Top tips for exploring a new city!

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Whether you’re travelling around and enjoying your freedom this summer, or preparing to move to pastures new for university, exploring any city for the first time is super exciting. If you’ve never been somewhere before, it can also be a little bit overwhelming.

However, you’ll “never get a second chance to make a first impression”, nor a second chance to experience that rush. No matter when you travel as a student and beyond, it helps to make the most of your new surroundings. Try and do things a little differently than you would at home, and seek out experiences unique to the location you’re in.

Plan

There are loads of apps to help you plan a trip these days, and it can really help you to put in some effort before you arrive.

For example, why not download Citymapper, the “ultimate transit app”, to help you know bus and train times? Or even download a map of a particular area on Google Maps, so that you can still use it offline? You can still wander freely if you want to, but this way, it doesn’t matter if you get lost.

You can also use apps which tell you loads of insider info about a particular place, too. From the top-rated restaurants to the quirkiest bars and everything in between, something like TripAdvisor will sort your experience right out! When fellow travellers are giving you recommendations, that’s where the Internet really gets its time to shine.

Live like a local

Don’t go all the way to a new city and eat at McDonalds and then go to a chain club that you’ve got back home. Try and do a variety of activities, no matter whether you’re there for 24-hours or the foreseeable future.

If there’s a special local cuisine, give it a try. For example, you can’t go to Liverpool without trying “scouse” (a hearty meat and potato dish), or to places like Leeds and Sheffield in Yorkshire without trying a genuine Yorkshire pudding!

Have a stroll, learn about the history of the place. You can even do an open bus ride tour, a walking tour or visit the tourist attractions. Sure, you’ll feel totally touristy, but you’re going to pick up so much culture and have some fun at the same time. If you’re going to be living somewhere for a while, you’re best to do all this stuff at the beginning – I find that you sadly never get round to it otherwise.

Although people will tell you the best places to go, try and discover some on your own. You’ll feel pretty good when you’re able to recommend a place to someone who’s been living in that city for their entire life!

Make things easier on yourself

Sometimes we all have to ask for help. If you’re stuck and need directions – just ask! You might be worried about sticking out like a sore thumb, but you’ll learn the best tips from the people who have lived somewhere for a long time.

Better still, if your new city exploration is on the cards because you’ve moved in with us here at Liberty Living, you can talk to the Residence Team about the local area as well. They’ll be more than happy to help you out with hints and tips… and maybe even point you in the direction of a few secret places of their own.