8 Reasons Why You Should Always Explore a Touristy City
There are tons of unique places all over the world. But no matter where you are, always take the time to explore a touristy city. From Tokyo to Liverpool and everything in between, you will always find something appealing. So take a step away from the typical attractions, and get out there to make the most of every urban area you’re lucky enough to visit.
Find the Best Food and Drink
If you’re honest with yourself, the thing you always look forward to the most when visiting somewhere new is the culinary delights each city offers. You can find the best eateries and bars by trekking away from the beaten path and down some obscure side streets and alleyways. For example, Kelowna breweries litter British Columbia, but you won’t find them next to a city center McDonald’s. So you need to look for them. And the same goes for food. It’s a waste to visit a country and not try local food. A good tip is to check where the citizens eat and follow.
Every City Has a Unique History and Heritage
Every city, no matter where you go, is full of history. From the terrible part Liverpool, UK, played in the slave trade to the American Revolutionary war in Boston, USA, history is everywhere. And one of the best things about each city’s history is there are usually many ways to get a glimpse into the past. For example, most cities are home to museums and memorials dedicated to their tragic pasts. In most cases, the money made from your attendance goes to good causes. However, you miss out on it if you aimlessly wander around retail stores and parks.
Always Explore a Touristy City to Support Small Business
The world’s cities are large and home to millions of people. Yet they are microeconomics to themselves, and some actually rely on tourism for survival. The Caribbean islands are a perfect example. Without tourism, their economies would all but collapse. But even major cities like New York and London are home to people who make a living from tourism. Given the last two years of the pandemic, the loss of earnings from travel restrictions means local businesses need tourists. You can help support local services and commerce by covering more ground.
Venture Out to Find Hidden Gems
Finding hidden gems is one of the best parts of exploring a city. Of course, there’s more in every town than the center, although they also have amazing discoveries. A recent tourism survey found that 85% of visitors like to experience new things. But you will likely miss a lot if you stick to the central areas designed to take advantage of tourists. Often, you can get a real sense of a city by venturing further afield to vibrant outlying locations and suburban areas. Granted, you won’t find many tourists, but that’s the point. So venture out, and who knows what you will find?
BONUS: Staying Safe in an Unfamiliar Place
Unfortunately, there isn’t a city on Earth that doesn’t have its issues. Murder, drug abuse, and sheer desperation are common in most cities. Some more than others, but still, you can never be too careful, and staying safe can take a back seat when you get excited. Try the following:
- Try not to look like a tourist: this is challenging, but you will be a prime target.
- Keep a close eye on valuables: keep your purse, phone, and laptop very close.
- Ask about dangerous places: taking a wrong turn could end in disaster.
- Be scam aware: cities are full of people looking to take your money.
- Always let someone know where you are: just in case the worst happens.
Staying safe when traveling is relatively simple if you cover your bases. Looking like a tourist includes pointing at buildings, looking lost, and wearing novelty clothing. Additionally, criminals love to prey on ignorance, so stay as vigilant as possible, even in upscale areas.
Find Something Fun Happening
There’s always something fun happening at some point. Of course, there are significant events in specific cities, such as New Orleans’ Mardi Gras festival or Munich’s Oktoberfest. But every city has stuff going on all the time. And one of the most fun things is stumbling across something happening that you didn’t expect. You could turn around a corner to find a street art workshop or a brand new, limited museum exhibition. Anything can happen. Of course, you can always check each city’s official tourist website, but it isn’t quite the same as discovering it yourself.
Explore a Touristy City to Meet New People
Most people will tell you that meeting new people in a city is part of the experience. No one suggests you go talking to everyone you meet. That would be weird and probably dangerous, but you shouldn’t shy away from talking to strangers either. Since 25% of couples meet in a bar, you may bump into your soulmate while ordering a drink in an English pub or a German beer hall. Then, of course, you could make some exciting buddies that will stick with you for the rest of your life. Just think how cool it would be to say you have a friend in an exotic city.
Get to Know Your City of Residence
Of course, you may live in a touristy city. But you might not know the first thing about it. This is a wasted opportunity to learn intriguing historical facts about your city of residence. Take Scotland’s Edinburgh, for example. The city has one of the largest networks of Christian catacombs in the world. And you can explore them, and they are said to also be one of the world’s most haunted locations. Not surprisingly, there are “ghost tours” available. However, you can almost guarantee that most of the city’s residents have never visited the sites.
Get Your Steps In
With all the fun and excitement of exploring a city, you would be forgiven for thinking you neglected your exercise. But as a tourist, you might walk on average 8 miles per day while exploring your destination city. While it’s not exhaustive exercise, it’s better than nothing and a great way to get your daily steps. This is probably a good thing because you will need some way to burn off the calories from the extra eating and drinking you are likely to do. So, don’t feel too guilty the next time you devour a New York hot dog. You will walk it off anyway.
Visiting cities is a great thing to do on a far-flung vacation. But you need to explore to get the most out of your time. When you stray from the tourist path, it’s almost guaranteed you will find some of the best food and drink a city offers, historical insights, and interesting people. However, cities are dangerous places, so take the necessary steps to stay safe.