What if you send the players in a dungeon that was already raided? Maybe you could have traps that are already set off, or the corpses of monsters etc.
A place where an architect has built a temple/shrine to an evil god inside the walls of another building, a castle or another place of importance.
Carnival revelers wear masks and concealing clothes. (Wearing of masks in Venice was first documented in the late 1200s) It allows for the social classes to mix, easing social tensions.