Being given a limited amount of time to experience a new place has a layer of panic along with excitement. There are so many things to do and see, how do you prioritize it all? Another question you can ask yourself is, how do you live an authentic experience that is not tainted by tourist lenses? Not that there is anything wrong with being a stereotypical tourist, following that route has its own benefits. However, for those who want to see more of the local scene here are four steps to unwrapping the city:
Set up base in a neighbourhood filled with activity
When planning your trip aim for large city centres like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Hafir, and Nazareth. These areas are more likely to have a diverse set of people and a number of tourists. After you have picked your city look for vacation rentals in Israel from sites like www.bnbkosher.com. They offer a variety of short-term rentals in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv rentals, so you can try to mimic your home style abroad.
These houses and apartments are equipped with a kitchen or a kitchenette, something that is not frequently found in hotels or inns. The kitchen allows you to purchase groceries and try out local ingredients. You might find yourself with gems you can’t live without and take with you. Don’t make this a replacement for experiencing their cuisine, think of it more as an extension of it. Fixing one meal a day during your stay can strike a balance between eating at home or going out.
Make a list of what you can find in each area
Instead of aiming for sites, try to plan your trip according to the area. Research on what you can find and where they are located. Then from your place read up on the public transportation system and how you can get there. In this method, being lost is a part of the process. If there are places on your must-see list, you can reserve days for cab rides and a strict itinerary, but apart from that slowly get to know the city. Enjoy the stores you pass by and the market stall set up. You might find yourself in places that are mentioned online if you enjoy yourself that is even better.
Follow the crowd
When in doubt for restaurant choices or good store deal just follow the crowd. It might be a gamble to select the places that have the most people, but there is safety in numbers. At the very least, it can be a good story to tell when you get back home. You can also use that as a point of comparison. How much did they like it? Did I like it as much? Do I want to look for a better place? What are my options?
Make friends when the opportunity presents itself
Try to speak with the people you meet. Even short questions like their favourite kosher restaurant or bookstore can be information that you can use in your travels. Besides brief exchanges be open to the idea of making a new friend. It could be someone you meet in a guided tour or shared a table within a crowded food court—these interactions can be fond memories you look back on in the future.
Exploring like a local is about learning as much as you can.