I visit new cities quite often. In order to enjoy the visit without just hopping from one tourist attraction to another I always look for alternative ways to see the city. Anything that helps to get out of the tourist mainstream and enables you to get a different perspective is more than welcome.

So what are creative ways to explore a city. Really anything goes.

A few ideas I like to apply are:

  • grabbing a map, look for the street index. pick two random streets, draw a line between them and try to follow this like as closely as possible

  • going zig zag: leave the house. turn left at the first corner, right at the second and so on. Stop when you're tired :-)

  • my favourite: The barkeepers drive. Go to the first bar/cafe/bistro in your sight. Have a drink. Afterwards ask the barkeeper for his favourite bar. Look it up, go there. Rinse and repeat till you forget where you are :-)

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    I'm pretty sure this is off topic and gonna be closed soon but, anyways, take a random bus and drop off at a random stop. – Geeo Apr 16 '14 at 13:04
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    Visit the highest vantage point over the city, after that go and get pictures of a man on a horse, a cannon and a very old building. Walk along the river, then decide to have food at the 10th nice looking restaurant. Although perhaps I've just described the typical tourist trail, and you should do the opposite. – RemcoGerlich Apr 16 '14 at 13:35
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    Don't do this stuff in random US cities, the difference of a half-dozen blocks or a single subway stop could be, ummm, important. – Spehro Pefhany Apr 16 '14 at 15:24
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    I do not think an answer would be 'opinion based' as the question asks for methods. So, lacking the ability to answer directly, what you're looking for is sometimes described as guerilla tourism. One example of this, though avant-la-lettre, is the concept of psychogeography, pioneered in the 1950s. There's a web-based mobile app (mine) which implements this concept, available at deriveapp.com/app – MastaBaba Apr 16 '14 at 21:06
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    I believe not all of us said opinion-based, I actually chose too broad / unclear - but it just shows one reason in the close. I still feel there are far too many answers. – Mark Mayo Apr 17 '14 at 7:23