London is one of the largest and most diverse cities in the world. However, there are some rules of etiquette which only the locals seem to be aware of.
Have a look at this list of 5 things one should not do in London:
If you are going to stop, don’t stay on the left
Perhaps the most important of London’s rules, it applies mainly to escalators. If you happen to find yourself on one, never stand still on the left-hand side. Local consensus dictates that the left-hand side is for those in a hurry. If you want to keep still and let the escalator do the hard work, keep to the right. If not, you may find yourself the object of some disapproving glares from the locals and even a few verbal requests that you stop blocking people’s way past.
Don’t stand still in front of the carriage doors
London boasts one of the biggest and most efficient underground systems in the world. However, depending on the time of day, the platforms and carriages can sometimes become rather crowded. When this happens, make sure you don’t stand right in front of the doors; leave space for people getting on and off. When a carriage is very full, avoid gathering towards the centre of the platform, try to walk to one of the less crowded ends, you may even find a seat! If everyone collaborates, the system works better for all of us.
Before purchasing a ticket, check online.
Attractions such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the Shard, among others, are highly recommended and well worth a visit. However, before visiting, check online; purchasing in advance is often a great way of saving money.
If you are driving, avoid Oxford Street
One of the most famous shopping streets on the planet, Oxford Street is certainly one of London’s main attractions. However, with the massive flow of pedestrians and confusing array of lanes and signals, it is generally a bad choice for the unaccustomed, non-local driver. If you fall into this category, try to make your way across the city using alternative roads.
Don’t take the underground for short hops
The London Underground is so efficient and extensive that sometimes people forget that, depending on their destination, it may be quicker to go by bus, or simply walk! Short hops, such as Leicester Square to Covent Garden, can be done in six minutes on foot. If you take the Underground, you will have to go up and down so many staircases and escalators that it’ll take you much longer than six minutes. The same rule applies to distances such as Charing Cross to Embankment and Euston to Warren Street. If you’re feeling too tired to walk, the famous double decker buses are a great solution for medium-range distances.