Last weekend I finally got the chance to get out and explore my hometown, as a tourist would. All thanks to Questo, a mobile app which makes you discover people, places and stories of what I thought to be a familiar place. My hometown.
So far there are 6 quests for Bucharest, and I chose to explore the Historical Center of Bucharest, through the “Road to Romania” quest. A historical perspective of the places everyone must see and explore in Romania.
Exploring like a tourist, going to places only locals know about
I have to confess I know most of the important facts in the history of Romania, but there are stories I had no idea about. And the whole experience provided by Questo was fun and interactive. I have no idea when 2h went by, but I’m glad I chose to be a tourist in my hometown.
History was never my favourite topic in school, probably because my teachers were not so fascinating as storytellers. And because of that, whenever I was asked by my foreign friends about Romanian history or places in my hometown, I often found out I had no answers for their questions. This makes me feel like a fool.
That’s why I would recommend Questo to locals. It gives a new perspective on old and familiar places, which we take for granted. And when you begin to travel and get to know other cities better than your own, it’s the moment you realise we should take any place or experience for granted. Or people, for the matter.
As a tourist, there is no doubt why use Questo. It’s like having the best guide in your pocket. Trust me, unless you book a tour to explore the city, there is no other way to get to those places and get to know the story.
It’s like having a local buddy by your side at every step.
How to use Questo and start discovering
There are 2 ways to go through the quest: Discovery mode, in which you have no time limit, and Hunt mode, for the more competitive ones.
Although I did all the exploring by myself, it’s a great activity for a group of a few friends, families or a couple.
Most of my friends should get this app and start exploring, right now! Because after finishing the quest I felt like an ignorant local. A bad place, I tell you.
My mission was simple but not easy. I chose my quest and went to the starting place. It is shown on Google maps. From there all I had to do was to follow the instructions as it took me from one point to another. For reaching the next stop, there is a riddle to be solved.
After submitting the correct answer, the story of that certain place was unfolding, having insights I knew nothing about. And I’m a local!
I thought it was going to be easy, but each word from the instructions has to be read and understood properly. It got easy once I understood the message. A bit challenging, but that’s what adventures are all about.
As I solved each key, I learned new stories about places and people.
So far Questo gives the opportunity to explore 8 cities of Romania: Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Sibiu, Brasov, Cisnadioara, Craiova, Iasi.
And the plans are to make it global. Looking forward to the day I will explore a new city somewhere in this big world, using this amazing friendly app.
The “Road to Romania” quest in Bucharest. Using Questo to discover people, places and stories
No, I won’t tell you the path or the answers of the quest. You’ll have to discover it by yourself. I’m not gonna ruin all the fun. But I do want to share some of the pictures I took along the way, as I was rediscovering my hometown.
Because Bucharest is so much more than a former communist capital city, it’s a rising star on the travelling map in Europe.
The takeaway? Go out and start discovering!
Bucharest has so much more to offer, and this is just a small glimpse of that. Read more about Bucharest and you have to see while you’re in town.