What’s the hardest part about traveling to a new city? Finding the best things to do, of course. Each city offers its own unique experiences, and finding the ones you’d enjoy the most, especially under a limited schedule, can get challenging. Yes, there are many places to find inspiration for marvelous trips, and if you’re planning a road trip or a backpacking adventure, you don’t have to go far either.
When it’s a city you want to visit, however, and especially if you only have about a week or two to spend there, you’re left with sifting through hundreds of attractions, trying to find the ones that seem to suit your tastes. But how can you really know if you’re going to like them based on reviews alone?
According to travel website LikeWhere, the best way to find things you’ll enjoy doing is by using what you already like. Tell LikeWhere what you like in one city, and it’ll find the closest thing in another city. Sounds promising? Let’s take a deeper look and see how it works.
Tell Me What You Like & I’ll Tell You Where To Travel
Like many websites, LikeWhere works both anonymously or signed into an account. If you choose to work without an account, you can still find places to travel to, but you won’t be able to take advantage of the LikeWhere’s more advanced feature.
LikeWhere currently offers information about 20 cities worldwide, including Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Manchester, Paris, Sydney, and Vancouver, to name a few. Choose your destination city to start getting travel ideas.
The next step would be to choose a city you already know, so you have a reference point for things you already like.
Sadly, you can only choose one city you already know, so your best bet would be to go for the one you’re most familiar with. Once you select a city you know, you get to choose one single spot you like. This too is quite unfortunate, especially considering LikeWhere’s less than perfect navigation. But we’ll get into that.
You will now get recommendations for places in your destination city that resemble your favorite spot in the city you already know. For example, here I chose Toronto’s Distillery District as a favorite spot, and LikeWhere is showing me similar places in Barcelona.
For each spot offered, you can get more information such as photos, a map, a short description, what the place is best for (shopping, food, night life, etc.), the spot’s vibes, and similar spots in the same city. You can also read user reviews about the place, and share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Evernote.
If you choose to create an account with LikeWhere, you also get your own wishlist, and the ability to create itineraries and add spots to them with a click. You can then go in and edit your itineraries, dragging and dropping spots in the order you’d like to visit them. For some reason, the itinerary is for a one day visit only, so if you’re planning a whole week, this feature might not be as useful.
The entire website is well designed, and its evident that someone really put some thought into this. This makes the navigation issues even more surprising. The only way to go back after choosing a spot is with your browser’s back button. A viable option, but one that is prone to trouble. The second and more disturbing problem is how hard it is to conduct multiple searches.
In theory, I would like to be able to choose my destination, and then get recommendations based on multiple spots. I realize this is a little complicated, but starting all over again for each and every spot I like is also unacceptable. After finding all the similar spots to Toronto’s Distillery District, I may want to find spots that are similar to other favorite places, or even to other cities, right? For this, I have to start my search from scratch, which makes the entire experience a little clunky.
Making LikeWhere Better: Adding Spots
At the moment, the idea behind LikeWhere is awesome, but the database it’s working with is not. I found I was getting the same recommendations in Barcelona all the time, whether I chose Distillery District (posh, upscale, and expensive shopping) or Chinatown (cheap finds and good food) as my favorite known spot. The reason is that there are not many spots in Barcelona marked as “shopping” and “food”, which causes the same ones to pop up all the time.
How can you help? By adding your own spots and reviews, of course. And like everything on LikeWhere, this is lots of fun to do.
While you can’t outright add new cities to the system, you can actually add spots in cities that are not in the database. This way, I managed to add a spot in Montreal, even though Montreal wasn’t even on the list of cities. All you have to do is provide an address, a name, and the type of attraction, and you’re good to go.
You can then also provide a review for this spot, making it easier for the system to classify it correctly. Here you can also add photos of the place, if you have them. You can add reviews to existing spots as well, and help make the existing database better.
Where Do You Want To Go?
I love LikeWhere for two reasons: it makes it fun to look for spots in a new city, and it calls for me to add more spots for fellow travellers to find. Being kind of an unsocial twit when it comes to contributions like this, I see this as quite an achievement.
So where do you want to go? If your destination city is on LikeWhere’s list, you’re in luck. Get in there and find some great things to do.
What do you think of LikeWhere? How do you usually find great spots in new cities?
Image Credit: Werner Kunz