Traveling isn’t just about going places and seeing things. It’s about discovering the authentic experiences and off-the-beaten-path destinations that you didn’t even know existed. From exploring a buffalo mozzarella farm in the Italian countryside to strolling through the spray-painted streets of Bristol, England, these are five like-a-local adventures you won’t necessarily find in a guidebook.
See D.C. in full color
From monochrome monuments to stone-faced founding fathers, Washington, D.C. is known for housing history. But that doesn’t mean the District is stuck in the past. Along the city’s streets, murals illustrate contemporary capital culture in a kaleidoscopic color palette.
Just north of the National Mall, you’ll find vibrant street art that features everything from a psychedelic portrait of George Washington to a STEM-centric optical illusion to an homage to D.C. native Marvin Gaye.
Experience Italy’s local culture(s)
If you want to taste some of the world’s best buffalo mozzarella, make a pilgrimage to Italy’s Campania region. There you’ll find plenty of water buffalo, along with small-batch cheesemakers who still make mozzarella the generations-old way. (The cheese here is so beloved that it’s even protected by the European Union.) Here you and your students can experience this traditional—and extremely tasty—craft, and sample it straight from the source.
Bristol, England is a mecca for mural artists thanks to its (elusive) hometown hero: Banksy. You can find spray-painted masterpieces on nearly every inch of this coastal city. The beauty of this constantly changing artform? Travelers will never see the same city twice.
And on an EF tour in Bristol, you and you students can channel your inner Banksy as you make your own street art creations during a hands-on workshop.
The best way to learn about a new culture is to try it. Literally. Talk to the locals, walk the streets, and sample the food. In the world-famous markets of Bangkok, you’re encouraged to do all three—all at once. The city’s light-up-your-senses street food scene reflects Thailand’s personality, history, and traditions in the tastiest of ways.
Our favorite tip: A long line is usually a sign that a stall has great food. And since they’re constantly cranking out dishes for the rush of customers, you’re sure to get a fresh meal.
The buildings of Portugal resemble larger-than-life canvases, thanks to the country’s bold hand-painted tiles that hug the walls like ivy. Known as azulejos, these glazed masterpieces have transformed the streets of Portugal into open-air galleries since the 15th century. Up close, each tile is a self-contained work of art. And together, they create a tapestry of Portuguese history—remnants of conquests, royalty, and religion that appear everywhere from park benches to restaurant walls.