The uniqueness of Mekomy lies in the fact that their tours, available in multiple languages, are culturally curated and given by passionate local guides. Tours focus on cultural components to the city: art, food, history, photography, spirituality, architecture, local culture and fashion. In focusing on a specific aspect of life in a certain city, the tours given by Mekomy sidestep the downfalls of traditional, all-encompassing city tours. Instead of spending two hours on a tour but only really being interested in what the guide is saying half of the time, through Mekomy you are able to choose something you find very engaging, focusing on what you truly want to learn more about.
In addition to the format of the tours being special, the guides themselves are also unique in that they are experts within the field they guide. For example, Nitzan M, the guide of ‘Street Art and Poetry in the Backyards of Tel Aviv,’ is herself a street poet whose work is discussed alongside others during the tour. The opportunity for travelers to hear about the history and social context of street art in Tel Aviv, from someone who understands the experience on a very personal level, is an incredibly special and valuable experience – even for someone who is a Tel Aviv local. Since Mekomy tour guides are truly passionate individuals, people who go on these tours get to see sides of cities they otherwise would have missed out on by being a regular tourist, checking ‘must-see’ attractions off of their list.
Since many tours are priced per tour, and not per person, they are also very affordable. You can choose to book either a shared tour, where you will meet others who share your passion, or arrange a private tour and invite your friends and colleagues to explore the city together. Mekomy is also a great option for solo travelers, since by going on a shared tour, someone who is traveling alone can meet a range of people who share their enthusiasm for culture, further enriching their travel experience.
Another advantage to touring with Mekomy is that they create tours that are a bit offbeat in order to take people off the beaten path and expose them to previously unknown but fascinating sides to cities. For example, when most people visit Jerusalem, they tour holy sites and learn about the history of the spiritual city. Through Mekomy, you can tour the city while learning about contemporary art, street photography or even local fashion boutiques and their designers. Some offbeat tours in other cities include an art and mosaic tour in Rome where you can explore the city’s mosaics and also see a demonstration of the craft, a tour where you can become educated about the urban development of Florence pre-Renaissance or one where you can learn about Barcelona’s Jewish history on a walking tour that includes a visit to a medieval mikveh.
The presence of Mekomy in some of the world’s most diverse and interesting cities is incredibly exciting, because it allows for travelers to get to know new cities in a familiar framework. It zeros in on cultural aspects of the cities that travelers either have experience with, or about which they would like to learn more. By offering an amazing and culturally rich selection of walking tours, Mekomy is diversifying the traveling scene in these cities and joining together travelers and locals who share a passion, which in turn is making these cities even more desirable travel destinations.
By Sydney Dratel
Sydney hails from the North Fork of Long Island but currently lives in Tel Aviv. She loves exploring, learning about history and art, watching great TV, drinking coffee and playing with cats. Through her internship at The Culture Trip, she has written two blog posts for The Times of Israel, which you can read here.