I don’t know about you, but when I visit a foreign city I still tend to buy a travel guide, write down some interesting addresses and then hide the guide. You won’t catch me walking around as a tourist in your city. You’ll just see a random guy, whose sometimes looking into a Moleskine notebook. Besides that, I also try to get in touch with some locals I know. Since they’re the ones who can show me THE places to be. Never trust a night-life tip in a travel guide!
These are all actually pretty old-fashioned ways to get to know a city. It never occurred to me to use Web 2.0 when planning a European city trip. But now there is CityTherapy, ‘the new online platform & social planning tool for European city life and city travel’. Let’s give it a shot!
The site brings together the four pillars of city living in one connected social network.:
- the people – speaks for itself, you connect to them through the network.
- the places – restaurants, musea and galleries. Quick test: one of the dullest student-like clubs in Amsterdam is called a ‘great up-and-coming club!’. Sounds like just the owner paid a visit to the page. Yet this is a problem that will disappear as soon as more people use it.
- the events – I know exactly where to find cool gigs in my town, yet I could use a little help in London.
- the trips – This is a great option. Create your own personalized trip in some of Europe’s greatest cities and ask your friends to contribute. I’ve tested with an imaginary and melancholic trip to Paris (excuse me for the bad YouTube quality):
I like the social aspect of CityTherapy. It doesn’t make sense for me to add events and places, if it wasn’t for people who want to visit my city. So on the one hand I’m helping people having a better time, and I get tips about interesting events in other cities as a reward. I just hope people will not just look up things but also contribute.
So now I’m traveling 2.0 style as well. Still, not much has changed. I’m still asking locals where I should go AND I’m still writing things down. Because the one thing that’s really missing on CityTherapy is a mobile application. When you’re done setting up you trip, you can print the results. That’s not what I want! I want to check it on my mobile. They’ll still recognize me as a tourist, carrying around those large maps!