Easy to Avoid Tourist Traps in London

Tower Bridge, London, United Kingdom (by Charles Postiaux)

London is a huge city filled with so much life and unique places. Sadly tourists always seem to head to the same spots. They get overcrowded quickly and don’t show what London life is really like. To help you to avoid some of these tourist traps and spend more time exploring the local culture, we’ll list a few of the most touristy places in the city. They’re really easy to avoid!

Madame Tussauds

Wax figures of the royals (by Madame Tussauds)

We’ll stay short on this one as it was mentioned on the Amsterdam blog already. If you want to stand in line to look at wax figures and take a great picture with your idol, by all means, go ahead, but if you prefer a more real experience we advise you to visit some local museums instead

London Dungeon

Two London Dungeon characters (by London Dungeon)

The idea of the London Dungeon was to show people London’s dark history in an entertaining way. It seems like a fun idea but sadly it turned into an inaccurate horror story that just attracts tourists. London Dungeon is a haunted house where legends get presented in the most gruesome way to scare its visitors.  If you want a real underground experience maybe check out Village Underground.

Changing the guards

Crowds at changing of the guards (by hoch3media)

We understand that the royal family is a huge part of United Kingdom culture. The changing of the guards is an old tradition that Brits take great pride in. We, however, still advise you to opt-out. The crowds that start to line up are just not worth it. If you want to learn more about history check out one of the many museums London has to offer, like the Museum of London for example.

Harrods

Harrods at night (by inhetvliegtuig.nl)

Harrods is without a doubt one of the most beautiful buildings at night, as it is covered in thousands of lightbulbs, lighting up the building. That said, it’s definitely worth checking out in the dark – but leave it for nighttime. During the day, the store gets overly crowded with tourists who want to admire the luxuries of the store. Even if you actually want to buy something you will probably be better of buying it somewhere else.

The London Eye

Crowds down at the London Eye (by Jean Carlo Emer)

We love a good view of a city. However, the Londen Eye is not the best way to do it. It’s massively overpriced for what you get. For the price, you would think you would get a whole pod to yourself but in reality, you are often stuck with a bunch of strangers all wanting to get the same picture from the exact same spot. We advise you to check out another look-out point instead. Maybe the Emirates Air Line if you like being in the sky?

Portobello Road

crowds on Portobello Road (by Richie Chan)

Portobello road is filled with quirky little shops and in general, a nice place to visit. However, Portobello Market has slowly turned into a generic bunch of stands competing to be in your Instagram picture. It’s lost the “hidden gem” part and is now just a commercial affair. Instead, maybe try some more local stores or the Maltby Street market for example.

Fish and chips

Fish and chips (by Davey Gravy)

Fish and chips is a UK staple, however, there are as many bad fish and chips places out there as there are good ones. On top of that, there is so much more to British cuisine than only fish and chips. We recommend doing your research before you go to a fish and chips place or checking out another good local restaurant.

Camden Market (parts of it at least)

Camden Lock at Camden Market (by Zck_)

Now, we won’t say that all of  Camden Market is bad.  It still remains a cool and alternative spot in town. But recently a lot of stores and stalls have popped up that cater to tourists and just sell cheap crap at a high price. Our tip is to ignore the generic stalls and stick to independent and original stuff that you won’t find anywhere else.

The Abbey Road Crossing

Mass Tourism on Abbey Road (by Leon Neal)

This crossing was made famous by the Beatles, but besides getting a cool picture, there is really nothing to do over here. You will mostly just annoy the locals trying to cross the actual street and cars wanting to pass. We really think you should stay away and check out the current London music scene instead.

The trolley in the wall at Kings Cross Station

Que of people who want a photo with the trolley at Kings Cross (by Reuter)

Who doesn’t love Harry Potter? But there are far better experiences to be had than lining up for a photo. You can always visit the actuals studio’s but you can also just walk around London and take in the magical beauty it has to offer.

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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)