We Tried GetYourGuide For Finding Tours And Excursions, And We Love It For Trip Inspiration

The internet is full of endless sites and tools that claim they can help you plan a trip. One of these is GetYourGuide, a free website and app on the App Store and Google Play. This marketplace platform allows users to search and directly book excursions at the destination of their choice. Activity providers (like tour companies) list their experiences on GetYourGuide and receive commission fees. With this in mind, we decided to test GetYourGuide for ourselves to see if it was worth the hype. 

First and foremost, we found that navigating both the website and app was extremely simple. One of the first things you will see when the app or website loads is a search box that asks, "Where are you going?" If you continue scrolling towards the bottom of the home page, you will find an array of suggested activities from cities like London, Abu Dhabi, and many more. For this review, we chose Los Angeles, one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world. 

Using the website, we input the city into the search box, and bam – we were met with 317 activities and even an itinerary for a trip to Los Angeles (note this itinerary only showed on the website; the app is more streamlined for the list of activities). Nevertheless, we were happy with the diversity of activities offered in the city. 

Searching for an activity on GetYourGuide

In Los Angeles, GetYourGuide has something for everyone and every price range. Those wanting to visit the city's iconic attractions, like the TCL Chinese Theatre, can take a 7-hour, $95 grand bus tour of LA. For true crime lovers, there's a $59 dark history and haunted LA bus tour. 

Other activities include bike tours on the beach, walking tours of Downtown LA, guided hikes to the Hollywood sign, dinner cruises, and more. In addition, you can buy entry tickets to various LA attractions on GetYourGuide, including Universal Studios and the Aquarium of the Pacific, to name a few. 

Of course, 317 activities is a lot to scroll through. Users can filter results using price range, ratings, language, duration, time, interests, and points of interest. GetYourGuide tries to simplify finding a suitable activity as much as possible. Despite this, we found that the website was far more in-depth than the app, which has its pros and cons. 

Users who search for a city using GetYourGuide's website are not instantly met with a tidy page with listings, like on the app. Instead, the page is organized to show the top activities of that city, followed by the top sights, and finally, all of the activities. In other words, there's a lot going on, and it can be hard to focus on one thing. If this could be a problem for you, opt to use the app rather than the website, which is much tidier and to the point.

The booking process with GetYourGuide

This review would not be complete without trying one of the activities GetYourGuide offers for ourselves. We opted for a $75 Venice Beach food tour. The description states that the tour is 2 hours long and features five food samples, historical information, and various stops around Venice Beach. In addition, it notes that the tour is not suited for individuals who can't walk long distances or have other mobility impairments. 

Notably, the listing makes clear what is included in the price. For this specific tour, guests only have to worry about tips for their guide and getting to the meeting spot. To book, we had to choose a date for the tour before checking out. Once we were ready to pay, we had the option to book as guests or sign in via Google, Facebook, or Apple ID. Alternatively, we could create an account using our email.

Payments can be made with Paypal, Google Pay, and a debit or credit card. Apple Pay is also an option, if you're using the app on an iPhone. Once the payment has gone through, a QR code and a voucher will appear. This has to be presented at the time of the tour. We recommend you download the GetYourGuide app to save the voucher on a phone. However, it can be printed, too.

The inside scoop on the tour we booked with GetYourGuide

The Venice Beach food tour is provided by a tour company called Junket. It took place at 11 a.m. on a Saturday, and the listing on GetYourGuide said to meet at The Cow's End Cafe, the first stop on the tour. The listing did not mention the tour guide's name or distinguishing characteristics. We ended up being the only ones on the tour and did not know who we were looking for. Eventually, a man named Jean Michel Arlin introduced himself as the guide. 

At The Cow's End, we were given an acai bowl. The second stop was at Vegan Pop Up by XMarket, where we were supposed to eat a vegan fried chicken sandwich. However, the sandwich was sold out. Arlin did ask if we wanted something else on the menu but did not have a backup meal; thus, we declined and skipped ahead to the third stop, Teddy's Red Tacos, for a birria taco. 

The last two stops were at the Sidewalk Cafe for Hawaiian pizza and the Pink Elephant Espresso Bar for ice cream in the flavor of our choice. We ate at each restaurant, and Arlin ordered each item. Every sample was delicious, and Arlin was a gem and clearly dedicated to his job. He provided tidbits of history at each meal and was incredibly engaging as he showed us different landmarks around Venice Beach and the boardwalk. As outlined on the GetYourGuide listing, Arlin took us to the canals, Muscle Beach, and the Venice Beach Skate Park.

The Venice Beach food tour had some pitfalls

While the tour was tasty and fun, it was not perfect. There was a disconnect between the listing on GetYourGuide and Junket's website. Jean Michel Arlin did not check or mention the voucher from GetYourGuide — he only requested our name. When asked about GetYourGuide, he was unaware of its existence and did not know how the tour ended on the platform. 

Likewise, the tour was three hours long, not two, as it said on the GetYourGuide listing (Junket states on its website that it's 2.5 hours). This discrepancy could be a problem for individuals with limited time or who planned something else for the day. Besides the acai bowl, we were not explicitly told in advance what else we would be eating or asked if we had any allergens. While we had none, this could be an issue for people with dietary restrictions. 

This was brought up to Arlin, who admitted that he knew this was a dilemma but explained that the tour was relatively new and that Junket was still working out the kinks. He also acknowledged that the tour needed backup restaurants for individuals with allergens or if a menu item was sold out, as was the case with our tour. 

In another discrepancy, the listing on GetYourGuide states that the tour included a tasting from the Win~Dow and Minor Figures. However, neither was a stop. (After some digging, it seems that Minor Figures partnered with PlantX to create the Vegan Pop Up at XMarket we went to, but this isn't explained and was a bit confusing).

The final verdict on GetYourGuide

While GetYourGuide caters to tourists, there are so many activity listings that locals can easily find an activity they haven't done before. Overall, the platform is incredibly comprehensive for those who need to book an activity for their vacation in advance or even on the day of. It's user-friendly, and if something comes up or you change your mind, GetYourGuide allows you to cancel up to 24 hours before the activity for a full refund.

In addition, the price you pay for said activity includes taxes and fees. In some cases, you can find some slight discounts. At the time of this publication, an adult entry ticket to the Aquarium of the Pacific on GetYourGuide is $42.95. On the aquarium's website, it's $44.95. But overall, the prices on GetYourGuide are usually the same as the activity provider's website (the Venice Beach food tour is priced at $75 on GetYourGuide and Junket, for example).

As mentioned, our chosen tour had flaws, but we are unsure if GetYourGuide or tour provider Junket is to blame. Junket's listing on their website is more accurate than GetYourGuide's. Nevertheless, thanks to the yummy food and knowledgeable guide Jean Michel Arlin, we still enjoyed every moment of the tour.

Despite its pitfalls, we would use the platform again. It's perfect for gaining inspiration, searching for activities, and comparing prices. However, before you book anything, we suggest you compare the listing on GetYourGuide to the listing on the tour provider's website to ensure there are no inconsistencies.