London as a local: 10 tips to be a true British


(CNN) – Dating back 2,000 years, and with more than 300 languages, London can be an overwhelming prospect for the tourist. But it is possible to spend time in London without looking and feeling embarrassed and without a place.

You just have to follow our 10 tips for taking London as a local do:

1. How to enjoy culture

Forget the galleries and Twitter instead.

Forget the galleries and Twitter instead.

Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images Europe / Getty Images

London hosts some of the best galleries, theaters and historic sites on the planet. To be a true Londoner, you have to ignore it altogether. The route around Tate Modern or the Natural History Museum is strict for tourists. The locals know that these places exist, they intend to visit them one day, but somehow they will never understand them.

Instead, the true Londoners find the best way to experience the rich culture that their city has to offer is to make the pages of a magazine list – or Twitter – undefined by noting facts that they know, deep down, tickets for.

2. How to eat a balanced diet

Drink instead of eating - a great British hobby.

Drink instead of eating – a great British hobby.

LEON NEAL / AFP / AFP / Getty Images

A common misconception among newcomers is that one night in London will include a meal. Failure to prepare for this can lead to dizziness, nausea, and kebab.

If someone suggests having a drink after work, that means drinking and nothing else. Booze will be purchased in quantity and in no case will the dinner issue raise his ugly head. To avoid a hot home scaring through a terrible outlet for fast food, reasonable social care takes dietary precautions.

It is acceptable to order pre-packed snack bars, such as potato chips or pistachios, to enjoy some of the alcoholic beverages. Alternatively, try to order drinks that offer a nutritional strap, such as a pint of Pride London beer or a cocktail with an olive tree.

In some bars you can see something called "Pig garbage" for sale. This is not for you.

3. How to talk

It's Queen's English, in.

It's Queen's English, in.

Pool / Getty Images Europe / Getty Images

Forget song shrimp cockery. Few people outside Disney movies talk about climbing on apples and pears or talking about "dog and bones". Try this and laugh at "rub-a-dub" – or as the Londoners say, the pub.

The secret of mixing with the locals lies solely in the use of a word: "innit" – a conscious abbreviation of "is not it?"

With confusion, although "innit" suggests a question, this unique method of London that suggests line phrases is a purely rhetorical device.

So, "time to drink, innit?" it's wrong, but "I had four pint and no dinner, innit" is grammatically perfect.

4. How to shop

Paris's sophisticated shops are just a train ride away.

Paris's sophisticated shops are just a train ride away.

Cate Gillon / Getty Images Europe / Getty Images

Sure, you can follow the crowds under Oxford Street in search of designer labels at Selfridges department store or low-cost fashion at Topshop. You can even pull the eastern hipster areas for some cool cool.

But when they do not buy online, most Londoners know that there really is only one place to do their shopping: Paris.

5. How to cross the river

North - South London. Where are your submisses?

North – South London. Where are your submisses?

Oli Scarff / Getty Images Europe / Getty Images

Easy – just use one of the many bridges that cover the Thames, right? Wrong!

A true Londoner does not cross the river unless forced by violence, employment or the lure of alcohol. Only bad things are on the other side.

South (pronounced "Sarf") The Londoners remain south, north London remain northern. The river that separates them can be a deep and yawning bay like the Great Gorge. A long distance relationship linking lovers to Stuttgart and Seoul is more likely to last than one between a couple separated from the powerful Thames.

6. How to avoid chuggers

Beware of a chugger with a smile.

Beware of a chugger with a smile.

Courtesy Garry Knight / Creative Commons / Flickr

It is a common fact that you are never more than one meter away from a rat in London. The same can be said for "chuggers" or for charity fans.

The Chuggers lurk in most of the city's corners. Here they try to get unsuspecting citizens to sign off their cash by crushing them with relentless excitement and bonhomie. Everything is perfectly legal and most of your money will go for a good cause, but if you bend to any chugger you will be impossible until you reach the pub.

Most Londoners have developed tax evasion techniques to avoid falling into trapped traps. It is best to pretend that we are not Londoners. If you do not have a British bank account, you are proof.

7. How to get acquainted with strangers

Rule 1: Do not touch the eyes.

Rule 1: Do not touch the eyes.

Oli Scarff / Getty Images Europe / Getty Images

When you're not crushed, London can be a lonely city. Locals tend to hang around in impenetrable cliques, making it hard to get used to.

Anyone who feels hungry by human contact should be headed to the guts of the Tube – the London Underground rail system – at peak time. This is when the moving stack on a train car as a human version of Tetris. Every possible space is full. Bodies push the bodies. The ends overlap with the edges.

Despite the intimacy of these meetings (some marriages never reach the levels of physical contact found at Underground), it is an important rule of Tube's etiquette not to recognize them.

So even when a stranger who has been inadvertently heard in the cracks of your body who never knew existed, you should never look into the eyes.

8. How to survive the night bus

The London Night Bus is not as bright as the photo implies.

The London Night Bus is not as bright as the photo implies.

Courtesy of Sion Touhig / Getty Images

The Night Tube can now be something – but the bus remains an unlikely London icon.

For all crowds, grunge and frequent signage failures in dark stations such as High Barnet or Cockfosters, compared to the night bus, the London Underground represents the height of luxury trips.

Night buses are the latest solution. the lively life rafts that bear surviving disasters across the suspect ocean that is suburban London in the short hours. Travels that last 20 minutes by subway can take up to 48 hours on the night bus. During this time, the sun will not grow and many on board will either be lost or going down and walking.

To survive this test it is vital to remain awake at all costs. Listen to the powerful i-Pod music, engage in conversations with other passengers or play avoiding the empty vodka bottle as it climbs towards you.

If you suffer from sleeping, you expect to wake up as your driver carries out at the end of the line – usually a dark lane deep in the countryside.

You are too far from London now, innit.

9. You will go out for a pint

Enjoy every last fall - it costs you a lot.

Enjoy every last fall – it costs you a lot.

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images Europe / Getty Images

Ah London – The city where you buy a small apartment costs you more than buying a mansion elsewhere in Britain. Everything is quite expensive – but as soon as you move here, you will be scared of how quickly you will become familiar with how much money you will fly for a humble pint.

10. How to survive the summer

Any sign of sunshine and this will be a common sight.

Any sign of sunshine and this will be a common sight.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images Europe / Getty Images

Weather is never a guarantee in ever rainy England – so the first signs of sunshine and the Londoners will sink into the capital's parks, reach the top and show sunburns.

The trick in placement is to follow his example.

Sunny Day of Spring? Unexpectedly hit the lid (despite the time he just hit the 70's) and arrange a barbecue or a picnic as soon as possible. Show off your sunburns the next day and look forward to the next period of hot weather – in about a year.

Barry Neild is an editor on CNN Travel

Editor's note: This article was published in the past in 2012. Reformed, updated and republished in 2017.