7 ways to be a tourist in your own city

I often say to my friends that we really need to learn more about our city. Cape Town is a beautiful place, and sometimes I feel as if I don’t get to see enough of her even though I’m in the CBD every day for work.

But obviously there’s more to Cape Town than town itself, and I’m sure Joburgers, Durbanites or those who hail from the friendly city of Port Elizabeth would say there’s so much more to their lovely home towns than we see in magazines or on travel shows.

So, why not take advantage of this public holiday (or the weekend if you already have plans) and take a little tour of your city? Really get to know where you are and why being part of it is so fantastic.

Get a friend to show you around
This might seem silly, but if you have a friend who knows the city better than you do, ask them to show you around like you’re a tourist. And perhaps you could do a trade off – you could do places you’ve been to without the other person and vice versa. So you get to see the city with new eyes and you get to have fun time with a friend.

Find a different mode of transport
If you normally drive, take a bike ride (if you don’t own one, rent one) or use public transport like a train or taxi. Another great way to see the city is the City SightSeeing Red Bus. You can go alone or with a group of friends, and you can plug the earphones provided into the listening dock, and a voiceover will tell you all about your beautiful city. Unfortunately the buses are currently only in Joburg and Cape Town, but here’s hoping it extends to the rest of the country soon.

Take ALL the photos
Selfies are a thing, so why not embrace it? Go to all the touristy places you can find and take as many photos as your camera or phone can handle. Take pictures of yourself and your friends. Take shots of people sitting in front of fountains and squirrels running up trees. Take random pictures of birds in the sky, or the ocean, or the mountains. And then have a look at them all afterwards, find the ones you love the most, have them printed and hang them in your house. Memories are great decor.

Go to the most touristy restaurant you can find
And try something new on the menu if you’ve been there before or choose something you would never really consider. Or ask the waiter for the house specialty and enjoy the hell out of it (one day without banting won’t kill you). Take a look around and find out about the story of the place. How long has it been there? Who owned it first? Is it a family business? And, who knows? You could just find your new favourite spot.

Go to a local sports game
Now I’m not the biggest sports fan, but there’s something about sitting in a crowd of people with a few snacks and maybe a beer or two while cheering on a team. Find a sport you like, or one you haven’t had the chance to experience up close and go be a fan for a day. We’re sure they’d really love your support.

Find something that only your city has
Whether it’s fantastic beaches, a glorious mountain (yes, I’m Capetonian and I can’t shut up about Table Mountain), or an awesome theme park, take advantage of that one thing your city is well known for and really explore it.

Do a museum tour
If you love walking around giant museums filled with history then do an internet search for all the museums in the area and make yourself a little route map. Don’t try to do too much in one day though. All that information could be a little too much.

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