It’s safe to say that the relationship between Londoners and tourists has long been a tested one. We never meant ‘tourist’ to become a derogatory term, but if you’re going to stand around in groups blocking the bottom of the tube escalator, there are bound to be long-lasting consequences. We’re sure if you just had the time to learn the strange codes and conducts of our city, we’d all get along just swimmingly. In order to help the harmonious relationship between tourists and London’s inhabitants, we’ve created this little guide of (only slightly passive-aggressive) pieces of advice.
1. The moment you’re on a busy pavement, you become part of a slick, smooth-running system. Do not stop. Do not turn around. You’ve seen the Lion King? Baby Simba’s pace was dangerously slow during the stampede. Don’t be like Simba.
2. This is Tower Bridge, not London Bridge.
3. Don’t feed the bladdy pigeons.
4. There’s nothing fun about mingling outside of Camden Town station. Unless you came to London for caramelised nuts.
5. Big bags and tube doors don’t bode well.
6. And wearing rucksacks on your front might well be ‘safe’. But it’s impractical. And annoying.
7. Don’t be scared when you arrive at Victoria Coach Station. It’s a surreal and strange realm of its own.
8. The Trafalgar Square lions aren’t for riding. Especially if you’re over the age of 12.
9. You can hang around outside Buckingham Palace all day long, but don’t expect to see the Queen.
10. And try as you might, you won’t break the Royal Guard’s composure.
11. You don’t have to travel in groups of 56 at all times.
12. And you definitely don’t need to walk along the pavement in a row.
13. Half of your spending money will go on printed Underground tickets.
14. Selfie sticks will never be welcome in this city.
15. Try to resist the ‘temptations’ of M&M World because a) They aren’t British, b) You’ll end up paying £5 for roughly 6 M&M’s, and c) Smarties are better.
16. And don’t hang around playing with the iPads at Covent Garden’s Apple Store.
17. Don’t fuck with our street performers.
18. Spending 15 minutes perfecting your Abbey Road zebra crossing shot automatically gives any driver permission to run you over.
19. The tube platform is a ‘no-dawdle’ zone.
20. In fact, the whole of London is a ‘no-dawdle’ zone.
21. But if you want to walk slowly, don’t speed up. Ignore the eye-rolling and take in our lovely city at your own pace. The truth is, we’re all just slightly jealous that you can.
Also, if you want to experience more than the overrated tourist attractions, check out these alternative suggestions.