I have always been enamoured with London. For me, the city represents a melting pot of culture where no two days are the same. However, not everyone shares this view and the city is no stranger to a bit of bad press. But are London’s negative stereotypes fair? Here I bust the most common myths about the city and urge you to ignore what you have heard and take a look for yourself.
1. Everyone is rude
In my opinion, it is unfair to describe Londoners as rude, though there is no doubt that people seem to be extremely busy. England is a small country and it is important to remember that the majority of the country’s wealth resides in London. The people who jostle past you in the street may be working stressful jobs with enormous responsibility. This could explain why some of them appear aloof and unapproachable. Despite people being a little frosty on the surface, I have always found that if you ask for help, someone will be willing to give it.
2. It is expensive
Sadly, this one is largely true. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to gazing longingly at tourist attractions from afar though. There are plenty of ways to do London on a budget. When arranging accommodation or visiting attractions always make sure to search online for promotional codes prior to booking. Usually, it is cheaper to buy tickets in advance. Avoid flashy restaurants and instead visit local pubs where you can get some great meals for under £10. London also has a massive variety of pop up food stalls. These are reasonable in price and you can buy everything from Vietnamese street food to steak and ale pie.
3. High pollution levels
Having earned the nickname ‘Big Smoke’ during the Industrial Revolution, it is no wonder that London has a bad reputation for its pollution levels. Massive amounts of progress have been made to clean up the air but admittedly the pollution in London is still too high. Despite this, air impurity is an ordinary side effect of any busy city. To anyone who is concerned about the smog in London, I urge you to spend some time in Beijing, you may just change your mind!
4. The tube is horrendous
It is fair to say that London could improve its underground service. Despite falling far below the likes of Singapore’s MRT when it comes to efficiency, it is still the best way to get around the city. Keep up to date with replacement lines and ongoing maintenance to make your journey smoother. Another tip is to always have your Oyster Card ready before getting to the barriers- nothing infuriates a Londoner like getting stuck behind a clueless tourist!
5. It is dangerous
Naturally, there is crime in London and sometimes bad things can happen there. Isn’t this the case with anywhere though? Reports actually claim that crime in the capital is falling, as is reflective of the UK as a whole. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of crime in London is the same as it is anywhere else: be sensible and vigilant.
What are your opinions on London?
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