A Real Holi-Day:
Discovering Your Own City
Discovering Your Own City
Honestly: How much do you know your home city really? What are the main tourist attractions? What is really up to date?
Often enough, we are travelling around the world, stopping in exotic metropolis and enjoying the wonderful attractions that are offered. But after another exhausting long-haul transatlantic flight, the question might one day pop up: why are we travelling so far?
Actually, what would be wrong about suggesting that there is only few places in the world that can be more interesting and intriguing than one’s own city? When an inhabitant sees through the eyes of a tourist, then the saying “there is no place like home” might come on with a totally new meaning.
Some weeks ago, the author did an experiment on himself – and simply loved it: he took a sunny summer day off and hit the city of Munich as an average humble and attraction-seeking tourist. Watching the usual working crowd pushing towards office, strolling through an unusually empty top-shot exhibition or simply enjoying a coffee in the sun while having the city rotate around oneself proved to be highly gratifying experience.
Should the whole idea have evoked some kind of interest in you by now, it might come in handy to not totally ignore some guidelines, whose obedient observation has brought considerable benefits to the author in his quest for a beautiful day out:
Check the weather forecast and select a day!
A little bit of planning actually goes a long way and conveys a feeling of anticipation – the first step to a complete leisure experience. According to personal preference, the climate conditions should be taken into account: while a sunny day can stimulate a summer experience, rain might be the perfect pretext for a lot of indoor enlightening.
Factually take a day off!
Do not conform yourself with a normal weekend day, where you would be off work anyway – it is not the same! Select a working day for a real, true feeling of your city’s pulse and liveliness. And if you really invest one of your precious paid holidays, you will enjoy the time more than ever – this investment is sure to pay off.
Select leisure clothes!
They will distinguish you from all the people around you that will spend the day going to and from their habitual work place – and give you the (voluntarily chosen) air of an outsider in your own city.
Buy a daytime ticket for your local transport system!
In other crowded cities, you also would not bother to drive around in your fancy car, looking for long lost streets with indecipherable names and circling viciously for a parking space. Public transport gives you more flexibility and authentic tourism feeling. Get a plan for the whole network in order to be dynamic in your spontaneous decisions.
Make a plan of what you want to see beforehand!
This could include but is certainly not limited to museums, exhibitions, cultural events, open spaces, small city gems, specialised shops, famous day-time bistros, musical happenings, coffee shops, view towers and so on and so forth. Take your day out as an opportunity to see things that you always wanted to see in your city but never had the right time, company, weather or state of mind.
Plan for meal stops and short breaks!
Lunch is a good time to try out new cuisine in a not too pricey fashion. Some gastronomic gems might not be open in the evening, so take the chance and select them according to personal taste and aptitude towards trying out. Take a look in a gastronomy guide before setting off and make sure you have alternatives – sight seeing makes hungrier than commonly acknowledged!
Well now… So there is just one thing left to do now: set off and enjoy yourself thoroughly! And once you catch yourself with a thought like “Where did all those nice little shops come from – I never noticed their existence, let alone entered them?”, then you start to understand…