81 local tips – 1 in each of our cities – for locals…

Spotted by Locals is not for travelers only! Actually at this moment about half of our app & blog users are locals looking for tips in their own city. Our locals especially love recommending spots to fellow locals…

Live in one of “our” 81 cities and think you know your city well? We’ve picked 1 very special local favorite spot in each of our 81 cities, that often locals don’t even know or haven’t visited… How about you?

Amsterdam: Sauna Deco – Dutch detox

Sauna Deco Amsterdam – by Anna V. Martins

Experience Dutch culture by going to a sauna! The little known Sauna Deco has all around stained glass, wood paneling and a gold-plated interior that will make feel like you’re back in the roaring ’20s…

Athens: The ultimate (West) African restaurant

Yankadi Athens (by Marilena Salamanou)

There’s a pretty sizable African community in Athens – but Greek locals rarely come in contact with them. A great place to learn about the Athens locals from West Africa is at Yankadi. It’s run by a couple from Ivory Coast and they have amazing food!

Antwerp: a monthly improv theater show

SWAAJP Improv Theater Antwerp

Improv theater SWAAJP in Antwerp organizes monthly or bi-monthly English shows and workshops that are just a treat to watch. The actors themselves have no idea what they will encounter along the way and how the stories will unfold. Are you ready to embark on an adventure?

Barcelona: The best graffiti in town in Poblenou

Graffiti Art Poblenou Barcelona (by Carlos Domeque)

Barcelona’s old industrial quarter of Poblenou has undergone the now familiar transformation from run-down backwater to thriving neighbourhood, where the traditional and the hip jostle side by side and the graffiti on its walls reflects this. On this street corner pretty much every month the elaborate art gets renewed – probably because it’s one of the few legal walls!

Beirut:  Mansion – Former abandoned house

Beirut’s Ex-Abandoned Mansion (by Rayan Ezzeddine)

Located in one of Beirut’s oldest areas, Zuqaq al-Blat, this beautiful villa-mansion has been there for many years since the 1930s, yet was abandoned during the civil war. 6 years ago, the mansion was bought by 2 Lebanese that wanted to bring the mansion alive again by turning into a place for the community. The whole area is full of old buildings that are nice to walk around and look at.

Belgrade: Fijuk Sajam – A trade fair for loonies

Fijuk Sajam Belgrade (by Jelena Končar)

For all (underground) arts & crafts lovers lucky enough to be in Belgrade on the first Friday of each month, Fijuk Sajam (“Whew” or, colloquially, “Loony” fair) is the place to see, and be.

Everything creative that exists on the margins of culture – up and coming artists, local and foreign comic books & zines, books, drawings, unique graphics, ceramics, badges, prints, paintings, gig posters, T-shirts, bags, anarchist publications, records… it’s all there…

Bratislava: Slavín – Homage to the fallen

Slavín Bratislava (by Lea Kostolná)

Slavín was built originally as one of only two military cemeteries in Bratislava. Almost 7,000 soldiers who fell in western Slovakia during World War II found peace here. A tall monument in the middle of the cemetery has a huge marble ceremony room on the top with a tall obelisk ending with a huge seven-meter-tall statue of a fallen soldier holding a flag.

Slavín is definitely an off the beaten track spot in Bratislava. It also has one of the most impressive views over the city.

Brussels: Lourdes Grotto – Hope in the margins

Lourdes Grotto Brussels (by Graaf Barry von Stielandt)

“2020, Jette, extreme northwest of Brussels-Capital Region. Corona tightens its grip across the globe. More than 1000 Lourdes grottos are strewn across Belgium. I enter the Jette Our Lady of Lourdes domain. Before me, a blue neon ‘Ave Maria’ flickers in the dying day…”

Bucharest: MARe – Museum of Recent Art

MARe Bucharest (by Daniela Bratu)

MARe/Muzeul de Artă Recentă is a very interesting spot in Bucharest, not only for lovers of contemporary art, but also for people who are looking for some unconventional spaces. The building is intriguing – from a distance might trick you into thinking it is floating!

Budapest: The Red Hedgehog – Oldest house in town

Red hedgehog house Budapest (by Iulia Notaros)

There is  no clear consensus on which is Budapest’s oldest house. The initial structure of what would later become the Red Hedgehog house can be dated back to around 1260, so it’s is a very strong candidate. The record that it does definitely hold according to all documents is being the first two-story house in town. According to some testimonies, the last Ottoman governor of Buda was killed in front of it!

