As part of the #NotATourist Campaign with Visa, we will be sharing stories, articles and tips on destinations across the world.
The NotATourist campaign is designed to inspire travel beyond the regular tourist sites to savour truly local experiences that are the essence of making a destination unique. The campaign is there to help travellers explore destinations as local inhabitants – not as tourists – by providing local knowledge using crowdsourced digital content that is showcased on Visa’s NotATourist website and the Visa Explore mobile app. NotATourist also offers travellers a platform to describe the many facets of a destination by sharing their own images, videos, posts and comments, making them ambassadors or tour guides of their favourite travel spots.
To participate in #NotATourist all you need to do is use the hashtag and tag @visamiddleeast for us to find you and we will share your stories and images.
The campaign invites users to share content on social media using the hashtag ‘#NotATourist’ and will give participants a chance to win a weekly prize of US$500 for submitting pictures, videos or tips on how to find ‘secret’ and little-known spots or experiences in key travel destinations. In August, Visa will announce two Ultimate #NotATourist content contributors who will each be awarded a travel package worth US$5000.
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10 Out-of-the-Box NYC Experiences – Not A Tourist
There seems to be “something for everyone” in this city and each person I speak to seems to have a different idea of what makes the city special to him or her.
As the saying goes, “the sum of a whole is a result of its parts” and this reminds me of New York. The way the city breathes life is what makes it so special to its residents and visitors alike.
Next time you go, visit some of the cities most unique, fun and out of the box destinations. Here are a few of our favourite things to do in The Big Apple!
Travel Junkie Diary
1. Visit Momofuku Milk Bar
This small eatery has some of the best ice cream, cookies and cake I’ve ever experienced. Think cereal milk ice cream, birthday cake truffles and crack pie (yes, it is as addicting as it sounds!). Visit any one of their locations spread across the city.
2. Experience “Sleep No More”
This interactive play, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, takes you through 7 floors of the abandoned McKittrick hotel in Chelsea. Follow the actors and create your own story line as you interpret different scenes in different ways. Downright spooky, but we love it.
3. Go to “The Top of the Rock”
Far better than the top of the Empire State Building, the views of Central Park and beyond from 70 floors up the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza are not to be missed.
4. Traverse the Highline
The Highline is an elevated park on a disused New York Central Railroad that is home to some of the most beautiful flora, public art, and architecture in the city. Walking on the High Line will allow you to not only catch some great city views, but also, learn about the interaction of art and nature through exhibitions.
5. Shop at the Union Square Green-market
This fantastic collection of 140 regional farmers, bakers and fishers set up at Union Square on certain days of the week to the delight of 60,000 dedicated shoppers. From fruits and vegetables to pickles, jams, meats and artisanal cheeses, this world famous community market deserves a visit on a sunny afternoon. Think Dubai’s ‘Ripe Market’, on steroids!
6.Take a photojournalist tour with Jonathan Auch
A freelance photographer working the streets of New York, Jonathan Auch brings his version of the city to budding urban photographers through his street photo tours. Bring along your digital camera and walking shoes as you embark on the most unique journey through both the gritty and glitzy faces of the city.
7. Read a book in Sheep Meadow
This wide section in Central Park is the sight of many individuals, from sunbathers to kite enthusiasts, and my personal favourite, those stretched out with a good book. This lawn was originally grazed by sheep until 1934, thus the name stuck. Try this place for a relaxing area with a gorgeous view of the New York skyline. Dining tip: The famous ‘Tavern on the Green’ restaurant was actually created from the old sheep’s home!
8. Stay at The Nomad Hotel
Housed in a turn-of-the-century Beaux-Arts building, the hotel has been fully restored to its original grandeur by renowned French designer Jacques Garcia. In fact, the design of the hotel itself was inspired by the Parisian apartment of Garcia’s youth. With custom designed furnishings and original artwork adorning each room, this unique hotel is one of a kind.
9. Murder at The Met Scavenger Hunt
Described as a ‘walking tour spiked with caffeine’, this scavenger hunt runs through the famed Metropolitan Museum of Art. What better way to experience culture than a Da Vinci Code-style trail of clues connected with secrets in works of art alongside a sordid tale or greed, lust, revenge and pride? The organizers, Watson Adventures, offer a number of frantic scavenger hunts that provide fun for the whole family
10. Explore the city like a local, on a bike
Get Up and Ride offer wonderful public tours through the dedicated cycle lanes of Brooklyn and Manhattan and also allow you to plan a completely customized tour on two wheels with them as well. Tours include stops at the best pizza place in the world, rooftop farms, underground speakeasies, artisan roasteries and more!
Share content on social media using the hashtag ‘#NotATourist’ and will give participants a chance to win a weekly prize of US$500 for submitting pictures, videos or tips on how to find ‘secret’ and little-known spots or experiences in key travel destinations. In August, Visa will announce two Ultimate #NotATourist content contributors who will each be awarded a travel package worth US$5000.