How to be a tourist in London (when you already live there!)

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It’s quite hard to see London through fresh eyes when it’s your home and workplace as well as your playground. Let’s face it: as a London resident, tourists are probably the bane of your life, standing on the wrong side of the escalator and pausing in the streets to check their maps. But being a tourist in your own home city can be much more fun than you think – particularly since you’ll have a much better idea of how to get from A to B than the average tourist. Here are just a few suggestions of ways to enjoy being a tourist in your own city.

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Go see a show

If you’ve lived in London for a long time you’ll probably know to avoid the Leicester Square area like the plague, but going to see a West End show is one of the most unique things about London. If you can get tickets to an evening performance of a new show, or one that’s a little less generic, even better. People flock from all corners of the world to see the talent that is right on your doorstep, but unless you’re an avid theatre goer then chances are you’ve probably never been. You can even make an evening of it by going out for dinner and drinks afterwards.

Absorb some culture

Instead of spending your Saturday in bed hungover, get out there and immerse yourself in all the culture London has to offer. If you’re already in the area then The National Gallery makes for an amazing day out, hosting over 2000 paintings by some of the world’s most iconic artists; spend a day there at the new Goya portrait exhibition which is on from October until January 2016. If paintings aren’t your thing, head to the British Library and see what amazing treasures await on its many shelves.

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Go up the Shard

I guarantee you’ll have seen it from the outside a billion times, but how many of you have actually been inside? Go up the Shard – maybe even have dinner at the restaurant – and see your city like you’ve never seen it before. The Shard can get really busy, particularly at peak times, so if you’re wanting to eat make sure to book in advance.

Explore

This is the best way to be a tourist in London. Get on the tube or the bus one day, and get off at a random stop you’ve never been to before. London is so vast that I guarantee there will be somewhere you’ve always wanted to explore which has lots of quirky little shops, award-winning restaurants and interesting bars. If you don’t try you’ll never know – once you get off the tube have a quick Google or use Citymapper and see what fab things there are to do!

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