Visiting any city for the first time can be a magical experience, especially if you come from a rural or suburban area. But the experience is no less dull if you’ve lived all your life in big cities. The city life is one of excitement, adventure, and wonder, and you can do many different things. Every day and night is different, and it’s easy to feel that you need to make the most of your stay.
Whether you’re a tourist visiting for the summer or a bored resident, there’s always something to do in the city. Here are a few ideas for enjoying your time in any city you’re in:
1. Go to a neighborhood bar
Skip the swanky spots and go to your neighborhood dive bar. They’re a great way to connect with locals and get a sense of the city’s culture. Also, the drinks are cheaper, and there’s usually no dress code. If you have time, you can also join a pub crawl with friends or fellow tourists.
Connecting with locals can help you better understand the city you’re visiting. And if you’re talking to a friendly and knowledgeable one, they might even tell you about some of their hometown’s best-kept secrets. Don’t feel shy because they could be better than paid guides.
2. Go to the beach
Urban areas aren’t usually known for their beaches and coastlines. In most cases, you have to leave the metro to go to a good beach, but some cities have found a way to mix city and island life. For instance, in Singapore, many of its best tourist attractions are located on the island of Sentosa, a short trip from the city center. Sentosa is known for its beaches, museums, and parks. Go to a Sentosa restaurant in Singapore, and you won’t regret it.
3. Explore the local markets
One of the best ways to enjoy a city’s atmosphere is to explore its local markets. Air-conditioned malls are cool and fun, but the market is where the action’s at. You get to bathe in the aromas of fresh produce, taste local food, and try native fashion. If you want cheap entertainment and an insight into the city’s life, go to the market.
4. Visit museums and galleries
Almost every major city has a host of museums and galleries that feature local art and history. Learn something new about the city’s culture and expand your knowledge. While only a handful of museums are free, many paid museums have free days that are popular with tourists and locals.
5. Visit religious sites
Some people say that a city’s soul can be found in its churches and temples. With so many faiths around the world, visiting impressive temples and cathedrals is a great way to pass the time. You can photograph the architecture of the temple and talk with locals about its history. Best of all, most churches are free to enter.
While some tourist traps are worth visiting, most are designed to separate you from your money. So go off the beaten path and explore the city’s hidden gems. That way, you get to see the city from the eyes of a local.