You think that you don’t know your city well? At least not as well as you know the last city you’ve travelled abroad? What if I asked you to tell a tourist what and where are the best things to do and see in your city? Are you sure you can do that? If not so sure, this post is for you!
After I returned from my second trip in Rome about 1 1/2 ago, I felt I knew everything about that city!
It was a family trip (our kids were at the time 12,5 and 14 years old. It was their second trip abroad (first 4 years ago in Berlin). Thank god they are “travel junkies” and they like to wander around cities and walk, walk , walk… Of course there is a limit to that!
In Rome we walked endlessly. It’s a city very easy to walk and see everything you want. As soon as you understand how the “star of Rome” works everything gets simplified!
When we got back to Athens I realized I don’t know my city the way I want. There are so many places I haven’t seen or paid attention to! That’s so weird!
Why is this happening?
It’s got something to do with the “power of habit”. It’s always your city! Of course you can never be sure wether YOU wiil always be around to enjoy all its beauties. But that doesn’t really count when it comes to “routine psychology of the masses”, right?
In our city, in our country we could never live thinking that there’s “no tomorrow”. We would go crazy!
But during our trips, that’s what we are actually doing!
I’m not talking about business trips because there is a different psychological status there. We don’t always want to take a business trip so they are not always fulfilling in the way other trips are.
In a “foreign land” you choose to see everything you can and not miss anything beautiful or important. “How many times you will have the chance to see this place again anyway?”. With that in mind you run around to see everything you can!
It’s a shame that we don’t know our country even our city!
After our trip to Italy, I have decided that I’d make a great schedule and learn and see everything I wanted in Athens. But, I got overwhelmed along the way and finally forgot all about it.
Now, 1 1/2 years later I am in a totally different state of mind. Sat down and gathered the 11 best ways to know a city. Any city actually, although I always have Athens in mind while writing!
Actually, my suggestion is only one.
Be a TOURIST in your city!
(some people successfully do that everyday in their lives)
Although it’s only one suggestion it can be done in several ways.
Every place hides wonderful stories. even if you don’t like reading I am sure that you ‘ll be amazed with some of your city’s secrets. Maybe you’ll see the place from a different angle.
Hop on- Hop off
Yes! You ‘ve heard me right!
Take the damn bus and learn the basics of your city. That’s the “science” behind it my friend! All that specialists think someone should visit in your city. If your city doesn;t have a hop on/off don’t worry. Skip that solution and jump into the next one.
3 Tourist Guide
I mean it. Buy one! This one is for my city, Athens.
You can find any guide that suits you even if you are interested in a specific topic. Let’s say architecture! Maybe you have to search a bit more to find something like this but the internet is a magical place. You can find anything your heart desires!
I love so much to hang out on this site!
4. Take a tour
If you want everything served without you doing anything, that’s the best idea to follow. Book a private guide or a group tour to the places you are most interested in. Thay might be a bit pricy so narrow down your preferences and tour my friend!
I cancelled my tour (due to family reasons) in one of the most important Athenian “homes”, back in the 19th century. Arts, politics foreign policy decisions were taken in some of its rooms . I can visit the place! Think about it, how cool is that! Some kind of “live” history…!
If interested in that kinf of Athenian touring you check this out: Action Plus
Visit Municipality and other Organizations sites
I didn’t know until recently that Athens municipality offered scheduled free tours to some important Athenian spots.
There are numerous blogs like TNB (to Noa’s better) catered by people with real interest in their city’s beauties. Find them, it’s easy…Just google it, just a little bit!
That’s the best way to see anything actually. Get interactive with your city. Walk through the places you like, eat something, drink your coffee in place you’ve never been to before.
SOS: Look up. You cannot imagine how many beautiful scenes we lose by walking without looking up in the sky. Beautiful buildings full of history and flowers!
Get in the museum
There are some thematic museums that interest me very much. I still remember how impressed I was when I visited the museum of Islamic Art in Athens some years ago. I could have stayed there all day if it wasn’t for my boys (much younger then). They insisted in going to Apostole Paul’s street in Theseion Athens to buy small stuff from the flea market.
Which ever are your personal interests you will definitely find a museum that suits you! Get in it! Take the taste of what your city has found important to exhibit.
Here is a taste of the museums in Athens .
Here are the dates of free visits in the museums and archeological sites of our city!
9. From up above
Many cities offer great view from their hills. It’s a magical moment to see your “neighborhood” from up above. It’s also good for the soul. Everything is broadening and momentarily life becomes easier and greater!
Another way to have a view from above is roof gardens.
My last visit to a roof garden was 2-3 months ago. Until I visited this cafe, I didn’t know it even existed. Thanks to my husband who copies instantly all the information that haw to do with coffee, drinking and eating (professional autism?) we had our coffee at the roof garden of Byron Hotel in Plaka, a breath away from Acropolis and the Parthenon.
If you want fall in love with Athens there you are a cold hearted bast..d!
It’s our era’s passpartout. Get ideas from fb profiles and pages and see instagram pictures to get isnpiration. Don;t forget twitter. Lot;s of interesting tweets about city gems!
Useful #hashtags on Instagram for Athens are:#athensspots #athens_city #athensvibe #athensbestpictures #athensbesttour #athensview
11. Talk to Locals and shop owners
I know much better the area I live in Athens than any other suburb or neighborhood . If I had my business situated in any place in the city, I would normally be more about what’s worth seeing and visiting in that specific area. So, next time you drink your coffee in that new cafe we talked about before, ask the waiter to give you any piece of info about the area.
So, that was it my friends!
I love cities and if you do too we have a lot to talk about in the future! For the moment follow me on social media
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Maybe you have an idea to share with us! Please do. Have you ever seen while traveling any imaginative way of a city’s exposure? Share with us your ideas and knowledge.You can contact Noa here!