As a tourist during short stays in London, you will be exposed to a variety of customs, you will spend a lot of your time exploring and seeing the sights. If your intentions are to stay in the UK capital for a few months after seeing all the sights that London has to offer you may be tempted to explore the rest of Europe, if this is the case you can get tons of cheap flights from London to Europe, I would recommend you look at www.TeletextHolidays.co.uk as a starting point, you could really save a lot of money and have a life-affirming experience across the continent.
London is the perfect first experience for anyone planning to explore the UK and Europe in greater detail, as it integrates a remarkable number of cultures and languages - possibly to a greater degree than any other place on the continent. With English as the first language in London, it's also the best base of operations for people travelling over from Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
As its own little bubble of activity away from more standard and relaxed areas of the UK, it's also the perfect place to get to grips with local customs along with the countless thousands of other people who live, work or visit the UK from abroad. Having said that, the city is one of the most relaxed and non-judgemental places in the world when it comes to catering to other nationalities, religions and traditions, so don't worry about mortally offending anyone with a misplaced gesture or poor choice of words!
In terms of things you may not immediately be used to, transport and travel around the city can often throw people off a little. Just crossing the road may be a dangerous activity at first, given that drivers all use the left side of the road - get used to literally looking in the right direction before stepping out!
You'll likely spend most of your days using the Underground network, though, so familiarise yourself with costs from zone to zone, as well as the deals you can get with temporary or full Oyster cards. Without a little research, this could get very expensive for you indeed. It's probably best to avoid getting taxis altogether - their prices are phenomenally high at times!
Like any other major city, pickpockets and scammers operate in large numbers around tourist hotspots. Don't fall for their traps, and don't make yourself a target. Wallets should remain in an inside pocket, while bags should always be carried and not slung over a shoulder in tube stations or other hives of activity.
Another simple point about living and working in London is that you'll need to come prepared for electrical outlets. Unlike North America or Europe, plugs need to be pushed into three-pin sockets due to the lawful requirement of a separate earth connector. You won't be able to open the rest of the plug without the larger top pin inserted, and a different voltage in the UK could spell disaster for those using cheap converters. Watch out!
Finally, and as a small yet important tip, you need to stand on the right on escalators. It may sound silly and unimportant, but you stand to offend pretty much everyone in London by blocking the left channel. After all, people living in the capital are busy people and need to keep moving, but won't go anywhere if you're blocking their way!
Do your research and chat to people who have visited. And if you plan on visiting the continent too? Good luck and have fun, but be sure to tap into the seemingly endless resource of overseas visitors to London and learn about their countries first-hand before you go!
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