One of the best (and cheapest) ways to see a city is on foot. On foot you really see a place in all its details – not the least being its people. Here’s some tips on ways to plan an exciting walking adventure in any city- just don’t forget to pack a good pair of shoes.
Grab a guidebook and start surfing the net. The first step in planning your day is finding out what you’re interested in seeing. Maybe before you even leave, read as much as you can about the places you’re visiting. Learn interesting facts and fascinating stories. That way, when it’s time to plan your day, you’ll know exactly what it is you’ll be excited to see in real life.
Ask the locals about their favorite places, and you’ll be tipped off to all kinds of adventures you’d never get from guidebooks. I know you’re thinking that the only problem with that is that you don’t know any locals. Think again. You’re surrounded with them. You’re just going to have be brave enough to approach. The girl at the front desk in your hostel, the barista making your latte … they all live here. Ask them about their favorite places to go, and you’ll find lots of interesting insights to add to your adventure.
Pick a Theme
Love Amélie? Theme a day in Paris around her wanderings through Montmartre. Big Shakespeare fan? Plot a course through London to all his haunts. No matter what makes you geek out, there are others like you, and with the Internet, there’s infinite sources for information about where to visit that will make your inner geek jump for joy. Plan a day exploring anything that you love or that resonates with you on a personal level, and it’s sure to be an experience you’ll remember and retell excitedly for a lifetime.
Get a Map
Not a phone map. A real, paper, old-fashioned map. And a pen. Sit down a plot your course. If you have a couple of days, maybe explore by neighborhood, nothing which of your destinations are near each other and plotting a course. Get to know how the public transport where you’re visiting works. Maybe it will be convenient to spend the morning in one part of town, hop on the underground, and spend the afternoon in another. Plot a logical course so you don’t waste time backtracking.
Don’t Forget to Eat!
With all that walking, you’re going to need to eat. If there’s something in particular you want to try while you’re visiting, plot it into the tour. Sometimes what you eat is as much a part of the experience as what you see. Wander through Chinatown right around lunchtime. Start your day in New Orleans at Café Du Monde. Just make sure you fuel up.
Be willing to shake up the plan. Know the things on your list you absolutely must see, and the ones you’re willing to pass up if other things come your way. Allow yourself the freedom to linger if drawn in, and move on quickly if not. See where your feet take you. Chances are you’ll find adventure every step of the way.