The tried and true way to find out if you’re a real London expert.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in London for six months or six years, there are some things that’ll happen to you sooner or later. They might be certain habits you’ve developed after learning harsh lessons (like, never press the button on a Tube door), or things that happen completely automatically after a while. Either way, here are 23 things that you simply need to have experienced to be able to call yourself a true Londoner.
1. Never approached the Tube gate without having your Oyster/debit card ready
…and forced yourself to smile patiently at the person holding you up.
2. Perfected the art of walking faster than everyone around you
Slow walking is a surefire way to be identified as a non-local.
3. Fallen asleep on the night tube/bus and woken up at the last stop
Some say you’re not a true Londoner if this hasn’t happened to you at least once.
4. Never dared to stand on the left side of an escalator
…because you’re not trying to get in a fight.
5. Found your way through Bank station without taking a wrong turn
Okay fine, this one is nearly impossible, but if you’ve managed to master this situation, props to you. You’re officially a TRUE Londoner.
6. Know which is the best bagel shop/curry house on Brick Lane
7. Considered £5.50 to be a ‘cheap pint’
Now that’s a bargain!
8. Snapped a picture in front of the infamous pink staircase at Frank’s Café
9. Wondered why you put up with the ridiculous rent market, only to remember you’re living in the world’s best city
This questionable Kensington flat will set you back £175,000, but honestly, you’d take it if it meant staying in London.
10. Haggled your way to a bargain at Portobello Market/Columbia Road Flower Market
11. Gone from a bottomless brunch to the beer garden to a night out, all without breaking a sweat
12. Can recommend the best restaurant in Chinatown
13. Never incorrectly pronounced ‘Marylebone’, ‘Southwark’, or ‘Ruislip’
Come on, it’s not that difficult.
15. And tried to estimate exactly where the door will be while waiting on the platform
Mind the gap!
16. Have ridden a Boris bike home because you won’t pay for an Uber
Rent and food are expensive enough.
17. Met outside ‘the big Topshop‘
RIP to the best meetup spot 🙁
18. Walked up the middle section of Oxford Street to avoid the crowds
While thinking to yourself ‘Gosh, I hate people’…
19. Have a favourite IKEA
Even the Secret London team can’t come to a unanimous decision here (Editor Alex thinks it’s Greenwich, while Staff Writer Jack prefers Wembley).
20. Shed tears over the loss of a cherished shop/restaurant/place and sworn never to set foot in the replacement
Only to break your promise once you discover what the new cool place has to offer.
21. Refused to go north/south of the river on the grounds that it practically requires a passport
Wave goodbye to your friends on the other side…
22. Given tourists directions without even glancing at the Tube map/bus route
A truly proud moment.