"Real London for Dummies" London Tourist Trap Tip by rocketman70

London Tourist Traps: 437 reviews and 353 photos

Quite simply, London is a magnificent city to visit. But like any place, it has its share of tacky places that are a waste of your precious vacation time and money.

What to avoid in London:

Madame Tussauds Waxworks-One of the most popular attractions in London. It hosts around 2 million guests a year. The queues waiting to get in and the extortionist entrance fee (14.95 pounds/person) are horrifying. Just to look at a bunch of mannequins!

Harrods-The legendary (and snobbish)department store that ranks high on most visitors lists. People usually go just to say they went and of course buy the cheapest thing they can find (which is nearly impossible) just to get a famous green and gold bag. Oh, and they have a ridiculous dress code rule too.

Leicester Square-Ground zero of tacky overpriced tourist London. Nothing but expensive crummy cinemas showing bloated Hollywood garbage, gaudy neon lights, kitschy souvenier stalls, and LOTS of pickpockets! Avoid.

London Dungeon-Teens LOVE this place, all others beware. Even I fell for this one. A series of gory tableaux detailing in lovely graphic detail all manners of torture, pillaging, eye gougings, eviscerations, impalings, murders, ect. Live caged rats and costumed actors add to the atmosphere. Expensive, long queues and too nasty for young children and too juvenile for the over 30 crowd.

The illegal mini cabs-AVOID at all costs. The official Black cabs of London may be expensive but the drivers are legal, have been through "The Knowledge" and are legitimate drivers.

The Changing of the Guard-at Bucky Palace- Boring!

Oh yeah, a tip in re: to eating. Never been, but AVOID AT ALL COSTS the nasty chain Aberdeen/Angus Steak House. They are all over London (if they're still in business that is) and are legendary for the horrid food and service and ghastly decor. No Londoner would ever set foot in one.

Unique Suggestions: Kids love Madame Tussauds and London Dungeon so at least arrive early to avoid the horrible queues so you can get in and just do it.

Skip Harrods and visit Harvey Nichols or Selfridges, two other less famous dept. stores you might like better.

Fun Alternatives: I liked someone elses suggestion that instead of The London Dungeon, take the kids to The Tower of London, which is the real deal and full of history. Yeah its touristy but in a good way. Its fascinating.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 10, 2004
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