Traveling is more than seeing sights. It’s about making experiences which become life-long memories, about sharing those with other people. To achieve that, you have to immerse in the culture of your destination. That’s easier said than done as usually a lot of precautions are taken to keep travelers busy with touristy attractions.
In order to make the best of your trip, consider the following ways to immerse in a foreign culture.
Couchsurfing is not only a cheap way to travel around the world, but to meet local people from all over the world. You can stay with them, meet them for a coffee or go to one of the regular meetings. Register on their website and look for groups of your destination to find those events.
A good way to get to know locals and their culture is to work in the place you’re staying. You can do work exchanges, find paid jobs or volunteer. Doing so, you stay longer, make friends with local people and might be able to take part in local festivities, are invited to dinners and learn more about the culture by talking to people.
Eat the local food
For me a huge part of local culture is food. Do not go to international restaurants only, go to local restaurants and especially try street food. In a lot of places around the world, street food is a huge part of the culture.
Go to festivals/sports events
There is a festival going on or a local sports team playing during the time you’re there? Awesome! Go there and celebrate with the locals.
Stay in local areas
If you have the opportunity, stay in local neighborhoods. You will not only find cheaper accommodation but also cheaper food and will meet more local people than in the touristy areas. To find accommodations in local areas, the best way is to rent an apartment with the help of Airbnb or Tripping.
Start booking your accommodation with Airbnb by using this link today and get a 25$ credit.
Talk to strangers
Get out of your comfort zone and start conversations with local people. Even asking for directions or some piece of advice might lead to longer conversations. And who knows? Maybe you make a new friend.
Go to the (super)market
Sounds weird? I actually enjoy going to supermarkets and stroll through the different corridors. Visit food and crafts markets. Look for things different from home, buy some of those and try something new.
Enroll in a class
Whether it is dancing, yoga or other kinds of sports, this way you get to know a lot of new people. If you stay longer in one place, that’s the easiest way to get settled in the place and make new friends.
A language course or a cooking class gives you very good insights in local customs and traditions as well.
What do you do to immerse yourself in a foreign culture? Please share your ways in the comments.
Please not that I am an affiliate of Viator which means that I earn a little commission from your booking through the link in this post at no extra cost for you. Thank you very much for keeping this site running.