Your trip is right around the corner. You stalked flight prices for months, you found the perfect Airbnb and you purchased all your travel-sized toiletries. You picked out outfits for every fashion and weather possibility, and you’ve somehow made it all fit into your favorite luggage. Your adventure is about to start and that wanderlust angst is really kicking in. It’s time to finalize your itinerary for your first day in a new city.
I’ve got a few recommendations for you to try at your destination. How do I know where you’re going? Guess what? It doesn’t matter! These are things you’ll find in (almost) every city you travel to. Cities around the world are unique and special, but they also have so much in common. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’re more alike than different.
Here are five things you should do in every new city you travel to. If you do these five things on your first day in a new city, you’re bound to discover the essential elements that made that city your dream destination city.
Five Things to do in Every City
- Find a Local Coffee Shop. We understand the appeal of getting your usual Starbucks drink more than most, but we also love the charm and authenticity that comes with finding a local coffee shop.
- Use the Public Transportation. Taking the public transit is a cheap way to get around to the most popular parts of a city. Check out the map and you may even discover a new spot to explore!
- Church & a Square. What do you do when you start a city? You build a church and a square. Find it and you’re sure to find the oldest and most exciting part of the city center.
- Eat the Street Food. You might not find the most gourmet food, but you’ll find the most authentic version of the most common foods that the locals are eating.
- Bar with a view. Find a bar at the top of the tallest building, with a patio overlooking a busy square, or with a view of the city’s prized sights. Bonus points for trying a local craft beer.
Bonus Guest Recommendations
I thought this was a really fun topic, so I posed this question to some of my favorite travel bloggers as well! I got some great feedback to share with you! Here are even more ideas for things that you should try to do in cities around the world!
12 Great Tips from Fellow Travel Bloggers:
- Find and explore the city park. — Recommended by Allie Wanders
- Check out the menu at the local McDonalds. Menus around the world are adapted to the local flavors which means you’ll find beets in your burgers in Poland or Jet Wafer ice cream in Colombia. — Recommended by Thrifty Trails
- Imagine what the Epcot version of the county would be like in Walt Disney World. — Recommended by Mouse Hacking
- Find the least touristy restaurant by asking the hotel concierge. It’s best if you can find one that only speaks the local language! — Recommended by Donna Manz
- Go for a run and see the city wake up. Recommended by Roadtrip Couple (Lattes & Runways approved!)
- Find a walking or bike tour to get your bearings first. — Recommended by Gemma from Two Scotts Abroad
- Find a super market and pick up some goodies for breakfasts. — Recommended by Trip Gourmets
- Walk around for the day to explore. — Recommended by Destination Addict.
- Rent a bike and ride through the city. Bonus points if you find a city with great ice cream for a treat! — Recommended by Sister Sister Travels
- Walk up something tall! You can usually find something non-touristy to get the best views of the city. — Recommended by Charlie & Kristina from Maptrotting
- Take a bus tour of the city to get in destinations that are far away in a short period of time. — Recommended by Napa Food and Vine
- People watch over a cup of coffee. — Recommended by Corkscrew Concierge (Lattes & Runways approved!)
What is something you try to do in every city you travel to?