Avoid This Common Mistake On London's Tube Or Locals Will Likely Judge You

Grabbing the Tube — aka, the London Underground or subway system — is probably one of the easiest and most affordable ways to help you get around London. While the city's black cabs are considered to be some of the most expensive in Europe, the Tube offers daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly travel passes that allow you to save big bucks on all of your transportation needs. Plus, it's especially convenient if you're visiting London on a tight budget and want to make your quid go a little longer.

However, in spite of its affordability, navigating the London Underground can be a less-than-pleasant experience for visitors and locals alike — especially during rush hour. From delayed trains to the overwhelming noise and having a complete stranger pressed against your back, rush hour in the Tube feels like fighting a losing battle to retain your personal space. And it's especially during these times that frequent riders get even more annoyed with the common mistakes that unknowing tourists make. So, what's number one on the list of pet peeves? According to Londoners, it's all to do with travelers who choose keep their backpacks on — even when the car is already packed to the brim.

It's common courtesy to take your backpack off on the Tube

According to a TikTok video posted by @loveandlondon, there are several dead giveaways that let others know you're a tourist trying to navigate the Tube. Specifically, the locally-run account highlighted the fact that keeping your backpack on while the train car is packed is a clear sign that you're not from London. Plus, it'll make other riders instantly resent (and judge) you for your lack of consideration.

Alternatively, if you're looking to blend in a little more, they suggest taking your backpack off and tucking it safely between your feet so it doesn't get in anyone's way. That way, you're not just making more room for other people to stand comfortably, but you're also avoiding inadvertently hitting someone else with your things. Having your bag at your feet instead of behind your back will also help you avoid getting pickpocketed.


Tourists vs. Locals 🇬🇧 Mel will show you the biggest faux pas to avoid on your trip to London, so you can feel more like a local yourself ❤️ First time in London? Make sure to grab our free London Trip Checklist. It's your go-to guide for everything you need to sort out ahead of your trip and when to do it by. Link in bio to get it for ✨freeee✨ #londontravel #londontrip #london #londontourist

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The issue used to be such a problem that, in 2017, Transport for London (TfL) even launched an official campaign that encouraged people to be more considerate of other travelers and follow what they consider basic etiquette. Posted throughout stations and trains, the campaign included a message that read: "Please take off your backpack to make room for others."

Other pet peeves, according to Tube users

Known as one of the best destinations to start your journey through Europe, London is typically brimming with travelers who are eager to travelerblog. Nonetheless, welcoming so many tourists — 30 million a year, to be exact (per Condor Ferries) — also comes with its own set of challenges, especially for locals who are just trying to go about their daily lives. That said, there are various things that visitors can do that won't annoy Londoners, especially while riding the Tube. For starters, there's the issue of where to stand (or not stand) while riding the escalator. Per basic London Underground etiquette, Tube users should always aim to stand to the right on an escalator, while the left side should be cleared for people who wish to walk up or down. If you're caught standing on the left, expect a nudge or a quip from whomever's way you're blocking.

In addition to this, another best practice is to always have your ticket ready at the barrier. That way, you'll be able to move in and out (yes, you need a ticket to get out) of the station easily — and you won't cause a commuter-jam with people trying to push and shove their way around you. Lastly, make sure you always let people off the train car first before trying to make your way inside. Not only does this ensure a smoother flow of traffic, but it also prevents bottlenecks at the doors.