DOZENS of York's museums, tours and attractions will be opening their doors for free to residents of the city this month.

The people of York will be able to enjoy many of the sights and sounds that draw millions of tourists to the city every year - free upon showing a valid YORKcard.

York Residents 1st Weekend will take place on January 27 and 28, when city-dwellers can participate in a range of day-time and evening activities.

A City of York Council spokeswoman said: "York Residents 1st Weekend 2007 will be the biggest and best ever, with over 50 of the city's museums, tours and attractions opening their doors free of charge.

"New additions to this year's programme include the opportunity to visit the city's cold war bunker, the chance to tour York's historic archives, and an offer to take part in a live' archaeological dig in St Saviourgate."

Councillor Steve Galloway, leader of the council, said: "York Residents 1st Weekend is an increasingly popular opportunity for York people to see some of the sites and attractions which usually only visitors have the time to enjoy. York is a changing city and each year it has something new to offer. This year, a visit to the archaeological dig would be a first for many.

"We are fortunate to live in such a diverse and culturally rich city. This is an opportunity for us to stop saying I've always meant to go there' and actually find a couple of hours to do so."

Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of York Tourism Bureau said: "We're hugely proud of York's excellent reputation for its friendly welcome to visitors. Residents 1st Weekend is our way of saying thank you' to all who live and work in the city for their support for tourism. It's also a fantastic opportunity for local people to see the range of attractions on their doorstep free of charge. Friends and relatives visiting York make up an important part of our visitor profile and this event also helps spread the word about all there is to see and do in the city."

To get your YORKcard, take two items of identification, one of which must show your current address, to any City of York Library. YORKcards are distributed on an individual basis and cannot be collected for other family members, except children under the age of 16.

All admissions and other offers during the event are subject to availability and are at the discretion of the participating attraction or venue.

First York and Smilesallround Estate Agents are supporting the weekend.