The Olympics officially kick off in London today. Hundreds of thousands of visitors have flocked to London to watch the spectacular event, making the already congested and gridlocked system worse, and while the city of London has done plenty to ensure that things go smoothly, Londoners are dreading the added traffic and congestion.
If you are a visitor to London for these Olympics, here are some etiquette tips to keep you from getting some unfriendly glares during the visit
If you find yourself on a busy street, and feel the need to stroll, please be mindful that the rest of London is not on holiday and still needs to dash to work or home. So try to be considerate and don’t block entire side walks (foot paths) by walking side by side in groups.
At crossings, unlike in the US (except NYC), you can cross the street even when the Walk sign is red. Just make sure there is no oncoming traffic and remember to look right first.
London cab drivers need to know where you are going before you get in. Notice they roll down their windows as you approach. That is so that you tell them where you are going. They have a right to refuse to take you if they so choose and that is perfectly legal.
It is perfectly understandable that as a visitor to London, you are unfamiliar with tube routes. So naturally, the tube map will be your best friend and there will be times when you will have to consult the tube maps at the stations. However, please do be aware that regular commuters are trying to get to their trains, and by crowding outside entrances to tube tunnels, you may cause them to miss their ride. Please be considerate and make room for those in a hurry to pass by.
When entering or leaving tube stations, have your Oyster card or tickets ready to pass through the tills. Fishing for these once you get to the till is a sure way to get annoying sighs from commuters.
If you follow these small tips, it will make your experience in London better, guaranteed.