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Updated on Oct 25, 2019. Posted on Sep 9, 2017

22 Of The Worst Tourist Faux Pas

Read this before your next vacation. H/T Quora

1. London, UK: Leaving a large tip.

"Tipping in restaurants is generally expected, but much more modest than in the US, as wait staff earn a reasonable wage. In the US, service staff are expected to be polite to customers. In the UK, customers are expected to be polite to service staff."

2. Barcelona, Spain: Referring to Barcelona as "Barca."

Flickr/Jorge Franganillo / Via

"We cringe every time we hear that."

3. Portland, Oregon: Using an umbrella when it's raining outside.

Flickr/Dave Crosby / Via

"You sort of stop caring about the mist, and just wear wool that stays dry."

"Locals just wear a light rain jacket, and are on their way. No local will cancel plans because it's raining outside or wait for the rain to let up."

4. Moscow, Russia: Whistling indoors.


"This casual gesture immediately identifies you as a non-local. This is because the Russians believe that by whistling you're blowing your wealth away."

5. Paris, France: Calling the newer of Paris’s two main airports “Charles de Gaulle."

Flickr/Mathieu Marquer / Via

"When I lived in Paris, nobody called the newer of Paris’ two main airports 'Charles de Gaulle.' What did they call it? Well, just the town CDG has been built on: 'Roissy.'"

6. Chicago, Illinois: Visiting Navy Pier during the summer.

Flickr/Jazz Guy / Via

"The Navy Pier is the most visited place in Chicago every summer. But everyone there is a tourist. If a local wants to go to Navy Pier, they go in the fall."

"It's crowded, overpriced, and there is very little to actually do there; most Chicagoans only go with friends from out of town."

7. Singapore: Sticking or throwing out chewing gum in a public space.

Flickr/Joe Ruiz / Via

"It is illegal for chewing gum to be sold in Singapore and Singaporeans are notoriously afraid of violating the rules."

8. Concord, New Hampshire: Owning an unusually nice car.

Flickr/Paul§ / Via

"We're glad you chose New Hampshire for your second home."

9. Edinburgh, Scotland: Pronouncing the "G" at the end of Edinburgh.

Flickr/barnyz / Via

"The '-burgh' at the end of a place name is pronounced '-burra,' as in 'Edinburra,' not 'Edinberg'."

10. San Francisco, California: Wearing a suit as business attire.


"Wearing a suit as business attire, even to job interviews, communicates that either 1. You are not from here or 2. You are selling something. Most tech employees, including many execs, wear anything ranging from business casual (khakis and a button-down shirt) to sandals and jeans, or even shorts, for day-to-day office activity."

11. London, UK: Ordering a full English breakfast.

Flickr/Kathryn Yengel / Via

"A tourist will order a fry-up for the ~experience~ but everyone else is perfectly happy chugging Crunchy Nut cornflakes straight from the box."

12. New York, New York: Going to Times Square.

Flickr/Todd Lappin / Via

"Locals would not be caught dead hanging out here."

13. Alberta, Canada: Feeding the wildlife.

Flickr/chumlee10 / Via

"Don't feed our wildlife or treat them like they are pets. Respect them, and their space. Personally, I think we should just feed the tourists that do this to the problem bears. Kind of a win-win."

14. Johannesburg, South Africa: Being friendly or talkative with strangers.

Columbia Pictures

"Usually — though not always — the inhabitants of Pretoria aren’t very friendly or chatty. Not only do we not have the patience for it, but we’re also wary of the safety risk of stopping to talk to some random person on the street. Most non-locals, however, will chat on for ages about something they saw in a shop, or just approach you while you’re minding your own business and dive into a conversation about the weather. If it’s not a compliment or about sport, we probably don’t want to hear it."

15. Boston, Massachusetts: Stopping to watch street performers.

Flickr/Jason Kong / Via

"Non-locals stop and watch street performers, especially in the T stations. These people are literally situated for tourists. Everyone else walks by, trying to cram onto the subway, to get to where they want to go."

16. Melbourne, Australia: Calling these "flip-flops."

Flickr/Monik Markus / Via

"Okay foreigners, it's time to get this straight: THESE ARE TWO THONGS! And calm down England, we are not walking around commenting on revealing underwear all the time."

17. Seattle, Washington: Looking tan.

Flickr/Let Ideas Compete / Via

"When someone walks into the coffee shop on the corner with a perfect tan, shorts, a t-shirt, and actually looks like they've seen light before, we all know they aren't from around here."

18. Rome, Italy: Looking extremely white.

Flickr/Gareth Williams / Via

"Italians usually have tanned or dark skin and it’s extremely rare to find someone who is exceptionally white with fair hair. We often understand they’re tourists by their pale glow."

19. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Wearing a helmet while biking.

Flickr/San Francisco Bicycle Coalition / Via

"Locals ride around without a helmet."

20. Cairo, Egypt: Wearing camouflage clothing.

Flickr/Wendy Yu / Via

"I don't know what it is but for some reason, a lot of tourists walk around like they're about to go on some super dangerous, ultra important journey through a jungle. They wear big hiking boots, thermal backpacks, etc. They also wear very camouflagey stuff."

21. Tehran, Iran: Not trying to haggle supermarket prices.

http://Flickr/ / Via

"Bargaining is so extreme in Iran that supermarkets have actually raised their prices by a lot to keep their old profit margins."

22. Madrid, Spain: Eating lunch before 1 p.m.

Flickr/El gran sueño / Via Flickr: elgransueno

"We are well aware that it's our meal times that are unusual, but they are very culturally ingrained and expected to be followed. In big companies where there is an office cafeteria, or in schools, 1pm is a normal time for lunch — it's considered earlyish but more or less in the middle of the work day. Otherwise the normal time is 2pm, or even 3pm on weekends."

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