Thinking of starting a blog to write about all the awesome places you’ve been to? Or, got a case of writers’ block? Here’s a tongue in cheek walkthrough on how to (or possibly, not how to) write a city guide of pretty much any place.
Start off with a short intro that sounds poetic but is actually meaningless for readers and can be used for any city really.
“It is such an incredible, beautiful, fun city! You can easily wander around, and reach all of the X,Y and Z, but it still retains its old charm.You might think you need a tour guide, but getting lost is half the fun, especially in the little alleys and hidden spots.”
Then hit off with some general tips accompanied with dreamy photos.
“Why don’t you check out the church/cathedral/temple/mosque [delete as appropriate] on the main square. If you’re a fan of this type of architecture, you’ll fall in love with X, with its bеаutіful [colour] walls and multі-ѕріrеd rооf/stairs/walls.”
“Make sure to hit the [market] and grab yourself one of the amazing [local delicacy].”
“When hunting for a bite to eat, stay away from the restaurants on [main street] as they are often overpriced tourist traps. Make sure to check out the smaller places in the side streets, including this shockingly good [bar].”
Give a little tip and call it ‘insider info’, after all you’ve spent a two whole days in the city.
“If you get a little tired on your feet, don’t give in to taxis or a car, but try the bus/metro/tram as it’s cheaper and you get the chance to experience life like the locals.”
“Stay at a hostel just outside the city as it’s cheaper and you’ll make friends a lot easier. Or try AirBnB, you are actually lucky, because if you use THIS code you get X discount on your booking.” Make it sound like it’s something you arranged for them and not a regular thing, also don’t mentioned that it’s only for first time bookers, they’ll find out themselves. Continue with some more wise words on where to book your stay”
“For both hotels and AirBnBs, you’re are more likely to find cheaper accommodation in the outer districts. You don’t need to stay in [insert neighbourhood city is known for] to have a good visit to [insert city]. Many neighbourhoods in X and X are cute or upcoming areas, and close to many great tourist attractions, and it is easy to access [city centre] by [insert transport] in 15-20 minutes, which is a whole experience in itself and feels more like an experience than a holiday.”
Any city now has a coffee place so you should definitely include one to up your hipster credibility.
“This hip coffee place is just like your gran’s house. Only here the sewing machines serve as tables and you have to pay for your coffee and cake. The [carrot/sponge/tequila-cream] cake is delicious, try one slice, or maybe the whole thing…”
Always mention a thing or two that are free, everyone loves a freebie.
“Many don’t know this, but you can climb to the top of [building] to get an amazing 360 degrees view. And the icing on the cake – it’s for free, so more money to spend on [drink/cake/souvenirs]”
When you’ve run out of stuff to say on your location, try a tip about a museum – not that anyone gets too excited about visiting one, but you don’t want to come across some philistine and the SEO helps too.
“Expose your eyes to [artistic movement] at the [Museum of Art]. Here you’ll find works of [Picasso/Dali/Matisse], including that [famous example] you’ll want to tell everyone about.”
I’m sure we’re all guilty our standard ‘go-to’ ideas when we write, but it’s amazing how some places can all just sound the same, so I like to use this as inspiration to try and make every post I write try to capture a little piece of the magic of where I’ve been.
Have you got any examples of similar things?