Whether you move for university or decide to stay close to home, we all like to feel comfortable in our surroundings. Getting to know a new town is important for feeling at home there, and having a tourist day can be a great escape from that mounting pile of coursework.
I moved to London for uni, so being a tourist was really easy as there was never a shortage of things to do. Even if you move to a small town there are plenty of ways of being a tourist and getting to know the area and I wanted to cover a few of them in the hope that it will encourage you to get out and explore.
1. Do the tourist attractions
This has to be number one really, doesn’t it? This is definitely easier in a city like London where the list of tourist attractions is endless, but most towns and cities in England have some sort of historic heritage site even if they do not have a waxwork museum or an aquarium. Find a museum or art gallery, or even take a trip to a castle or manor house. Whether you have moved to a big city or a tiny town, I guarantee there will be at least one attraction for visitors. Many attractions will offer student discount providing you bring a valid student card with you, which is worth taking into account when searching for things to do.
2. Walk instead of taking public transport
As a Londoner this is crucial to acting like a local. So many places in zone 1 are within walking distance of each other, but everyone gets the tube because it is quicker and/or easier. In other towns and cities, it may be simpler to get the bus but that does not always mean you should. A scenic walk may lead to a new discovery, or it might end up just being a nice walk. Either way, you will feel like you know the area a little better and it will start to feel more homely.
3. Talk to previous students about places they like in the area
Whilst you will probably learn the student hot spots within about five minutes of arriving on campus, what about those places that aren’t at the top of everyone’s list? Talking to graduates and other students is a great way of finding out where else you might like to visit. From independent cafés and shops that are not on most visitor’s radars, to parks and beaches with hidden chill-out areas, it is always nice to get a different perspective.
What are your top tips for being a tourist in your city? Let us know!