Cairo: Darb 1718 – Art and culture

Darb 1718 Cairo

Darb 1718 is a contemporary art space in old Cairo with a laid back and informal atmosphere where you sit on a bean bag and enjoy the show or get your creative juices flowing in anyway they wish. Their contemporary art gallery shows and support mostly young Egyptian artists.

Chicago: District Brew Yards – Self-serve beer hall

District Brew Yards Chicago (by Meghan Phillipp)

District Brew Years is the US’s FIRST brewery collective. This pour-your-own beer hall has over 40 taps for you to sample locally crafted brews in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. Each tap is pour-your-own so you can sample several beers and figure out what you like.

Chisinau: Hell in the Church of Transfiguration

Church of Transfiguration Chisinau (by Nicolai Chirnev)

The Church of Transfiguration Chisinau looks like any other church in Eastern Europe from the outside, but the most unique painting is right above your head when you enter the building: an illustration of hell. It’s hard to understand how the very conservative orthodox church of Moldova gave permission to the artist to paint such a modern depiction of the Bible!

Cologne: A shop window abandoned for 20 years

Eisenwaren Edmund Bosen (by Julia Krakau)

Agnes had to close the Eisenwaren Edmund Bosen shop in 1998 forever – due to her age. Since then, the store is a sleeping beauty. Screws, nuts, gears, iron chains, and hundreds of other curious metal objects, for which I don’t even have a word, turn the shop window into a quirky chamber of curiosities.

The descendants of Agnes and Edmund Bosen still live in the small townhouse today. I’ve heard that they occasionally open the shop to friendly people…

Copenhagen: Political statements by Spyo Art

Spyo Art Copenhagen

The anarchist Spyo makes powerful statements in Copenhagen towards the system and our way of living within the system and the rules of society. His choice of weapon is words painted in capital letters — short sentences with strong and provocative messages to the readers. Illegal paintings on the very top of house walls, on buildings and other fronts in the city.

Dublin: An indepent gallery with unique Irish art

Jam Art Factory Dublin

Jam Art Factory is an independent gallery and art retailer who are passionate about showcasing new Irish design and talent. They sell everything from ceramics & textiles to jewellery & street art in many different forms.

Edinburgh: Colinton Tunnel – Hidden street art

Colinton Tunnel Edinburgh (by Fiona Diack)

Colinton Tunnel has the longest community mural in Edinburgh. The mural follows a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson (who wrote Treasure Island) called From a Railway Carriage and depicts the characters from the poem as well as the author himself. The poem tells of a child’s first trip on a train. It’s a great walk up there from the center of Edinburgh.

Florence: Bellosguardo – Little known viewpoint

BellosGuardo Florence (by Matilde Cesri)

Feeling like walking? Bellosguardo is totally worth the hike. Florence is surrounded by hills and this is one of the reasons we don’t have any air to breathe during summer, but some hills are more special than others… Bellosguardo is little-known as a viewpoint and it’s the only place where you can see Florence’s most famous buildings and monuments from a total different point of view: the front.

Frankfurt: Erdnüsschen – Sachsenhausen’s best dive

Erdnüsschen Frankfurt (by Sam Bacon)

You need to be careful when venturing into the bars of Alt-Sachs (old Sachsenhausen). Some of them are pretty run down, dirty, and it’s not uncommon for the bottoms of your shoes to stick to the floor.

Erdnüsschen is the exception to the rule, however. It’s a slice of Frankfurt that you’re less likely to see these days and always makes for a great time!

Geneva: Oh My Gin – the city’s own “ginoteria”

Oh My Gin Geneva (by Rahul Jha)

Gin & Tonic is one of the cocktails that have undergone a cycle of societal acceptance in a manner similar to fashion – it comes back in vogue and gets out in a cyclical manner. The 2020s are the era of the G&T’s return and of course Geneva must have it’s own “ginoteria”: Oh My Gin! If you’re not a big gin lover, you’ll love the amazing furniture. The ambience of this bar is out of this world according to our Spotter Rahul!

Ghent: “The coolest city view in the world”

Hospital parking Ghent (by Bennie De Meulemeester)

Our Spotter Bennie is sure: the Hospital Parking in Ghent has the second coolest parking lot in the world (voted in 2018), but the world’s coolest city view over our city. “I love city views, it’s my kind of yoga.” The 360-view from this architectural gem gives the most attractive summary of Ghent. Our Three towers like in a fairytale or the new buildings of the expanding city. Even the harbor is an aesthetic image!

