To an outsider, July 6, 2016, was a very strange day. People flooded the streets around the globe, zombie-like, smartphones held in outstretched hands. These wanderers congregated outside churches and libraries, standing in masses united by one purpose: to “catch ‘em all.” Pokémon Go has become a trending video game, but virtual entertainment is not the only benefit from this new app. If you’re looking for a way to wander through a city while finding interesting cultural stops along the way, this app is the way to go.

This app can be used as a travel aid by going to Pokéstops. Pokéstops are locations in the real world that you can go to get free items in the virtual Pokémon world. While playing Pokémon Go on your smartphone, a blue cube will show up on the screen. That is a Pokéstop. Even though it shows up virtually, you must go there physically to get whatever items are at that stop. These items are things like healings potions, Poké Eggs, Poké Balls, and other items that will help you succeed in the game. But when you go to a Pokéstop, you’ll find more than just a virtual object. Each stop is located at a point of interest, such as an architectural landmark or a historical monument. Some of these places are well-known, while others are more obscure. This gives ample opportunities for exploring a city as long as you choose to take the time to physically explore Pokéstops.

Here are some new discoveries for you to find in your favorite cities:


This colonial city is full of American history. But how do you choose which sights to visit? Pokémon Go has Pokéstops all throughout the city, including at sights such as the Fishing Frog statues, the Old South Mill Millstone, and the Steinway piano shop. If you choose to take the time to explore these different sights, you’ll find even more adventures, such as the Frog Pond itself, one of the oldest parks in the United States.


From the National Gallery to the Sun Tavern, Pokémon Go will help you tour the city while feeding your desire for culture as well as your stomach. Take some time to wander through the National Gallery—you’ll likely meet some of the greats, from Michelangelo to Monet. The Sun Tavern, located in Covent Garden, is a cozy place to grab a snack on your way to wandering the rest of the city.  


Tokyo is full of beautiful gardens, artifacts, and monuments. Allow yourself to be taken through the city and to discover sights such as the Printing Museum and the Monument of Chinzanso. The printing museum contains exhibits and collections that display the role of printing around the world, from art to communication. The Monument of Chinzanso is located in a beautiful garden—take some time to explore and discover the beauties of the Kokosei Well, the Stone Statues of Rakan, and more!

Remember, you’ll only discover these sights if you take the time to stop at the Pokéstop and look around at your physical surroundings. It is important to maintain awareness of your surroundings so that you do not become blind while on a journey with Pokémon Go. So head outside, catch some Pokémon, and look at the world around you.

—Shannon Tuttle