On so many occasions, we find ourselves either doing the same activities over and over again or just staying home, extremely bored with no ideas of what to do in the weekends.
What I noticed myself is that I took many interesting sights in my city and my country for granted. I didn’t see all the landmarks. I didn’t soak up all the culture there is to soak and didn’t know all the interesting facts about my city. I was most of the time focused on traveling abroad not really looking at the beautiful things that were just in front of me.
The good thing is, it is a never-ending story. It’s almost impossible to be an expert on your city. There are so many great places opening up every day, from restaurants, shops, local markets to even new neighborhoods that are re-invented. Every local you talk to has his own favorite places.
We sometimes fail to realize that even the simplest of things can equal to the most fun. Especially if you’re itching to travel but can’t take a trip right now you might be surprised to find how many great things are within reach.
These 6 fresh tips on how to experience your country or city in a new way will help you to explore your city as a tourist again!
1. Explore local cuisine
Who doesn’t love a good meal? Jump on the bandwagon and celebrate your roots by exploring local restaurants that serve your culture’s cuisine or even a particular food that is found locally in your city!
Photo credit Eat With
Nowadays there are a few companies out there where you can book a home dinner at a local’s house, like Traveling Spoon who is active in mostly Asia, or EatWith who is active in over 150 cities around the world. It is a great way to experience your city from a different perspective!
2. Take up a new hobby
Today, we are engulfed by the digital era, constantly being connected and not very often taking a step back and appreciating or using what we have right in front of us. Explore your city, in the most fun and spontaneous way. It could be something you’ve never done before but the best would be if it is outdoors so that it takes you to parts of your city you might not have been before.
A great example is photography. It’s pretty simple and you wouldn’t need to purchase an expensive camera, your phone camera will just do the job! It will let you view your city from a different perspective. Practice your photography skills, you never know you might just become the next Mario Testino!
3. Meet a local guide
Do you know all the facts and interesting things about your city? I bet not.
How great is it to explore your city again with the help of a local guide who has a lot of specific knowledge about for example art, history, food or the culture of your city.
He can maybe even show you places that you didn’t know exists. Whether it are great new places to eat, shop, or sights that have a great story.
For more off the beaten track experiences in Asia or Africa that also support local people I Like Local is a good one to check out.
4. Change your way of transportation
Growing up, I was always driven everywhere, to school, to the mall, to my favorite café. Some of you may be very good observers and notice what is around you, but I was not.
In order to give you a refreshing new experience, change your way of transportation, whether that is riding a bike, walking or even just taking a tuk tuk or mini bus. Just change the way you get from point A to point B and you might notice some new interesting things about your city!
5. Visit a new local market
Local markets are always a fave among tourists! Be a local tourist in your city and visit a local market you haven’t visited before, you’ll find everything from cheaper and organic foods to beautiful art, jewelry and even clothing. Your local market could now just become your new favorite place!
6. Check local tips about your city
If you don’t want to hire a local guide, you can nowadays also download travel guides created by locals, like the guys of Spotted by Locals do. They provide city guides with insider tips by locals in 66 cities in PDF or for your android and Iphone. In this way you get to know about hidden gems and favorite places of other locals in your city.
Another option is to use an app that reveals the most amazing tips about your city recommended by your friends or other people who live in your city like for example LikeaLocalGuide. They are active in more than 263 cities around the world. At the end, who knows a city better than a local?
Any tips we missed out on? Let us know any new ideas on what you would do to explore in your city!