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Historic Charleston Tour

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Historic Charleston

Take our free Historic Charleston Tour by Free Tours by Foot. Experience Charleston and learn the epic story of the city’s role in history.
Schedule: Daily
Duration: 2 hours

This page provides details of our free Historic Charleston Walking Tour, including tips on directions, times, and sights covered.

Free Tours by Foot - Charleston Walking ToursExcellentFree Tours by Foot - Charleston Walking Tours4.9 Based on 241 reviews fromSee all reviews review us onDina T.Dina T. ★★★★★ We had Diana for our tour guide on our recent visit to Charleston (March 2023) and LOVED it. It was truly a highlight of our trip. She did a great job talking about Charleston's rich history as she led us through the city. It was a little over 2 hours and I could have gone longer. (Reposting with personal profile and removing from work profile).Harley L.Harley L. ★★★★★ Gia was charming, knowledgeable and friendly. Recommend this tour to anyone visiting Charleston! We have been on this walking tour before and always learn some new information.Riki B.Riki B. ★★★★★ Very knowledgeable & engaging tour guide. We had a great time.Mark W.Mark W. ★★★★★ Scot was great and an incredible fountain of knowledge! Would do it all over again!!Kathy K.Kathy K. ★★★★★ Amazing tour guide. Scott gave an articulate, interesting, informative tour of the city. I'm so glad we decided to take the tour.Stephen R.Stephen R. ★★★★★ Excellent Tour! Scott is incredibly knowledgeable and engaging. He managed to cram so much info into the tour and keep us interested. I highly recommend!!Arianna V.Arianna V. ★★★★★ Such a great tour! Loved how much we learned and our guide Gia really made our trip. I can’t wait to book with Gia again because she honestly is a gem and you could feel her passion in what she does. So grateful to have crossed paths with her to best learn about the city!Rich G.Rich G. ★★★★★ Gia was our tour guide for the historic tour of Charleston. Shewas very knowledgably and engaging. Thanks Gia for a great timeVicki J.Vicki J. ★★★★★ The walking tour with Diana was truly amazing. She was professional, knowledgeable and kind. She gave us so much fascinating historical information backed up by interesting and funny stories about real people. Her enthusiasm for her profession was obvious. She loves what she does and you'll love it too!!Dennis J.Dennis J. ★★★★★ Diana did a great job with the presentation. She kept it lively while also being very informative along with a touch of humor.Liza B.Liza B. ★★★★★ Cynthia W.Cynthia W. ★★★★★ Great Information and able to pivot as needed for guests interestsDawn M.Dawn M. ★★★★★ What a great tour! Gia, our guide, is a local Charlestonian. She was delightful, engaging and super knowledgeable.Sonia M.Sonia M. ★★★★★ Nicole D.Nicole D. ★★★★★ My friends and I did two different tours - the History tour with Scott and the Ghost Tour with Gia.History Tour - Scott was extremely informative and knowledgeable. The tour hit many famous spots and Scott knew everything (and the best perspectives for photos). Scott was fantastic at providing specific information to augment the tour for specific individuals (I'm a big fan of The Patriot and he was able to point out some filming spots). Incredible way to start our time in Charleston.Ghost Tour - Gia was very passionate and understanding. She was able to tailor the tour a bit to suit our group's needs (we wanted to know more about pirates, for example.) A highlight would be when the pneumatic decide actually went off as Gia was explaining phenomenon that can occur by a certain graveyard!!Amanda M.Amanda M. ★★★★★ My family and I absolutely loved this walking tour. Super informative, not too strenuous, and the guide (Scott) was so helpful and kind. We loved all of the different areas we got to see of Charleston and highly recommend this tour to anyone and everyone visiting the area!Sheryl HSheryl H ★★★★★ Scott is an awesome tour guide. He’s not only a wealth of information, but he’s fantastic with his delivery, keeping us entertained and intrigued for the two hours we were with him. Highly recommend this tour!Melanie B.Melanie B. ★★★★★ Scott gave us a delightful historical overview tour of downtown Charleston. We learned all about the formerly walled city and how the town has grown over the centuries since. The 2 hour tour passed by quickly, and we enjoyed it all. Thank you.Kristine N.Kristine N. ★★★★★ The tour was informative, interesting, and fun! Scott was very knowledgeable and witty. We were so pleased that we have already booked another tour with him for next month when more guests come to visit!Victoria C.Victoria C. ★★★★★ We did the historic tour with Gia and really enjoyed it. Gia was a great and fun guide - she showed us many beautiful places, shared interesting insights and gave us recommendations. Definitely would recommend!yechiel S.yechiel S. ★★★★★ Great tour, very knowledgeable guide, very engaging! Highly recommended!C T.C T. ★★★★★ Gia was awesome!!Chris O.Chris O. ★★★★★ I have taken several tours with this company in different cities. All the guides have been extremely knowledgeable, personable and accommodating. My guide, Diane, was exceptional. I highly recommend her tour in Charleston.colette L.colette L. ★★★★★ Gia was fantastic and very knowledgeablePirate tour great. Be prepared to walkKomali V.Komali V. ★★★★★ The tour was great and our tour guide Scott was amazing. I would 100% recommend to add this your 'to-do' list when you're visiting Charleston.Lana J.Lana J. ★★★★★ Scott was FANTASTIC! What a wonderful time learning all about Charleston with him. Absolutely book a tour with Free Tours by Foot, such a great way to take in the city. 🤩Christiane H.Christiane H. ★★★★★ Scott was a very knowledgeable and nice guide who provided us with all relevant information and gave us some great tips for the afternoon and evening .Al A.Al A. ★★★★★ We enjoyed the walking tour with Diana. She is very knowledgeable and fun.Marybeth K.Marybeth K. ★★★★★ Gia was phenomenal - so educational and personable. We had so many questions for her and she had great stories to share. 10/10 would do any other tours of hers!!!Emily O.Emily O. ★★★★★ Our architecture tour with Gia was STELLAR. So fun, so informative, and so many fabulous recommendations. Gia said she has only been a tour guide for 5 years, but she has the knowledge of someone leading tours for 20! Definitely would recommend her tours 🙂Doris B.Doris B. ★★★★★ Geri K.Geri K. ★★★★★ This was the first time we took a free tour by foot and it will not be the last!!! I will try this tour in every city I visit where it is offered! Our tour guide in Charleston, SC was terrific! He was knowledgable and personable and made the entire tour entertaining and educational! I highly recommend this tour!js_loader

