Tips for Exploring a City Like a Local

Tips for Exploring a City Like a Local

Visiting a new city can be an amazing experience. 

It’s truly a blend of adventure, discovery, and exploration—and this is a powerful recipe for not only engaging your own sense of adventure as a human, but also for creating memories that’ll last a lifetime. 

With that being said, it’s not always obvious that there’s a specific strategy that you should follow when visiting a new place. 

Sure, you could follow a local guidebook or book a tour—but isn’t that the ‘touristy’ thing to do?

Don’t you want to experience the magic of the city for real?

If so, then you need to learn to explore like the locals do. 

And that’s exactly what you’ll learn to do in this blog post. 

The Benefits Of Exploring Like A Local

Exploring a city like a local can give you a deeper appreciation of its culture, history, and people, and make your travel experience more immersive and authentic.

This just makes the trip more real. 

Nobody likes to feel like they’re being led around by the hand and shown a handful of ‘tourist-oriented’ attractions. 

People don’t like to feel like tourists because it can make them feel disconnected from the local culture and environment, and limit their exposure to new perspectives and ideas.

By experiencing new cities and places like locals, people can feel more engaged, curious, and adventurous, and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world around them.

When travelers travel, they want to get in deep and experience the reality of that new place. 

And exploring like a local gives you the power to do exactly that. 

Here’s how to do it. 

1. Research, Research, Research

To explore a city like a local, start by doing some research on its neighborhoods, landmarks, and attractions, and plan your itinerary based on your interests and preferences.

The best methods for researching a new city before your visit include browsing travel websites, blogs, and forums for insider tips and recommendations, as well as consulting guidebooks, maps, and apps to get an overview of the city’s geography, history, and attractions.

Additionally, contacting locals, whether it’s through social media, language exchange programs, or local community groups, can give you valuable insights into the city’s culture, customs, and lifestyle, and help you plan your itinerary based on your interests and preferences.

You’ll obviously want to avoid problematic areas. And you’ll probably want to lean heavily into online reviews to get a sense of which parts of the city might be worthwhile to visit. 

When it comes to hotels specifically, reviews can offer you a lot of golden information. 

Need help to figure out what to look for in hotel reviews? This post will get you started on the right footing. 

2. Sometimes, You Need To Fly A Little Bit ‘Blind’

Rather than relying solely on tourist hotspots or guidebooks, try to venture off the beaten path and discover hidden gems, such as local markets, street art, or food stalls, that showcase the city’s unique character and personality.

This is the ‘risky’ part of the equation. But you don’t actually need to take too many risks to do it. 

Just make sure to research which areas you shouldn’t cross through, and avoid those areas while exploring a little bit. 

This method will often yield incredible results. 

3. Engage With The Locals

To truly experience the local lifestyle, try to interact with locals—whether it’s by taking public transportation, joining a local tour, or striking up a conversation with a friendly vendor or resident.

You’d be surprised at what you can learn about a local area by stopping by a pub, striking up a few conversations, and just asking people about the city. 

Just be careful who you talk to. Don’t allow any ‘shady characters’ to lure you into some kind of sketchy situation. 

Note: Always Be Respectful

Finally, don’t forget to be respectful of the local customs and etiquette, such as dress codes, tipping practices, or social norms—and stay open-minded and adaptable to unexpected situations or challenges that may arise. 

By following these tips, you can explore a city like a local, maximize your enjoyment and sense of adventure, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


There you have it. 

Our favorite tips for truly experiencing the magic of a new city, just like a local, and less like a ‘plug and play’ tourist. 

Follow these tips for maximum adventure and excitement. 

All that’s left now is to book your trip and make it happen. 

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