5 tips for exploring your own city, as a tourist

Man on train station

Have you ever taken a tour of your own city? Have you taken a day trip to explore the nooks and corners of it, as if you were a tourist?If not, we highly recommend you do.

Exploring your own city is not just a quick way to squeeze in a micro-vacation, it is also a chance to discover wonders about your own city that you never knew existed.

And it’s great fun!

But trying to be a tourist in your own city can be a bit strange. You know it, after all, and that can take some of the magic out of it. Here’s a list of our 7 best tips for exploring your own city as if you were a tourist.


1: Buy a travel book. It sounds so obvious it's silly, but by picking up a travel guide on your home city, you get a lot of information about hidden gems and off the beaten path activities that you might know nothing about. There's a reason why travel guides are still popular. They do a good job of showing a destination from its best angle and helping you find the best things to do there. As a bonus, you'll also get a lot of historical facts!

2: Take a city bus/harbor tour. Pick out a fancy outfit, grab a quick bite, and then buy tickets for a city tour. Yes, in your own city. People from all over the world come to your city and use guided tours, so why shouldn't you? Within an hour, you'll get to see all those familiar streets in a brand new light. What's not to love?

3: Do a murder mystery! Many cities are now offering murder mystery packages. It works like this: You buy an envelope that contains papers with descriptions of a murder that you and your friends must solve, by walking around the city, looking for clues and solving riddles. It’s great fun and allows you to explore nooks and corners you never noticed before. Remember to pay attention to the details in the papers, as clues are often hidden in plain sight.

Pssst. It’s not always the butler.

4: Revisit those school-outing destinations. Most of us remember the feeling of being taken on a school tour of a local museum, castle, or other famous sites. Often, it’s the only time we’ve ever been there. We usually don’t bother going back to those things, because we’ve already seen it, hence mentally checking it off our list. And we might not want to go back because we have a bad memory of it. Maybe we were uninterested, or tired, or sad about what was in our lunch box that day.

But while 10-year old you might have found it excruciatingly boring, present you might love what these places have to offer. Give it a go. At least now you get to decide what you’re having for lunch.

5: Use TripAdvisor to pick your restaurants. When was the last time you used trip adviser to help you pick a place to eat in your own city? You can even make it a theme, where you and a friend have to pick the places with the funniest reviews. Or maybe even the worst reviews? It is truly a fun and different way to pick a new place to eat and have a different food experience.

Good luck, and enjoy the magic of your own city!



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