10 Selected Spotted by Locals Spots (Winter 2020)

Spotted By Locals
December 11, 2020
7 min read

With 81 cities and more than 500 spotters writing for us, selecting only 10 of the most interesting spots is not easy. Especially as in these times, traveling is almost impossible, there’s not much to do in general and the spirits are low because of the pandemic.

So, we made it our mission to bring some light and inspiration to our fellow reader’s lives! Here are some of the most unique and surprising spots, 1 in each city, for 10 different cities. Most of them are covid19 friendly so you can already visit, others are there for you to put them on your wishlist. Soon, we’ll be able to travel again and we want your first trips after Covid19 to be the most remarkable of your lives – you truly deserve it!

A saltwater pool in a circus tent inspired hall in Berlin

Image by Liquidrom Berlin

The first words that come to mind even just thinking about this place, is peace of mind. Liquidrom is an urban spa, meaning it’s the perfect place to take a break from the city rumble without having to plan a weekend in the countryside. So get your bathrobe ready!

The whole building’s architecture is inspired by a circus tent. They offer all kinds of treatment, from hammams to 90 degrees saunas, massages, and other relaxation experiences. The real gem however is an underground hall, in the shape of a dome, where you’ll find a warm, saltwater pool.

The experience here is almost spiritual. Underwater color and light effects. Soothing music. The moonlight shining through the round windows. Just lay back and float to fully immerse yourself in the experience, relax completely, and become one with your surroundings.

Bring your own beverages at the magic show in Chicago

Image by Lissa Pavluk

Close-up magic started in the city of Chicago and you cannot visit it without seeing a magic show at least once. As the choice is big, we selected for you a lesser-known gem that will make for a memorable experience. The trickery is a small venue hosting a one hour show most days of the week, and it’s a one-man show. Aaron, the magician, is engaging and fun and his shows are impressive for their variety. You can come here every night and never get bored!

What’s even better here, the venue is BYOB. Yes, you can bring your own beers! The venue even provides cups and bottle openers so don’t worry about forgetting something. Reserve your ticket in advance, order Italian wine and you’re set for a night of wonders.

A double-face sculpture in the air in Geneva

Image by Juliette Bourquin

It’s not the first time we write about spots that not even the locals know, but how about one that is in plain sight, and not even people crossing it know it exists? Welcome to the Oui-Non Sculpture!

Basically, it’s a 10 meters long metal tube. On top of it, there are three braids of gold iron, and depending on where you stand, you will read “oui” (yes) or “non” (no). This sculpture is the work of Markus Raetz and it means to show that perspective can make reality ambiguous. It also invites you to move and change your perspective, and relativize what you see.

We think is a really interesting piece of art for two reasons. One, that the viewer and its movement are an active part of the piece. And second, it carries an important message: trying to understand a different point of view by moving and changing perspective. An important one for all travelers!

A password-protected restaurant in Kyiv

Image by OB

When you first enter Ostannya Barykada it looks like a normal coffee place. You sit down, read the menu, and ask for food. But this time, the server is asking you for a password. Yes, you got it right! You need to say the words “BORITESYA E POBORYTE” and you will enter a hidden door and find a big restaurant is inside.

Ostannya Barykada is an art and gastronomic space, a meeting place of free people who are ready to defend their values, take responsibility, and change the country. They represent the new generation that lived the 3 Ukrainian revolutions between 1991 and 2014. These 3 events strongly inspire the entire space. They want it to be a new platform for the implementation of social and cultural ideas, promotion of modern values, and discussion of a long-term strategy for the country.

An urban exploring gem in Montreal

Image by Dasilva Arthur

If you’re into Urban Exploring, you’ll love this one. The neighborhood of Saint Henri, before becoming the young and dynamic neighborhood it is nowadays, was home to several factories. Though many of the old buildings have since been destroyed and others converted into lofts and condos, one that remains is the abandoned malting factory on St-Remi street.

A prime example of how urban decay can prove interesting, this malting factory is very well preserved and easy to access. It’s huge and offers a lot to explore! It’s common to see people hanging around here, mostly to take pictures of the graffiti or of the building.

A DIY floating sauna made of driftwood in Oslo

Sørenga Badstue Oslo (By Sørenga Badstuflåte)

Sauna is quite a popular concept in Norway, but a floating one? Well, prepare yourself because that’s not even the most impressive part. Sørenga Badstue indeed is a zero-waste sauna as well, as it has been built with driftwood plus some other bits left over from a music festival. It was all hand made by some loving locals!

The sauna is wood-fired and your sauna-master makes sure it’s toasty before you arrive and that you have enough wood for your booking. Normally, you reserve the whole sauna and show up with how many people you like. Then you’ll be floating on icy water from the comfort of a sauna with your friends, family, or partner. For the bravest – you can take a dip in the cold water as well. It’s supposed to be very beneficial for your health!

Sunbath on ice in Saint Petersburg

Image by Ben O’Leary

Strolling around Saint Petersburg and wondering what are the locals doing right now? Well, a place to find out could be just after Saint Peter and Paul Fortress over Troitsky bridge. Here, on a summer day, you will catch sight of plenty of sunbathers topping up on vitamin D.

In winter, fishing is a common activity and you will see many fishers sitting patiently by their holes. Indeed, at times from January on when it’s cold enough, it’s allowed to walk on ice if you don’t wander off too far away. So it’s not uncommon to see sunbathers in this season as well, taking advantage of rare sunny days. We really recommend you join them!

Culture and human rights in a military fortress in Rome

Image by Carlos Castillo

CSOA stands for “Centro Sociale occupato autogestito”(self-managed occupied social center) and is quite a popular concept in Italy. It means that young people, mostly students, have occupied an abandoned building and are now using it for a series of activities of social interests.

CSOA Forte Prenestino was originally a military fortress built in the 19th century and quickly abandoned and is now the hub of like-minded people fighting for human rights, anti-racism, anti-sexism, and antifascism. They do so by hosting many political, musical, and artistic events, manifestations and institutions, that are all financed and organized by themselves.

They also host a farmer’s market, Italian classes for foreigners, alternative and anarchic library, a cafe, and a pub. There are also jazz-festival, wine-festivals, and several concerts all through the summer. Definitely spend an afternoon trying the different activities here – it’s a great place to meet cool local people!

Behave like a kid in Rotterdam

Image by Davy Baas

Doing sports is great for your physical and mental wellbeing, but it’s usually not fun. A solution? In Rotterdam, they have Freestyle Motion. Basically, it is a 2500m2 indoor hall filled with many trampolines. There are regular trampolines, large trampolines for the gymnastics, a tricking floor, and free-running parkour. It’s a paradise for burning some calories while having fun, especially in winter when beach volleyball is no more a possibility.

You can jump as high as you want, as much as you want, and try your skills at somersaults and backflips. Even though it looks like a kid’s game, it’s quite the workout, especially if you are not a sportsperson. Usually, after 15 minutes you’ll be needing a chair and a bottle of water!

Play videogames in a museum in Tallinn

Image by Diana Pashkovich

Parents want kids to spend less time playing videogames and more time studying… so what about a trip to the museum? Just that it is a video game museum!

LVLup! is definitely the most unique museums in the Baltics. The concept is already not very common anywhere, of course. But video game museums where you can actually play the games? That’s new! Yet, here you can play all the games, on retro consoles as well as on the latest Playstation. If you’re not an experienced gamer, the friendly staff is there to answer all your questions and help you out.

The atmosphere is great and the place super cozy. We recommend you spend some time browsing the place, finding old pocket consoles, cameras and books a bit everywhere.

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