How To Have An Authentic Experience When Visiting A Foreign City


When travelling in a foreign city, it is often appealing to stick to the areas geared towards tourists. The reasons for this being that these parts usually include the must-see attractions and because travellers feel more comfortable and safe in these areas. However, by remaining in tourist traps, can we really say we have had an authentic experience? If you want to get out of your comfort zone on your next holiday and see the real side of your travel destination, here is how to do just that.

  • Stay in accommodation outside the tourist parts

Booking accommodation in an area outwith the tourist districts will ensure you have an authentic experience. When you look out your window or walk along the nearby streets, you will see locals, instead of tourists, going about their daily business. The people who work in the hotel may be less prepared for foreign guests. So, if you are in a foreign speaking country, you will be required to learn some basic vocabulary in order to get by. Before you book your accommodation, do plenty of research into the different areas of the city so as to make sure you avoid any dangerous parts.

  • Make friends with a local

A great way to achieve a genuine experience in a foreign country is to spend time with a native to the city. If you already know someone from the city, then you are sorted. Get in contact with them and tell them you want to see the real side of the city. If you don’t know anybody, there are still ways to make local friends. There are several safe online services aimed at linking travellers up with local people. If you like the sound of  this idea, you might want to check out reviews for more information. Alternatively, you can always buddy up with locals you meet in your accommodation or cafés. In any situation when you are meeting with someone you don’t know, always be sensible and safe.

  • Take a trip outside the city

Hop on a bus or train and visit a lesser known area outside of the city. Doing this will allow you to explore less busy and touristy areas and will give you a chance to see more of the country’s landscape. Do make sure you do some research on destinations before you go to avoid ending up somewhere undesirable.


  • Eat, shop and drink away from the city centre

The central areas are usually full of shops that sell kitsch gifts and restaurants that serve watered down and overpriced versions of the local cuisine. Instead, spend your time in the peripheral areas of the city where you will taste authentic food and discover interesting items to purchase.

It is without a doubt that when visiting a foreign country you will want to see its most famous sights and attractions. However, this does not mean you have to spend your time exclusively in the tourist areas of the city. On your next holiday, consider some of these options for achieving an authentic experience. Absorbing the local culture and customs will make your next trip more exciting and memorable.

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