Glasgow: Station Bar – Booze & eggs

Station bar Glasgow (by Andy Logue)

The Station Bar can be found at the boundary where Glasgow meets Clydebank. It’sa stone’s throw away from Yoker train station. You will find plenty of conversations at the bar and if it catches your fancy, the barman keeps a book for ordering eggs with the local farmer. You are spoiled for choice in terms of eggs as you can order duck, goose or whatever winged creature that produces eggs you like near enough.

Hamburg: An ear to listen to your stories

Das Ohr Zuhör-Kiosk Hamburg (by Sebastiana Turra)

The Ohr Zuhör-Kiosk at subway stop Emilienstraße offers time for encounters. A group of people around the founder Christoph Busch will listen to your stories – funny anecdotes, love or adventurous stories, but also stories about unhappiness, despair or sorrow. Their goal is the human encounter without judgment or without the aim to replace a therapist. And even more impressive – the team does not even expect anything in return…

Helsinki: Katmando Bar – A hidden Nepalese bar

Katmando Bar Helsinki (by Joonas Kervinen)

While Nepalese cuisine has long established its status in Finland, you still won’t find Nepalese bars. Small and cozy Katmando Bar, run by the warmhearted and welcoming Udeep Joshi and his crew, is a lovely exception. It’s located a bit hidden above a Saiturinpörssi discount store, so you have to know where you are going. Katmando Bar also serves the very best momos of Helsinki (meat or veggie)!

Istanbul: Guten Morgen – Berliner in Kadikoy

Guten Morgen Istanbul

Guten Morgen is a very quiet place; even though you are in the middle of Moda, a very popular neighbourhood, that’s what it feels like. It’s a new discovery for our Spotter Yücel.

With its simply, cosy vibe it feels like you’re in Berlin. During sunny summer days, it’s a great idea to spend an afternoon while feeling the neighbourhood life here.

Krakow: Grandma’s food in Nowe Huta

Skarbnica Smaku Nowe Huta Krakow

Skarbnica Smaku is a restaurant located in an old bookstore in the less-visited area of Nowe Huta. It was closed for a few years, but thankfully after a big renovation and now the old chandeliers and balustrade on the mezzanine were restored. Also, to connect it somehow with the past, on the walls you can find books, a lot of books. And the food… it’s like at grandma’s!

Kyiv: Authentic Chinese food & beer from plastic

Jasmin Kyiv (by Andrey Tereshchuk)

Authentic food, a handwritten menu (in Chinese), beer from plastic cups and food that’s “far from fancy French dishes”: Jasmin Kyiv. That’s how we like our spots! In Kyiv, most Chinese cafes are Chinese only in name, but in fact – a hodgepodge of Asian cuisine. For pure Chinese cuisine  however, you can safely go to Jasmine…

Lisbon: Bus 727  – A journey through the real Lisbon

Bus 727 Lisbon (by António Vera – 2325_Carris)

A 6.40€ day ticket will give you access to all transport in Lisbon all day. Our Spotter Nuno started using Lisbon’s bus 727 back in the ’90s to go to his grandma’s, and not a thing has changed. This is a (very) long journey that connects 2 of my favourite neighbourhoods: Alvalade and Restelo (Belem area) and through the heart of town passing some iconic buildings like the Campo Pequeno Bullring, Marques de Pombal, Rato, the beautiful São Bento Street and the Parliament Building.

Ljubljana: a perfect bench at Grajski Vinograd

Grajski Vinograd (by Mankica Kranjec)

When you wander off a bit further than the castle’s gate, you’ll eventually come across the only vineyard in the city center. But, the bench near the gate is excellent and free for all to use. This is one of our Spotter Kevin’s favorite spots for reading in the sun and a bird’s-eye view of suburban Ljubljana.

London: Museum of London – Tales of this best capital city

Museum of London (by Andrew Bright)

The exhibits and stories displaying the very long history of the city of London at the Museum of London are amazing, and deserve to be at the top of the bucket list of everyone visiting the capital. And of course, locals will love it even more! Many locals haven’t visited this museum though…

Los Angeles: Small open mic & comedy school

Tao Comedy Studio Los Angeles

Tao Comedy School is a cool spot to hit Open Mics and do Stand-Up Comedy. It’s where our Spotter Val learned to do stand-up. There’s a mic at least four times every week. There are classes taught on rotation, and private lessons for people who want extra polish. Tao is a cool, underground place to enjoy comedy or do a bit yourself!

