WHEN you jet off on a foreign holiday, it’s common to head straight for the popular landmarks.

However, those spots are known for attracting tourists and you might end up getting caught out by some simple traps.


We’ve rounded up the nine huge mistakes tourists fall for at some top European holiday destinationsCredit: Getty

Locals who live in some of Europe’s top holiday destinations have revealed some of the mistakes tourists fall for – so how many are you guilty of?


The Royal Guard standing outside Buckingham Palace are iconic London figures and tourists are always keen to get a picture of them.

However, a lot of visitors don’t realise that the Royal Guard are former military, and although they’re not supposed to move, they won’t take kindly to being bothered.

Reddit user u/Leah said: “People think the Royal Guard in London are just men in silly hats that are not allowed to move.

“They’re military men who will knock you out if you mess with them.”

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Eating out when you’re abroad is always a treat, as it’s great to try new foods in a new setting.

But don’t be fooled by some restaurants giving you seemingly free snacks and then charging you for them afterwards.

In Portugal, it’s not uncommon for waiters to bring some bread or olives to the table when you sit down, but it’s worth checking if they’re free.

Reddit user u/BaiRuoBing said: “I always see tourists get mad when they are charged for eating these seemingly ‘free’ snacks, but that’s just how things work here. If you eat it, expect to pay for it.”


Most tourists visiting Spain expect to be able to get paella at pretty much any restaurant.

But tourists are warned it might not be great quality and they shouldn’t expect to find good versions of the dish everywhere.

Alba Delgado told Not Just a Tourist: “If you are visiting Spain but you are not going to Valencia, don’t expect to find a ‘real paella’.

“The international version of paella is made of sea food. However, the original paella from Valencia is made of rabbit and chicken and sometimes even snails.”

Alba went on to warn tourists that they also shouldn’t expect to each lunch at noon, like some people do in the UK.

People in Spain don’t eat lunch until after 2pm, and often restaurants won’t open until that time.

Alba said: “Spaniards have lunch at around 2pm to 3pm, and that is why most of our local restaurants open at this hour.”


Sticking in Spain, Las Ramblas is the main street running through the centre of Barcelona and it’s crammed full of restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops.

According to one local, it’s also a tourist trap and you should avoid it at all costs if you don’t want to fork out for overpriced food and drink.

Hannah Loewentheil told Buzzfeed: “There isn’t much to be found on busy Las Ramblas in terms of decent food. In fact, most places are huge tourist traps that will lure you in and then charge you a premium for a very bad meal.”

She advised Brits to walk a few minutes away from the busy street to find a more authentic – and cheaper – dinner.


In the same vein, avoid eating at restaurants near tourist hotspots in Paris, as you won’t be getting traditional French food.

Travel writer Charli advised Brits to avoid being around popular landmarks when you’re hungry and to head away from them to grab a meal.

She told Am I French Yet?: “The restaurants and cafés right around Champs-Élysées, Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower and other tourist sights will be overpriced and the food not that great.

“Plan your visit so you aren’t stuck around the tourist sights while starving – you don’t have to travel far to find good food.”


Over in Greece, once local warned visitors not to trust taxi drivers, as they’re likely to spot that you’re a tourist and hike their prices.

If you do need to get a cab, you’re advised to ask locals how much you should be expecting to pay.

Reddit user u/I_hate_traveling wrote on the community sharing site: “Never trust [a taxi driver] if you’re in Greece – you’re just asking to be overcharged.

“Stick to renting a car or, at the very least, ask some locals for typical prices beforehand.”


Italy is known for having coffee shops on every corner, but there’s one way tourists will stick out like a sore thumb when they head inside and order.

Italians never order takeaway coffee, so if you’re seen with one you’ll be instantly recognised as a tourist.

Sierra Meisser told Death Wish Coffee: “Instead of grabbing a cup and running, Italians relish in the interruption that getting a coffee offers.

“Coffee is seen as a chance to take a breath (and a sip) and enjoy a peaceful moment outside of an otherwise long day.”


Switzerland is renowned for its luxury watches so it seems fitting that you would go there to buy one.

Wrong – you shouldn’t buy a Swiss watch in Switzerland as it’s likely to be grossly overpriced as companies know tourists are arriving in droves.

Instead, buy the exact same watch from somewhere else and save yourself some cash.

Davide Mirabella from Switzerland said: “In every place that is frequented by lots of tourists you’ll come across one or more shops that sell high-end watches.

“I often wonder why tourists would come to Switzerland to buy these watches when you can buy them just as well in Hong Kong, Tokyo or Sao Paulo.

“They’re such a widely available luxury good that you don’t have to travel to the place of its origin to be able to actually buy them.”

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If you do any of these nine things on holiday, you’re an embarrassing Brit abroad.

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Las Ramblas, Barcelona, is a tourist trap and Brits are warned to avoid it at all costs if you don't want to fork out for overpriced food and drink


Las Ramblas, Barcelona, is a tourist trap and Brits are warned to avoid it at all costs if you don’t want to fork out for overpriced food and drinkCredit: Alamy


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