My Top Travel To-Do’s in Any City

Time and time again, I find myself repeating the same types of activities whenever I travel to a different city. Whether it’s tasting the local food at a market or renting a bike to see more of what the city has to offer, these are my favorite travel to-do’s!

Visit a Food Hall or Market

Nearly every urban city has a giant building (or outdoor space) with a bunch of local food vendors in it. And I’m not talking about the mall food court with Sbarro or Panda Express. I’m referring to locations that are primarily food-focused, and not just a break from shopping. I love browsing through the different vendors to see what tickles my fancy and it’s so convenient if you’re traveling in a group. There’s nearly always something for everyone! Plus, most of the vendors are local eateries and that’s one of the best ways I learn about a culture’s food.

Some of my favorite food markets I’ve been to include:

Chelsea Market, NYC

Smorgasbord, Brooklyn

Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia

Smorgasbord, Los Angeles

Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

The Hangar, Long Beach

Foodhallen, Amsterdam

Mercado Roma, Mexico City

Literally any night market in Taiwan

Breeze Market, Taipei City

Borough Market, London

Siam Paragon Food Hall, Bangkok

What are some food halls that I definitely need to visit in your favorite city? Let me know in the comments!

Rent a Bike

A rental from Mike’s Bikes in Amsterdam

It all started in Amsterdam. I loved that city so much, and regret that I only spent part of my last day there riding around on a bike. Ever since then, I’ve been really keen on exploring a foreign city through cycling. Walking is great, but I really do get to cover more ground by bike, and there’s something so exhilarating about feeling the breeze rush past you.

I especially appreciate cities that have their own bike share programs. When I went on my 2.5 week trip gallivanting across France, all the major cities I visited had an app or kiosk you can use: Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nice, Marseille, Lyon, and Paris. In smaller towns (like Annecy), there will usually be a bike shop, and I love that most European cities are very bike friendly. Plus it helps that I’ve gained confidence in biking through the traffic in LA – a city whose roads usually don’t have a bike lane.

Enjoy Some Afternoon Tea

A freshly brewed pot of light jasmine tea, towers of finger sandwiches and sweet treats, and relaxing music. Afternoon tea is something I recently started loving and I try to find a good spot in every city I travel to.

My favorite afternoon tea of all time would have to be at the Author’s Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok (pictured above). For a set price (~$50 USD) you had unlimited tea and unlimited food, which I haven’t witnessed anywhere else! Sure, it was pricey so my mom and I got our money’s worth and sat there for 2-3 hours after a long morning of exploring temples. We agreed later that it was better than the Mandarin Oriental in Taipei. The prices can be steep at afternoon tea places, but the experience is just so charming and the food is usually top notch so I include afternoon tea into my itinerary and budget now.

What are some experiences you find yourself repeating in different destinations?

I’d love to add some ideas to my future travels! Let me know 🙂

xx Sam

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