Like most major cities, there are always those little hidden gems where you are guaranteed to find the most authentic local experiences. Unfortunately, these places often tend to fall beneath the tourist radar. If you’re planning to move to an apartment in Ottawa and are looking for a few great hot spots, but are unsure of where to look, there are a few handy options to help you discover them. Follow these tips to help guide the way.

Use social media

Chances are that out of the few hundred – or maybe even thousand – friends that you may have on Facebook, some of them will either currently live in Ottawa or have at least been there before. So why not take advantage of this outlet? Just create a quick post asking for any advice on some cute places to hit once you’re in the big city. Chances are that you’ll get some bites.

Use online forums

Online forums are a great way to find specific online communities where you can ask them for advice. The best part about these is that they are generally small and specialized, and the range of conversation topics is limitless. By simply doing a quick search, you can find such sites as Reddit, Bulletin Board, or Forum Place, which allow you to simply post a question and wait for multiple replies. It’s a great way to get in touch with particular communities – especially if your social media outlets fail you. For example, Ottawa Foodies is a passionate community talking up the best restaurants, shops, and hidden food gems in the city.

Just ask a local bartender or barista

When in doubt, ask the locals. Once you’ve settled into your apartment in Ottawa, just head to a local café or bar. Chances are that the bartender or baristas will have some great ideas for you to check out. If they don’t, look around and strike up a conversation with someone else in the bar. You’d be surprised at how much people love helping newcomers find some hidden, local, little gems.

Find a local events newspaper

When you’re in Ottawa, look for a newsstand with a local magazine or newspaper. These are pretty common to find in major cities and are usually one of the best ways to find an entire variety of events and hidden spots that don’t tend to land on popular tourist destinations. They’re also generally free. So grab one and take a look through it at the local café – you can also use it to strike up a conversation with a local if you’re interested in their advice.

Ottawa, like any major city, thrives on those unique, local spots that are often tucked away from the limelight. If you’re searching for some hidden gems to discover while you’re there, do a little research beforehand, utilize the vast and knowledgeable communities online, and when in doubt – just ask the locals.