How to Go to a British Pub: 10 Tips to Make Things Easier

How to Go to a British Pub: 10 Tips to Make Things Easier

If you’ve never been to a British pub, it can take you quite by surprise if you don’t know how things are done, so I’m here to help you with some tips.


You should note that there are mainly three types of pubs:

- The traditional ye olde English pub
- the gastro pub
- the city pub


Here we go:

1. When you go to a British pub, find yourself a table and note the number. If there’s no number, find “a spot” in which to hang out in.

2. Go to the bar and choose your drinks. If it’s a “gastro-pub,” there will be a menu card all along the bar. Choose your drinks. If it’s a “traditional” pub then check the hand-written black board for what’s available. Better yet, ask the barperson.

3. Look out for special offers, happy hour, 2 for the price of 1 details, and student discounts.

4. Order what you want and pay AT THE BAR. There is usually no or very little service so you need to pay sooner rather than later. In short, immediate payment!

5. After payment, take your own drinks to your table or your spot.

6. Make conversation with the locals and don’t worry if English isn’t your first language, alcohol makes everything so much easier.

7. If you’re with a group of friends don’t all go to the bar together, do things the British way and have ONE of your group take your various requests into account, then order and pay at the bar.

8. If you’re hanging out with British locals, “do your round” and the others will do the same. “Doing your round” is when you take the drinks request of your group and pay at the bar. Your friends will then individually take “the next round” and so on, until everybody in your group has gone to the bar and paid for everyone’s drinks!

9. Don’t stay in one pub but do a pub crawl and go to the others next door. It’s going to be a different atmosphere and definitely, a different crowd.

10. Britain has “short opening hours” with a few places opening “late.” If you really want to experience British pub culture then you need to be at a pub at about 18:00 and be ready to leave at about 22:00. Big city pubs like in London, Manchester and Edinburgh tend to close at about 23:00. When you hear the words “last orders,” make for the bar and order your very last drink. Drink up quickly and leave quietly. Don’t make too much of a fuss as you realize that in your own countries, you’re just starting the evening rather than ending it, because if the bouncer doesn’t like what he’s seeing, he or she might throw you out!


Have a great time and don’t forget to dress up. In Britain, going to the pub is the highlight of our day.

Good luck!


Travel tip shared by TheBritishBerliner