If you’re travelling to a large city, you may be overwhelmed by all the options for sights to see and things to do. You want to get the most out of your visit, but there’s no way to squeeze in everything that the travel guides are recommending. Fortunately, most of the world’s biggest urban areas can be approached at least somewhat similar in terms of how one might go about exploring them. So, while you will, of course, want to consider specific options at your exact destination, you can also zoom out a bit and prioritize some of the following activities that are available in many if not most noteworthy destination cities.
1.) Find the Best Viewing Deck
Most big cities have a place where you can go to get a bird’s-eye view, such that you’re actually up above some of the skyscrapers. Whether you’re there to see the impressive skyline or a fantastic sunrise behind a famous bridge, these high-up views can make you feel like the whole world is at your feet, and help you to appreciate the wonder of a big city in a whole new way. Typically, these views are most easily found at the top of noteworthy buildings, though sometimes you can enjoy a similar experience by way of a hike (like the Hollywood Hills over Los Angeles, or Mount Royal over Montréal). And alternatively, you might even be able to find what you’re looking for by way of a helicopter tour above the city. Whatever the specifics though, a view that allows you to look down over the city is spectacular just about anywhere.
2.) Spend One Night In Luxury
Some of the most lavish hotels are historic sites or famous sightseeing stops in sophisticated cities. If you’re spending some time in a big city, consider using just one night to splurge and getting a room in one of these places. Yes, it will set you back a bit in your travel budget, and sure, sometimes the cost is legitimately prohibitive. But a truly top-notch big-city hotel – a place like The Plaza in New York City, or The Savoy in London – can make for an unforgettably nice experience. Everyone should do a big city in total luxury and comfort, even gif just for the one night.
3.) Seek Out the Local Casino
With notable exceptions in most major American cities and some East Asian metropolises, plenty of destination cities around the world still have very exciting casinos that reliably offer fun, glitzy nights out. This is despite the fact that the UK’s endless stream of digital slots and poker rooms and New Zealand’s bonus-laden online casinos have more or less digitized the entire gambling industry. At least in big cities – particularly in Europe and Oceania – these glamorous venues are still among the primary nightlife and entertainment draws. So, whether it’s for dressing up for the high-end poker rooms in Monte-Carlo, taking in a stage performance at London’s Hippodrome, or exploring the vast and incredible Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, do keep casino entertainment in mind. Games, drinks, dinner, and entertainment in one spot is tough to beat, and saves you some trouble looking for things to do!
4.) Take the Most Recommended Day Trip
It seems silly to say that you should leave a city as part of your trip there, but often enough there are great cultural attractions – or just entertaining ones – just outside of major cities. Thus, it’s worth your while to at least look into some recommended day trips and see if something stands out as a potential change of pace from the big city one afternoon. To give just a few examples, you might venture outside of London to tour countryside castles; you may leave Tokyo for a day to climb part of Mt. Fuji, or perhaps you’ll make the drive south from Rome to discover the secrets of Pompeii. These kinds of day trips give you a break from the hustle and bustle, expose you to more of the area, and often don’t cost you any more than whatever you spend on basic transportation.
Whether you’re taking a day in a nearby location or relaxing in luxury at a fancy suite, these options will help you get a feel for most any big city you visit. Again, you’ll, of course, want to look into specific activities based on your actual destination. But keeping these in mind can save you some of the hassles of sifting through redundant, never-ending travel guides.