London is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations so the blunders and errors most commonly made by foreign visitors have been well documented. Luckily, most of them are easy to avoid!
The Most Common Mistakes Rookies Make In London
The public transport system known simply as the Tube can initially be a source of confusion for tourists. But it’s a mistake to avoid making use of this wonderful and convenient amenity just because you find it a little intimidating. The system is ridiculously easy to use when you get the hang of it and is often far cheaper (and quicker) than relying on cabs to get you around the city.At the same time, it’s also a mistake to always assume that the Tube is the best mode of transport. Often it will be, but there will also be those times when you can comfortably walk to your destination and save yourself some money. That’s why it’s always a good idea to research your route on a map beforehand and choose the smartest way of getting there in advance.If you are going to ride the Tube (and you definitely should!) then another common error to be aware of is neglecting to learn standard Tube etiquette. Although the Tube is a great resource for tourists getting around the city, it’s also frequented by busy commuters who have no time for foreigners being obnoxious when they’re on their way to and from work.Most Tube etiquette comes down to common sense—don’t make a lot of noise, don’t eat things that have potent smells, don’t distract people while they’re reading or on their phones. But foreigners should also know that when you ride the escalator down to the Tube or back up to the street, you always stand on the right. The left lane is for constant moving traffic, while the right is where you stand if you’re not going to be moving.RELATED: 10 Amazing Things You’ll See At The Harry Potter Studio Tour In London Another rookie mistake that visitors make in London is stopping locals to ask them unnecessary questions. Of course, if you genuinely need help, you’ll find many people are friendly. But keep in mind that Londoners live in a busy city that is always filled with tourists and they probably get stopped numerous times a day to answer questions that aren’t really necessary. If you’re going to ask for directions, make sure your answer isn’t already on a sign somewhere around you.England has a reputation for being a land of manners and civility, and while the stereotype doesn’t fit everybody, you’ll find that Londoners, in general, will expect a certain level of politeness. Many tourists forget to say please and thank you, and they can also underestimate how important it is to queue in England . Remember to always join the end of a line and wait your turn to be served.RELATED: 10 Most Instagrammable Spots In Britain
Do These Things Instead
London is one of the most convenient destinations for western travelers to visit because England is obviously the birthplace of the English language. But even though they speak English in London, you might find that British English is quite different from American English.It’s a good idea to become familiar with a few British slang words before you go to London, just to avoid any confusion. For example, many tourists aren’t used to hearing the words, “You all right?” used as a greeting. While in the United States, this is a general question, in London this is just a form of greeting and something that you don’t need to answer.RELATED: How Not To Go Broke In London
It’s also wise to become familiar with the British Pound, even if we are moving to an increasingly cashless society. Although you’ll probably using a travel card or another kind of bank card at many establishments in London, being familiar with the local currency will help you to avoid being ripped off. Also, remember to always carry some change on you as there are many public restrooms in London that still require payment.If you’re going to really embrace British culture, then you’ll have to understand how pub culture works. When you go out drinking with a big group in London, it’s considered polite to buy at least one round for everyone. As the night goes on, everyone else will (or should) reciprocate. Only buying drinks for yourself is a social blunder that will make you stand out as a tourist.Finally, remember to always be aware of your surroundings in London. The city is safe enough to visit but tourists are often lured into a false sense of security because they believe that being in an English-speaking country means they’re not vulnerable in any way. The same rules that apply to any other destination also apply in London: listen to your gut instinct, keep an eye on your belongings, and always stay alert and aware when out in public.NEXT: 10 Best Bookstores In London