This is from a series originally posted on my original blog: Seefahrer Thayer. While I don't recommend it, you can view the original posts here. Because the content had value and useful tips I've decided to repost them here, however, they've since been heavily edited and updated.
If there's one thing I've learned so far, it's this: dress local.
Before I left for Europe I read Europeans don't really wear shorts. While it's hard to tell who's local and who's "on holiday," it does seem to be true. Men wear trousers and women wear dresses or skirts with tights underneath frequently. From what I've seen, everyone wears blazers and scarves- similar to the ones you see in my pictures. Since getting over here I'm inclined to buy a pair of Oxfords and a new pair of proper fitting trousers and a warmer coat (didn't expect it to be this cool!) But have yet to done so.
Since attempting to dress in local attire and accessories I feel a little more appropriate and approachable (plus wearable souvenirs!).
I also try to load my iPod up with local music- preferably older folk songs, but really just whatever happens to catch my ear. If I don't do it before I get there, I do it on the first day before leaving the hostel. In addition, I look out for street performers selling their CD's pretty much everywhere I go.