Eating out on holiday? This is how you avoid the tourist trap

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If you can flawlessly find the places in your own city or village that a tourist has never navigated before, on holiday it’s a different story. Previously you could assume the theory long queue = guaranteed success, but due to social media and the now emerging review culture, it is difficult to distinguish a tourist trap from a local favorite. That is why we have listed some important tips for you not to fall into the tourist trap as a tourist.

Culy’s Nancy already gave tips on how to best plan an ultimate culinary tip , but now avoiding tourist traps has turned out to be a true art.

Restaurants on holiday: this is how you avoid tourist traps

The basic rules

In general, of course: avoid the main squares, streets that lead to well-known attractions and ‘cozy’ alleys where the staff tries to get you in with lures. There are of course exceptions, for example Fulu Mandarijn – one of the tastiest Chinese restaurants in the Netherlands – is located in the middle of the Rokin and Gebroeders Niemeijer  is located between the tourist violence on the Nieuwendijk.

However, this is more the exception than the rule. Also important: go local as much as possible. Don’t roam the streets of Seville for the best sushi and don’t go hunting for tacos during your vacation in Mykonos.



Social media has its pros and cons in this story. It offers the opportunity to discover the real gems before you have even booked a ticket. But there are also drawbacks: anyone can call themselves an expert, plus that one pearl has most likely already been discovered by 2.1 million other treasure hunters.

For guaranteed success, the Culy editors therefore prefer to follow restaurateurs, chefs, reviewers – with a track record – and owners of specialty stores or other specialists in the field. By saving their tips regularly (when saving you can create folders per location), you prevent these tips from disappearing at the back of the algorithm. If you go to Paris, for example, the chef of your favorite restaurant will undoubtedly also hang out in one of your newest favorite establishments.


As mentioned before, online review platforms are a tricky one. Because uncle Theo, who enjoys the Knorr World Dishes Lasagnette best at home, can leave a review on Tripadvisor that he didn’t like the lasagne from that one agriturismo just outside Sienna. So for him.

But maybe for you. The more platforms, the more experts. Our advice is: don’t be guided by the bigger websites and all their opinions. Especially not when there are more than 1000 reviews in 10 different languages: tourist trap alert .

Lonely Planet/TV

We hope it has become clear by now that Lonely Planets are fine for the well-known or popular addresses, but you will not find the unique local gems among them.

And then there are always the tips from Chef’s Table , Street Food or the late Anthony Bourdain: these addresses often still offer good food, but remember: you are not the only tourist who has this address in mind.


Stickers on the door

You recognize them from afar: the stickers on the window or door. Sometimes it says something, often it doesn’t. For example, the Tripadvisor sticker only indicates that you will be 100% sure to be among only tourists. But the yellowed newspaper review or the Michelin sticker from 1998 are not necessarily a guarantee of good food.

old school

We actually still like the old school way the most: talk to people. With hands and feet, in English or with Google Translate… This is a matter of culinary vitality, so throw everything into the fray. Because if you succeed, you have gold in your hands.

Check with the owners of your accommodation where they prefer to eat, ask the woman behind the counter of the boucherie for the best bistro in the area, the greengrocer at the local market what his favorite restaurant is or the fisherman which restaurant serves his fish .

Guaranteed success also at the smaller wine shop, delicatessen or bakery: after all, they are all culinary specialists.

Source: Culy by
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*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of only having information available in a certain language.


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