How to blend in like a Londoner

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If you’re going somewhere for the first time, like most people you won’t want to stand out too much as a tourist or new person in the area.

This can be particularly important if you’re going to a big city, like London on a weekend break and you haven’t been there before. For many, people don’t like to be seen as tourists in case of pick-pocketing and such but mostly visitors to cities like to look as though they’re fitting in with the fabric of life.

In fact, one of the biggest compliments someone can get when they’re navigating around a new place is if someone asks them for directions. This is particularly true when it comes to millennial travellers. This group of people are keen on discovering parts of cities that are frequented by the folk who live there every day and don’t spend their time in tourist attractions.

Wandering around a local market on Brick Lane – which is near many hotels in Shoreditch – while people get their groceries for the week can be one of the best ways to see what life in London is really like, making a trip all the more interesting.

We’ve pulled together a list of tips for you to keep in mind when you’re visiting the Big Smoke so you could fool even the most discerning of Londoners.

Escalators

Due to the London Underground there are a huge amount of escalators in the city, but the majority of these can be hugely busy, which is why there’s an etiquette to riding them. Make sure that you don’t stand on the left side of an escalator, not only out of politeness but also for your safety – you don’t want to get knocked down by a Londoner running up the escalator.

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Drinks

When buying a round of drinks in the pub – and this is particularly important to remember if you’re in a large group – make sure that you know the entire order in advance of speaking to the bar staff. Also, if you happen to be ordering a pint of Guinness, make sure that you order it first and not at the end, the person pouring will thank you for it.

Go on walking tours

It’s rare that Londoners go on bus tours but even people who have lived in the city for years appreciate a good walking tour.

There are so many to enjoy and lots of them are free, which is why they’re a great activity in a city that can be pretty expensive. These tours can take you into bits of the Big Smoke that you wouldn’t have thought existed and you can pick up some great tidbits of trivia and history – if you do one thing make sure you take a walk.

Don’t cut in line

When people cut the line in shops or when they’re queuing to get on public transport, most of the time you’ll find that people succumb to British politeness and aren’t likely to say anything to you at all. However, during busy times of year and when it’s particularly stuffy in summary you might get on the wrong end of someone’s mood.

In general, you’re going to find Londoners pretty polite, all you have to remember is that they have a pattern and process for doing things, which includes having manners about standing in queues and definitely not cutting the line.