London Tourist Mistakes All 1st Time Visitors Make

Published 2023-10-28
Are you heading to London and not sure what to expect? Well let's go through some of the common tourist mistakes that vacationers make when they visit London. From the tube to shopping to Chinatown to not looking the right direction crossing the street, here are some of the most common tourist mistakes tourists make in London.
Filmed in London, England, UK

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All Comments (21)
  • @marycarla6245
    The police around London ARE fantastic. We had a stolen back pack situation and I could not believe the thorough follow up by the Metro Police. They found the guy six months later and actually took the time to send us a letter about his sentence. No way would that have happened in an American for a stolen back pack.
  • @heatherqualy9143
    Couple notes. I found the Tube to be one of the cheapest ways to get around. I was so intimidated by the thought of it. I read and watched a ton of tips about it before we left, and was surprised when we got there at how well it is planned out and organised! My 7-yr old and I had it figured out by the afternoon of the first day. Don’t be scared of the Tube! Also, the willingness to help. The two weeks I was there, i found everyone very helpful and tolerant of my “ignorant tourist” ways. Have to say the one moment that stood out to me most was at Harrods. After standing in a long line to check my few small items, the cashier greeted me kindly, rang up my items, handed me my bag, and said, “Do you need directions anywhere?” … What a PERFECT question to have your cashiers ask! Helpful, polite, takes any embarrassment or hesitation away from the tourist who might feel stupid in asking. It’s been 10 years since I was there, I saw a million incredible things, and yet THAT is the moment I most often remember.
  • @johnshort5830
    I'll take an episode of Wolter's world any day over these Instagram model travel channels. Always a heaping dose of both reality and positivity, one of the best channels on YouTube. Great work as always, keep em coming.
  • @donovanfoto3263
    I did London in 1978, when the French air traffic controllers were on strike. So EVERYONE leaving northern France we're leaving by London. I spent three days sleeping on the sidewalk, across the Thames from the Battersea Power Generation Plant. The people of London were FANTASTIC, offering their houses to take showers, etc
  • @ahmd5
    London is an open air museum, buy a walking guide tour book and enjoy seeing the city. Keep the book as an incredible souvenir.

    Not only museums are free to visit but some (Tate, British, National Portrait) have free gallery walks with museum staff which is incredibly informative and.

    Don't miss the London City museum, it used to have 16 galleries and they have 4 free walks daily. So it took me 4 days (2 hrs/day) to see all the 16 galleries which was incredibly informative.
  • @janethunt4037
    Great advice! We just returned from an 8 day trip there. One more thing - many of the locals understand the complex crossings with multiple lanes. Just because someone else just successfully crossed the road DOES NOT MEAN that you will also. We practiced better safe than sorry which paid off when vehicles suddenly crossed the road that we did not see ahead of time.
  • My girlfriend and I went to London for 4 days at the end of August. We got a 2 day pass for the hop on hop off bus. It was great. We got to see the whole city and learned a little bit about the history. It's such a big city that I don't think we would have seen so much in such a short period of time otherwise. I'd recommend it for 1st time visitors. Great video as always Mark
  • @discogareth
    Wolter, oh Wolter! You’ve been here often enough to know by now how to pronounce Thames.
  • I’d also say that if you’re looking for British food in London remember not to eat where the main tourist traps are as you’ll pay substantially more than going outside of these areas. Most U.K. cities or major towns aren’t too far away from London such as York under 2hrs from Kings Cross Station or Birmingham around the same or less depending on which station you use. If you want traditional fish and chips these are better in Scotland or Yorkshire than London. I’d suggest you pick a day where you travel from your hotel to somewhere else, Salisbury is less than 90 minutes away, you can visit Salisbury Cathedral or get the bus to Stonehenge. Also if you’ve going to visit stately homes & gardens look into purchasing overseas Visitors pass from English Heritage for 9 or 16 days valid for up to 2 adults & 4 children under the age of 18 & costs between £45-90. There’s also a single adult with children option as well. There’s also the National Trust, has a Touring Pass for families, a 7 day pass is £78 or 14 days £99 this more for homes & gardens than sites such as Stonehenge. Enjoy your stay in the U.K. but don’t forget there’s more to the U.K. than London.
  • @joehoe222
    Great list, just one misser I didn't notice:

