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You Should Know of the Tourist Faux Pas in These 11 Places

 Every country and even every city has its own traditions and pet peeves, and when you decide to visit a certain place abroad, it’s always a good idea to learn about these things to have an overall positive travel experience. After all, the last thing you want is to be misunderstood or accidentally offend the locals with your behavior. Here are 11 tourist faux pas you should avoid if you end up visiting one of these countries and cities according to locals.

1. London, UK

Tourist Faux Pas London, UK
Leaving a large tip in London is considered a faux pas. "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 is expected to be polite to customers. In the UK, customers are expected to be polite to service staff," according to a local.

2. Barcelona, Spain

Tourist Faux Pas Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a beautiful city that gladly accepts visitors from all corners of the Earth. That said, there is one habit locals simply can't stand, and that's calling the city of Barcelona "Barca". "We cringe every time we hear that," posted one Barcelona local to Quora

3. Moscow, Russia

Tourist Faux Pas Moscow, Russia
Not only in Moscow, but all across Russia, whistling indoors is considered a sign of bad luck. "This is because the Russians believe that by whistling you're blowing your wealth away," said one Russian Quora user. To read about other bizarre superstitions from Russia and other countries, read our previous article titled 16 Bizarre Superstitions From All Corners of the Earth.

4. Singapore

Tourist Faux Pas Singapore
Some seemingly benign habits can be not just frowned upon but illegal in other countries. In Singapore, for example, chewing gum and throwing it out onto the streets is illegal and you will be fined if you are caught violating the rules. As a matter of fact, it's even illegal to sell gum in Singapore.

5. Tehran, Iran

Tourist Faux Pas Tehran, Iran
While haggling is commonplace in markets all across the globe, in most countries, supermarkets have fixed prices. In Tehran, haggling is so extreme and widespread that "supermarkets have actually raised their prices by a lot to keep their old profit margins," so you simply must haggle even there, unless you want to pay double, of course.

6. Melbourne, Australia

Tourist Faux Pas Melbourne, Australia
If you end up hearing people searching for their thongs or asking you to move your thongs while you're on a beach in Melbourne, Australia, no reason to be shocked or appalled. All they're talking about is their beach footwear, and "thongs" is just another Australian English word for flip-flops, not underwear.

7. Hong Kong

Tourist Faux Pas Hong Kong
When visiting Hong Kong, the best language to speak is, well, English. This is because Hong Kong is a bilingual city where the majority of the population speak English and Cantonese. Speaking Mandarin Chinese, the official language of Mainland China is a faux pas in many places. Even if people will understand you, chances are they won't be particularly welcoming according to locals.

8. Madrid, Spain

Tourist Faux Pas Madrid, Spain
Decided to get a quick bite at lunchtime while in Madrid? That might not be so easy, as in Madrid, lunch isn't typically served before 1PM. "We are well aware that it's our mealtimes 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, 1 pm is a normal time for lunch — it's considered earlyish but more or less in the middle of the workday. Otherwise, the normal time is 2 pm or even 3 pm on weekends," stated one local on Quora.

9. Dublin, Ireland

Tourist Faux Pas Dublin, Ireland
This one is not so much a faux pas as it is a dead giveaway that you're a tourist. "Tourists are always surprised when it starts raining and they’re not properly dressed even though they took a look at the forecast in the morning and dressed accordingly. We sometimes get 4 seasons in a day." So, always dress as if it's going to rain when visiting Ireland.

10. Edinburgh, Scotland

Tourist Faux Pas Edinburgh, Scotland
When visiting Scotland's capital city, you simply must learn how to pronounce its name first, as locals hate few things as much as visitors mispronouncing it as 'Edinberg'. The proper way of saying it not pronouncing the "g" at the end of 'Edinburgh' at all. So, the name is pronounced as 'Edinburra' and not 'Edinberg'."

11. Alberta, Canada

Tourist Faux Pas alberta canada
While visiting Alberta, Canada, try to restrain from feeding the wildlife. We wouldn't be able to explain better than this Canadian did, "Don't feed our wildlife or treat them like they are pets. Respect them, and their space."
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