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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C

How to spot a tourist in London

We still can’t figure out that bloody Tube.

WE THINK WE’VE got it bad with tourists in Ireland, but spare a thought for the Londoners. London attracts around 30 million tourists per year, so it’s safe to say their heads are probably wrecked with it.

Here’s a handy guide on how to spot a tourist in London. (Not that the Londoners will need it!)

Can’t use the tube properly

See that group of people, peering at a map in a busy station? Tourists.

Image: via Transport for London

Every visitor to London has felt that sinking feeling when they realise they’re got on the right train – but in the wrong direction. Sigh.

Laughing at train stop names


Image: via Glenwood

The people on the train giggling aren’t Londoners – they’re definitely tourists.

Don’t know where to stand on escalators

We’ve all learnt this the hard way. A London businessman (the kind who would have worn a bowler hat in Mary Poppins) yelps at you to “stand on the right!”

Image: via CollegeHumor

Lesson learnt.

Walking slowly in busy areas

Nothing is sure to drive a true blue Londoner crazy more than slow-moving tourists. Hey! We’re just trying to take it all in. See also – tourists blocking busy paths taking pictures.

Image: via Flickr/ewendonabel

It’s definitely not a good idea to stop at the top of the Tube stop steps on Oxford Circus… BUT you really need that perfect snap for the folks back at home.

You’ll take a Cockney voice giving out. It’s worth it!

Wearing a fanny pack

American tourists mark themselves out like a beacon with their stylish money belts.

Image: via Flickr/Instant Vantage

The glamour.

Cramming Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Madame Tussauds and the Science Museum into one day

London has an almost unlimited amount of exciting things to do.

Image: via Flickr/internetsdairy

Most tourists will try to do them all in one day.

Irish tourists

There are special ways to pick out the Irish tourists.


Image: via MemeMachine

Most will be fervently avoiding the Union Jack memorabilia, popping into shops we don’t have at home, seeking out the nearest Irish pub, or bumping into recently-emigrated pals on the steps of Brixton station. Ah sure, they’ve only hopped across the water after all.

Want to get to London cheaply and easily? Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, are celebrating one year of their London Southend route. They’ve flown over 55,000 passengers to Southend in the past 12 months and that figure looks set to grow.

Flights depart Dublin at 7.15am and return at 19.30pm on the same day – ideal if you want to be a tourist for the day. Or even pop over to spot them…

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