Travel writer. Vegemite, flat white, and book lover. Has learned you can buy just about anything just about anywhere when travelling. Mum to budding adventurers.
You’ve arrived, you’ve unpacked, you’ve battled your jet lag. So what’s next? Do you check out Shanghai’s local beer scene? (Yes, there is one!) Or soak in Lima’s bohemian vibe? Instead of turning to Google or that dog-eared guidebook from the ’90s, turn to local experts. Connect with in-the-know locals who want you to love their city as much as they do!
Locals on Tap is part meet-up with fellow travellers, part walking tour, and part AMA with local experts. What better way to kick off your stay than by tapping into insider knowledge on the best places to eat and drink, all while checking out local culture or delving into local history? Think of it as a visit to the tourism office — only with a beer (or coffee) in hand.
Food and drink surprises
We know discovering regional food and drink specialties is one of the greatest joys of travel. Drink in Shanghai’s thriving beer scene with Locals on Tap. Visit a local brewhouse where your local expert can direct you to try one of 42 drafts on tap. As you settle in with fellow travellers, sample a pint of Baby IPA created by brew master Gao, known as “China’s Beer Guru.” Best of all? It’s happy hour until 8pm every single day.
Foodies should check out Bangkok’s Locals on Tap tour where locals in the know can take you to Thayvarat Market, not usually frequented by tourists. They’ll walk you through the fresh and fragrant local produce where you can try traditional snacks like lod chong (tapioca noodles) or tub tim krob (water chestnuts in coconut milk).
Looking to check “drink egg coffee” off your bucket list? Hanoi’s casual meet-up includes a stop at a local café overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake that’s famous for ca phe trung (egg coffee). Fuel up on caffeine, chat to other tourists, and tap into your local guide on tips on where to find the best pho bo and street bánh mì.
You may not think of sipping cocktails in a luxe lounge in India, but with Locals on Tap in Delhi, you just might find yourself doing that. Delhi’s urbanised Hauz Khas Village is rooted in rich history dating back from the 13th century, but today is home to chic food spots and nightlife. Tamarind martini, anyone?
If arts and culture is your thing, join Berlin’s artsy types in a casual meet-up of Kreuzberg. Once enclosed on three sides by the Berlin Wall, Kreuzberg is now home to street art and hippy culture. The city’s old Tempelhof Airfield has been transformed into an area to picnic and play, and artists have turned the fallen Berlin Wall into a giant canvas, creating a memorial to the city’s past.
Discover Cool Britannia with local Londoners in the famously hip area of Brixton. Brixton pays homage to local boy, David Bowie, with a mural above the tube station. Bowie is also depicted on the Brixton £10 note (yes, the locals even have their own currency.) Check out Brixton’s open-air market on Electric Avenue (à la Eddie Grant fame) and take a dip in Brockwell Lido, an art deco pool originally opened in the 1930s and restored for year-round use in the 1990s.
While Amsterdam is known for tulips, canals, and cafés, you can now tap into neighbourhoods you might not otherwise discover — like Indische Buurt (Indies neighbourhood). Revitalisation has made this area one of the most vibrant and ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in the city. Start at the Tropenmuseum, one of Amsterdam’s hidden treasures, and wind up with a craft beer in your hand at a local brewery — located under a windmill, natch.
Sprawling and alive with culture, Mexico City is one of the biggest cities in the world. But if it’s your first time there, where do you start? Locals on Tap in Mexico City will orientate you by starting with a casual meet-up at the Mumedi Mexican Museum of Design, before exploring the fashionable neighbourhood of La Condesa with its meandering streets, lovely architecture, and beautiful parks.
Locals on Tap means you can combine a history lesson with a casual drink and fellow travel mates. Start at Solovetsky Stone Monument, across from KGB Headquarters and delve into the history of Moscow. The monument serves as a memorial to political prisoners in the USSR. Local experts will share stories of the former KGB headquarters before heading over to an area of the city known as “White Moscow” to explore the city’s hidden gems, including a 17th-century manor.
Get the local perspective on Old Havana (Habana Vieja to the locals), where nearly ever street has historical significance. Watch street vendors selling colourful fruit and vegetables, wander past craft stores, cafés in the old square, and beautiful old buildings that define the neighbourhood. Finally, what’s a trip to Cuba without rum? Settle in at a local bar with your drink of choice, be it a mojito or daiquiri.
Absorb the magic of Istanbul. You’ll start by meeting at Lale Restaurant, known since the ’60s as “The Pudding Shop” from when hippies passed through Turkey on their way to Afghanistan. The restaurant earned its moniker from its tasty and cheap Turkish pudding. From there, wander the narrow, winding streets of Sultanahmet, a neighbourhood of incredible concentration of architecture spanning thousands of years. Finish up at a local café with fellow travellers where you can drink tea, chill with a nargile, and play backgammon.
Finally, history and the present come together in lower Manhattan as you retrace Alexander Hamilton’s footsteps. Immortalised in the current hit musical, Hamilton’s presence permeates this city. Visit Trinity Church where Hamilton was buried and learn the story of how he quickly became one of the most influential minds of his day. Local experts will guide you through the landmarks touched by Hamilton. Raise a glass to freedom with newfound friends at one of the oldest bars in New York City, where Hamilton himself once drank with George Washington.
After all this fun, you might make some new friends to grab dinner with, or you can fill up your itinerary with tips from our local experts.
Introducing: Locals on Tap by Urban Adventures! Forget queuing up at the tourism office. Instead, come kick back and swap travel tales while learning where the locals really like to go, on a meet-up in a fun, funky neighbourhood.