In another thread, in response to this post via Behemoth:
I guess you probably saw the 52 places thing in the NY Times this week...link
Quite a few comments rightly took him to task on basically not leaving the most touristy part of the city. Also half the article seems to have been cribbed from a lonely planet intro. Although, when I think about it, f**king off work on a nice day and hanging out in a Biergarten is very much what life in Munich is about...
Sneakeater posited the following,
We all think the way we do things are the best, but I really HATE treating travel like some kind of improving educational experience and ignoring just sort of hanging out and having a good time the way locals do, instead insisitng on a tiring whirlwind tour of museums and historic sites. THAT'S not how you learn anything. You soak up much more culture hanging out.
Which is interesting. I mean, personally I think it would be a shame (at least for me) to go to a city like Madrid, and not The Prado. As well as being able to enjoy just hanging out; certainly enough time in the day to do both, no?
But there are places to which Significant Eater and I go, and pretty much just hang out. They tend to be places we've visited more than once or twice (we like New England, both the coast (Capes Cod and Anne) and more inner like Burlington); the San Francisco Bay Area; and even a "foreign" city like Paris, where we've done most of what I think Sneak thinks of as "improving education experiences," so now we're free to just hang out more.
Anyway, I don't think it's all or nothing, and there's more than one way to learn something.