Typical tourist mistakes around the world

Locals share the most typical mistakes made by travelers around the world.

It’s simple to make a travel faux pas when you’re a tourist in a new country. However, with a little preparation and knowledge of local habits, you may avoid making these beginner tourist mistakes. Here are some common tourist mistakes at renowned tourist destinations across the world.

They ask: ‘I’m going to Oslo, what’s your best suggestion for seeing the northern lights?’ Oslo is too far south to be a reliable destination to see the Northern Lights.”

northern lights

“Underestimating Australia’s size. No, a day travel from Brisbane to Cairns is not possible. That’s the equivalent of a two-day drive. Even travelling from Brisbane to Sydney would take 12 hours.”

bowman scenic drive

“On Las Ramblas in Barcelona, you can eat pretty much everywhere. Apart from La Boqueria, the city’s most famous covered market, there isn’t much great cuisine to be found on the crowded Las Ramblas.”

In truth, the majority of establishments are massive tourist traps that will entice you in and then charge you a high price for a poor meal. Instead, take a short stroll to the Gothic Quarter or El Born for fantastic dining.

las ramblas

“In Greece, cab drivers are trusted… Never trust them when you’re in Greece. You’re practically begging to get overcharged. Preferably, rent a car or, at the absolute least, ask about normal cab prices before getting in the car.”

taxi greece

“The cost of living in Norway is often underestimated. When tourists learn the price of the two beers they ordered, their jaws drop.”

norway city

“People come to the United States with the expectation of seeing too much in one trip.”

You won’t be able to see the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, the Alamo, Hollywood, and Yosemite Park all in one week unless you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars on well scheduled flights. Because it’s such a large country, pick a few states and stick to them.

statue of liberty

“Visiting only the touristy areas of Paris and not the rest of this massive city.”

Sure, the Eiffel Tower is iconic, and Notre Dame is stunning, but make time to visit areas of the city where local Parisians congregate and visitors rarely visit. These are absolute jewels.


“The majority of visitors to Taiwan only visit Taipei, the capital, or the west coast.”

Locals, however, will warn you that you are making a mistake because the magic is in the east. Yilan is a fantastic county with all of Taipei’s attractions as well as gorgeous waterfalls and mountains at a fraction of the price. Hualien is the greatest site to see the magnificent Taroko Gorge if you prefer hiking. Best of all, Taiwan’s public transportation system makes visiting these distinct sites outside of Taipei a breeze.


“The waiter will normally bring you bread, olives, or other snacks when you settle down to eat in a restaurant in Portugal.”

Tourists are always surprised when they are charged for supposedly “free” refreshments, but that is how things work in this country. Expect to pay for it if you consume it. Your waiter will take it away and pretend [they] never existed if you don’t touch it.

olives portugal

“Tourists in London believe the Royal Guard is just a bunch of dudes in funny hats who aren’t permitted to move. They’re actually military soldiers who will knock you out if you mess with them.”

royal guard london

“Most visitors to Marrakesh reserve a hotel room, however instead of staying in a hotel or hostel, you should stay in a riad (a traditional Moroccan residence constructed around a garden).”

Riads play an important role in the Marrakech experience. It’s one-of-a-kind, and the hospitality is fantastic. Staff or owners may usually walk you around the busy and crowded medina, which is quite useful.


“This happens all the time at beaches around Australia, but especially at Bondi Beach: people swim out of the flags and end up stranded in rip tides or in water surrounded by surfers.”

bondi beach

“Spending time in Times Square when visiting New York City.”

Tourists avoid this area like the plague unless they have a pressing need to see a Broadway musical or anything like. I understand the desire to view Times Square for a few minutes, but keep your visit to a minimum. And don’t even think about eating there. The same chain restaurants can be found all over America, but the same meal will cost you at least three times as much.

times square

“Tourists in Los Angeles frequently underestimate the time required to travel from point A to point B. Traffic is horrible, and you should plan on adding 30 minutes to an hour to any trip.”

traffic in la

“In public places in Japan, travelers talk loudly to others or talk on the phone.”

However, this makes you stand out in Japan, where people are generally polite and strive not to bother others with loud chatting, music, or phone games. If you must speak, use your inner voice.

public places japan

“Foreigners frequently underestimate America’s size. One of my father’s friends was planning a vacation here and was telling me about his plans. He intended to drive from New York to Florida and then to California. He intended to complete it in five days.”

drive in america

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