Before I left for my European vacation I received many recommendations for great guided or self-guided walking tours. But the best suggestion was a guided bike tour. I went to three different cities and scheduled a bike tour for my first or second day in each location. It was a great way to learn a lot about the city and see things I would've never found traveling on my own, and it gave me ideas on where to devote the rest of my time in that city.
While each tour lasted 4-6 hours, by the end I was never exhausted, whereas if I would've walked for 4-6 hours, I would've been very tired and not seen nearly as much. In some cities, public transportation is an option, but you might spend more time underground than sightseeing.
Here are a couple of the companies I used while abroad:
- Fat Tire Bike Tours: Locations in Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, and London. A variety of tours and times available, bike rental also available. Their guides come from all over the world, speak English, and are incredibly knowledgeable and lots of fun. I even did an even E-Bike tour (an electric bike) during the evening, that also doubled as a guided food tour. Highly recommended!
- Mike's Bike Tours: Locations in Munich and Amsterdam. A variety of tours available from enthusiastic and informational English speaking guides from all over the world, bike rentals also available. Their Munich location even does a beer tour, and a castle tour at Neuschwanstein.
(Images: Fat Tire Bike Tours - Barcelona)