You arrive at your destination for your holidays and spend the first few hours wandering round trying to get your bearings, identify places to eat and check out the locals. After a few hours you don´t really know where to go, you´re either in love or fear the locals and you have got lost three times.
Yet the key to getting the best out of a city is going to the best places and not the general tourist places that most guide books and the tourist information will tell you. What you need to do is mingle with the locals, but which of the locals do you know you can trust to advise you where to go and you actually like it. Here we have put together a seven point guide that will help you on your way.
- Where to eat
You need to eat and there is no better person to ask about restaurants, cafe’s and where you can buy food than the people who work at whatever accommodation you are staying. Sure, they´ll probably have some flyers and menus left by various restaurants, but that doesn´t mean they´ve ever eaten at any of them. Ask them where they go to eat a certain type of meal, i.e fish, barbecue, pizza…
2. Bars with Live Music
If you see anybody carrying a guitar case, or any form of musical instrument, stop and ask them where you can watch a live gig. It may be that you are in a large city like London and Berlin where there are lots of live gigs so it may be better that you find a pub that has a gig guide. Therefore if there answer is, “phew, loads of places,” you could be on to a winner, so get a gig guide or website address and check some places out!
3. Happy Hour
Students don´t have a lot of money, but they like to drink, in which case they need to go to bars with happy hour – they are guaranteed to know the best bars.
4. Hidden Art Galleries & Museums
People that wear something slightly different and look dishevelled, poor yet somewhat distinguished, is probably an artist, poet or some other type of hard-done-to creative. Either way they are the most likely person to ask where you can check out some funky art galleries and hidden museums that are more interesting than the run-of-the-mill type.
5. Comedy Clubs
People in square glasses are a little bit more cool than people who wear sports shades and great big beer mat goggles that make them look like a fly. All right, a lot more cool. In which case they will know where the best comedy clubs and theatres are.
6. Fashion Shops
Fashionistas are not difficult to spot. They´re often difficult to get any sense out of, but if you ask them where they brought their “wonderful jacket,” they´ll tell you a whole host of places to go shopping.
7. Irish Bars
There´s an Irish Bar in every city, and just about every local knows where one is. But the thing about Irish bars is they usually have travelers working in them that have been living in the city for a while. Ask them where the tourist attractions are and where to go out. A local barman will tell you a bar less cool than theirs. And Irish bars always have locals who go in to practice their English, so you can ask them as well. In a lot of cities they will take you themselves!