Before your trip, go to the site of the city you’re going to. It is possible that at this time there are any interesting events – holidays, exhibitions, festivals. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit them – a second chance to see, for example, a festival of lights in Lyon or a medieval holiday in Provence might not present itself.
If you plan to visit a very large museum, such as the Louvre, but you have limited time, choose one or more of your interesting exhibitions in advance. Otherwise, you can just not reach them, as you don’t have enough strength to do it.
Visit a restaurant or café serving local cuisine. The best establishment is easy to determine by how many people want to get into it at lunchtime and for dinner. If you see a queue at the doors, chances are high that you should go in there. For fans of high cooking, gastronomic guides such as Michelin exist. You will be able to find out in advance which restaurant is considered the best in the city you are heading to.
Go to the local market. Open-air trade can be interesting not only in Asia but also in Europe. For example, in France and Germany on weekends, book and antique bazaars can be found every morning, as well as buy fresh vegetables and fruits, meat products and cheeses produced by farmers. The locations of such fairs are sometimes reported by the local press.
Try to find acquaintances in the city you’re heading to. They’ll be able to tell you what it’s best to watch. Plus, you will get a rare chance to see the country not only from the tourist’s point of view, but also to familiarize yourself with the places popular with locals.