Take the inside track

Every now and then, over the course of my 30-odd years in the industry, I am surprised and pleased to discover little gems that make my life and profession that much easier.

My most recent find is Urban Adventures. A division of Intrepid Traveller, Urban Adventures is a series of day tours ranging from a couple of hours to a full day, perfect for those independent travellers looking to fill in a four-day weekend or for those DIYs who want the independence and spontaneity of a free-flow vacation.

Their tours get you off the beaten “tourist” track and effectively immerse you into the regional culture, nightlife and cuisine. The expeditions are led by local experts who lead you on fabulous interactions with local transportation, businesses, food and drink. Authenticity is the key.

Groups are kept to a maximum of 12 to ensure a truly intimate experience where no one loud individual obnoxiously dictates the course of the conversation. 

I did their Experience Bohemian Paris tour while I was there in June. Truly a unique behind the scenes look at St Germain and the history of the Latin Quartier. I have since recommended the company to many of my clients and all reports back have been stellar.

For those of you arriving independently into a strange new city consider doing one of their Locals on Tap tours. Forget online searches, queuing up at tourist offices or relying on outdated information from well-meaning friends. Meet up with a friendly native who can give you “the skinny” on everything you need to know about your destination. 

Locals On Tap is a city intro, travel meet-up, info session, and walking tour all rolled into one. Join a bunch of like-minded travellers and an Urban Adventures guide for a neighbourhood stroll, then kick back in a cool little bar or café. 

You can meet new friends, make plans, ask all your questions and find out where the locals really hang.

The In Focus series is a partnership with local NGOs, non-profits and social enterprises tackling real local issues. You gain access to people working to make the world a better place.

The United Nations declared 2017 the Year of Sustainable Tourism. This series of tours is Urban Adventures effort to publicize these outstanding individuals and their efforts.

The Pop Up Tours operate during special events, festivals and holidays  Enjoy the Xmas Markets of Budapest or celebrate Diwali in Jaipur. They even offer a Hockey Night in Canada Tour for visitors to Canada. Beer and Timbits!

Tour pricing starts from as little as $30CAD pp. Reservations can be made through your travel consultant or online. Limited to only Halifax, Ottawa and Toronto in Canada, they nonetheless offer many more choices for cities in the U.S.

Urban Adventures currently operates in 95 countries and 162 cities. They employ over 1,124 local guides and operate over 826 different itineraries. 

Their website is well worth a visit before you head out on your next adventure.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More The Joy of Travel articles

About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories