England: Your Guide to Acting Like a Local in London

England: Your Guide to Acting Like a Local in London

The beauty of London is that because it’s such a diverse city, it’s quite easy to fit in if you want to. You can sample the fantastic international cuisine and explore the many amazing sites without sticking out like a sore thumb. However, if you’re looking to blend in and act like a local, We have listed a number of things you could do to blend in. The likelihood is a number of these things could, in fact, be useful to you in a number of cities around the world. We hope they help you if you want to act like a local in London, especially if it is your first time in our amazing capital. 

Be Discreet with Your Camera

Camera in Public

London is a photographer’s dream come true, even if you’re a local. London is an incredibly majestic and beautiful city. From Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to the Parliament buildings and Tower Bridge, the city is teeming with architectural wonders. It’s also rich in history. Still, don’t be intrusive with your camera. If you suffer from a case of ‘Wisteria hysteria’ every time you pass a flower-adorned house or cafe or stop to photograph locals at a pub, not only will you look like a tourist — you’ll probably annoy everyone around you. Take your photos, but be discreet.

Walk with Certainty

London Tour

Do you know where you’re going? This is an important travelling question regardless of whether you want to stand out as a tourist or not. If you want to appear as a local in London, you need to look like you know what you’re doing there, as opposed to getting lost and asking for directions. If you do get lost, of course, you should ask for directions, maybe ask in a shop discreetly or use Google Maps on your phone. The thing you don’t want to do is stand in the middle of the street with your map out, trying to figure out where to go. You’ll scream tourist. You’ll also be easy prey for people looking to take advantage of you.

Take the Tube

London Underground

Avoid taking a taxi if you can and do what the locals do. If you want to look like a local in London, why not buy a weekly Travelcard for the Underground for Zones 1 and 2? The weekly Travelcards can start any day of the week and are valid at any time of the day. Zones 1 and 2 cover Central London where you will find the majority of the city’s attractions. If it is your first time in the Big Smoke, this will probably be sufficient. If you are a regular visitor to London, you could invest in an Oyster Card which you can top up directly from your mobile. Or simply use your cash card to tap in and out of the Underground if it is contactless.

Hang Out at the Pubs


The pub is the very centre of social life in London and there are plenty in the city for you to visit. If you are not familiar with British beers, here’s a bit of information that may help you look like a local in London. If you want a cold beer, order a lager. They come in pints or half pints. You can also order a bitter. If you’d like potato chips with that, ask for crisps. There’s no better accompaniment to a nice refreshing ale than a bag of cheese and onion. If you haven’t tried a lager or a bitter, well, now’s your chance. Also, why not ask for a locally brewed beer instead of an imported one.

Watch Football


Catching a live football game is a great way of witnessing first-hand the levels of passion and excitement that 22 men and a ball can create. Us English are fanatics about our favourite sport. Just don’t say “soccer” or you’ll be pegged as an outsider forever. Here in Europe, we say “football,” so adjust your vocabulary accordingly. However, if you can’t get to see a live game, there are plenty of places to see a televised match. If you’re American and have visited a sports bar in the States for an American football game, you’ll experience something similar here.

Learn the Lingo

Learn The Lingo

If you’re not from Britain, you’ll realise pretty quickly that us Brits use different phrases and words. Incorporating some of those words into your dialogue will certainly give the impression you’ve lived here for a while, even if you are speaking English with a different accent. Learning a few of our words will help you sound like a local in London. Say “trainers” instead of “sneakers,” say “lift” instead of “elevator” and pronounce the “h” in “herbal tea.” There are quite a few other words that differentiate the British dialect, so brushing up on some of these may help you blend in better.

There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist, we’re tourists. However, when visiting some cities, it can benefit you if you can fit in. London is a busy city and one that everyone should visit, if they have the opportunity, at least once. If you are worried about visiting, you shouldn’t. It’s a vibrant and diverse city and one that welcomes everyone. However, if you prefer to blend in and appear to be a local in London, we hope our suggestions are helpful.

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