The Like A Local Guide and Tallinn Traveller Tours teams have heard tourists say some pretty silly stuff over the years. We indulged in an afternoon of reminiscing and curated a tongue-in-cheek list of our favourites. Drum roll, please.
Stupid shit tourists say to tour guides
How much does the free tour cost?
Will we see ghosts on the Ghosts and Legends tour?
What time does the 12 o’clock tour start?
Which tram goes to Lahemaa? (Lahemaa is a national park 70 kilometres east of Tallinn)
I’m only booking the day trip if you can guarantee that we will see a bear, a moose, and a fox.
Stupid shit tourists say to locals
Tourist: Where are you from?
Tourist: Wooo, Thailand! Full Moon Par-tay!
Estonian: (Emphatically) Tallinn.
Tourist: Ah, Turin! Ciao bella!
Tourist: Wow, you speak Indian?
One of our local ambassadors: Um, I speak Hindi, yes.
Tourist: Hindu, cool! Teach me some words!
Tourist: The food here is dis-gus-ting.
Local: That’s one way to put it…
Photo credit: minato
Tourist: You’re so lucky to live in Scandinavia! I heard you get FREE healthcare and FREE education and paid vacation and oh my gawd I’m SO jelly.
Scandinavians: Ever heard of taxes? Like, big ones?
Tourist: So, where are you from?
Local who doesn’t fit the national stereotype: Here!
Tourist: But where are you REALLY from?
You can’t be Swedish, you’re not blonde!
Stupid shit tourists say to me
Tourist: Where are you from?
Me: Australia. C’mon, be creative, name-drop Nick Cave and make my heart melt.
Tourist: Gidday mate! That’s not a knife! Steve Irwin! Are you from Sydney?
Me: (Sigh) Four hours west of Sydney.
Tourist: My cousin lives in Perth, maybe you know him! (Whips out smartphone and shows me the cousin’s Facebook profile picture)
You’re a beautiful aborigine! (true story)
Miscellaneous stupid shit tourists say
Tourist: Everything is SO cheap here!
Most of the world’s population: Ha ha hmm. For you… Can you not rub it in?
Tourist: I’ve done Europe. Actually, I did it just last summer. Epic place.
European: Yeah? You squeezed trips to Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK into a single summer? Assuming you’re referring to the EU member states and not the continent…
Tourist: I did the big ones, you know, Italy, Paris, Oktoberfest, London. Gonna do Asia next.
Photo credit: * Raymond
And finally, a funny story
Tourist: (Phone call) We’d like to book a tour for 1 pm today.
Tallinn Traveller Tours Chieftain: Sure! Would it be okay to meet in front of the tourist information point downtown?
Tourist: Where is it?
TTTC: It’s very close to the Town Hall Square. Do you have a map? It’s marked with a green ‘i’.
Tourist: We’ll find it. See you at 1 pm!
…1 pm local time in Tallinn.
Tourist: (Phone call) We’ll be late. What’s the address? We’re taking a taxi.
TTTC: Niguliste 2.
Tourist: Wait! I’ll give the phone to the driver.
TTTC: (Speaking to the driver in Estonian) Tere! Palun tooge inimesed Niguliste 2 (Hi! Please bring them to Niguliste 2.)
Taxi driver: ???
TTTC: (Now speaking to the driver in Russian) Ulitz Niguliste tva. Starii gorod. (Niguliste 2. Old Town.)
Taxi driver: Sto? (What?)
TTTC: (Still Russian) Niguliste tva. Starii gorod. (Niguliste 2. Old Town.)
Taxi driver: Niguliste?
TTTC: Da, Niguliste tva. (Yes, Niguliste 2.)
Tourist: Did he get the address?
TTTC: Where are you right now? The taxi driver is confused and doesn’t speak Estonian.
Tourist: We’re next to the train station.
TTTC: What can you see around you? Maybe our guide can come and meet you there.
Tourist: There’s a park and the train station.
TTTC: Can you see a street name? Maybe you’re close to a bakery?
Tourist: Yes! Merkela iela! (in RIGA)
Photo credit: Stephan Geyer
Editor’s note: Several statements may have been embellished for added chuckles.
Opening photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões