGuide may be much smaller in scale, their tours/activities are a lot more robust and unique. What’s more interesting is that all the activities/experiences on GetYourGuide are divided into 4 distinct categories – Food, Nature, Sport, and Culture. This makes GetYourGuide way more optimised and intuitive to use then Viator.
Hence, brownie points from our side for authenticity and optimization.
But we are not done yet. There’s more.
Coming onto the transparency aspect, GetYourGuide excels at laying out all the information on its website. Everything is mentioned so that you can manage your expectations well and have a good experience. All the activities/experiences are labeled and categorized well. And all the prices are VAT inclusive. One cannot get any more transparent than that.
Also if you are always on the hunt for better offers or prices, you can scope out other online travel agencies’ listings for a better price. If you find a website offering a better rate, take a screenshot and intimate the folks at GetYourGuide. They will match the price to that of the screenshot.
But why not book the activity directly from the cheaper website itself?
While you may get a cheaper rate from elsewhere, GetYourGuide’s customer care is prompt and efficient. When you are availing tourism services, prompt customer care service is a must. Not to forget that they are pretty well versed in English and you’ll likely have no difficulty in communicating your problem. So if GetYourGuide is ready to match the cheaper rate from the other site and sports a pretty efficient customer service, why not opt for GetYourGuide?
In our books, you can’t go wrong with GetYourGuide. They excel in a lot of things. But the most important thing at the end of the day is that you’ll have a pleasant experience.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
How do I book an activity on GetYourGuide.com?
Booking an activity is easy! Simply visit the website, search for your desired destination or activity, select the options that suit you best, and then follow the straightforward booking process. Once your booking is confirmed, you’ll receive all the necessary details. You can even try booking through the mobile application.
What if I need to cancel or modify my booking?
You can review the cancellation policy on each activity’s page to understand the terms. Simply log in to your GetYourGuide account, go to “My Bookings,” and follow the provided instructions to cancel or modify your reservation.
Tip: Always make sure you opt for ‘Cancelation Upgrade’. In case of any unforeseen emergencies or unavoidable situations, you can cancel the booking without any worries and be eligible for a full refund.
How do I contact customer support?
Visit the “Contact Us” page on the website or app to reach out to support. If you find it difficult to navigate through the website, you can visit the link here.
How do I make the best out of offers/deals on GetYourGuide.com?
While GetYourGuide may offer some of the best offers/deals, you can also sign up for their newsletter to stay updated on all additional deals. Keep your eyes peeled for special promotions and bundles to make the most of your travel budget.
You can also take advantage of their Price Matching benefit. In case you find a better deal on any other website, you can intimate the folks at GetYourGuide.com and they will match the difference!
Do I need to print my tickets or vouchers?
Most activities on GetYourGuide.com offer mobile or e-ticket options. Simply present your digital ticket or voucher on your smartphone or tablet at the designated meeting point. Check the activity details for specific requirements.
Can I trust the reviews on GetYourGuide.com?
Absolutely. The reviews are submitted by real travelers who have booked and experienced the activities. GetYourGuide.com ensures that all the reviews are verified and only those who have taken the tour/experience are allowed to review.
How can I become a tour operator or list my activity on GetYourGuide.com?
If you’re a tour operator interested in partnering with GetYourGuide.com, visit the “Partner with Us” page for more information on how to join the GetYourGuide community. If you find it difficult to navigate through the website, you can visit this link here.