While in Italy this summer, traveling on a group trip, we had some free time in Rome. I knew I wanted to see Bernini's David, but I had not planned in advance, and my cousin and I learned that the Borghese Gallery, the home of many Bernini sculptures (and some Caravaggio) was difficult to reserve a time slot for, and we believed we would not get in. We then learned that not all the reserved tickets get picked up every time, and if you are lucky, you can get a ticket when you walk up. We decided to hedge our bets and went, and they let us right in! So worth the risk. When all else fails, ask the locals and, if you have one, your tour director. They will have all the secrets for you.
When we travel to another country, it's easy to get caught up in the importance of capturing every moment and not wasting any time while there, but don't lose that feeling when you come home. Do your best to go on day trips and explore your own city. I promise it has some cool stuff too. In Atlanta, we have tons of art galleries and museums, the High museum being one of our more well known ones. They have lots of different events lately, and they are open until 9 on Fridays! I would also recommend the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, which has free admission, and "Contemporary Cocktails" on Thursdays and hosts small film screenings from time to time as well.