I’m not sure it’s just me who thinks this every time I go away, but there’s always a part of me that wants to know the best way to see where I’m going. After years of thinking this and wanted to find the right or best way to look around it occurred to me that there isn’t a best way, different approaches work for different folks after all, but I have had my fair share of alternative experiences.
If you’re ever off on a holiday and you don’t fancy following the herd there are plenty of alternative ways to see the sites that may even save you some pennies and your queuing time. I’ve tried all of the below in recent holidays and can confirm they’re definitely a great alternative way to see a new location in ways I hadn’t thought.
So if you’d like to be inspired, please read on….
Hire Your Own Boat
Yes I may have harked on about this enough over the past year, but one of my hands-down favourite experiences has to be hiring our own boat on our holiday to Zakynthos. It doesn’t require a lot of expertise to do so (although it does require a EU driving license and a bucket load of patience) and it’s 100% worth the effort.
Whereas it may seem quite pricey to hire out your own little boat it often doesn’t differ that much to the price of boat trip tickets and the advantage is you can experience the ocean and whichever pit stops you want all on your own schedule. Of course, the more of you there are in your group then the cheaper your boat will be, but it’s a great way to go on a private boat trip with just your friends, and not the rest of the tourists at your chosen location.
Personally for me this was a great way to experience the Greek waters surrounding Zakynthos, and I preferred it in comparison to the group boat trip we took earlier that week. Spending some time on the ocean just us two, on our own schedule and being able to pitch up and stop wherever we liked was a wonderful and unique experience that we both count as the highlight of our holiday.
Free walking Tours
One of the best discoveries from my interrail trip many years ago was to sign up to every free walking tour in each city we stopped at, and it’s something I’ve made an effort to do everywhere we’ve gone ever since. Granted they’re not really free as you really should tip at the end – but they do stress it should be to whatever means you can so it can suit whatever budget you’re on.
So far I’ve experience free walking tours in Berlin, Edinburgh, Prague, Krakow, Amsterdam, Budapest and Zagreb and each time it’s been a great asset to our visit. The amount you learn and experience along the way is always so interesting and fun, and I’ve never met a tour guide I haven’t liked!
They’re often full of extra tips, performances. It’s a great way to see the city, experience stories and history that you might not have been able to feel from a guide book. If you’re a solo traveller it’s also a great way to meet other tourists and – especially when we were interrailing – the majority of the guides would finish off at the pub so we could all mingle and have a drink together.
Hear me out here – cycling tours are the best. I’m not a frequent or even a confident cyclist but my boyfriend signed us up for this tour in Lisbon and it was one of the best parts of our trip. It was a great way to experience the city and to cover a lot more ground than you can in a walking tour in the same amount of time. Even though I wasn’t the most confident cyclist, it wasn’t hard to pick up the rules and to follow the herd along the way.
Or Hire Your Own
If following the herd isn’t your cup of tea then why not hire your own bikes or even electric scooters and take your own tour around your new territory? I recently tried out Lime in Paris, but the concept of hiring bikes with just your phone is popping up all over Europe, and is a cost effective and easy to use route.
Granted you don’t get the tour guide to show you around or explain your surroundings, but if you like to fly solo then this may work best for you. If you’re on your own why not download a tour to your phone like PocketGuide and listen along as you explore on your own?
Sorry if you’re a regular reader of Grundy Travels as I do harp on about this quite a lot. I am an absolute sucker for a rooftop bar! Personally a trip to a rooftop bar always works out better than paying for a ticket to the top of your nearest tourist trap. Why have a great view when you can have that and a drink in your hand? Exactly.
You’re far less likely to have to queue for a rooftop bar – although to be fair you might have to shuffle your way to the front for good views, but if you stay long enough (and why wouldn’t you) then the views are definitely worth it.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it has provided some inspirations for any trips you may be going on. Any of the above have always worked brilliantly for me, and are always on the top of the list of things to look for when I’m visiting a new city!
Anyway, more travel updates and pictures are updated daily on my Instagram @GrundyTravels. Thanks for reading!