How To Be a Tourist In Your Own City

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Do you ever get that feeling like you’re itching for some exploration? You want a new city to explore, but traveling somewhere would really put a dent in your budget. Don’t fret, there’s a place to explore right under your nose. If you haven’t already considered it, start exploring your own city for some fun activities and places. You would probably be surprised at all the secrets your city has hidden away. Be the tourist instead of the local for the day and you’ll have a blast.

Act like a tourist

Nobody likes feeling like a tourist when they go on vacation. Being uninformed and lost isn’t a great feeling when you want to explore a city. However, this isn’t something you have to worry about when you actually know the city by heart. You can be a tourist without feeling particularly bad about it. Whether you live in a city like Chicago with expensive rent prices or a huge city like New York, being a tourist in your own city can be a great time.

Why not start where all the tourists start? Check the new arrivals booth of your closest train station and see what’s being offered. Make some new friends with the people that actually are tourists. You can act as a kind of guide while also exploring some new part of your city. People like interacting with locals when they visit a city, especially if that local is as interested in exploring as they are.

Go exploring

People tend to take their cities for granted. When everything you need is within a couple of blocks of your home, you’re rarely ever going to venture out of this zone for something small. Why go eat out when you know some of the best places in town are in your neighborhood? The thing is, you can’t find your new favorite place if you never go exploring.

Treat your city like a smaller version of a scratch-off map. You should try every new place at least once. Even if it turns out to be a mediocre place, at least you’ll get some extra experience. It might even turn out to be a good story if the place is bad enough. Plus, you’ll know what not to recommend to your friends and family.

Take a tour of your city

Living in your city, you might not have paid much attention to its history or culture. You probably know the names of the most important buildings and squares, but what’s the story behind them? It’s not as important as the current state of affairs, so most people don’t bother. If it’s not a major city, you probably don’t put a lot of significance on its history.

Chances are your city has a history that is a lot richer than you might expect. The story of how it was founded and governed at first might be particularly interesting. How has your city adapted or participated during a major war? There’s probably a lot of information that lies just under the surface. You could end up learning some very fascinating things about the streets that you frequently roam. Even if history isn’t your forte, you could always get a much richer understanding of the place you live in.

Get a room

Keeping up with your tourist act, you could rent a room or apartment in your city. This is how an actual tourist would do it, and there are some benefits that come from it. Even if you know your city well, you only truly know your own neighborhood. Every time you pass the street, you see your neighbors, the shops you frequent, and the random individuals that pass by. It’s an entirely different experience when you’re in another part of the city. 

Aim for a place that isn’t all that close to yours. This way, you get to have an intimate understanding of another neighborhood entirely while you’re on your exploration trip. If you normally live in a big city, you could always head to the suburb. When was the last time you visited one of these areas? Unless something interesting is happening there, probably a while ago. You would get a wonderful perspective of that part of your city, and you could continue with a very authentic tourist experience. Check out how other city folks treat newcomers and tourists that visit.

Get around quickly

Even if you adore your city, walking can be a bit tedious. Most tourists spend a couple of days exploring any given location, which means walking would be perfectly fine. However, if you want to get some intimate knowledge of your city quickly, you’re going to need some form of transportation.

A bicycle could help you get around quickly without much effort, but it will also get you hot and sweaty. It’s going to be difficult to explore museums and interesting sites while you’re sweaty and tired. You’ve probably seen a lot of tourists driving around on cool  Envy scooters from time to time. They’re a lot easier to drive than a bicycle, and there’s no worry about excess weight slowing down the driver. As long as it gets you across town quickly, it’s going to be very useful for your exploration.

Set up a date 

Cities tend to be pretty big. Even someone actively trying to explore it won’t cover every inch of it any time soon. Checking out new restaurants and cafes is difficult when there are so many of them. You probably have a few you’d love to check out in your own neighborhood, but simply never found the time for it.

People often say that they’ll get down to it, but they never do. This is because you have to be actively trying to explore these places. Set up a date with some of the more out-there places you’ve wanted to visit in the past years. This will give you a clear schedule and lots of time to actually visit it.


Sometimes it’s fun to play the tourist. Getting surprised by your own hometown is especially fun. You’re not going to find new and interesting activities just sitting around and fantasizing about going abroad. You should always be keen to explore your nearby environments, you could end up with more than you expected.

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