When you travel to a new city you’re presented with a world of excitement and wonder, with a new adventure waiting around every corner. But how do you make sure these endless possibilities don’t overwhelm you? You want to try and explore this new location like a local, but where do you even start?
There is a whole host of different ways you can explore a city, but here are some must-follow tips that’ll help you feel like a local in no time at all:
Create a Mission for Yourself
Making a game out of your explorations is one of the best ways to investigate a new city. For example, you could challenge yourself to see a number of particular shops (e.g. bookstores) in one day. Or you may make it your quest to find the area’s best café.
Think about your own individual tastes and what you’d like to explore in the area and create a fun game surrounding this. You don’t always have to do the touristy things so get creative in what you’d like to uncover in this city and go searching.
Find Out About the History
Before you jet off to your city, take some time to understand its history by either buying a guidebook or doing a Google search or two. This won’t just make sure you’re aware of the historic events that have occurred there but it’s also a great way of finding out more about the present culture and whether there are any places you should visit.
A place you see in person becomes that much more interesting if you know the history behind it.
Avoid Public Transportation
When you’re whizzing around in a taxi or on a bus you’re not getting the chance to see the city in all its glory, so jump on a bike or walk around on your own two feet. Exploring the city at a slower pace will make sure you take in all the sights while also allowing you to stop off as and when something catches your eye.
Not sure where you should be heading or what streets you should stick to? Then why not ask staff in a restaurant or in the hotel you’re staying in? This is how navigation used to be done before smartphones, and conversing with locals might lead you to unexpected and more interesting places. This is also a great way to practice the native language!
Speak to the Locals
Before your trip, learn a few common phrases of the local language. This is incredibly handy and will also make the locals happier to help you out, even if your attempt is less than perfect.
As mentioned above, some of the easiest people to talk to are the staff who are working in the hotel you’re staying in. For example, there’s no better way to find out how to get around Cape Town and find all the hidden gems than asking the staff at Protea Victoria Junction by Marriott.
Avoid meaningless conversation and idle chitchat, ask them questions that’ll help you explore the city in more depth instead. Ask them what their favorite activity is or what restaurant they’d recommend. You might be surprised how many things they can help you discover that are off the beaten track.
A new city is waiting to provide you with surprises and adventures, but you’re the one who’s got to take the first step. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and get exploring like a local!