    DON'T MESS WITH THE GUARDS! Lots of people make fun of them, want to touch them, whatever. Making a picture for home is okay, as long as you make it with respect for his job, sometimes they even help with a foot shuffle themselves, or sometimes you are allowed to make them when they're just off duty. But DON'T TOUCH OR WALK IN THEIR WAY! They are allowed to use violence if going too far and that won't be nice. It's an honorary job and treat them that way. Also don't touch the reigns of the horses as well.
  • @tobiojo6469
    My family has been to London 3 times and it’s always a magical experience.
  • @jenshoe
    Was in London June 2023 and had an amazing time. I actually found myself using the bus more than the tube to get around. It was easy with apps to put in start/stop points. There was a bus stop right outside my hotel and most times the change was get off one bus and wait for a different one at the same stop. Just a couple of times did I have to walk to a different stop and that was usually pretty close. It allowed me to see so much of the city I might not have if on the tube. Recommend using the bus once or twice to move around the city. And for the record, London can have heat waves...was not prepared for that. Enjoy your travel videos.
  • @cijmo
    My main thing I say to people is "don't take someone else's trip". Ask people, watch videos like Wolters and other gems, study, study study. Pick your favourites. There are some overhyped things but if you have dreamed of seeing Buckingham (Bucking-um not Bucking-ham) Palace, then that's what you must do. People will tell you it's not worth it (most people will, actually) but it's your dream, you decide if it's worth it. If you're brand new - the HopOnHopOff buses give you what I call "the calendar tour". You will have all the photo ops to take all the things you see that probably drew you to London in the first place. You'll also get the lay of the land, good commentary etc. Also - you don't need to do the dungeon AND London Bridge Experience. Mark has great advice to go to Liverpool for the day, one of the things I always said was that I love York. It's beautiful and it's a destination of it's own. Unless you're doing multiple days in London, stay there and take the train to London.
  • @keeptrying5962
    You never fail to give the best tips/advice. We took a (classic) cab to airport on return to USA. Older cabdriver called me "love" and it delighted me. I can still remember that early morning and that moment (and it's dear to me, as such things can be). We were only there one week (waaay back, year 2000) and stayed at the Ruskin, right across from The British Museum. We hit the historic, much as you well-outlined. GREAT advice you give. THANK YOU.
  • @vermontmike9800
    I second the recommendation to talk with the constables. They were incredibly helpful when I was in London.
  • @tomburke5311
    Nice video! Good choices!!

    Two comments: a) it's not just tourists who arrive at the Tube barrier and then start looking for their card/phone/whatever; sometimes locals do it as well; and b) I'm not sure I would ask for directions from police officers carrying automatic weapons. Yes, we have them these days, at airports and at major government sites, e.g. Parliament. Sadly, they're carrying those weapons for a reason and they need to remain vigilant. While I don't think they'd be actively unpleasant to anyone who asked them a question, they're not the ones to try to have a chat with.
  • @sunspot42
    Just got back from London. Dear God it’s expensive. Even by San Francisco or Manhattan standards. Inflation is on a tear there - still running 8% or so compared to 3% in the US. A lot of restaurants had literally doubled their prices from just a year or two ago. The Tube is also insanely expensive now (and some of the lines are hot as a sauna, the speedy Victoria line in particular - definitely dress in layers). The only thing blunting the sting a bit is the exchange rate with the US dollar, which is the most advantageous I’ve ever enjoyed.

    Take advantage of as much free stuff as you can. The Wallace Collection is a lovely museum in Marylebone that’s big enough to be worth a visit but small enough to not be fatiguing. There’s a center courtyard with a wonderful English tea service that’s unfortunately gotten really expensive the past two years. Might still be worth it.

    There’s also lots of shopping fairly nearby. Try grabbing a to go lunch at the food halls at M&S, John Lewis or - for the luxe version - Selfridges, and having lunch in a nearby park, for example. Or go ultra budget at Tesco or Lidl - I got bottled water at Lidl that was a quarter the price of what most other shops wanted.

    Take the bus when you can - it’s cheaper than the tube and the views from upstairs can be great. It’s fine for short hauls. Try to plan your visit so you aren’t running from one end of London to the other - group destinations of interest and do an area at a time. This will save transport costs and make the most of the hours of the day.
  • @cb91uk5
    Thank you for your positive comments about Black cabs. I am a black cab driver myself. Just a few words of advice here, some hotels will try and put people off using taxis and say we are too expensive and also mention we charge £180 to Heathrow Airport etc, but will try and put you in one of their cars for £120 claiming they're cheaper. A total ride in a black cab to the airport (Heathrow) is £80 (give or take with light or heavy traffic and depending where abouts in London you are staying) slightly cheaper depending what terminal you're going to. Please also have in mind is watch out for the 3 cups one ball scam on Westminster Bridge. These guys will rinse you dry for your money whilst having one of their 'colleagues' playing winning money to attract tourists in thinking they can do the same. When in reality they will always win, and you will always lose. But apart from that it is a great city to visit and plenty of fun stuff to see and do.
  • @jnorth
    If you plan on buying train tickets to somewhere outside of the London boundaries (e.g. York), always buy in advance. A site like Trainline or the operators site (LNER).

    Buying at the ticket office is expensive
  • @adi91216
    Take a train from London to other cities and enjoy the countryside views on the way. You will see the local culture more in other places. Also, do not drive inside London as you will waste money (daily congestion charge) and hours in traffic. Rent a car in one of the outer boroughs like Wembley or Enfield as it is easier to hop onto a motorway and drive off.