Madrid: Immigrant market Mercado de Mostenses

Mercado de Mostenses (by Andrea Lucy Roberts)

The fabulous covered Mercado de Mostenses ticks all the boxes – central; both traditional and international; well priced… check, check, check! Add to that incredible variety and the freshest of fresh produce and we have a winner!

Our Spotter Andrea’s favourite stalls here are the Chinese greengrocers that have some weird and wonderful veggies. Also there is a fishmonger’s on the ground floor that has fish you can’t see anywhere else. This place and markets like it are the real Spain, not necessarily the most glamorous, but good, so good.

Malmö: University library with a view

Orkanen Malmö (by Sharon Bowker)

Malmö has a fantastic library system for a city its size, and one of my favourites is the Malmö University Library in the Orkanen building. Although primarily aimed at students and faculty, it’s open to the public and an inspiring place to hang out, especially on a wet or wintry day. There’s also a gallery for student art as well as a research gallery highlighting the latest academic work from faculty.

Manchester: Antiques, 78 records & tea

Levenshulme Antiques Village Manchester (by Denise Tench)

Levenshulme Antiques Village, a short bus ride from Manchester city centre, is home to a jumble of shops selling vintage and unique items under one beautiful, eclectic roof. The building itself is worth a visit: an ex-town hall clad in decorative green tiles standing over a backyard space peppered with sheds, outhouses and working studios.

Anything from Eames furniture and kitsch jewellery to art deco silver and old 78 records are sold, there’s a much-loved old-school English tea room and it’s the city’s best spot for an English breakfast…

Mexico City: Mexican style popsicles

Pantera Fresca Mexico City (by Mariana Gonzalez)

Our Spotter Mariana loves Pantera Fresca because of their unique and diverse Mexican flavors which can’t be found anywhere else: Zapote fruit, mamey fruit, cajeta, chocolate abuelita, tamarind and lime with gummy bears and “conejo en la luna”. The shop is super small and not easy to find. Use the Spotted by Locals app :)

Milan: Tudor-Style Houses in Italy!

Tudor Style houses Milan (by Susanna Baggio)

As you hop off tram no. 15 you’ll feel a bit displaced. This pretty block is one of the most unexpected sights in Milan, including a couple of super fascinating Tudor-style houses. Rumor has it that these timber-frame houses with sloping roofs were built by a couple of German pianists who wanted a house that reminded them of their homeland or, as other people say, by an Englishwoman who asked a Milanese architect to put a little Tudor in her humble abode…

Minsk: Accidental Point – Music store with parties

Accidental point Minsk (by Ilya Uglianitsa)

Accidental Point is a place made by a Minsk community of musicians named “accidental society”. They are constantly performing on different events, but have also dreamed their own place, where they can play the music they love. Also they sell vinyl and some independent music magazines and books.

Montreal: An artistic green shortcut

Artistic shortcut Montreal (by Jeremie Gerhardt)

“Ruelle verte” or “green alley” is a local initiative that allows local residents in Montreal to submit projects in order to make their streets greener. Recently, an artist couple did much more than add many flowers or old public transport furniture; they flourished Rue d’Hérelle with art and made it into an artistic shortcut.

Moscow: Novaya Basmannaya Street

Novaya Basmannaya street Moscow (by Maria Selezneva)

Novaya Basmannaya street (‘New Basmannaya’), unlike its ‘colleague’ Staraya Basmannaya Street, is quieter. This street is younger and was established no earlier than the 2nd half of the 17th century, but the buildings on it are just as amazing. Our Spotter Maria’s favorite is Shibaevs’ Estate (number 23a, bldg 1).

Munich: A weird figure of a green cat

The Green cat Munich (by Alexander Chukovski)

In general Munich is quite predictable and nothing crazy happens around here. So how surprising would it be if you know that in the very center of the city, on top of a beautiful old building there is a weird statue of a cute green cat with a golden tail? Not many locals know it!

New York: Met Breuer – Brutalism in the city

Met Breuer New York (by Nick Papa)

“Harsh, but handsome” is how the New York Times described the Met Breuer when it opened five decades ago. They were right. Wrapped in concrete, granite, and terrazzo, the Brutalist structure that is the outpost of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is like no other in the city.

