For anyone visiting a great city for the first time and determined to get as much out of it as possible, there are two golden rules. Travel by train and arrive in the evening. The advantage of the former is that it delivers you immediately in the city centre, avoiding the traffic and the depressing suburbs .

An evening arrival, on the other hand, means the visit can start with relaxation. You go straight to your hotel, settle into your room, have a nice long drink – preferably in a steaming bath, and then stroll off to a small restaurant for dinner.

Never, particularly on that first evening – unless it is very late or you are very, very tired- eat  in the hotel. Hotel restaurants, in the great cities, serve bland and boring food. All cities look better at night; the ugly ones because you can’t see them so well, the beautiful ones because – in most cases – you can see them better, thanks to lights.

However, detailed sightseeing should be  done by day, because the museums and galleries and monuments of one kind or another are not open during the hours of darkness. But remember: cities are not only made up of museums and galleries. Above all, cities are architecture; and architecture, if looked at properly, can give you as much pleasure as any number of pictures or showcases.

So  all we need to do is train our eye to see the architecture. The trouble is because we see it all around us, all the time, we tend not to see it at all. Now, there are three ways of looking at the architecture of cities: on foot, from a boat on a river or canal, or from a bus.

Obviously, the most important thing is to be able to look up. Most buildings, like most  people, get more interesting towards the top.

Heads, after all, are much more interesting than feet!

Once your tour of the city is complete, return to the central square – if there is one. Find the best postcard shop, buy as many postcards as possible, note the places you still haven’t seen, and think back over the  ones you have, with the help of these postcards. And don’t forget to send several of these postcards to your home address, because when you come back home, these postcards will continue to remind you of the places you have visited, from their place on the mantelpiece in your house.


A. What do the following refer to?
1. ‘It’ (line 2):
2. ‘them’ (line 14):
3. ‘it’ (line 21):
4. ‘one’ (line 28): : 5. ‘ones* (line 30):
B. Match the words from the text with their meanings.

1. suburb (line 5) a) without any taste

2 stroll off (line 8) D) a 9,ass container with valuable objects inside ‘ that people can look at

3. particularly (line 8)

c) correcl|y and satisfactorliy


4. bland (line 10)

d) an area of a town or city away from the


5. properly (line 18) centre * u ~ ~ /r„~ «m e) walk in a slow, relaxed way 6.


showcase (line 19) ‘ ‘

f) a wood or stone shelf above the fire place


7. mantelpiece (line 33) g) eSpecia„y
C. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).

1. According to the writer, rail travel helps you have a relaxing tour around the city centre.

2. The writer strongly advises to spend your first evening in your hotel and eat there as well.

3. The writer thinks that the architecture of a city is as important as its museums, galleries or monuments.

4. The writer advises sightseers to examine buildings by looking up.

5. According to the writer, you should buy postcards before you tour the city to learn about the best places to see.

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