Frequently Asked Questions

What does the word ‘free’ in ‘free tour’ really mean?

It means: if you liked it, you can tip. If you did not enjoy your free tour for whatever reason, you don’t have to tip. You decide what the tour was worth to you. If you really enjoyed it, then of course, a nice tip is welcome.

Tipping is a warm sign of appreciation. Each and every time, I do my very best to give you an excellent tour. Your support is my encouragement to keep giving professional high quality free tours in the future.

Do I need a reservation or booking to join one of your free tours?

No, you don’t. Please show up on time at Hostel De Draecke, because it’s first come, first served with a maximum tour capacity of 20. Mind that my free tours are exclusively meant for individual travellers, couples and small groups of up to 8 persons.

Why would I join one of your 3 free tours? There are plenty of other free tours, aren’t there?

The most obvious reason: you have a choice. No one else in Ghent offers three high quality professional free tours. Moreover, I am a licensed Ghent city guide, a true local, I have 5 years of experience and I live downtown. I really love Ghent and I would like to share my passion for Ghent with you.

It’s important for me that backpackers, individual travellers, couples and small groups get the opportunity to join a professional and high quality free tour. Because I used to be a solo backpacker myself, I want to offer you something that I would have appreciated during my past adventures. For ‘one size fits all’ scripted tours and big groups you need to go elsewhere.

What do you do if free tours get cancelled?

If you want to be 100% sure about your free tour taking place, text or call Ben: +32/486327292. This is by far the best option. Please note that as a freelance guide, I do the very best I can to avoid free tour cancellations.

I normally announce free tour cancellations and holidays in the contact section of bensghent.be and on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/bensghent/. I also inform Hostel De Draecke, other hostels & hotels and the Tourist Information Office Visit.

What happens if more than 20 people show up on a free tour?

My principle is: first come, first served. Individuals, couples and small groups of up to 8 persons are welcome. As soon as 20 people are present, the free tour group is complete. So please show up on time if you want to secure your spot for a free tour.

Please note: if your group consists of more than 8 persons, you might consider a Ben’s Ghent private tour.

Which are the main differences between free tours and private tours?

Your free tip based tour

• Your free tip based tour always starts from Hostel De Draecke at a fixed hour.

• The tour takes approximately two hours.

• A reservation or booking is not required, you just have to show up on time.

• Participants are individuals, couples and small groups of up to 8 persons, with a tour maximum of 20 people. The underlying principle: first come, first served.

Your private tour

• Your private tour starts from anywhere and at any time in the city centre. According to your wishes.

• You decide how long the tour takes : 1 hour, 1.5 hours, 2 hours, 2.5 hours, 3 hours,… Longer tours are better deals than shorter tours.

• A reservation is always required. You choose the Highlights Tour, the Night Tour or the Street Art Tour beforehand. Or you make your own personal blend of these tours for the same price: your customised tour.

• You get two small Ghent presents with a story, plus extra service and flexibility.

You are a licensed Ghent city guide and still you offer 3 professional free tours. Why don’t you stick to private tours only?

I think that also individual travellers, backpackers and small groups are entitled to join a professional high quality tour. Group rates are way too expensive and meant for big groups only, not for independent travellers, couples and small groups like you. I know that from first-hand experience. That’s why I want to be different.

I have 5 years of experience as a free tour guide. This experience gave me enough confidence to know that people like you are warm, generous, kind and appreciative. Every time, your positive feedback provides me with an energy boost and it keeps me doing what I am doing.

I used to be a backpacker myself. This is my way of giving something back to the international community of independent travellers and backpackers. Cheers!

Why would I join a private tour instead of a free tour?

If you want your own personal tour with full flexibility, the best service and 2 Ghent presents with a story, then a private tour might be what you’re looking for. You decide everything according to your wishes. The threshold is low, starting with 8 participants only, unlike other organisations. Plus, it’s the perfect way to discover Ghent if you are pressed for time. You make everything fit into your schedule.

We are a group of 6 and we still would like to book a personal private tour? Is it possible?

Yes, it is. But your tour will be a bit more expensive. For a group of 6, the fee is €14,- per person for one hour. With a bigger group of at least 8, the price per person will be cheaper. Of course, you get a much better deal for longer tours. Not to mention the full flexibility, the best service and 2 Ghent presents with a story.

What is the price difference between a classic private tour and a customised private tour?

Unlike other organisations, there is absolutely no price difference. A customised private tour is part of my extra service for you. 2 Ghent presents with a story are always included, not to mention the flexibility. Anyway, customised private tours keep me focused and sharp.

I am a business traveller in Ghent and I have a few spare hours. How can you help me get the most out of it?

My private VIP-tour might be what you’re looking for. This VIP-tour is meant for business travellers like you. The flat fee is €60,- for 1 hour for you, plus one extra person, if you wish. You get total flexibility, the best service and 2 Ghent presents with a story. Longer VIP-tours are way better value for money.

If it would suit you, you could always consider joining one of my free tours. This might be a good way to meet new people and – who knows – the opportunity to have a few drinks with them afterwards.

We are a couple staying in Ghent and we would like to book a private tour just for the both of us. Do you have any proposals?

Yes, I do. You could book my special private VIP-tour for up to 2 persons. The flat fee is €60,- for 1 hour for you as a couple. Longer VIP-tours are way better value for money.

You get total flexibility, the best service and 2 Ghent presents with a story. Your tour time starts at the first stop, not at the pick-up spot where we meet. After the tour, I will guide you to your next appointment.

How much time do I need to get the best out of my private tour?

It all depends on you and your wishes.

• If you don’t want to enter any buildings, you will see most of the main highlights and hear the best Ghent stories in 1.5 hour.

• If you would like to visit for example Saint Bavo’s Cathedral with the Ghent Altarpiece or Saint Nicolas Church, then a tour of 2 hours is recommended.

• If you want to dig deeper, discover the soul of Ghent and a few off the beaten track places, then 2.5 or 3 hours are well spent.

Licensed guide? You bet.

I am a licensed Ghent city guide indeed. I had an education of 3 years or 6 semesters at ‘CVO Het Perspectief’ in Ghent to become an official Ghent city guide. This means you always get a high quality professional tour.