When you're away from home and in an unfamiliar town, finding a great bar can help ease the loneliness. You may long to find somewhere you can enjoy a couple of drinks, chat with strangers, and simply kick back and relax. But finding the perfect bar in an unfamiliar town is not always easy! Here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction.
Ask at your hotel or accommodation.
If you are staying at a hotel, try asking the front desk staff or concierge. They typically know the places that are popular in town. Describe the type of bar you're looking for — are you looking for a sports bar or something a bit classier?
If you are renting an apartment or staying in an Airbnb, ask your host for recommendations. People who rent apartments, especially via Airbnb, often do so because they enjoy welcoming out-of-town guests, so they'll probably be happy to guide you in the right direction.
Ask your local bartenders.
Do you frequent a certain bar or tavern back home? Tell your regular bartenders where you're going, and ask if they have any recommendations for cool spots. The bartender world is often very connected, and your bartender might have a friend or acquaintance where you're headed.
Go to the bar district, and walk around.
In most cities, there is a street or two where most of the top bars and taverns are located. Find out where this is, head there, and just walk around. Take a look into each of the bars, and choose the one that looks like a space that suits you. If you have one drink in there and don't enjoy the vibe, you can always leave and try somewhere else. You can chat with some locals at this first bar and see if there's somewhere else they recommend, too.
Rely on online review sites.
Online review sites can be pretty biased, so you may not want to use them as your first source of info when searching for a bar. But if the strategies above fall through, you can certainly turn to this option. Just remember to take the reviews with a grain of salt. Many disgruntled reviews are left by overly picky customers and are not the best reflection of a bar's true spirit.
If you follow the tips above, you'll have an easier time finding an excellent bar in a town that's new to you.
To learn more, contact a bar or tavern near you.