Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Travellers must always familiarise themselves with the local area, cultures and customs. By reading this guide, you’ll be better prepared and be able to enjoy your trip with less hassle.

It is incredibly important to have your wits about you whenever travelling to a new location.

There are, of course, always levels of risk but we hope that this guide gives you a better understanding of what to look out for and how to minimise it.

Travelling anywhere in the world has its own fair share of risk attached and travelling to Newcastle is no different. Many large cities throughout the world are prone to pickpockets and scams especially concerning tourists.

It is always advisable to get travel insurance to insure your belongings in case of loss or theft. Travel insurance is also advised in the event that you get ill or injured whilst travelling and you need emergency care. Company 1 & Company 2 both offer competitive rates for Travel Insurance.

Emergency Number – 999

Time Zone – GMT
Currency – GBP Sterling (£)
Population – 268,064
Size – 114 km²
GDP – £28 billion

Visas

Most visitors of European nationality will not be required to get a visa to enter the UK due to the Freedom of Movement. Some other countries such as the US, Canada, Brazil & Argentina will have visa-free entry for 90 days. To check whether you need a visa to enter the UK, please check here.

Money

What is the currency?

The currency used in Newcastle is the British Pound (£). Denominations include £50, £20, £10, £5 in notes and coins including denominations of £1 and £2 and £0.50, £0.20, £0.10, £0.05, £0.02 and £0.01 pence.

Where can I get it?

The easiest way to get money in Newcastle is via the ATM machines located around the city, although you may want to check the exchange rate charged by your bank first.

How do I exchange it?

If you carry cash with you and want to exchange it into pound sterling then you can do so by following the signs for Bureau de Change located throughout the tourist areas. Just look for the obvious signs Money Exchange, Bureau de Change or simply Change.

If you prefer to buy your pound sterling before you travel and need a reliable and trustworthy company then we recommend XXX

You can check exchange rates here

Tips & Gratuities

Tips (or gratuities) are completely voluntary in the UK and open to any amount, high or small, or the customary decision to add 10-20% of the bill.

Although voluntary, there is a social expectation to provide a tip in restaurants if there is no service charge added. However, if you’re just buying a coffee in a small café or beer at the pub, a tip is rarely expected.

Average costs

Pint of Lager (Average Cost) – £3.74
Glass of Wine 125ml (Average Cost) – £3.25

The Law

There are no stand out laws in the UK that tourists should be cautious of.

All law abiding tourists will have no issues with the police and you are free to approach them if you need help.

It is against the law to be drunk and disorderly in a public place and being drunk in any highway or other public place. Although a drinking culture outside is very popular throughout the UK, it is worth noting that you cannot behave in a way that causes “Anti Social Behaviour”.

Almost all drugs are illegal in the UK and are divided into 3 classes ranging from A-C.

Safety

Reliable Numbers

In an emergency, contact the police, ambulance, or fire department on 999. This number is free to call – only use it in a genuine emergency.

  • Only use registered taxis or a reputable company that can track you such as Uber
  • Try to avoid walking alone at night. Keep to well-lit main roads
  • Beware of wearing headphones – they reduce awareness of your surroundings.
  • In Newcastle, cars drive on the left. To ensure you cross roads safely, only use designated crossings, only cross when the green light is showing.

Staying safe in bars and restaurants

It is paramount that travellers who are in unfamiliar cities are extra vigilant when in late night venues.

  • Make sure you keep your property out of sight and safely under the table.
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
  • Check up on your friends by phone or text to make sure they got home safely and vice-versa.

Petty Theft

Petty theft can occur in Newcastle as it can anywhere else in the world. The key here is to be prepared before your travel.

  • Don’t leave your bag unattended anywhere in Newcastle – this can lead to a security alert
  • Keep your purse or wallet close to your body and don’t carry too much cash.
  • When using an ATM, check that no one is looking over your shoulder and that the ATM hasn’t been tampered with. Cover the keypad so no one else can see your PIN number.
  • Keep your mobile phone, MP3 player, camera, and other gadgets out of sight in your pocket or handbag when not in use.
  • Record details of your electronic serial numbers (ESNs).
  • Inform your service provider and police if your phone or other valuables are stolen or lost. Dial 112 for the police

Taxi Safety

In general, UK taxis are safe and there’s nothing to worry about, however, there are some do’s and don’ts to ensure your safety.

  • Don’t let an overly drunk friend travel alone
  • Try not to travel alone if you’re too drunk
  • Ensure your phone is charged before the night out
  • Ensure the vehicle is licensed and has an ID badge
  • Sit in the backseat instead of the passenger seat

Some taxis may not take card so make sure you have enough cash on you to pay for it, this is safer than having to pull over to an ATM to withdraw cash. Alternatively, you can use a pre-booking service or Uber.

Scams

Being a small city in the UK, Newcastle is not known to attract scams towards tourists.

The city council requires a permit to set up a stall or perform on the streets, so if you are unsure if it is genuine, then ask to see ID.

Taxis
Black cab drivers have been known to take tourists the long way and thus charging them more. If you do use a taxi then make sure you have the route on your phone and take a note of the drivers license badge.

Begging
Newcastle is home to its fair share of beggars, especially within the city centre. They aren’t known to be abusive.

Areas to Avoid

Although Newcastle is a safe city and the chances of being a victim of crime as a tourist are low, there are some areas where visitors may feel unsafe.

Be aware though that the highest crime rate, like most cities throughout the world, is in the city centre.

  • The West End of Newcastle around the Benwell, Elswick, Arthurs Hill & Scottswood Areas
  • Gateshead Town Centre
  • Walker & Byker in the east end of the city
  • Meadowell & Percy Main

Terror Alert

Terrorist attacks happen without warning.

There have been no terrorist attacks in Newcastle upon Tyne but as always everyone should be on their guard.

If you see something suspicious, please call the local police on 999.

Language

Popular Phrases

Geordies will happily talk to anyone about pretty much anything, but can you understand them?

The Newcastle dialect known as Geordie is one of the most loved accents spoken in Britain.

Sid Waddell’s book Taak of the Toon: How to Speak Geordie is a pleasantly funny and informative book. It lists the unique vernacular of the region in alphabetical order, with funny stories and explanations dotted throughout.

Hello – Alreet
Nice – Canny
Really Good – Mint
Yes – Whey Aye Man
No – Nar
Mine or Our – Wor
Night – Neet
Come on – Howay
Hungry – Clammin

Summary

Of course, much of what we have covered is common sense. But now you should be aware of the risks posed to tourists whilst visiting Newcastle.

As one of the worlds most popular tourist destinations, it is worth remembering that the city relies on tourists and therefore police carry out foot patrols throughout the city to ensure the safety of tourists and the local population.

As we have already highlighted, please ensure that you have valid travel insurance that covers you for loss, theft and medical cover in the event that something happens to you or your family.

So now that you are equipped with this information, please enjoy Newcastle and let us know how you got on by tagging us at #totalguide.

 

If you believe we have missed some information that may help other travellers, please let us know at info@total.guide