Oslo: A one-of-a-kind bar in Tøyen

Gurken Gurken Gurken Gurken Oslo

Gurken Gurken Gurken Gurken (GGGG) is a hole in the wall bar in the middle of a residential street in the up-and-coming Tøyen area. It’s a totally non-serious (and a little strange) bar run by the people who brought you Brutus (a totally serious and not strange wine and tapas bar just a couple of doors down the street). You can listen to old rock playing on vinyl whilst choosing between chilli or pickles on your late-night chicken wings.

Paris: Les Brutalistes: Architectural leather accessories

Les Brutalistes Paris (by Paul Wright)

Les Brutalistes is where you’ll find a leather maker’s workshop that produces customized leather belts, and unique, edgy accessories and sells them directly to the public. Record racks sit around walls and there’s a vinyl island of records too (Check article the Vinyl Office), and that’s where to catch a glimpse of the interior.

Philadelphia: The Wagner Free Institute of Science

Wagner Free Institute of Science Philadelphia (by David Graham)

Museum visitors to Philadelphia are usually familiar with two main science museums, the Franklin Institute, and the Academy of Natural Sciences. However, there is a little-know gem located north of center city close to Temple University, the Wagner Free Institute of Science.

What makes the Wagner Institute so fascinating is that the museum’s exhibit hall is nearly unchanged from how it appeared in the 19th Century. In it, you will find marvels of the time, such as fossils, skeletons and the first American sabre tooth tiger…

Podgorica: Gallery Pizana – Balkan art

Gallery Pizana Podgorica (by Gana Vujović)

Gallery Pizana is a sales gallery that has a fairly large collection of contemporary artists from the Balkans.It’s a great place to check out authentic handicrafts and compare contemporary artists and different dynamics in the arts of Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia…

Porto: FAUP – Great view and architectural delight

FAUP Porto (by Sofia Moreira)

FAUP (Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto) is the building in which the architecture students from University of Porto have the pleasure of studying. You should also be eager to pay them a visit.

First off, the panorama: A breathtaking (and often ignored) look over the city, with a stunning view of river Douro and Arrábida bridge – a real hidden treat. Secondly (but equally important), the building: it’s designed by the award-winning architect Álvaro Siza Viera.

On special occasions, the students host a barbecue outside. There’s usually live music and/or DJs, it’s free and open to the general public.

Prague: A piece of Dutch architecture

Štencův Dům Prague (by Katarína Mácová)

The Štencův dům building is located in a very short L-shaped street with a church instead of some buildings. (1911) was built according to plans by Otakar Novotný (1880-1959), an important Czech architect. The design of the house with a distinctive brick facade was influenced by his student trip to the Netherlands where he met Petrus Berlage, the founding father of modern Dutch architecture

Prishtina: Defy Them – The local metal family

Defy Them Prishtina

Defy Them is located in a small house at the end of a long narrow road, somewhere in the suburbs. About two years ago it became the home of the local metal family and their cherished fans.

It doesn’t have the most sizeable stage for its moderate fanbase, but people don’t mind enjoying the music from the outside while chugging a beer or smoking a cigarette.

Riga: Zuzeum – A new space for art

Zuzeum Riga (by Dace Strigune)

Zuzeum Art Centre was recently re-opened after a renovation funded by private donations of the Zuzāns family. It’s spread over three levels of a historical building in the complex, with 3000 m² of space dedicated to exhibitions and public programs.

The rooftop terrace of Zuzeum Art Centre is a green oasis in the middle of Riga! It’s the perfect spot for sunset-watching and enjoying the urban city view and having relaxing talks.

Rijeka: Peek&Poke computer museum

Peek&Poke Rijeka

Peek&Poke is a little known museum dedicated to computer history – a museum with over 1000 exhibits including early computers, game consoles, old video games and gadgets of every imaginable kind. Its founders, big IT enthusiasts, wanted to create a place of gathering for other computer fans, resulting in a collection that provides valuable insight into the digital revolution. Get ready for a serious wave of nostalgia!

Rome: Quirinale Palace Chapel – Cheap classical concerts

Quirinale Palace Chapel Rome (by Alexandra Turney)

It’s only possible to visit the beautiful Quirinale Palace by booking a guided tour, but our Spotter discovered that there’s also another, little-known way to enjoy the splendour of the Quirinal.

