London is a great city to explore whether you’re a traveller, a tourist, or a local. However there is a lot of shit that people still continue to do or see in my lovely home city. If you’re coming to London I implore you to avoid the following, they are some of the worst things to do in London.
The Shit Guide to London
A busy street full of high street shops is one of the most visited “tourist attractions” in London. Why??? If you really want to shop for major brands that can be found pretty much anywhere in the world go to a more spacious and clean place i.e. Westfield. They have one in west London and east London, so there’s no excuse. Plus you won’t be tempted by the hundreds of tacky souvenir shops selling all sorts of crap with the Union Jack or Wills and Kate plastered all over it.
It’s just a bunch of advertising signage that lights up. That is all.
Steakhouses and “Italian pasta” chains
I remember these from the 1990s and am shocked that they are still around given the amazing food that is all over London. Popular with tourists who can’t resist a blackboard displaying a 3 course deal, the real secret is that it isn’t going to be tasty or value for money. “Secret” number 2, use sites like Yelp and Zomato.
Why??? Why do people want to have their pictures taken with oversized dolls? They aren’t the real celebrities, just wax, plastic and other man-made stuff designed to suck money out of you.
Those statuesque street “performers”
I’m not sure if performer is the right word, after all these street entertainers just dress up and stand still. I’m all for good street performances, like a bit of music, magic or football juggling skills, but standing still isn’t really a skill, nor is wearing a costume. And I know half of you aren’t floating in the air, I’d like to see you do it without holding that suspicious umbrella that has a seat attached to it. My god, at least the other performers are standing up all day, you are sitting!
This place is for passing through only, whilst it has totally cleaned up compared to 15 years ago when the park was filled with litter and needles, there is still nothing of value in Leicester Square. You can guarantee that you won’t be returning to any of the restaurants, nor will you have the greatest night of your life in one of the smelly bars. Perhaps most of all, there is completely no need for M&M World. I understand that it’s a central location with convenient transport links, but just walk through on your way to Soho, Chinatown, Seven Dials etc.
Feeding Pigeons in Squares and Parks
You don’t feed rats do you? So why would anyone feed these sky-rats? Trafalgar Square is so much nicer now that it has significantly fewer pigeons, and there is less damage to the area caused by droppings. Thank goodness it was made illegal to feed pigeons in Trafalgar Square.
Hop on Hop Off Buses
See those thousands of red buses driving around London? Use those instead. They are cheaper, take you to more places, and come more often. Be honest you aren’t really listening to the monotonous commentary given on the hop-on-hop-off buses. Just look at a bus map and sit on top of a proper London double decker like a normal human being.
A museum about a fictional detective
Now if there are ever signs that something might be a tourist trap… a museum about a fictional character… nothing much to do with the actual creator… £15 for 30 minutes of “entertainment”… the “museum” has the address 221B Baker Street but it is actually located between 237 and 241. Hmmm…
Football Stadium Tours
I can certainly understand the desire to visit one of the many great football stadiums in and around London, but why not try to get tickets for a game instead and experience the most important thing about football: the atmosphere. Yes you’ll probably get to see the changing rooms and the trophy room, but the chances of bumping into your favourite player are slim to none. I was lucky enough to play at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium, but some people who forked out for a stadium tour were unlucky enough to experience the thrills of watching our very low standard of football.
I’m a great fan of London, despite spending so much time here it is still one of my favourite cities in the world. Although there are a high number of shit things to do in London, it is full of amazing things to see and do, so don’t waste your time on these bad over-hyped London tourist attractions. To address the balance look out for our feature coming soon: our local’s guide to London.