Where Do Tour Guides Go On Their Days Off?

They’re responsible for introducing you to a city and giving you those all important pointers for the first stage of your trip, but what do these fountains of knowledge do in their own down time?

This is the real tour guide’s guide to travelling.

Paul Talling


“Going to gigs at the Dublin Castle, a real pub in Camden. No food, just booze, a jukebox and a back room with several live bands every evening. I have been going to gigs here for 30 years and its hardly changed at all and still run by the same family. The slightly grimy interior adds a certain authenticity that sets it apart from other venues.”

Paul Talling is the founder of Derelict London which depicts everyday life in London, often with ‘unpicturesque’ views, but ones which arguably reflect the real London landscape.

Image credit: Derelict London

Charlie Shepherd


“Les Maitres du Pain in Gueliz – the best boulangerie in Marrakech – situated in the Ville Nouvelle and serving great coffee, pain au chocolats, croissants and scrambled eggs. There’s also a street that few people know about that connects the Royal Palace grounds with the Agdal Gardens to the south of the kasbah district of the medina. It’s a very peaceful place to walk or ride a bike and showcases the city’s classic palace architecture. “

Charlie Shepherd is the lead guide in Marrakech for Black Tomato. The website offers luxury tailor made travel experiences and honeymoons.

Image credit: O.E. Nilsen

Bart van Poll


“Every year I make at least 25 city trips abroad to meet our bloggers around the world. When I’m back and have a day off there’s little more I love than hopping on my longboard with a book and some beers to chill out in my backyard – Amsterdam’s glorious Vondelpark. Ideally, my friends come by with a frisbee and barbecue!”

Bart is co-founder of Spotted by Locals – a series of apps and blogs with up-to-date tips by locals in over 60 cities in Europe and North America.

Image credit: Franklin Heijnen

Paul Sullivan


“Part of the fun of being a tour guide for me is being away from the computer and walking through the city. On my days off I walk too – strolls along the Spree or the Landwehr Kanal are my favourite, usually with regular breaks to people-watch or read my book.”

Paul Sullivan is the founder of Slow Travel Berlin, a website which encourages travellers to think, pause and enjoy their city breaks in the German capital, instead of just rushing to see all the best known landmarks.

Image credit: Uli Herrmann

  Karlena Tomc-Barbosa


”Pie is special to me… sacred even. Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn has a seasonal menu that sends me to my happy place. I have no qualms sitting there and eating pie all day, which I will do at some point. But after two slices, I’m usually stuffed. I’m lucky enough to be a member of The Explorers Club – a private society devoted to the exploration of air, space, land, and sea. They have great events open to the public, but there’s something about hanging out in a clubhouse. Also, the coffee is free.”

Karlena Tomc-Barbosa contributes to Context Travel, a website offering city walks for intellectually curious travellers. The seminars steer away from traditional tourist trails and are guided by specialists in subjects such as architecture, history and cuisine.

Image credit: Daniel Zemans