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London Like a Local: What you Should and Should Not Do in the English Capital

on Tue, 10/13/2015 - 10:11
london like a local untours guide
Don't stick out like a sore thumb! Here are some quick tips to help you make a good impression in London, and to make merry with the locals.
 
You Should…
Stand on the right side of the tube escalators and walk on the left. Londoners abhor when people stand on the left.
 
You Should…
Visit a pub outside of the touristy hubs (Leicester Square, Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square, etc.). Find a pub filled with more locals than tourists and sit down for a pint and enjoy classic pub food. It is an incorrect stereotype that pub food is bad. Due to the economic ups and downs of the last decade, many pubs have had to up their game concerning food in order to stay competitive. This is good for us since it means better eats and decent prices. 
 
You Should Not…
Bring large pieces of luggage on the Tube. It is considered very rude, so opt for a taxi instead. In addition to being deemed annoying, you may also find it stressful trying to keep track of luggage in a packed Tube car as it nears the center of the city. Also many Tube stations do not have lifts (elevators), which only adds to the inconvenience. 
 
You Should Not…
Take a black cab. They are incredibly expensive, which is why you’ll hardly ever see a local in one. Always opt for the bus system, Tube, or a personal car service such as Addison Lee. 
 
You Should…
Try London’s street food. Because London is one of the most international cities in the world, it has a wide variety of authentic food options. East London tends to have the best, specifically on Brick Lane. 
 
You Should…
Go to a market in London. Some of our favorites include Portobello Market, Camden Market, and the Spitalfields Market. But note if you plan on buying anything you may only be able to use cash. Markets tend to boast great opportunities for souvenirs and homemade lunches. 
 
You Should Not…
Take the Tube during rush hour. Especially near the center of the city, the underground can be mayhem. Instead opt to walk or wait until they are less crowded. 
 
You Should…
Feel comfortable asking a local for help. Unless they look stressed or like they’re running somewhere, most locals will stop and help tourists if you ask nicely. 
 
You Should Not…
Just stay in the center of the city. Venture out to Zone 4 and beyond. Richmond Park (at the end of the district line) is one of the most scenic parts of the city, but few tourists go there since it's not in the center. 
 
You Should…
Rent Barclay Bikes and explore Hyde Park. These inexpensive bikes, which Londoners often use for commuting, make for an inexpensive way to enjoy some light exercise. Unless you’re a seasoned biker don’t venture out of park areas since Londoners tend to drive like most city folk: crazily. The park is mostly flat but large, so biking really is the best way to see most of it. 
 
You Should…
Consider visiting in November. Most people get caught up visiting Europe in the summer and around the winter holidays. My favorite time of year in London is late November and early December, when it’s a bit chilly, but the city is covered with lights and Christmas markets. It is a great time to see the city since you don’t have to worry about the giant crowds that summer brings, but you can still be back home by Christmas. 
 
You Should Not…
Miss the British Museum. It’s free and houses the Rosetta Stone. Need we say more?
 

There are many more things you should do in London, which includes experiencing the city on an Untour! Check out the exceptional London apartment offerings here

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