Welcome to wherever you are
Free greeter programs around the world encourage locals to welcome you to their hometown
Greeters are not guides. Greeters don't work for the tourist office. Greeters are just outgoing locals in a particular city—from Paris to New York to Melbourne—who have banded together to offer their services, free of charge, as sort of free-ranging tourism ambassadors.
Sign up for a greeter program, and you will be paired with one of these local volunteers when you hit town. Usually, their help is limited to a short session (15 minutes to half an hour) in which they show you the ropes: how the subway system works, where the best local place to grab a bite are, what's a good neighborhood just for strolling around, where can you find the best deals.
In some cases, particularly gung-ho greeters like giving short walking tours of their town or of some aspect of it (perhaps the architecture of Chicago, or great barbecue joints in Houston).
Best of all, it's all entirely free. Here are some greeter programs in major cities:
- New York: Bigapplegreeter.org
- Chicago: Chicagogreeter.com
- Houston: Houstongreeters.org
- Paris: Parisiendunjour.fr
- Moscow: Moscowgreeter.ru
- Toronto: Toronto.ca/tapto
- Buenos Aires: Cicerones.org.ar
- Melbourne: Thatsmelbourne.com.au
- Adelaide: Adelaidegreeters.asn.au