Fancy doing something a little bit different this weekend? Dreaming of a getaway to a new city or location, but just don’t have the time or the cash to travel? If so, I’d highly recommend being a tourist in your own city. It’s one of my favourite ways to create a weekend to remember, and you’re going to be amazed at all the beauty and wonder that you overlook simply because it’s right on your doorstep.
I do it regularly, and I unearth new delights each and every single time. Here’s some my best advice for being a tourist in your own city…
Give yourself a history lesson
How confident are you that you know the history of where you live? I’m pretty ashamed to admit that until fairly recently, I knew woefully little. Aside from a few facts that I could remember from my school days, I really had no idea about the rich and diverse cultural heritage of my city. A great starting point to brush up on your knowledge is your local library. You’ll find tons of books telling you everything you need to know.
Treat yourself to that hotel you’ve heard amazing things about
Okay, so staying in a hotel when you have your own place just a few miles away can seem far too decadent. Hear me out though, because there are plenty of reasons why it’s a great idea. Firstly, it adds to the sense of occasion. It allows you to check out local places that you’ve heard all about but never ventured into. And though it does of course create an extra expense, it’ll end up being much cheaper than if you had to travel across the country for your break.
Design a custom tour based on your personal interests
Sometimes, hitting all the top tourist spots is a great way to spend your time. If you’ve got particular interests though, you could create your own custom tour to tap into that a little further. If you’re a big foodie, you might want to hit the local farmers markets. If walking is your thing, you could dedicate a day to getting off the beaten track. Ultimately, the only rules are the ones that you decide to create.
Get recommendations from older friends and family members
One you’re visiting a new place, you can learn so much from the older generation. They’ve often got stories to tell that didn’t quite make it into the history books, and they can tell you exactly what life was like in days gone by. The same applies when you’re being a tourist in your own city. Ask older friends and family members to share their experiences with you, to gain a greater understanding of your location’s heritage.
Take a different mode of transport
Most of us are very firmly stuck in our ways. If you drive to work, then you’ve probably been doing that for as long as you can remember. If you catch the bus, you’ll have done that exact same journey hundreds of times. If you want to see your area in a different way, choose a different way to get around. Take the tourist bus, or get your walking shoes out. You’re sure to notice things that have never caught your eye previously.
Eat in a restaurant you’ve never tried before
Again, we all love a routine. There’s no doubt a sandwich shop that you frequent several times a week, and if you’re going to treat yourself to a slap-up meal for a special occasion, there’ll be a favourite restaurant that you always return to. Instead, book a table at somewhere you’ve never tried before. It’ll get you out of a rut, and into seeing your home city in a whole different way.
Sample the local cuisine
Most local areas have their own signature dishes. In the north east, for example, it’s a ham and pease pudding stottie. Tourists will order them by the dozen, but locals often take them for granted and very rarely sample them. So make it your mission to hunt down local ingredients and recreate that famous dish. After all, you should definitely know by now how to do it right! If you really want to get stuck in, consider hosting a dinner party for friends and creating a 3-course menu that honours your area.
Being a tourist in your own city is a fantastic way to create a really memorable weekend for you and your loves ones. Will you be giving it a go?