About The Professional Tourist

Hi, my name is Mike and I’ll be your tour guide today.  I’m American, originally from Minnesota, and moved here for a girl 9 years ago.  Yes, I’m still with her. Yes, this is my full time job. I also do tours of Neuschwanstein, Munich, Augsburg and Salzburg.

That’s more or less my basic intro speech that I give at least a few days a week.  Sometimes I just say “hi, my name’s mike and we gotta run for the train.”  The longer version saves me from answering the same exact questions 20+ times a day…and it really is like that.

If you’re still confused, I’m a tour guide living in Munich.  I also do some travel writing for various well known travel websites.  I started this site for a few reasons.  First of all it gives me something somewhat constructive to do when I get home and sit at my computer.  Second, it should help me remember all of the random things that happen to me as a tour guide if I ever decide to write a book.  Third, I hope it’ll be free entertainment for family, friends, or maybe even the odd tourist that was on a tour with me.

Why did I name the site The Professional Tourist?  Why not something like “The Tourist Professional”? …because at the end of the day I don’t feel “above” the tourists…I still am a tourist myself.  What I mean by that is yes I’m being paid to explain the history of places and show people everything there is to see…but each time I go out there it’s almost like doing it again for the first time…because I’m experiencing it with people who have never seen it…and I feel privileged to be able to do that…as a profession.

I am a professional tourist…I’m paid to do what I love…it’s weird, I know…but somehow works for me.

So, crack open that Bavarian beer and start reading

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

11 thoughts on “About The Professional Tourist

  1. Ashley Holmen

    It is great to see all that you are up to. I get updates from your mom every so often, but hearing it all in your words is much more fun.

    Take care, say Hi to Petra for me,

    aka Your Moms friend Lyndas daughter.

  2. Karen Goodwin

    Hi Mike,

    I was on your Castle N. tour with the
    really annoying guy from Seattle! (mid
    September) I was the only female
    that walked up to the bridge with you
    and the annoying guy from Seattle.
    I have to say, that because of him,
    we will always remember that day!
    The next day, we did the Saltzburg
    tour w/ Alan, and guess who showed
    up outside of Radius tours that
    morning? I am sure you have guessed
    ….thankfully (but not for their
    tour guide) they were going to Dachau!
    You did a fantistic tour and we thank
    you for a wonderful day! Take care,
    and the next time we are in Munich
    (and knock on wood, there will be
    a next time) we will try to catch one of
    your tours!

    ~ Karen Goodwin & John Runcorn
    (the British guy)

  3. suzanne pomeranz

    Hey Mike and Shalom from Jerusalem, Israel where I am also a professional tour guide… and tourist, as I agree totally with what you said: “each time I go out there it’s almost like doing it again for the first time…because I’m experiencing it with people who have never seen it…and I feel privileged to be able to do that…as a profession.”

    I had a client once who remarked that, as she was originally from the Czech Republic, she could probably be a tour guide in, say, Prague. I said, “that would be great; maybe I could hire you to show me around when I finally get to visit there.” Well, her reply to that was, “no, I thought about it, and well, you have to see the same things every day… how boring!”

    Strange, isn’t it, that one person (like that client) can see the same things every day and be bored, while you and I know that “every day is an adventure” and are never bored with what we see and do, even when it seems the same every day!

    Just a statement and question: to become a licensed tour guide in Israel, we have to enroll in a 2-year course that includes lectures, field trips, research, report writing, and exams on top of exams. And just completing the course doesn’t automatically assure the license, as then, we have to sit for both written & oral exams given by the Ministry of Tourism. After all, we actually represent the Israeli government in our work, so we must be licensed by the government to pursue it! What’s the program there? Are you required to take a similar course and exams to be licensed or what?


  4. NOFXmike Post author

    It depends on the tour company, this is the European Union after all, and laws impeding companies from doing business from other EU countries would be shot down in court. So quite literally anything similar would be illegal EU-wide.

    Usually companies train their own guides, so it’s an entirely different ball game as we say in the states. This makes for “free tour” guides who have no idea what they’re talking about and are just doing it to extend their vacation, for example. Unforunately, you have to do a bit of searching to find the right tour company (or individual guide) for you in Europe.

  5. Eva Wolchover

    Hi Mike,

    I’m a producer at NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” – a weekly comedy news quiz. On today’s show we’re discussing the village of Fucking, Austria. I’d like to get a sound clip from you about visiting the town, in order to confirm to listeners that it in fact exists.


    Eva Wolchover

  6. EITAN




  7. Phuong Nga

    hi Mike,
    toi la sinh vien nam cuoi, dang lam luan van tot nghiep ra truong, hien toi cung dang gap ko khan trong viec lam bai luan.hi vong Mike co th giup toi mot vai van de noi ve nghiep vu huong dan duoc khong?M?t s? ?? xu?t nh?m hoàn thi?n nghi?p v? h??ng d?n du l?ch”
    “doi v?i c? quan h?u quan:
    Hoàn thi?n công tác qu?n lý h??ng d?n viên:
    V?n ?? ?ào t?o b?i d??ng nghi?p v? cho h??ng d?n viên. ”
    thank you verry much!

  8. Angie Lemmons

    Our family will arrive in Munich on July 13th and are looking for a private tour of Neuschwanstein, Fussen and the Zugspitze. It would be 6 of us (we have 4 girls ages 10-17). Is this something you would be able to do?


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