This is the Travel Take, where Matador’s writers and editors make the case for their favorite travel hacks, tips, and personal tics.
Locals typically know a city’s bar scene best. Sometimes, however, you don’t have the luxury or time to consult the locals when you’re in a new city. Instead, you’re left searching Google, which can lead to cocktail bars with the same design and menu as the ones back home and spots filled with other tourists who made the same search query.
If you really want to get to know a new city, look for the pubs. Pubs are a window into the culture that hyped bars often can’t be. The unpretentious atmosphere, relaxed vibe, and under-the-radar status make a local pub the perfect place to feel right at home and meet people who actually call the neighborhood home. This is especially true in Europe, where you can find no-frills pubs in nearly every city, town, and village. These pubs are the ideal lens through which to view a new city for many reasons, but these are the top three.