With my expansive travelling experience, I have come to realize that in almost all the new cities I’ve visited, I have followed a pattern as to the types of sites and places I want to go to and explore. I want to run them down in this article so that hopefully, others (especially newbie travellers) may get some ideas as to where to go first or what to do to fully experience what a new city can offer, without overwhelming themselves of too many new things. It’s all about prioritizing, I guess. So here they are:
Explore the restaurants, cafes, bars and hangout places
The most fun way to do so is to find the small, locally owned businesses to really get a feel for the culture. I tend to attack the food first when I come to a new city. It is not just about tasting the local delicacies, although that’s top priority as well, but it’s when you come to these kinds of places that you meet the local people, get to interact with them, know their culture, and generally have fun meeting new friends.
That is why it’s imperative for me to look for those small and locally-owned restaurants, cafes and bars. The big, commercially owned ones tend to be all for speed and efficiency. They don’t have the cosy charm and laid-back appeal that the locally owned ones have. I don’t think you’d be able to interact with new people in a Starbuck’s café.
The trick is to look for them in small alleys or out streets. Note: this could be dangerous for solo travellers, so it’s best to do this with someone.
Explore historical landmarks and museums
When I travel, I always make sure to know the various historical landmarks and museums of a certain place I’m going to. I’m all about knowing as much about a certain place as I possibly can. To truly know about a particular city or town is to know its history and culture. I always discover so many new things when I visit museums and see stunning pieces of architecture.
Visit fairs, markets and bazaars
You get to find many cute and trendy stuff when you go to local fairs and markets. I, myself have found so many cool trinkets and items to bring home as souvenirs. Another plus, authentic local creations are most often found in these unsuspecting markets. If you go to a food market, you’ll also find many a delicacy to wet your appetites.
Participate in local festivals and celebrations
If you’ve been reading my blog for a quite a while now, you’ll find that in my travels, I’ve been covered in paint, splattered by tomatoes, seen bulls going wild, died in chocolate heaven, and so much more. There’s just so many fun and exciting experiences to be had when you travel to a new city. The best way to immerse yourself in them is to participate in the local events. May it be a tomato festival, a bull riding event, a chocolate city tour, or others, you’ll definitely be having the time of your life.
Photo by monashuni on Flickr