As a local, or even if you’re trying to blend in as one, you can find yourself getting frustrated with queues at your city’s top attractions – holidaymakers, pfft, when are they going home? However, with the use of our comprehensive list, featuring 11 non-touristy experiences, you can say goodbye to the queues and see some fantastic attractions that even some of the locals may not know about.
See some local live music
Whether it’s a local pub/club showcasing some fine up-and-coming talent, a DJ set, the O2 Academy Guildhall boasting a big household name, or you fancying yourself on
the open mic night after a few shandies, Southampton has you covered. Check out some of the best venues in the area, here.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Get a round of golf in
Play either the 18-hole course or the 9-hole, depending on how much time you have, at the Southampton City Golf Course. It’s considered one of the best municipal
courses in the whole of the UK, and home to some of the lowest membership fees in the UK, too – what’s not to like?
Who doesn’t love an IKEA trip? Found back in 1943, IKEA now owns and operates 411 stores in 49 countries – one of which is in Southampton. The stores are designed
in a one-way layout, leading customers around all of their brilliantly designed, self-assembly furniture, ensuring you see the store in its entirety. No wonder we
always leave with 300 tealights we didn’t actually need! Thankfully, this layout also includes their very reasonably priced restaurant. Meatballs, anyone?
Cruise Ship Spotting
Spend a relaxing day at the pebbled beach of Weston Shore, and join numerous other, avid cruise-ship spotters as you await the arrival of some rather fantastic vessels.
Whilst you wait, you can always head across to Netley Abbey, and explore the ruins of the most complete Cistercian monastery in the South.
A real hidden treasure, it looks like any other building. That is, until you step inside this converted mill. Boasting four different types of water, ensuring any
level kayaker is kept entertained, the placid water lake will help beginners learn the ropes, whilst the thrill of whitewater at low tide will keep those more competent
on their toes! If being on dry land is more your thing, archery and climbing are on offer here, too.
Watch some sport
You can watch county cricket, as well as some of England’s One Day International games, at the Ageas Bowl, home to Hampshire County Cricket Club.
Or, go and support the mighty Saints at St Mary’s Stadium, and enjoy a top-flight English league or cup football game.
Treat yourself to a morning, or afternoon, of shopping at Westquay. Situated close to the docks, with lots of places to dine, over 90 retail stores
(check out the full list of shops here), plenty of parking and opening from 9am–late (11am on Sundays), this is the perfect spot to visit any day of the week.
Visit Beatnik Emporium
Near Southampton City Centre, you’ll find the Beatnik Emporium, a unique independent vintage shop. Offering vintage clothing for all, including mod,
military and denim fresh out the 1940s–1990s. You can also sift your way through a selection of vinyl records, and pick out some classics to add to your collection.
Get the ferry over to Hythe
To avoid the queues completely, make your way across to Hythe. The historic Hythe ferry, offers up a trip from Southampton, right past the berth of Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth, and into Hythe, dropping you at the official Guinness World Record-holding ‘oldest pier train in service’, which you can still travel 640m on to this very day!
Go and see a show at the Mayflower
Sit amongst 2,299 others as you experience another breathtaking performance put on at the Mayflower Theatre. Whether you’re after a UK-touring musical, opera, a particular musician,
or if ballet is more your thing, we are certain you’ll find them/it touring at the Mayflower. Don’t believe us? Check out what’s on, here.
Find your local
Southampton’s streets are lined with the quaint, the quirky and the quite remarkable, when it comes to public houses and clubs. Themed pubs like the Hobbit,
where you can purchase character-based drinks, are very popular. Or you can head on down to Switch, Junk or Oceana, throw some shapes and party until the sun comes up.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.