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the country. This tour will take you on a journey from the past to the present.

An overview of Charleston’s history is explored, from the first Carolinian and the settling of Charles Towne, to the churches and spires that give the Holy City its nickname, and chats people and things that make Charleston tick today.

This tour will open your eyes to the trials, tribulations, and jubilation of Charleston.

Join Free Tours by Foot as we cross cobblestone streets and cut through back alleys, all while discovering the hidden gems, beautiful mansions, elegant churches not to mention a few graveyards of Charleston's historic center. 

It's the epic story of Charleston's role in American and world history.

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Sights we cover on the tour:

*discussed from afar

Tour Information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more should review our group booking policy.

Charleston city regulations allow only 20 participants (including children) per tour guide.  This is a hard cap.  Reservations are required and must be an accurate number of persons, regardless of age.

Where:  Tour meets at the SE corner of Church Street and Linguard Street, next to Tommy Condon's Restaurant (map).  Look for your guide in orange!  

Tour ends at the intersection of Broad and Meeting Streets (map).

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Approximately 1.5 miles (2k) in distance.

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone's budget.

Though our tours work on a pay-what-you-like basis, we must charge $3 upfront cost per ticket to cover an admin fee and the tour tax that the City of Charleston imposes per participant on any tour within the city plus the administrative fees to handle.

When: View our Calendar


GPS Enabled Self Guided Tour of Charleston

Can't make one of our guided tours? No problem, we have recorded some of our best tour guides giving their tours and put them on a GPS-enabled app. 

We have partnered with Atlantis Audio Tours to provide you with a convenient way to experience our tours. 

Each tour offers an offline option to view the map and hear the audio of each walk so that you don't need to have GPS maps running with the app.

Here is how it works:

  1. Purchase a tour on our booking page.
  2. Receive a confirmation email with all the details.
  3. Enjoy the tour(s).

Listen to a sample of our Historic Charleston Tour.


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