When people travel, they all want to see the famous sites and popular tourist attractions. After all, you wouldn’t go to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower, would you? These famous attractions are often frequented for good reason. They are beautiful, historically significant monuments everyone should strive to see in their lifetime. However, every country offers more than just their most well-known monuments. To truly experience what a country has to offer, you must live like a local.
Locals always know the ins and outs of a city. They may know the little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that has the best version of a traditional dish. Locals will know the back-alley shops with the most unique trinkets, and all the back routes around town that avoid the irritating bustling tourists. They know all the little spots the traditional tourists will never discover. So walk around the town for a while, wander in alleys, go on back roads, and make friends with a local so you can ask them for advice.
In a new country, never rely on your guide book for everything, because there is a lot you will miss. If you go to Paris just to visit the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, you will get to see beautiful, marvelous things. However, the things that truly give Paris its soul will be hidden in little shops, in little restaurants, not out on the main streets. So next time you visit somewhere new, ditch the guide book and live like a local.