Travel guidebooks were behind the times (even in 2008!) and they drove Spotted by Locals’ original founders Sanne & Bart, crazy. On city breaks, the outdated paperbacks brought them to touristy highlights, last year’s nightlife venues and defunct spots that no longer existed. The Amsterdam-based duo finally got their trip back on track when, on a city break, they stumbled upon the personal blog of a local who wrote about his favorite spots in the city.
As two travel addicts, Sanne and Bart saw the need to replace traditionalist, conformist travel recommendations with insider tips by locals, for travellers who want to experience cities like a local. Halfway between practical and idealistic, Sanne and Bart decided to quit their jobs in 2008 and venture across Europe for six months to find locals who wanted to join their dream project.
Spotted by Locals began as an Amsterdam city blog written by locals called Spotters. Spotters live in the city they write about, speak the local language, write only about their favourite spots and keep their recommendations up-to-date.
Since 2008, Spotted by Locals has expanded rapidly – first from Amsterdam to Zurich in Europe and then from coast to coast in America. In 2011, 100% offline mobile apps for iPhone and Android were introduced for travellers on the go. There are now 82 city guides across North America, Europe and the Middle East.
Every one of our 500+ Spotter is handpicked by us, and it’s an amazing and lively community of locals who often meet up in real life. For example at Spotters weekends.
Through each city guide, Spotters worldwide share each city’s local culture and habits. We believe that expanding the worldview of travellers by allowing them to see from a local’s perspective can increase intercultural understanding, which helps make the world a better place.
In 2018 we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. In this increasingly polarized world, we are more determined than ever to keep growing our movement!