Tours by Smell: A Different Way to Tour a City


You’ve heard of Tasting Tours, maybe you’ve even sampled the cheeses of Paris or gelato of Florence on one. But have you ever had the good olfactory fortune of embarking on a Smelling Tour?

Only a handful of these unique tours exist in cities around the world. A Smelling Tour is a great chance to see a different perspective of a town, just when you thought you’ve figured it all out.

Smell is the strongest sense we have, closely linked to memory and emotion. It’s also the most ancient sense. What better way to feel a true connection with a city than the smells of its bakeries, its parfumiers, its… sewers?


Smells like Wien Spirit, Austria

Smells like Wien Spirit is a carefully cultivated tour designed to bring the smells of Vienna straight to your nostrils. Crafted by the cultural organization Space and Place, the tour’s guide Eugene Quinn promises an alternative insight to the inner workings of the city. In four intimate hours, visitors will check out a Turkish bakery, the Otxakringer brewery, the Manner chocolate wafer factory—and yes—public toilets and the U6 underground line. Learn all about the changing history of Vienna—even the ubiquitous cafes, after all, are smells just a few hundred years old. Quinn enlivens the tour with personal anecdotes, such as that of a friend who loved the smell of chocolate so much that she moved closer to the factory.


Paris Sewer Tour, France

Now for something completely different: you’ve smelt the perfumes and patisseries of Paris, now get a whiff of the City of Light’s more unusual corners by diving headfirst into its sewers. Okay, not literally. Paris Sewer Tour is a peculiar tour for a different kind of Parisian history. Paris’ problem with pollution dates back well into the Middle Ages, building up stink along the Seine, until the 19th century, when the city introduced the first sewer system (and the largest in the world, even today). The sewer tour is thorough and free, and includes a visit to the accompanying museum, with its fascinating visual displays and archaic machinery.


London Smells Walking Tour, U.K.

The smells of London, when simpler times before pollution and cars. Step into an urban adventure as your guide takes you to olfactory delights such as the Rococo Chocolate Emporium and the Perfumers of Floris. The hand-crafted Contours tour grants an intriguing view of the UK capital. With hard-earned questions, like: What did James Bond smell like? Which king clearly loved the smell of oranges? Which king couldn’t bare the smell of his wife on their wedding night, he was forced to sleep in the hearth? (For the record, Bond changes scent from novel to novel.)

Want to Find out More about City Tours around the World? Chat with your agent at Willamette Intl Travel to check out the long catalog of personable guides and personal touches. There’s something for everyone! Call 503-224-0180 or email 

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