Keep your eye out for tickets for Sunday morning classical concerts in the Cappella Paolina (Paulina Chapel). They’re available on the official Quirinal website for just €1.50 – incredibly good value for a classical concert performed by world-class musicians in a spectacular Baroque chapel in the heart of Rome…

Rotterdam: Landelijke Tentoonstelling voor Paal – Bollards

Tentoonstelling Voor Paal Rotterdam (by Michael Afanasyev)

“Voor paal staan” means to be embarrassed, so “Landelijke tentoonstelling voor paal” can be roughly translated as “National Embarrassment Exhibition”. “Paal” is a bollard. Why is there a bollard exhibition on a street corner in Rotterdam? Our Spotter Michael’s guesses the best answer is “because we can!”

Saint Petersburg: Pro Anta’s – Tropical space

Pro Anta’s Saint Petersburg (by Ludmila Simonova)

Pro Anta’s is a private greenhouse. It’s a small tropical space, created by Anna Golubeva – scientific editor of the Russian edition of the book “Urban Jungle” and a great lover of plants. It’s a private initiative of an enthusiast. The space is in the building of former factory. Visiting it is free!

San Francisco: Pug Sunday – Fun for dogs and humans

Pug Sunday (by Sasha Sommer)

The first Sunday of every month in San Francisco marks the enthusiastic welcoming of a new month with the playdates of four-legged and two-legged creatures alike: Pug Sunday. The gathering at Alta Plaza park in Pacific Heights not only has fantastic sweeping city views, but welcomes a large crowd of pug dog owners from all over the Bay Area.

Sarajevo: Homework Hub – Productivity and fun

Homework Hub Sarajevo (by Alan Dardagan)

In August 2019, Sarajevo got its first mini university hub. Homework hub is the favorite gathering point for students, freelancers and all others who want to work, study or simply hang out. Here you can study, read, surf the web, freelance and much more for the very affordable price of 1KM per hour.

Seattle: The Henry Murals

The Henry Murals (by Nicoline Miller)

If you happen to find yourself wandering around or driving in the neighborhoods of Ballard, Fremont, or Wallingford in Seattle, chances are that you will come across a bright mural painting or two of whimsical, wide-eyed animals, gnomes, and mythical beasts on colorful backdrops doing strange things.

The artist is Ryan Henry Ward, who has been brightening up Seattle with his murals since 2008 and been described as Seattle’s most prolific muralist.

Skopje: Bunker Comic bookstore

Bunker Comic Store Skopje (by Стрип книжарница Бункер)

The owners of Bunker Comic Store have brought to life the popularity of comics again and more and more people visit this store to buy some old-school and newly made comic books. In here you’re surrounded by all that art, with comics from the great masters like Hugo Pratt or some “written” by Macedonian artists.

Sofia: Antep Baklava – Bites of heaven!

Antep Baklava Sofia (by Yana Alexieva)

Antep is a small pastry shop on the Jenski pazar (Ladies’ market) that has without a doubt (for our Spotter Yana) the best for baklava in Sofia. Her personal favourite is the Shobiet – with pistachios and kaymak (some form of milk-based cream), and the simplest one – the walnut one.

It’s a gem in one of the less touristy areas of Sofia, which might seem a bit dodgy to the less adventurous. I personally am in love with this area and frequently come here to enjoy a snack at Ashurbanipal followed by a cup of Turkish tea and Shobiet in Antep. Walk around for an authentic feel of Sofia’s oldest neighborhood!

Stockholm: Storholmen – Secluded and central island

Storholmen Stockholm (by Maria Drangel)

The location of Storholmen is central if you look at the map, but due to the fact that there aren’t any bridges that lead there, it hasn’t been discovered by the masses for the gem that it is. The castle – and even the park – have degenerated but it adds to the charm.

Apart from walking in the historical surroundings and enjoying the nature of the most inner part of the archipelago, Storholmen is nice for swimming if the water temperature allows it

Tallinn: A-galerii – Visit the vault

A-galerii Tallinn (by Mari Sarapuu)

Out of the many galleries in old town in Tallinn, A-galerii has an easter egg that many haven’t discovered yet… From outside you might think it is a place to shop designer jewelry, which it also is, but inside you can also find a 5.2 m² vault room that has hosted designer jewelry exhibitions since 2005. Even if you don’t plan on buying any jewelry, the vault is an interesting hidden feature to check out.

