How to explore a city like a local

Going on a holiday should be fun and hassle-free! Our tips will help you navigate your next destination like a local, explore it’s most unique places, and find the spots that are not included in the travel guides.

Every holiday destination has its obvious “must-see” spots and famous places. However, there is always more to a city than its most famous landmarks.

Do you know a local?
The best way to see a place like a local is to actually go on holiday with a local! If you have friends from overseas, this can be a great experience. Our editor has been to Munich and Frankfurt with a German friend (a real-life Frankfurter!) and to Gibraltar several times with a Gibraltarian friend.

These holidays have been utterly unique; not only do you get the chance to spend some high-quality time with a friend, but you see the place through completely different eyes.

Explore on social media before you go
Nowadays it has become very popular for social media users to create pages where they show off the best of their city. Facebook, Instagram, and travel blogs have dedicated pages for the best food in town, the nicest coffee shops, and the most unique places.

It is nice to see the town through the eyes of the locals because they will give an exclusive insight. Write a list of your favourite spots, then organise it by location, to make sure you can fit it all in.

Many places also have a British expat community that will have their own social media groups, and you can learn a lot from these too.

Befriend locals
We are now in a new era of accommodation, where people rent out their apartment, house, or villa via various online sites such as Airbnb. These places are way more unique than a hotel or a resort, and you will find yourself chatting with the owner, who will often recommend the most amazing sites near your location.

Be open with the locals: most of them will speak English, especially the ones who work in restaurants or work as taxi drivers. They can show you magical, hidden spots that you can’t find in tour guides.

Ask them about the city, chat with them about culture and history. You will be surprised how many tricks and tips you can learn. Also, they will let you know where to go, where to eat, or which attractions are closed on certain days. Sometimes travel guides are not fully updated, and local knowledge can help you out.

How to find things to do
You might go on your holiday because you are interested in one particular event or place. If you are mainly interested in cultural events and activities, you can always search on Facebook for appearances, openings, and public nights.

For something a bit different, have a night where you attend a salsa dance, a gallery opening, a public talk, or a figure drawing class. It will be an amazing experience! Of course, if you are more interested in flavours, there are many cooking classes or wine-tasting events as well. These kinds of things will give some spice to your holiday, making it unforgettable. It will also give you an exciting and unique story to tell when you come home!

So before your holiday, take some time to explore your options. The modern online world has a lot to offer you when planning your next trip!