For many, London is the epicenter of tourism. However, it is also easy to forget that this is the home to circa nine million people. In other words, it is anything but the tourist-destination that millions of others view it as.
For those that live there, London as a tourist city almost becomes lost. Sure, you will stumble across people taking photographs and making the most of all of the sights and scenery, but in terms of experiencing it for yourself this is something that often doesn’t happen.
We still have a long way to go before things get back to normal. Many of us will be faced with having to take staycations near our homes once lockdown restrictions are eased. It makes sense to try seeing your own city as a tourist, so hear are a few things to try out when you get the chance.
Now is the time to ditch the Oyster card (within reason)
OK, so if you’re looking to explore the opposite side of London, this point might be out of the question. However, our general rule at least, is that public transport should not be used for local tourism.
The best way to sample London as a local tourist is to get lost. Wander the streets and go off the beaten track. For a lot of you, this will involve straying away from your normal commute to work, or the local shops. You’ll come across parks, attractions and more that you didn’t know exist – and you’ll find them organically rather than via Trip Advisor.
You don’t have to visit museums to sample history
There’s a major misconception that you have to visit museums to sample the true history of London.
As it turns out, most of it is on your doorstep (or someone else’s, at least). For example, take to Covent Garden and you don’t just see the market that it is renowned for. Look closely, and you will find all sorts of historical references, whether it is via something like the Museum of London’s Streetmuseum 2.0 iPhone app or Peter Ackroyd’s Historical Tour.
There are all sorts of these natural gems across the capital, and you don’t have to look like a standard tourist to sample them.
Or if you do, make it a late stop
You don’t necessarily have to chalk off museums for good.
While we’re not huge advocates of visiting them in the daytime alongside hoards of tourists, there is nothing stopping you from taking advantage of one of the many late-night exhibitions which take place. Quite often, these are free, and attract smaller crowds who will find out something that would never be offered to daytime visitors.
Get away from the hustle and bustle
Hopefully, this final point will tie into the first suggestion we made. In other words, get off the busy streets and find quieter areas of the city. It might be regarded as a commercial hotspot by many but dig a little deeper and there are acres upon acres of parks that provide London with a relaxing vibe. Find them, and rest like a holidaymaker.