London is one of the most cultural and diverse cities in the world and attracts a huge amount of tourists from far and wide. London has a very particular charm, with certain unspoken rules and codes of behaviour. Become wise to them so that you don’t frustrate the locals, get in the way of the commuters, and spend unnecessary time and money.
Here are our top tips on what NOT to do when visiting London:
Don’t stand on the left!
The number one, golden rule of London is that you should not, under any circumstances, stand on the left an escalator in the London Underground. Put simply: the left is for walking, the right is for standing. There is no grey area. If you don’t adhere to this, you’ll face tuts, glares, and the instant disdain for uneducated tourists. If you choose to break the rule, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to move sharpish.
Don’t settle for a West End show
West End shows tend to play for years and years, they’re rarely that exciting that you need to spend excessive money and time on them. If you’re a theatre buff, get yourself to an alternative theatre where you can see some fresh writing or a reinvention of an old classic. The Barbican always offers something unorthodox, or try The National Theatre or The Old Vic for decent but different plays.
Don’t pay full price for an attraction
Although tourist attractions are highly recommended and worth a visit, places like The Tower of London, the Shard, and Westminster Abbey come at a hefty price. Rather than strolling in and paying a premium, check the website of the attraction, as well as discount and voucher websites, to see if you can shave off some pounds. Most destinations offer discounts if you book in advance, and some combine their ticket prices with other attractions – getting you more for your money.
Don’t drive on busy roads
Take advantage of London’s excellent Underground and avoid driving down busy roads like Oxford Street. This street, famous for its shopping, is ruled by pedestrians, there are endless traffic lights, and there are almost always huge traffic jams. Avoid the crowds, walk down back roads, and use public transport – but don’t spend your precious time in London stuck in a car.
Don’t pay to visit the Zoo
Instead of paying to look at animals, visit Regent’s Park, which the Zoo is located within, and see some of the enclosures for free. You can still visit the giant aviary and see the parrots and wallabies without paying. Regent’s Park is also filled with ducks and friendly squirrels, all for free!
Don’t stay in the centre
London is a huge city, so save your pennies and stay on the outskirts. Check out different City of London Hotels to find the perfect place to stay at a reasonable price!
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