also while walking down a street, get your stony, unimpressed face on. it makes you look like you mean business/aren't lost and confused.
i traveled by myself from budapest to croatia to bosnia to greece, some berlin, vienna, and istanbul in there as well. being alone makes it much more likely that you will meet interesting people/get invited along to interesting goings-on with said people.
i second the advice above about blending in: don't wear jeans and sneakers and a backpack. you'll get mistaken for a local.
i used a tiny pocket sized notebook as a journal, and to write down subway stops, etc, so that i could covertly be looking at stuff without pulling out a giant guidebook or map or whatever.
also, couchsurfing can be used to arrange to meet up with locals! when in budapest, i had arranged to go biking with a local college student, for instance. and then staying in hostels guarantees you will have other people to accompany you on your tourist-y outings by day.
what i mostly learned on my long solo trip is that people are nice. i struck up so many conversations, was approached by friendly, curious people, was given good advice, etc. a big smile and friendly, upbeat demeanor will get you everywhere!
@fairlyalarmed i signed in to leave a similar comment! one of my guy friends has a repaired cleft lip and he is ALWAYS dating cute dudes, and it's just generally recognized around here that he's a good-looking guy. he is never not dating a hottie.
@elysian fields i agree! especially when the three friends she interviewed sound pretty privileged (grandson of john rawls!!!?). and i really didn't get a strong sense, from her article, that this generation WILL be ok...it was sort of just a rambling rehashing of all those other articles about millennials.
former lurker coming out of the woodwork to rsvp for this.