Tampere: Home of the black sausage

Mustamakkarabaari (by Hanna Mäkelä)

In Tampere’s nearby suburbs you can find Mustamakkarabaari. This is where they make the local delicacy of mustamakkara, or blood sausage. And this is indeed a very authentic place to taste it. For Euro 5,= you can have a lunch here, together with all kinds of locals: construction workers, farmers, local people and men in suits…

Tashkent: 139 Documentary Center

139 Documentary Center Tashkent (by Malika Baratova)

In a former agricultural factory you’ll find 139 Documentary Center. It is a multidisciplinary space with a focus on documentary media. To many, however, it is more like headquarters or a community center.

Here you can experience the works of prominent photographers from Uzbekistan – those who might not have otherwise had a chance to be exhibited. Also movie screenings and film festivals, community events, and even music can be found here.

Tbilisi: A Harry Potter school

“Hogwarts” Tbilisi

Tbilisi is a city where you can find many interesting buildings with different architectural styles, but not many people know that you can find a little school that looks like Hogwarts.

It was built during the 19th century by architect Alexandre Ozerov, in the style of gothic revival, which gives it its mystical appearance. The building also served as an infirmary during the First and Second World Wars.

Tel Aviv: Street art at the bus station

Street art at central bus station Tel Aviv (by Tal Bright)

Most locals and tourists visit the central bus station for obvious reasons: to catch a bus. And many get lost in this weird labyrinth while running late for the bus.

If you’re never going to find your bus anyway, you might as well enjoy some art while you’re there ;). One of the largest street art galleries I’ve ever seen is located on the 7th floor of Tel Aviv’s central station. All types of street art are represented: spray paintings, stencils, stickers and paste-ups.

The Hague: Landgoed Meer en Bos

Landgoed Meer en Bos The Hague (by Jorinde van der Burgh)

Landgoed Meer en Bos is a less-known elegant park in The Hague city district Loosduinen that used to be part of a large 17th century estate.Iit is well hidden within an urban area and originally designed as a baroque garden. It has changed of course during the centuries. Nowadays it has a lot of windy sand paths in English-landscape style.

Bird shelter De Wulp is usually closed to the public, but you can always check if by chance they organize anything interesting during your stay.

Thessaloniki: An exotic cafe in the Neapoli area

Avli Thessaloniki (by Irini Vasilopoulou)

In the less visited area of Neapoli a new “oasis” has been created called “Avli” which translates to “The Yard”. “Avli” is indeed an old yard turned into a fantastic open-air coffee bar covered with trees & built with natural materials to create a “wild”, tropical feeling. The tranquillity and remoteness you feel is phenomenal, considering that one of the busiest streets in the city is less than 100m away.

Tirana: a little-know fresh seafood restaurant

Arditi Fisherman Tirana

Tirana is not very far from the Adriatic Sea, which from a culinary point of view makes it a crossroad of different influences and different touches, geographical and historical. Arditi Fisherman is located outside the famous “Blloku”, so it’s less known.

Arditi Fisherman receives fresh fish from the Adriatic daily that I can actually witness on the iced tray table (sometimes moving — not for the faint-hearted!). Therefore, their menu is based on the recent catch, which makes this culinary adventure even more interesting.

Toronto: Hart House student theatre

Hart House Theatre Toronto (by Kaye Ann Caronongan)

The Hart House Theater has a long-standing history, but it’s less-known outside of the student community. If you’re lucky enough to snag a ticket for a show at the Hart House Theatre, you’re in for a treat!

Walking inside and towards the actual theatre, it feels like you’re walking inside a tunnel only to find a quaint and intimate theatre that looks like it can has no more than 300 seats or so. Chandeliers illuminating the theatre on both sides give off an elegance and a simpe kind of beauty and charm.

Turin: The best farinata & pizza al tegamino

Cecchi Turin (by Tatiana Bazzi)

Cecchi is a historical family-run pizzeria in the area of Borgo Campidoglio. The menu is extremely simple: you can have farinata (a thin baked sort of crêpe made of chickpea flour mixed with olive oil and water), pizza al tegamino and ice cream. That’s it. The options are so few that the waiter doesn’t even take notes of your order, he just goes by memory!

