How to meet locals while travelling? 6 ideas

Meanwhile in viewpoint of Graça... 

"What an amazing view, isn't it?"
"Yes! We should ask someone to take a photo with Lisbon as a background, a selfie is not enough."
I saw an asian boy next to us and i asked him if he could take as a photo. He did and i noticed he was travelling alone so i told him if he wanted to join us to walk around the city  that afternoon. He agreed and soon we started talking about travelling, Portugal and South Korea (He was from Seoul) and he even taught some words in korean xD. 

Me, Seung Yoon Jung and Rosa in Saint Jorge Castle 

This is one of many stories i have from meeting people randomly, just by asking something or just because i am waiting in a line to see an atraction or a museum (people that know me know that i am like this eh eh).

Whenever i am travelling i always try to meet a local, although it's not always possible because the trip is to short or you're with your family/friends doing the stuff you had planned. 

Even if you are in your own country or you are abroad here are some suggestion to meet new people and have different experiences. 

Picture from
Couchsurfing is probably the most known platform to find a place to stay anywhere you go. I never used it to host someone or to have a place to stay abroad. I only use it to meet new people in Lisbon or when i go abroad (on my profile i only have the option "Wants to meet up", since i don't use it to host anybody). Once i attended CS meeting in Lisbon in and it was a really fun night in which i met people from Poland, Netherlands, Brazil, Italy and France and the best things about this meetings is that people that usually go have a lot of crazy stories and adventures to tell (Lisbon CS meeting happens every Wednesdays at 21:30 pm in café do arquitecto).
You also can find many events, activities and several groups in the website related to the place you're going and of course travelling. Give it a try. 
App availabe. 

2- Showaround - Discover cities with a local 

The purpose of this platform is just to find a local to show you around a city and it is very simple to use! I used it to meet a local in Madeira and it was a really nice experience. I was travelling with two friends and we decided that we wanted to meet a native from Madeira, so that we could know what it really means to be a "madeirense" (noone of us knew almost nothing about the island). We then met Margarida, a really friendly girl with a really cool accent that took us to Pico do Areeiro (you can see some amazing photos that i took there here) and she helped us planning our next days in the island. It was such an amazing trip! 
App availabe. 

I discovered this platform on instagram and i have to say that is very organized and complete. It is made to offer the best experiences with the locals: from a home meal, to the hidden secrets of a city or a lifetime experience. 
I never tried but maybe i will on my next trip. 
App availabe. 

Feel the local life, meet new friends! Find your tour guide at Hi, hi guide and discover a new way of travelling!

I heard about this platform this year thought some tourists from Sweden that tried it in Lisbon. 
“This is a technology platform that brings people together. Sharing a meal, sharing stories, sharing laughs with new people in someone’s house is deeply personal, authentic, and intimate…"

"Every time we have an EatWith dinner, our table turns into that very special place in the world where strangers become friends — distances between cultures and countries get reduced across a 28-inch table." - José Angel, Mexico city (host since 2013)

Enjoy the best of Portuguese gastronomy and culture in the best way there is. At a local's house!
"A Portuguese Table é uma plataforma online que pretende promover não só a culinária mas também a hospitalidade portuguesas cujo objetivo é proporcionar uma experiência autêntica aos turistas: a refeição, tradicional, faz-se em casa de anfitriões lusos." 

5- Meetup

Resultado de imagem para meetup

This is a very useful platform that i use! You just have to create your profile, choose the topics that interest you the most and start attending events. I went to a french meetup in Lisbon and it was really fun! 

6- Facebook groups 

Há inúmeros grupos no facebook sobre viagens! Dois que eu gosto muito são "Amantes de viagens" e "Girls LOVE travel"

Have you ever tried one of this platforms and apps? Do you use others?

Life is about the people you meet along the way! 

Filipa Figueira

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