Looking for those “hidden gems” in the city? Well, here they are. This site offers eclectic, up to date stuff to do, see, eat, drink, explore (with photos!) as revealed by people actually living in that city. There are also downloadable city guides (pdf) for 3 euros. For now, the site includes 51 major cities in Europe and North America. Go here when you realize that your guidebook is not at all hip or in the know.
Don’t worry, if you’re not yet comfortable with the idea of sleeping in the house of someone who isn’t your friend or relative. All you have to do is sign up for FREE and fill out a basic profile that will allow you use all the fun features of this site. Each city has its own community page, so you can check out the ongoing list of activities, happening that day or coming up soon. You should also search through the city’s various Group links, which always center on things like Live music, Dancing, Sports, Going out, Vegeterian/Vegans-you get the point. It’s kind of like their own little version of MeetUp. Members passing through the city also post on this page to say things like, “Hey, I’m in town for a few days, anyone want to meet up for a drink or a walk around the city?” See, no need to host someone–just a fun way to meet new people and spend a day filled with food, drink, dancing, walking, conversation, whatever! Then there’s the “Meet Locals” button, which basically connects you the database of local members, so it’s kind of like a platonic eHarmony, and you can contact anyone who you think looks cool and shares your interests.
If you’re a Workaway member (which you SHOULD be!), the site now has a feature that will show you other Workaway members who are currently located nearby, so you can meet up and hang out, or even ask if they can recommend any hosts in the area.
Just by doing a search for the name of your city with the word “expats”, you will come up with listings for the local expat portal or expat forum, which is probably loaded with the city’s events, activities and meetings that are of interest to expats. You can usually sign up for a free profile so you can then post on forums if you have any general questions or if you want to join a group of people who are going to take a day trip.