by Emma

Viator is the world’s leading resource to discover and book travel activities, providing online and mobile access to more than 15,000 curated trip activities including tours, attractions, shore excursions and private guides, in more than 1,000 destinations worldwide. In-house travel experts work with trusted local operators to ensure the quality and value of every experience, all backed by Viator’s 24/7 customer service and global low-price guarantee. With more than 350,000 verified reviews plus exclusive videos and insider travel tips, Viator has everything a traveler needs to find and book the best things to do worldwide. In addition to the flagship site — — travelers can book in advance or in-destination via the Viator Tours and Activities App for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android, the Viator Shore Excursions website as well as local-language sites for European, Latin American and Asian travelers. Viator also provides tours and activities to more than 2,500 affiliate partners including some of the world’s top airlines, hotels and online travel agencies. Founded in 1995, Viator is a privately held company headquartered in San Francisco with regional offices in Sydney, London and Las Vegas. Viator — travel with an insider.

The choice is impressive – in a much-visited city such as Paris, there are 137 bookable things to do.
Three types stand out. First, ‘skip the line’ tours. For example, you can sign up for a small-group tour that avoids the long queues for attractions such as the Eiffel Tower (a reasonable £43.77 per person) and the Vatican Museums (£49.02). Second, private tours – perhaps in a Citroen 2 CV round Paris, or of classical sites in Rome such as the Colosseum.

Thirdly, the many stimulating and unusual experiences on offer that you may not have known were possible – from a perfume-making workshop in Paris, to a cannabis tour of Amsterdam.
The tours and activities are very well described, with highlights picked out, and precise dates, times and lengths given. You can find tours by type (family friendly, food and wine, private etc), and can list them by how highly they have been rated by previous participants.
Most tours and activities come with lots of punter reviews – for the skip the line Vatican tour, there are no fewer than 6,282 reviews.
Another positive is the price guarantee – if you find the same tour/activity for less, Viator says it will refund the difference. Also, if you sign up and become a member, you’re promised discounts of up to 25 per cent in some destinations.

Initial prices quoted for private tours can be rather misleading. A private tour of Rome’s Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Forum is shown as ‘from £66.13’.
However, on closer inspection this per person price turns out to be based on nine adults booking. If a couple books, then the price per person is much more – £113.79.
Some tours listed, such as hop-on, hop-off city bus and boats tours, are not particularly interesting, and can easily be booked on the ground.

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