Untypical Brits abroad: how to meet locals and enjoy the culture

All too often Brits abroad stick out like a sore thumb, whether on holiday or as ex-pats. For those who recoil at the idea of being tarnished with the same brush as sun burnt lager-swilling tourists, this article offers advice on how to meet locals and enjoy the local culture.

Learn key phrases

There’s nothing more embarrassing than watching Brits abroad speaking loudly and slowly in their mother tongue, without even attempting to speak the local lingo. Finding out how to say even simple phrases like ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’, ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ goes a long way.

Even if you can’t say much more than that, you’ll normally find your efforts are rewarded. Locals will be more likely to respond well to you if you make an effort to speak their language.

Feast in out-of-the-way eateries and markets

Avoid tourist traps and dine with locals. A good sign of a neighbourhood restaurant is that there’s no English menu. You’ll also get to sample more traditional cuisine and discover hidden culinary gems when you seek out smaller eateries.

You will be quite the novelty, so fellow diners might be so intrigued that they start a conversation with you! By browsing at food markets you’ll also come across locals and it’s a great place to chat.

Find fun at local festivals

Local residents come out to play at festivals, and the relaxed atmosphere makes it easier to strike up a conversation. These events are also a great way to learn about the culture of the community, whether it’s a music festival or a craft show.


This may sound counter-intuitive as we go on holiday to relax, but by giving up just half a day of your trip you could have the best experience of your vacation. Just like at home, there are animal sanctuaries and nature projects that appreciate anyone’s help.

By assisting in feeding donkeys or planting trees, you’ll get to mingle with locals and do a good deed. It’s a win-win situation, and you will have the opportunity to meet people you might otherwise never have come across.


The best way to meet locals is to simply look friendly and smile. If you’re looking for a holiday romance, you’ll find this tip particularly helpful. Singles searching for love always appreciate a grin!

Wherever you are in the world, you could try online dating to meet locals. From the UK to Australia, you can check out the dating scene in London or try out dating Adelaide at eHarmony.

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