How to make the most of your big city break
Sometimes, getting away is all about finding an isolated spot far from another human being. Other times, though, it’s about enjoying bustling streets and endless culture in a big old city. If your next break is to be in the city, then you might wonder how to have the best time ever. After all, with so much to experience and appreciate, you want to ensure you don’t miss anything out! Whether you’re heading to London, Paris, or New York City, here’s how to make the most of your city break.
Figure Out How You’ll Get Around
Your first step is to know how you’ll get around the city, as this will be how you get to experience everything you want to. Walking is an option, but if it’s a really big place, do you really want to spend an hour getting from a museum to that restaurant you’ve been dying to go to? Luckily, cities often have excellent transportation, so you are sure to have a bus route, tram, or subway to make use of.
You’ll also want to consider getting a cab from time to time, especially if you end up going back to the hotel late. This can be a little daunting in the big cities, so look into hailing a cab in NYC (or wherever else you’re going) to ensure you get it right the first time.
Book Accommodation in a Central Location
City breaks tend not to span weeks like summer vacations, so you need to figure out how to make the most of your time, and that includes not booking a hotel that is miles away from the center. Staying in the center of the city might be a little pricier, but it will save you time and money on transport; plus, you’ll get a real feel for the city during the nighttime.
Meet the Locals
To truly experience a city, you can’t just talk to tourists – you need to speak to the locals. Not only will this give you an insight into the culture, but they might even let you in on some local sacred knowledge, such as the real best place to eat on a Friday evening (that doesn’t come straight from Google).
Make a List of Activities
It’s hard to fit everything into a weekend, a week, or even a fortnight when it comes to big cities – you won’t always be able to fit everything in. To avoid disappointment, write a list of the activities you one-hundred-percent want to do so that you can make them a priority. That might be riding an open-top bus through London, climbing the Eiffel Tower, or taking a boat ride through Venice.
City breaks tend not to require an enormous suitcase full to the brim with clothes. The weather is likely to stay the same throughout, so pack some clothes without going overboard. By doing this, you’ll be able to move around more easily as soon as you arrive. You might even stop off at a café before checking into your accommodation!
Research the Best Eateries
Food is a big part of city getaways, and most cities have a specific food that they are known for, so be sure to get out there and try it! You could go for sushi in Tokyo, currywurst in Berlin, or a simple croissant in Paris. Before going, be sure to research the best eateries and fit them into your itinerary to experience the best food in the city.
Attend City Events
Most cities have events going on throughout the year. To make your visit even more special, look at what events are taking place and get involved! You could end up taking in the beautiful illuminations of a light festival, enjoying different bites at a food market, or watching an awesome band you’ve never heard of at a pop-up stage.
Put the Phone Down
How many photos of the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty do you really need? What you are there for is experience, so sure, get a cute selfie in front of that tourist location, but don’t go overboard and be sure to explore lesser-known locations! Try not to spend your time messaging people or scrolling through social media, either, as there’s plenty of time for that when you are back home.
Go Somewhere You’ve Never Heard of
Big cities are made up of places you’ve heard of time and time again. The Berlin Wall, Madison Square Garden, the Acropolis, the Great Pyramid of Giza, Victoria Harbor – the list goes on and on. While visiting these tourist hot spots is fun, you should also fit in at least one location you haven’t heard of before, whether that’s a small independent art gallery or a nature-filled park a little out of the city center.
More than anything, make the most of your time there no matter what you do. You won’t fit the whole city into one weekend, but you can make that weekend the best you’ve ever had regardless.