One of the very best things about going to university is being able to explore an entirely new city and discover everything that makes it great. From museums to parks, pubs, clubs and historical sights, here are the best ways to get out there and really take in the sights and sounds of your new home. Mix things up a little and try the following:
Not only is walking great exercise, if you’re out on two feet you’ll see things from a completely new perspective and get a real feel for the layout of the city. Rather than get public transport or taxis everywhere, try to do things a little differently – it’ll save you money as well, which you’ll be able to spend on more important things to help your studies.
Try speeding things up a little and breaking into a jog or run. Forget the gym: doing runs of varying length and route around your new city is cheaper than a membership fee being sucked out of your bank account every month.
Quicker, more efficient and arguably better for your health than running, cycling is a fun way to get about town. Find a nice bike – you can get nice vintage models on Gumtree – wear a helmet, take it slowly and go find some new roads either in the centre of town or the suburbs. You can rent bikes for relatively cheap in London, which will give you more freedom to explore the Royal parks; or if you’re more adventurous, you could join the peloton of more-serious cyclists whizzing around Richmond Park.
Take a boat trip
Not so easy if there’s no water around, but if you live in London the Thames offers a regular boat service between Greenwich and London Bridge that allows you to use your Oyster Card. Of course it depends on where you choose to live. For example, on a lesser scale, Manchester has a number of canals which are a great reminder of its industrial past – firms run excursions that pass by Manchester United Football Club and offer guests a full sit-down meal.
Look into the possibilities before you settle for moving to your new city – somewhere by the water, such as Brighton, will provide a completely different experience to a landlocked city like Birmingham.
Speak to the locals
Finally, the best people to speak to, if you want to get more of an idea about the city you’ve moved to, are the local people. Locals, better than anyone else, know the best and cheapest spots to go for a drink, pick up shopping, and can also advise you on really simple things like shortcuts or even places to avoid.
So, what are you waiting for?
That’s right, it’s time to put those textbooks down and go explore – remember that each city has its nuances that you won’t really know unless you step outside of your comfort zone, so go into everything with an open mind.