What is the first thing you do to start planning a trip? Get your hands on a travel guide? Google the top things to do in your destination? Or, if you’re lucky, get advice from friends/family who have already been there?

At best these efforts will give you an idea of what to do and where to go. At worst you end up following the masses from one touristy attraction to another, or even more unfavourable, visiting places or doing things you never cared about in the first place.

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I’ll admit it. I’ve taken more than one trip where I wished in the end that I had experienced things more like a local and less like the average map-toting tourist. Locals know what to do and when you should go where. They know better than wait in a three-hour cue and shell out €20 for that (let’s face it, boring) museum that Google insisted you visit. They steer clear of that one statue that people flock to in hoards, only to take the same exact photo as millions of others. Locals know the best restaurants for brunching, where you can find the most shopping deals and those particular night spots that suit your fancy – whether it’s sipping cocktails, dancing your face off, or relaxing in a lounge.

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But how can you experience a new place like a local if you’ve never been or don’t have friends there? That’s where Showaround comes in. Showaround connects travellers in search of unique local experiences by actually connecting them with the locals. Travellers can discover and choose from verified locals based on their personalities, experience and credibility.

How it works:

First you find a local based on background, interests, language and more by searching through a list of profiles from people who want to show you around. Some locals post short videos where you can see a little about what they are like and also see the areas you might wish to visit. You can read reviews from other travellers who have met the local and tell about their experiences. I also recommend you check out the Showaround blog for great insights into how the site and its locals work.

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When you’ve found a local you send a request with a message and your tour preferences.  Once they’ve replied and proposed a list of satisfactory ideas for your tour, you pay to complete the booking.

Then comes the fun part, planning your trip! This is when you make all the arrangements, discuss what you want to do and how long you want to hang out with your local. This is when you tell them that you’re for example really into vegan restaurants, partying at open airs or obsessed with vintage shopping. Once the arrangements are made, you just need to make a date and experience a new city through the eyes of a local.

Even though I actually am a local in Berlin myself, I was quite excited to meet with Kasia, one of Showaround’s guides, who is probably more knowledgeable in German history than I am, given that she works part-time at the GDR Museum in Berlin, guiding visitor tours there. She knew a ton of cute little anecdotes, some of which I had never heard of, which is pretty surprising, given that I grew up in East Germany myself.


In addition to providing an alternative to your usual travel planning process, Showaround offers a number of other cool benefits. Most importantly, it provides the chance to have an out-of-the-box experience. By meeting up with a local you’ll be able to see and do things that aren’t on the average tourist guides. You’ll spend your time seeing and doing specific things that are interesting for you.

Showaround is also a great way to make international friends. The service itself is unique with actual human relationships and social encounters. And as you get to read about and talk with your local before hand, you’re guaranteed a great opportunity to meet a like-minded person and make a friend in every new city you visit!

My meeting with Kasia was great, because we were instant friends. We bonded over talks about dating apps and world travel but she still managed to impress me with many details on her extensive knowledge on Germany’s past as a split nation. She was able to point me in the right direction as far as cool neighborhoods and places to spend quality time were concerned, yet she simply gave me the warm feeling you have when you meet someone like you who actually knows the city, can take you by the hand and ensure you spend your precious time wisely.

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When you plan your trip with a local from Showaround, you get to enjoy a spontaneity and flexibility that you wouldn’t find in a planned tour or rigid itinerary. With Showaround locals, you can take a turn at any narrow street that catches your interest, giving you the option to make on-the-spot decisions and enjoy whatever comes your way.

Kasia was great like that. She does specialize in certain areas of Berlin and has a focus on things she knows most about but was willing to prepare specifically for our meet up, as I had some particular wishes on where we would meet and what we would focus our tour on.

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Showaround is affordable and secure. Locals set their own prices and hourly rates are clearly seen on the profiles. You can choose who to meet and how long you want to hang out with them. All payments are done through the Showaround site so you don’t have to worry about security of money transfers, etc. There is also a money-back guarantee so it’s totally secure in that regard, too.

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Finally, Showaround allows you to plan a trip that is 100% designed on your interests and wishes. You can pick locals from different backgrounds, occupations, etc. If you love biking, hiking, whatever!, you can pair up with a local who will show you the best time based on places/things/activities that you love. Want to explore Amsterdam by bike?

With a presence in 99 countries and over 2000 locals in 1000+ cities, you’re sure to find the perfect local match for your upcoming trip. Whether you’re hitting up one of the most popular destinations like Paris, Istanbul, Barcelona, Tbilisi, Kyiv, Lisbon or venturing to a lesser known spot, Showaround will hook you up and give you the holiday you’ve been waiting to experience!

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*This post was created in collaboration with Showaround.com