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Top 10 Taboo Things to Do in London

Top 10 Taboo Things to Do in London

London, a city steeped in history and culture, is known for its countless attractions and experiences. However, there are certain actions and behaviours that locals and seasoned visitors consider taboo. Here’s a list of the top 10 taboo things to avoid or to do in London.

1. Jumping the Queue

Queuing is a national pastime in the UK, and Londoners take it seriously. Cutting in line is considered the height of rudeness. Whether you’re waiting for a bus, ordering a coffee, or visiting a museum, be patient and wait your turn.

2. Avoid Rush Hour PDA

Public displays of affection (PDA) are generally frowned upon during London’s rush hour. The crowded Tube (subway) and buses are not the places for excessive hugging, kissing, or other intimate gestures. Keep it private and save the cuddles for your destination.

3. Hiring Companionship

Hiring escorts for companionship or other services is a controversial practice in London. While there are nuances in the legal aspects of escort services, public solicitation and engagement in such activities is generally regarded as taboo and illegal. It’s important to be aware of the local laws and cultural norms regarding this issue and to act in accordance with them.

4. Littering in the Parks

London’s parks, like Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, are lush green havens in the midst of a bustling city. It’s taboo to leave litter behind. Dispose of your trash responsibly, or better yet, have a picnic and take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

5. Not Tipping Properly

Tipping is customary in London, especially at restaurants and for services like taxis and haircuts. While there’s no set rule, a standard tip is around 10-15% of the bill. Failing to tip or leaving a meagre tip can be considered impolite.

6. Spitting in Public

Spitting in public is not only unsightly but also considered disrespectful. It’s against the law in some parts of London and is generally met with disapproval. If you need to clear your throat or dispose of gum, find a suitable place like a bin or a restroom.

7. Ignoring the “Stand on the Right” Rule

On escalators in the Tube, a long-standing custom is to stand on the right and allow those in a hurry to walk on the left. Ignoring this can lead to irritated commuters. Follow the flow of foot traffic, and you’ll avoid causing any inconvenience.

8. Loud Cell Phone Conversations in Public

Speaking loudly on your mobile phone in public spaces, especially in close quarters like the Tube, is considered impolite. Keep your conversations at a reasonable volume and respect the personal space of those around you.

9. Jaywalking

In London, you’re expected to use designated pedestrian crossings and obey traffic signals. Jaywalking, or crossing the road in an undesignated area, is both dangerous and considered inappropriate. Take the extra time to use crosswalks and pedestrian lights.

10. Disrespecting Quiet Zones

Many London public transport systems, particularly on trains and buses, have designated quiet zones. In these areas, silence is golden. Conversations should be hushed, and mobile phone use should be minimal. Disrupting the peace in these zones is not appreciated.

As with any cultural norms, understanding and respecting the local customs and etiquette will help you connect with the city and its people on a deeper level. Londoners take pride in their manners and expect the same from visitors, so be courteous and embrace the local way of life.

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