We know the world can’t wait to see you again, and we can’t wait to get back out there either. So, we rounded up 18 locals-only secrets in some of the world’s most beloved cities to help you feel like an insider, no matter where your travels take you.
New York City
– It’s estimated that nearly 800 different languages are spoken in NYC, so chances are you’ll hear a new accent around every corner. One of the best ways to celebrate the city’s diversity is by heading to Chinatown—one of the largest and oldest in the world.
– For a flower-filled hideaway and colourful photos, visit the vibrant NYC Flower District in Chelsea. This hidden gem does require a reasonably early start to your day, but getting to spend a morning surrounded by plants and petals is sure to boost your mood for hours to come.
– Explore a different Malibu by hitting one of its breathtaking hiking trails. Topanga Lookout Trail is perfect for all ages and is a top spot to watch a magically golden sunset. And while you’re in the hiking mood, Clouds Rest at Runyon Canyon offers one of the best views of the city.
– The legendary Sunset Strip is more than its rock ‘n’ roll legacy. It’s home to Book Soup, one of LA’s largest independent bookshops. Stop by to uncover rare finds and autographed releases, or check the shop’s upcoming events for high-profile readings or celebrity happenings.
– While foodies will be hard-pressed to find a disappointing meal in Mexico City, an absolute must is to eat on Paseo de la Reforma or in one of the exclusive restaurants in Polanco. The tree-lined Reforma is particularly glorious on Sundays when the boulevard is closed to motorised traffic.
– La Condesa is one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city with its hip boutiques, five-star restaurants and beautiful parks. Don’t over-plan your visit—instead, take your time meandering through the colourful streets and green spaces to enjoy making a discovery or two.
– One of the many favourite outdoor pastimes of locals is to picnic on the banks of the River Spree. There is hardly a better place than the Insel der Jugend, and there might even be free live music if you’re lucky.
– Keeping with the watery theme, you can also get a little of that Venice feeling without having to leave the city. Grab a kayak or canoe and paddle from Stößensee via Little Venice to the Havel Canal. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
– Get your steps in at Treppenviertel (literally the ‘stair quarter’) in Blankenese. There are approximately 5,000 steps in and around the district’s beautiful winding alleyways, but conquering them rewards you with a wonderful view over the Elbe River.
– Spending the day in Winterhude is like taking a little trip away to a charming lake district. Just north of the city centre, the area shines with villas and picturesque canals. Hop a relaxing boat tour and let your mind wander.
– Head to the Japanese garden of the Guimet Museum for a moment of serenity. A well-kept secret, the garden is hidden behind the heavy doors of the Hôtel d’Heidelbach. It’s home to gorgeous Japanese cherry trees, azaleas, horsetails, dwarf bamboos and even a tea pavilion.
– Get a little taste of England at the Villa Léandre. While plenty of tourists visit Montmartre, it’s only those in the know who venture towards Avenue Junot—the hiding place for this Art Deco gem. The colourful, oh-so British facades will have you longing for Notting Hill in no time.
– Street art fans will adore Le Cours Julien. The neighbourhood is a collection of impressive public art pieces, super trendy bars and cafés, charity shops and boutiques of all kinds. Bonus: Since it’s a pedestrian zone, you can have a pastis or a beer right in the middle of an alley.
– The Antiquaires District in Vauban is central, but tourists often bypass this pretty area in the shade of the Bonne Mère. Still, its picturesque alleys and staircases make for the perfect place to discover the city from another angle as it offers the most beautiful views of the city from the Jardin du Bois Sacré.
– Yonge Street may be the longest street in the world, but if you’re feeling really ambitious, strap on your best walking shoes and conquer the nine miles of Scarborough Bluffs. The waterfront is home to nine remarkable parks and endless views of Lake Ontario.
– Toronto is one of the world’s most multicultural cities, and its diversity opens up many delicious opportunities to appreciate all its different cultures. Take your tastebuds on a global tour through Little Italy, Chinatown, Little Portugal, Greektown, Little India, Koreatown and many more.
– Join the locals either relaxing or exercising alongside the historic Lachine Canal. The site is a paradise for walkers, joggers and cyclists, with more than eight miles of pathways and parks to enjoy, plus plenty of options to stop for a bite to eat or a drink along the way.
– Spend an afternoon on an art and curiosities’ scavenger hunt in Old Montreal. From vintage posters to contemporary sculptures, don’t be surprised if you walk away with a unique souvenir of your trip. Start with Rue Saint-Paul Ouest.
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