Anytime I am travelling, I try to not only explore as much as possible being in a different country, I am also convinced that you should meet and connect to local people.
Actively approach them, get to know them, show honest interest, ask them about their culture, be open minded and always friendly. And do not expect them to approach you. You will have to make the first step. This includes trying to speak their language. Yes, it feels awkward because you are out of your comfort zone. Just get over it. I promise you, it is worth the experience.