Ask hotel staff
If you’re staying at a hotel, ask the staff. From the best restaurants to visit, to lesser-known local attractions and how to get from A to B, those who work in the area will be well informed. You’re not always guaranteed to get impartial advice:
the hotel manager’s brother might own the restaurant they recommend, but it does give you a starting point.
Take a cooking class
Want to taste local culture in a new way? Sign up for a cooking class or a culinary tour. Whether it’s mastering the art of gnocchi rolling in an Italian villa or learning to make Vietnamese pho, one of the best travel souvenirs you can bring home is the ability to cook some of the local dishes you enjoyed during your trip.
Wander off the beaten track
You can discover a lot about an unfamiliar place by asking locals, but let your own senses guide you, too. Have a wander around the area and form your own impressions – you can often stumble upon a gem of a cafe, restaurant or shop just a few streets away from the main tourist throng.
Go on a guided tour
One of the best ways to gain local knowledge is to take a guided tour with an expert who knows the area. These can vary in quality, so do your research beforehand to find a tour that provides everything you want to find out.