If you love travel, you’ll be looking for your next destination and, no doubt, will start researching what you’re going to see, where you’re going to visit and what you’re going to eat. Each destination is as individual as the people who live there and each cultural experience as personal as the history of that area.

As well as heading up to the main tourist spots, you might also be looking to do something a little different. We take a look at three cities and three off-the-track options for what to do for one night in each destination.

San Francisco

This vibrant, fun and exciting city has so much going for it in the daytime, from visits to the notorious island prison of Alcatraz to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge but after dark, there’s an altogether spookier option.

If exploring the scarier side of a city is more your thing, give the haunted walking tour a try out. You’ll learn about gruesome murders, unexplained deaths and hear about some of the city’s more ethereal residents. Not suitable for children under 10 for obvious reasons.


If you’re looking for something a little less scary then Berlin’s Refugee Voices Tour is a unique experience. Tour the city through the eyes of a refugee. Follow your Syrian guide as they take to some of the most iconic spots in the city and explain the parallels between Germany’s past and Syria’s present.

A fascinating, moving and thoroughly rewarding way to spend an afternoon.


Take a tour of the city with some very special guides. Join the homeless tour guides as they take you around this beautiful Czech city seen through the eyes of the people who have lived on its streets. Alongside the more famous scenes you’ll hear first hand what it’s like to sleep out on the streets and experience violence and fear on a nightly basis.

Tourists find the real heart of the city while the tour guides are able to earn a living and regain their sense of dignity through the experience of telling their stories. Not for everyone, this moving and at times harrowing tour is for those who want to scratch far below the city’s image of stag do’s and romantic city breaks.

Image from Pixabay

If you’re looking for something a little different, something that you might not find in your average guide book and certainly something you might not otherwise do, then any of these options are for you. Take in the sights and sounds from the regular tourist destinations but make time to find out a little more of what goes on behind the scenes.

The secrets of the city can be revealed in the most extraordinary way by the people who live, work and have suffered on its streets. This opportunity to give something back to the refugee or homeless resident is a chance not to be missed and learning about the ghosts of San Francisco? Just make sure you sleep with your door firmly locked and don’t have nightmares.