25 Un-Touristy Activities That You Should Do When Exploring a New Place
Visiting popular tourist attractions can get boring, especially for those who want to experience more when they travel. Here are some of the most underrated activities that tourists should try when traveling to a new place:
1. Talk to the locals – If you can speak their language or if you can find a local who speaks English, have a conversation with them to learn more about their country and culture.
2. Avoid tourist shops – To get the best deals, shop where the locals shop.
3. Look for flea markets – Again, you can get the best deals by haggling with vendors. This is also where you can find stuff you won’t find anywhere else.
4. Eat with the locals – Not only is it cheaper to eat the same food the locals eat; you can be sure that what you’re tasting is authentic.
5. Be brave enough to try food from food carts – Not all authentic local cuisine can be found in restaurants. Need we say more?
6. Watch street performers (and join in if you can) – Watch the local talents perform and if you think you can hack it, join them and share your own talents as well.
7. Get a taste of the local drinks – Whether it’s local beer, a special cocktail, or a particular kind of liquor found only in that part of the world, don’t leave until you’ve tried it.
8. Skip the big museums – These places are tourist traps that would eat up much of your time. Find smaller, more specialized museums to visit for more interesting finds – and less people.
9. Stay with a local or at a guest house – There are many services that allow travelers to book rooms at smaller guest houses or with locals. Not only are they cheaper, they’re a better way to immerse oneself in the culture.
10. Rent a bike – If the city you’re visiting has a bike-sharing program, by all means, go and see the sights on two wheels!
11. People watch – Many tourists already do this, but it still feels un-touristy to just sit outside a café and watch people walk by.
12. Take public transport – Subways, metro trains, and buses are great ways to get around town – and they’re much cheaper than a cab or a hotel car service.
13. Find a farmer’s market – Taste fresh produce from the area. If you’re lucky, you might even find an organic farmer’s market.
14. Take cooking lessons – Sign up for cooking lessons so you would be able to replicate the local cuisine at home.
15. Watch a concert or go to a music festival – Music is universal and a great way to learn about the culture of the city or country you are visiting.
16. Join in cultural celebrations – Whether it’s a town fiesta or a parade in the city, partying with the locals is always a great way to spend a day or two while on vacation.
17. Visit attractions meant for locals – People living in the city you’re visiting also need to relax and unwind. Find where the locals go and experience what they do on a regular basis.
18. Visit local parks – Want to get a morning jog before starting your day? Why not do it in parks that locals frequent. There won’t be too many people (a.k.a. tourists) and you get to observe people in their most natural selves.
19. Walk around – Don’t be afraid of the unfamiliar surroundings. Put on some comfortable shoes and see the sights on foot.
20. Join marathons and other open sports activities – When planning your trip, check out the sports events you can actually join and sign up.
21. Find a non-tour guide tour guide – If you’re sick and tired of all those touristy tours, go and look for a local who would be glad to show you the sights at your own pace.
22. Read the local newspaper – Learn more about what’s happening around you.
23. Rent a house on the beach – Beaches are always cramped with local and foreign tourists. Renting a house on a private beach will help you escape all that.
24. Go camping – If you’re a nature buff, camping in the woods – with a local guide of course – is the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors.
25. Make a new friend – The best part of traveling is meeting new people. Make friends with the locals and they will surely welcome you back with open arms the next time you come and visit.