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How to Not Look Like A Tourist in London

July 27, 2023
London is such a popular tourist destination that you almost couldn't tell whether a person is a tourist or not. Well, that's not true! Any true Londoner will instantly know if you're a tourist (especially one that's in the city for the first time) or a local. And whether you're one or the other, if you don't want to look like a tourist either way, you'd want to follow a few tips. They include dressing like a local, learning proper British pronunciation (and spelling for good measure!), and following local table manners.

How to Not Look Like A Tourist in London

Dress Like A Local

Most of the time, how you look depends on what you're wearing. If you don't want to look like a tourist in London, dress up like a local. It's to get carried away with planning outfits for your London trip. The city is one of the most influential fashion capitals in the world, after all. Home to the most famous British designer brands, it's only natural you want to dress to impress. But if you're not going here for London Fashion Week, you don't have to overdo it. Just go for cool, casual clothes that'll make you look and feel comfortable. That's what other Londoners are wearing too.

Buy An Oyster Card Already

The most annoying thing about navigating London's public transport is having to queue up to buy your tickets. At least, that's what most tourists do, especially if it's their first time in the city. Londoners and seasoned travelers know that getting an Oyster Card is the best way to commute in the British capital. This electronic smartcard serves as a travel pass that lets you ride the tube and other modes of public transportation and London. You don't have to wait in long lines to get a ticket. Just deposit some cash into your card every now and then and you're good to go!

How to Not Look Like A Tourist in London

Learn British Expressions

From social customs to even spelling, the British have different ways to do things. And if you want to avoid looking like a stereotypical tourist in London, you'd do well to learn all about them. Not the least of which are British expressions. For one thing, if a local asks you 'You alright?' that doesn't always mean that you look like you're not. They're simply greeting you, almost the same way as one would say 'Hello!' or 'Good Day!' And your response? 'Yes, thanks!' It's an acknowledgment of their greeting, almost as if you're saying hello back.

Follow The Local Table Manners

Following proper British table manners is also an effective way to make it seem like you're not a tourist in London. Firstly, don't blow on your food and drink even when they're hot. Just wait a little before taking a bite/sip. Secondly, use your right hand you eat with your fork in your right hand and your knife in your left (if you're right-handed. It's the other way around if you're left-handed). Third, never mix and mash food on your plate. Keep your main course separate from your sides. And fourth, never put your elbows on the table.

How to Not Look Like A Tourist in London

Avoid The Double-Decker Buses

As a tourist, no one can blame you if you want to ride London's famous double-decker tourist buses. They're pretty novel, after all, and not a lot of places have them. You'd rarely even see one in the English countryside. With that said, however, perhaps one ride is enough to satisfy your curiosity and let you experience this fairly new thing. If you take a good look at the locals, you'd notice that only a handful of them take these buses. Most people commute via the tube or a taxi. Riding a double-decker bus multiple times is a surefire sign that you are a tourist in London!

Keep Your Phone Down

Practically everyone is using a phone these days so you won't exactly stand out and look like a tourist in London if you do. However, it also depends on how you use your phone. If you're simply texting or booking a ride via a transportation app, you'd still blend in among the locals. But if you're constantly holding up your phone to take a snapshot of the famous tourist sights, it's a dead giveaway that you're not from around here. Though you're free to take as many pictures as you can, perhaps one snapshot is enough of a nice keepsake of your trip to London.

How to Not Look Like A Tourist in London

Visit The Museums At Night

As a tourist, you can't help but want to go to as many museums and art galleries in London as you like. They're practically the bread and butter of the city's tourism, after all. It's only natural to include at least one museum visit in your daily itinerary. That is if you're not too fussy about looking like a tourist in London. But if you are, you can always go to these museums at night. Not a lot of tourists know that many of these same cultural attractions stay open until dark. Why? Because they're likely hosting an event. And if that event is free to the public, here's your chance to see them without all the other tourists!

Don't Freak Out About The Foxes

Finally, don't freak out about the foxes. There are many of these furry critters running around in the British capital. About 10,000 of them, in fact! And though it's understandable to get startled when you spot one, it's how you react that will let everyone know if you're a tourist. For example, when you see a fox on the street, you'd understand and get surprised that there's suddenly an animal right in front of you. Lots of locals react the same way too. But it's when you fawn over this woodland creature that you probably never expected to see in the bustling British capital that will let everyone know that you're not from around here.

How to Not Look Like A Tourist in London

Did you know that not looking like a tourist in London is actually quite easy? Something as simple as dressing like a local, following local table manners, and saying the proper British pronunciations can make all the difference.

#advice   #tips   



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