With more cities and countries under your belt you become a more efficient traveller. However, everyone can relate that the first day in a new city can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to make your first day a little less stressful and more of an immersive experience.
Half & half
Instead of rushing to see everything, try spending half the day sightseeing and the other half strolling around to get a feel of the city. This gives you a sense of accomplishment by checking off something off your list, but gives you time to breathe and adjust to your new surroundings.
Know your surroundings
Get to know the things you may need during your stay. Know how to get back to your accommodation by knowing how you’ll get around the city, such as public transportation, car rental, etc. It might also be a good idea to find the pharmacies and grocery stores near where you’re staying if you need some medicine or would like to stock up on some cheap snacks.
Try to map out all of the things you know you want to see (on a paper or digital map) so that you can visualize where the biggest concentration of them are and tackle that area. This also helps you for the rest of your trip because you can plan each day with one area in mind. It allows you see everything but also to wander around the area without worrying that you’ll miss something because you know that you’re going to conquer another area in the following days.
Research the best restaurants/bars/cafes/outdoor markets either online or with the locals. Also, check if anything is happening that doesn’t happen all the time, such as weekend markets, festivals, events and shows that can be essential for experiencing the city’s culture. You don’t want to come back from your trip and find out that you missed something!
Enjoy your meals
Eat at least at one famous/local secret spot. Often on our first day we get caught up in the city’s rhythm and end up eating meals at odd times and treat them as a hindrance to our sightseeing. In fact, meals should be the opposite and should be the time you have to soak in the city, watch the locals, enjoy delicious food.
Of course these tips depend on the length of your stay, but hopefully you’ll find inspiration and pick and choose what most fits you and your trip. Maybe even one day, the first day in a new city may be your favourite day or the day that you look forward to the most!