On every city trip? It’s quite a statement, I know. No two cities are alike. But while I might be telling you to eat pizza in Naples, or squid in Thessaloniki – and order neither in, say, Tbilisi – there are a few things you should always do in order to get the most out of your visit, no matter what city you’re at.
Here’s my list of 5 things to do on every city trip:
Walk / rent a bike
Do not spend all your time cruising the city underground, only popping up right in front of each item on the list of must-see museums and highlights you made. Walk wherever you’re going, or if you want to see a couple of things on opposite sides of the city that are too far too walk, rent a bike. This way, you are able to get a real sense of the place. You see much more, and probably discover a couple of hidden gems on the way as a bonus. Plus, you burn a lot of calories which means you can try more of the local delicacies!
Remember, you’re on a holiday! Do you really want to spend your time waiting in lines and running through museums because you have to tick seven more items off your list today? Don’t try to fit in too much, leave some time to do nothing. One of my favorite activities in a new city is just to sit in a cafe or park and read or people watch. Breathe in the atmosphere. It makes me feel like I belong in the city, instead of being a tourist. It’s a good feeling, and it’s actually relaxing. If you come back all stressed out from your vacation, then you didn’t do it right.
Don’t have a plan for everything, just walk out of your hotel or the train station and see where the road brings you. And don’t be afraid to get outside of the touristy and crowded part of town, it’s often where the real life of the city plays out, and where you’ll find the cool spots that the locals hang out. The areas around the ‘must-see’ places are often filled with tourist shops and over-priced not so good restaurants. It’s the Disney version of the real city. Go check it out, but don’t forget to see what’s more!
Eat local foods
Unless your in Italy, don’t go for a pizza or spaghetti every night. Eat bacalhau in Lisbon, sample macarons or chocolate croissants in Paris, and order random items of the Catalan tapas menu that you can’t make sense of in Barcelona. Life is an adventure, live it!
Hang out with a local
In fact, you don’t need to get lost or aimlessly walk around to find the good places – find someone who already knows them. If a friend or family member moves abroad for a while to study or work, visit them! You can usually sleep at their place for free (or a round of drinks), and they will guide you to all the best things the city has to offer. Don’t have a friend in the city of your choice? Approach local looking people on the street and ask them where to go. It’s how we found the perfect hairdresser in Istanbul – we asked a women with great hair where she’d gotten it done. Easy as that!
So, what do you think of these 5 things to do on every city trip, will you try them? If you have any additions, please share them in the comments. I can’t wait to hear your tips!
And don’t forget to follow on Bloglovin’!