British tourists – the worst in the world?


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I read an article in Wanderlust Magazine today, about how British people have voted THEMSELVES to be the worst tourists in the world (by voting themselves, it seems as if they’re proud of this fact!)

So I started to wonder – ARE we?  Well, as you know I am an expat who resides in a foreign country, so I wouldn’t really call myself a ‘tourist.’ The categories of being voted the worst included:

Lack of trying out the local language
A desire to only eat their own food in a foreign country
Disgraceful drunken behaviour

I can DEFINITELY say that No 3 is correct.  As I currently live in Greece I have had the misfortune of trying to have a quiet holiday on an island and there I am, on a beach minding my own business, reading a good book when a group of ALREADY DRUNK at 10am English guys (AND girls) roll along the beach like a tsunami, destroying everything in their wake. 
Living abroad, there have been many occasions when I groan out loud about the fact I’m British – I mentioned it in a previous post about the contemptuous attitude the Brits can sometimes express.  Well, the drunken behaviour is another one of my bug bearers.  The amount of times I get asked by local Greeks:

“WHY do your people feel the need to have fun by drinking themselves into a coma?”
and I have to reply “I’m so sorry – but I honestly don’t know!”
In fact, the owner of some rooms to rent in Crete told me once that he charges higher rates to British tourists because of the repairs to the rooms he has to make once a British tourist has stayed in it – the amount of damage they make warrents him charging almost double per night for the room.

Has anyone ever stopped to wonder that?  Have you ever stopped to look at your behaviour and wonder why you have to get ‘off your face’ in order to have a good time? 
One of the BEST things about being in Greece is that ALL age groups mix well together…you can be out in a bar until 5am with your friends, not a drunk person in sight…happily sipping wine and then moving onto coffee or, as I saw last week, a GORGEOUS Greek boy in his 20’s, dressed in a pink shirt (that really suited him) sipping a hot chocolate (with his girlfriend ) at 2am.
And next to this small group, an ‘elderly’ couple (in their mid to late 50’s?) also in the same bar, happily with a group of friends of a similar age, out until 2am.

Me?  I had one Bailey’s, a hot chocolate and then stuck to water for the rest of the night…danced away on the dance floor and rolled into bed at 9am – not an ounce of disgraceful behaviour.



  1. So true!!! I was saying just this last summer while I was in Mykonos… the way, the Italians can also put the Brits to shame!..that not only do the Greeks(got to give them that) don’t make a fool of themselves with drinking but they also behave themselves in other countries!! They are good tourists!! You would never see Greeks in other countries drinking to the point where they end up in the E.R.! excessive drinking!

  2. I read MARY LOU`S comment and had to smile to myself,fair enough some british tourists,usually the younger elements do go over the top when drinking,but then thats young people isn`t it? has mary lou forgotten spring break?Seriously though I find its the american women and their loud mouthed insecurity that I find embarassing,needing to let the people 2 miles down a beach know that they are spending their almighty dollars in some hick country.I have witnessed this many times and am amazed they do not realise how foolish they make themselves look,they donot even have the pathetic excuse of being drunk

  3. We’ve been in Prague for 3 months – and have to say the Brits are the worst tourists here. But maybe that’s because of the cheap flights from the UK and the cheap beer…
    Overall though, I think its generally not a nationality thing but more of a class system thing – I’ve often cringed at the tourists from Quebec that you see in Cuba or the Dominican Republic. Same thing there; low fares from Montreal and cheap beer. Common denominator that brings in the hobos and give each nationality a bad name.
    Frank (bbqboy)