Do you have a strategy for finding what to do in the city?

Anyone want to share their strategy/tips for finding out what to do when you arrive at new location, and/or finding about ongoing events (for example when staying for longer term)?

I like to sit down at a bar/cafe in the university area of a town and talk to people. Most of the best things I’ve found to do in cities are by word-of-mouth recommendations.


I prefer to ride the public transportation system and get an overview of main areas (e.g., Bangkok Skytrain), and then visit museums related to my interests (e.g., Deutsche Technical Museum in Munich) and ask questions of locals and museum guides or while having coffee. In that way I have both a broad sense of the city and more specific information filtered by interests and people interested in learning.

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I rely on online services, such as Foursquare, to find good venues (usually all good, cool venues are presented there). For meetups there is

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going to coworking spaces has served me well in this regard: the people there tend to be local, the backgrounds and interests are super mixed (not just others that do the exact same thing you’re doing) and thus you get exposure to all sorts of ongoing events and happenings :slight_smile:

in addition to this, the city channels on #nomads and couchsurfing are good places to look around

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  • local Facebook groups
  • local online mags

Wikivoyage, a worldwide travel guide wiki run by the same foundation as Wikipedia, is sometimes quite useful. Coverage is spotty, though; some areas are very good, others not.

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Google :slight_smile:

Blogs can be good, especially if you find some decent ones written by expats or other digital nomads, rather than travel blogs who spend a couple of days in a spot and then do a “10 Best Things to do in X” type post. If you can find a few good, local foodie bloggers then all the better. Expats are hit and miss - some are better at showing what’s available in a place than the locals because they are looking at things with fresh eyes. Others are more about how to transplant their lifestyle.

Other than Meetup (which I’ve never used), hunt around for local specific event sites.

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Thanks. This looks like a really good resource to add when traveling :slight_smile:

i tend to google coworking and coliving spaces in the city i’m going to, then go hang out there and see what comes of it. that usually exposes me to social enterprise/collaborative communities type lenses on that city.

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Do you use the same strategy when you’re visiting the city for the short time (say couple of days)? Don’t have experience with co-working spaces, but from recent looking about them found that a lot of them don’t go for shorter periods than a month, and even then might now have availability.

Lost is the art of striking up a conversation and getting information from locals and possibly making friends. A lot of travelers dont really learn this skill nowadays.

As a former bartender in Chicago and a traveler I usually go to a nicer bar where I am. I go about 2 hours before they get busy - enough time for the night bartender to come on and get set up and then I sit close to the register which they will always come back to a start up a conversation. I tip very well and before I know it I have a mini itinerary of all the off the beaten track places to check out.