It’s no secret that Berty and I love to be outdoors and experience life outside. We are constantly seeking new destinations, hikes, and ways to be in the sunshine (…I mean rain. We live in Seattle). We love getting up before sunrise and are willing to go on crazy road trips just for the sake of adventure in a new place. However, we know that not everyone is wired like us! This is certainly one way to travel, but what if your priorities are different? Can you still experience a new place and not have to sacrifice sleep or spend hours in a car? Absolutely! In this post, we’re sharing ways to stay in the city and soak up the culture, food, and essence of a place, without driving to the far ends of the earth to catch the sunset.
6 Ways To Enjoy Your Vacation Without Leaving The City
1. Try The Local Restaurants/Cafes
Berty and I are particularly keen on experiencing a place through their landscapes, but we DO appreciate soaking in the culture through a good local meal. We love getting suggestions from locals and trying the area’s “signature” meal to get the full experience of the city. We also love trying the coffee in every new place we visit. Heck, we’re from Seattle! The next time you go somewhere new, ask your host/hotel staff/whomever where they suggest you go to get the most authentic taste in the city.
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2. Visit The Museums + Monuments
An iconic and easy way to see a city is visiting its monuments and museums. A classic example is visiting Paris’ Eiffel Tower, location in the heart of the city. When we were in France, we took the time to take a bus tour. We know it’s cheesy, but honestly it was so worth it because we were educated on periods in history that happened at certain places as we drove past them. SO COOL. Berty and I also like to take time and visit museums that hold famous art or history of a city. We are planning to visit the Ogden Museum of Southern Art when we visit New Orleans this summer!
3. Go To Shows + Attractions (Live music, plays, movies, performances)
When Berty was in Nashville, he loved telling me about the street musicians on Broadway Street. He really got a sense of what the city is all about by listening to the music surrounding this street. When we were in Los Angeles, we made a point to stop by Santa Monica Beach to check out the colorful board walk and grab an ice cream cone! We were definitely feeling those carefree, beach-y vibes and we were okay to stay there forever. Make a point to seek out those spots that make you feel like you’re one with the city!
4. Visit The Shopping Districts
Did you know that in Jakarta alone, there are over EIGHTY shopping malls?? It’s the prime hangout location for younger people, and it totally makes sense. Who would want to spend their day outside when they have 80 different options of air conditioned entertainment available? We love going to big malls and walking down commercial streets, even if we don’t buy anything. Some awesome examples of shopping districts are Commercial Street in Bangalore, all Indonesia Malls, and the Fashion District in LA. One place I REALLY want to go is Takeshita Street in Harajuku Tokyo, Japan!
Read More: 8 Clever Ways To Travel On A Budget
5. Experience The Markets
Similar to shopping districts, this is where you can get a feel for everyday life in the city. In Jakarta, Berty and I would walk through the markets in old town to grab a cool drink, coconut, or get a quick bite to eat. I would encourage you to go to the market nearest to where you are staying, and see if you can purchase things to make a whole meal!
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6. Visit Religious Locations
One way to experience a city is to visit their religious locations. This could be anything from a historic building like Notre Dame in Paris or a Hindu temple on the side of a cliff in Bali. Taking some time to understand the city in this way will help you know the people and their traditions at a deeper level.
Read More: 6 Culturally Rich Things To Do In Bali
What do you love most about visiting a new city? What’s YOUR go-to activity? Let us know in the comments below!
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