Vancouver: An authentic Spanish taperia

Como Taperia (by R. Regan)

Fabulous cocktails, marvelous food and a cheerful buzz makes Como Taperia a new addition to my our Spotter Roz’s list. It’s a small place but delivers big flavours, with typical tapas like Patatas Bravas and Garlic Shrimp and some not so typical offerings like speciality imported tins of different fish you can choose from on a dailies sheet.

Venice: Ca’ Bembo – Free space for everyone

Ca’ Bembo Venice (by Filippo Muraro)

Close to Ponte dell’Accademia, one of the four bridges crossing the canal grande, there is an occupied building, abandoned for years. This palace is called Ca’ Bembo and it has one of the very few free gardens in Venice. Old rooms have now several new uses: there’s a recording room built by recycled material, three study rooms and a library, while on the outside there is a picturesque garden, surrounded by high-walled buildings that give a mysterious touch to the place.

Ca’ Bembo is open to everybody and it offers its spaces asking back only respect and collaboration. If you are having a hard day walking through Venice’s streets, chillin’ a bit under the trees of Ca’ Bembo is what you need!

Vienna: Stuwer – Viennese kitchen at its best

Stuwer Vienna (by Linda Nepicks)

A run-down Tibetan restaurant was recently turned into a tastefully furnished restaurant with a nice outdoor area. Stuwer offer straditional Viennese kitchen with an extra touch.

In winter you can enjoy the cosy yet stylish restaurant and watch the chef and his crew in the open kitchen. On a warm summer night, Stuwer is the perfect place to enjoy some great chilled Austrian wine, and on the simple but lovely outdoor terrace, you can watch the folks of this non-fancy neighbourhood passing by. Leisure time, good food, good wine – Vienna as it best!

Vilnius: Menų spaustuvė – Quality theatre action

Menų spaustuvė Vilnius (by Šarūnas Andriušaitis)

Menų spaustuvė represents the new school of theatre. The new school with a new approach to acting and interaction with the audience. The theatre is settled in an old printing house in the old town.

Every single act our Spotter Šarūnas been to left a vivid recollection for months. Furthermore, sometimes you don’t even need money because Menų spaustuvė every now and then prepares free entrance acts. There are always acts with no specific spoken language or in English.

Warsaw: Museum of Computers and Games

Warsaw Museum of Computers and Games (by Magda Przedmojska)

WGE (Warszawska Gielda Elektroniczna; the Warsaw Electronic Market) is known to everyone. If you started your computer adventure in the 1990s, most hardware and software would have come from WGE.

Imagine how surprised our Spotter Magda was to visit this place about 20 years later and discover that not only the market still exists but that there is now the Warsaw Museum of Computers and Games where you can play old-school video games on old computers, Nintendo, Mario Bros – you name it…

Washington DC: A hidden thrift store

St Alban’s Opportunity Shop Washington DC (by lstrohl)

Tucked away under the parish house of St Alban’s church, at the gateway to the National Cathedral, is a wee shop that sometimes affords big surprises. Since 1955, when the residents of this tiny neighborhood of NW clean out their closets, St Alban’s Opportunity Shop is where the donation pile lands. The proceeds (over $300,000 last year) go to charity.

Yerevan: Artists’ Building – A Soviet institution

Artists’ Building Yerevan (by Raffi Elliott)

The Soviet Union had a habit of idealising certain professions deemed ‘respectable’ of the working proletariat. One such dedicated structure is known as the “Artist’s Building”. While many of the artists still reside there to this day, and their studios are worth visiting, this old guard is now sharing the space with several architecture studios, creative agencies and tech startups too.

Zagreb: The forgotten Jurjevsko Cemetery

Jurjevsko Cemetery Zagreb (by Nevena Mikec)

Jurjevsko cemetery is a part of old Zagreb’s legends & scary stories. Today, it’s a forgotten place and many city folk don’t even know about it. And most of those who do know about it will tell you that it’s haunted and to stay away. Romantic or haunted, it’s for you to decide…

Zurich: Gertrudhof – The Cordon Bleu specialists

Gertrudhof Zurich (by Allan H.)

The interior of this the slightly hidden Gertrudhof restaurant near Idaplatz has a distinct rural Swiss ambience: wood paneled walls, traditional furniture and slightly tacky decorations give you a feel for the country’s less urbanised parts – and sets the perfect stage to enjoy one of the most popular dishes in Switzerland.

Would you like to share your own local favorite spots in your city? Become a Spotter!

Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)