Do you desire unique experiences when travelling? Are you someone who looks for more than what’s recommended in the guidebooks? As a bit of inspiration for future trips, we’ve put together a list of 10 memorable local experiences worth squeezing into this lifetime.
1. Get to know traditional gaucho culture in the Pampas
Buenos Aires is of course worth discovering, but once you’re there, make sure you take a trip outside the city and experience the cultural legacy of the gauchos – the so-called cowboys of South America. This full-day tour of San Antonio de Areco gives you the unique opportunity to meet real gauchos, learn about their lifestyle and history, see indescribable nature and get a better understanding of indigenous South American cultures.
Photo credit: Unsplash
2. Dine with locals in their homes
Discovering interesting neighbourhoods and local hangouts is a step in the right direction, but it can still be tricky to actually meet locals. Joining a tour with an awesome guide is one way of getting some insider insights, while another option is to enjoy a home-cooked meal with a local in their home. Petra and Francesca both welcome guests into their homes for delicious, lovingly prepared meals. Francesca uses fresh ingredients and traditional recipes for her six-course dinner in Rome, while Petra, an Amsterdam-based artist, offers three-course dinners with matching wines in her home studio.
Photo credit: Francesca Ode
3. Learn how to make real Belgian waffles
Belgians have several gastronomic achievements to be proud of, beer and chocolate in particular, but there’s something much simpler you can learn to make yourself – authentic Belgian waffles! If your waffle-making skills are at the level of using a premade mix, you might want to up your game in this hands-on waffle-making workshop in Brussels. It’s a big favourite among Like A Local users and it’s easy to understand why. Not only will you learn how to make excellent waffles (a lifetime skill), but you’ll also get to experiment with a range of delectable topping and, most importantly, eat as many waffles as you like!
Photo credit: Titch
4. Go kayaking at night
Kayaking is fun during the day, but kayaking after dark is an experience not to be missed. In Riga, you can paddle around the city, enjoy impressive views of the Old Town and admire the illuminated bridges and fountains on a relaxing night-time kayaking tour. If Riga is too far north, there’s an equally enchanting evening kayaking tour in Vilnius. Besides offering an entirely different perspective, exploring on the water means no walking!
Photo credit: ToursinRiga
5. Explore local neighbourhoods and seek out some street art
Palaces, sculptures, fountains and fancy museums are great, but if you’re looking to escape the flow of tourists and see something different, try venturing into neighbourhoods off the beaten path. Whether you’re interested in exploring the dodgiest corners of the city or the local hipster hubs, a good way to get started is to join an alternative tour that takes you to places standard sightseeing tours don’t. Tomáš, our charismatic local ambassador for Prague, offers an alternative tour that gives travellers the chance to discover lesser-known neighbourhoods while learning about Czech society, underground subcultures and his city’s street art scene.
If you’re planning a trip to Berlin, join this legendary alternative tour, or if Riga is on the agenda, see some of the city’s best-kept secrets on this popular walking tour. In Tallinn, you can explore a former Soviet neighbourhood that’s been taken over by hipsters on this funky bike tour.
For those who are really into street art, you can see Rio’s most amazing murals on this cool urban art tour, or take snapshots of local masterpieces in the Le Marais district of Paris on this fun Polaroid photo tour.
Photo credit: Mon Beau Paris
6. Shop like a Parisienne in Paris
Paris – the capital of fashion, where being stylish is a must and new trends are born. Spare yourself the headache of finding authentic local shopping spots and discover the city’s best boutiques with a Parisienne. Eve offers a personalised shopping tour tailored to your tastes and wishes. Whether you’re looking for fabulous dresses, menswear or gifts to bring home, she’ll take you to places that you’d never find on your own and help you select the perfect pieces.
Photo credit: Bryony
7. Experience a husky ride
Your sled’s ready to go on the soft snow, the dogs are getting excited, there’s barking and howling, and you can feel your heart beat. Your musher (the “driver”) pulls out the snow anchor and suddenly it feels like you’re flying through the winter landscapes, amazed at how strong the dogs are and impressed by the beauty around you. Exciting, right? A husky ride is something that deserves to be on your bucket list. It’s definitely an adventure you won’t forget and something you’ll want to tell your friends about. You can visit a local husky farm and enjoy a dog-sled ride in the Estonian countryside just an hour’s drive from Tallinn. Meet the dogs, fall in love with their beautiful eyes, stroke their soft fur and enjoy the experience.
Photo credit: Traveller Tours
8. Have an adventure in Iceland
Icelanders have the souls of true Nordic people, who admire their nature despite blizzards, rain, wind and the occasional hailstorm. You can get a taste of Iceland’s natural wonders on a magnificent day trip to the Golden Circle and the Langjokull glacier in the comfort of a 4×4 Super Jeep. Another option is to visit the beautiful 40-metre-high Seljalandsfoss waterfall and witness the effect of volcanic eruptions on an adventurous Jeep tour of the south coast. For those who want to relax in a geothermal pool and see the most famous volcano in Iceland, the Landmannalaugar and Hekla volcano Jeep tour is the way to go. Be challenged, be impressed and, most importantly, bring a raincoat.
Photo credit: Always Iceland
9. Cruise around Amsterdam on a bike
Amsterdam probably has more bikes than people. Okay, maybe not, but the popularity of bikes is certainly impressive. It’s a perfect city to explore on two wheels, so make sure you don’t miss out! If you don’t want to stick to the typical sightseeing routes and want to learn how to ride like a local, join the Hidden Gems of Amsterdam Bike Tour. You’ll see secret gardens, hidden courtyards and long-forgotten churches in the city’s coolest neighbourhoods.
Photo credit: Kaltimbiss
10. Drink top-quality wine in Spain
Sunshine, local cuisine and wine – these are three great reasons to visit Spain. It has a long tradition of winemaking and there are many wonderful wineries to be found across the country. Wherever you are, be aware that there are tourist traps that will try to sell you average wine at high prices. You can taste a wide variety of high-quality wines on an indulgent food and wine tour in Barcelona, or combine your gastronomic interests with sightseeing on a day trip to Montserrat and a premium Penedès winery.
Photo credit: Spanish Trails
Opening photo credit: Moyan Brenn